Volume 9, Issue 4

Solution Space Development: Conceptual Reflections and Development of the Parameter Space Matrix as Planning Tool for Geometry-based Solution Spaces

Paul Christoph Gembarski, Roland Lachmayer

Today’s CAD-systems offer the possibility to model geometry-based solution spaces based on parametrics and feature technology. Here, the solution space is the set of all feasible product alternatives from which a distinct variant for a defined set of requirements may be configured. A necessary step prior to modelling the solution space is to acquire knowledge about dependencies of requirements, solutions and restrictions that are dictated by the supply chain, e.g. manufacturing restrictions. In this article, the authors contribute to this field by developing the Parameter Space Matrix (ParSM) as a tool for a structured elicitation of requirements, solution space restrictions and the resulting model parameters for the CAD-model. Furthermore, the application of ParSM is shown and discussed on a toaster with variable body elements where the manufacturing restrictions result of an additive manufacturing process.

 

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Challenges of Total Customer Experience (TCX): Measurement beyond Touchpoints

Christos G. Chatzopoulos, Marcel Weber

Customer Experience (CX) is an already known term and is usually measured at one or more “touchpoints”, which are direct and indirect interactions between a customer and a company. Most companies typically use touchpoint measurements as a representation for the Total Customer Experience (TCX). However, one can argue that this representation is inadequate since CX is also determined by what is experienced before, between and after touchpoints, which defines the whole customer journey. This paper discusses the adequacy of TCX measured only through touchpoints and investigates the challenges of (a) defining, (b) modelling and measuring, and (c) managing and improving TCX. First, TCX definition challenges are discussed and a new definition of TCX is proposed, considering the four phases that characterise the whole customer journey that are Initiation, Touchpoints, In-between Touchpoints and Finalization. Second, the challenges of modelling and measuring TCX are addressed and a new TCX model that measures emotions is proposed and explained through a fictitious case example. Third, three challenges for managing and improving TCX are discussed and a new way to manage and improve the TCX performance in a company is presented and applied by using the developed TCX model and the case example.

 

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Customized optoelectronic in-ear sensor approaches for unobtrusive continuous monitoring of cardiorespiratory vital signs

Vladimir Blazek, Boudewijn Venema, Steffen Leonhardt, Paul Blazek

Customization of diagnostic and therapeutic pathways in medicine and personalization of medical devices are currently major trends in biomedical engineering together with miniaturization, digitalization and increasingly ambient and unobtrusive sensor strategies. This article presents a novel optoelectronic sensor: its concept is based on simple, easy-to-use classical photoplethysmography technology, but is attached to the ear. Via the ear channel or the inner tragus, the sensor detects diagnostically relevant parameters from peripheral arterial and venous blood volume movement (including heart rate, heart rate variability, respiratory activity, blood oxygen saturation and other subdermal blood phenomena). The diagnostic system consists of customizable i) sensor forms, ii) biodata mining, and iii) communication protocols sent to the medical control center. This article describes novel possibilities for cardiorespiratory monitoring with these sensors characterized by enhanced customization features. In contrast to established art sensor applications on fingers or toes, this optical in-ear sensor technology offers additional physiological and technological advantages by mining vital signs in the ear channel. Since the optical in-ear sensor is comfortable, noninvasive and unobtrusive, it is recommended not only for patients at high cardiovascular risk but also (potentially) for homecare application and the monitoring of physical activities, e.g. during high altitude climbing. Preliminary results demonstrate that vital signs can be assessed with sufficient robustness and accuracy and that, due to the customized sensor application, patient comfort is higher compared with the classical wearable (non-customized) sensors.

 

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Cost of Not Maintaining a Product Configuration System

Jeppe Bredahl Rasmussen, Anna Myrodia, Lars Hvam, Niels Henrik Mortensen

This article investigates the cost implications of using a not sufficiently maintained product configuration system (PCS). A case study is conducted to investigate the financial loss due to poor data quality in products sold through a not-maintained PCS. We calculated the financial loss by comparing the quotations generated by the not-maintained PCS and the quotations for the same product when the PCS was updated. The results indicate that the company has been selling the products with a miscalculated 20% lower cost than the actual one. Comparing this financial loss to the cost required to keep the PCS up-to-date, we show that the former is significantly higher than the latter. The research concludes that the realized success and benefits of utilizing a PCS are related to its maintenance and data quality.

 

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Developing complex, mass-customized products in SME networks: Perspectives from co-creation, solution space development, and information system design

Leontin K. Grafmüller, Stephan Hankammer, Sarah Hönigsberg, Hendrik Wache

Already for nearly three decades, Mass Customization (MC) has been described as a viable business model for companies in diverse sectors. Nonetheless, the introduction and the successful operation of an MC approach is a challenging endeavor for companies of all sizes. In this article, special attention is given to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which increasingly collaborate in networks to successfully develop complex, mass-customized products. While collaboration allows for pooling several areas of expertise, the cross-organizational development poses challenges in manifold regards. To study these challenges, we set up a network business process model developed with four SMEs from the German high-tech textile industry. Based on the current literature on capabilities for MC, we evaluate the challenges of MC in SME networks detected in our network business process model to underpin the need for further research. In our study, we detail the conceptual analysis of such network-based scenarios along our process model for three focal areas: (1) co-creation, (2) solution space development, and (3) information system design. We construe the need for further research and derive implications for both academia and practice.

 

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Implementation Guidelines for Mass Customization: A Researcher-Oriented View

Nikola Suzić, Enrico Sandrin, Svetlana Suzić, Cipriano Forza, Alessio Trentin, Zoran Anišić

Mass customization (MC) is gaining steady attention in both industry and academia. Recently, MC implementation guidelines (MC-IGs) have been identified as an emerging sub-stream of MC research. A review of this sub-stream has been published in the current year, with a practitioner-oriented view. The present paper complements that review by focusing on the researchers’ need to improve the way MC-IGs are developed and communicated. By providing data generated from a systematic literature review on MC-IGs, the present paper informs researchers about how much and in which way certain aspects of MC-IGs have been considered in the available guidelines. Through a systematic and detailed description of the published MC-IGs, the present article supports researchers to clearly communicate the similarities and differences in their proposed advancements on MC-IGs. Finally, by reflecting on the very nature of the output of MC-IG research, this article suggests open and wide adoption of the design science research strategy to develop and test MC-IGs.

 

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