Keywords: mass customisation, sustainability, footwear industry, form postponement, product development, process development, sustainable competitive advantage, sustainable economy, socioeconomic framework, shoe production
Mass customisation for a sustainable competitive advantage in the footwear industry
The present competitive situation in a number of industries is changing because buyers demand an increasing variety of product choice with low or even no price premiums charged. In case of traditional labour-intensive industries, such as footwear, high-labour costs, a progressive reduction in the size of production batches and a demand for minimising delivery times further reduce the long-term competitiveness. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the socioeconomic framework that the manufacturers of high-cost traditional footwear producing countries are facing and to investigate some possible options for provision of a sustainable competitive advantage.