Information on Mass Customization (MC) in SMEs is extremely limited. The MC 4.0 project collected original data on the implementation of MC in Austrian and Italian SMEs by surveying 120 SMEs that offer product variety and customization to assess their current level of MC capability and their level of adoption of the MC 4.0 levers.

The radar chart indicates the status of SMEs on the various facets of MC capability. Let’s remember that a company reaches a high value of MC capability if it offers product variety and customization without penalizing costs, quality and speed. This includes also to preserve volumes in internal processes and to help customers to choose among the various offered possibilities.  

In the radar, the numbers indicaterespectively that the considered trade-off:
1: it is very far from being overcome
3: it is beginning to bepartially overcome
5: it is fully overcome.

The SMEs distribution alongthe various MC capability facets is depicted by using colours:

grey: 25% of SMEs have a valuet hat is equal to or below the value indicated by the grey line,
orange: 50% of SMEs have a value that is below or equal the value indicated by the grey line,
blue: 75% of SMEs have a valuet hat is below or equal to the value indicated by the grey line.

Sampled Italian SMEs
Sampled Austrian SMEs

The radar charts show that the trade-off(s) of variety-customization versus:

The MC 4.0 survey has also shown that MC levers’ use is not high in SMEs and it is quite different from lever to lever both in Austria and in Italy. More specifically:

It also emerged that the use of MC levers is context-dependent: