The National Bicycle Industrial Company: Implementing a Strategy of Mass-Customization

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OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT THE NATIONAL BICYCLE INDUSTRIAL COMPANY: IMPLEMENTING A STRATEGY OF MASS-CUSTOMIZATION Anindito Prabowo (0848005) Vidya Narayani (0848073) Muhammad Adly Yusrizal (0848055) Rogier De Roy MAGISTER MANAGEMENT GADJAH MADA UNIVERSITY YOGYAKARTA 2008 COMPANY BACKGROUND NBIC was Japan's second largest manufacturer of bicycles in 1992 with sales reaching about X20 billion. The firm marketed bicycles under three different brand names, Panasonic, National and Hikari. NBIC targeted each brand at a unique market segment, and together the three brands covered the wide spectrum of bicycles sold in Japan. They ranged from high quality, high price sports and fashion bicycles…show more content…
Once the facsimile order form was received in the master control room of the custom-factory, the receiving attendant immediately enters the information into the firm's host computer to register and control the customer's order specifications. The host computer then assigned each order a unique bar code label. This label, which traveled with the evolving bicycle, instructed and controlled each stage of manufacturing operation. At various stages in the process, line workers accessed the customer's unique requirement using the bar code label and a scanner. This information, displayed on a CRT terminal at each station, was fed directly to the computer controlled machines that were part of a local area computer network. Using such information, workers at each station performed the required sequence of operations assisted by machines The Manufacturing Process. At the heart of the POS lay the design and manufacturing capabilities of NBIC. Almost all the machines used in the manufacturing process were developed and built exclusively for use in the custom-factory. A significant portion of this development work was carried out by the firm's own design and process engineers with assistance from the parent company's engineering staff. While the computer hardware used in POS was purchased from outside vendors, much of the software employed to control and monitor the

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