Inventory Management in Mass Customization Operations: A Review

Shu Guo, Tsan Ming Choi, Bin Shen, Sojin Jung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Mass customization (MC), as an operations program to satisfy target consumers by offering personalized products or services, has attracted substantial attention from both the industry and academia. Under this program, one of the most important issues is an efficient management of the related inventories, including the work-in-process inventories, standard items, and the customized items, which can ultimately contribute to a profitable business for the companies who have launched MC. This paper, therefore, focuses on reviewing the mass customization based literature and identifying various methods to effectively manage inventory for MC schemes. In addition to regular inventory management, with the increasing emphasis on corporate social responsibility, MC companies are required to devote more effort to the proper management of leftover and returned inventories under MC. This paper, hence, examines MC inventory management in both forward and reverse logistics. Findings from this review provide a guideline to operations managers on inventory management improvement in their MC operations. Future research opportunities related to MC inventory management, such as supply chain coordination and risk management, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8392710
Pages (from-to)412-428
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • Consumer returns
  • coordination
  • inventory management
  • leftover inventories
  • mass customization
  • regular inventories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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