Towards product customization: An integrated order fulfillment system

Linda L. Zhang, Ka Man Lee, Qianli Xu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


To stay competitive, manufacturing companies nowadays pursue product customization; and configure-to-order (CTO) has been recognized as an ideal business model to implement product customization. Due to the complexities resulting from the large number of customized products, an increased attention has been paid to the order fulfillment process in CTO. However, most of the solutions delivered either focus on own interested areas without considering the impacts from/on the others or approach order fulfillment processes from a strategic level. In view of the limitations of existing solutions and the significance of order fulfillment activity automation and integration, this study considers the entire spectrum of order fulfillment process at an operational level and, proposes an integrated order fulfillment system (IOFS). The IOFS is designed to (1) automatically execute order processing, which is conventionally undertaken in a face-to-face manner; (2) configure products and process plans based on product and process family models; and (3) allow real-time data extraction and sharing of the latest information. Therefore, it assists companies to quickly respond to diverse customer requirements and deliver the expected products at low costs. An industrial example of turn unit assemblies is presented to demonstrate the feasibility and potential of the IOFS for product customization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-222
Number of pages10
JournalComputers in Industry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Configure-to-order
  • Order fulfillment process
  • Product configuration
  • Product customization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Engineering


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