It’s easy to forget that behind every purchase, there’s a wholly unique customer. More and more, buyers are making this abundantly clear as they seek out products that are customized to their individual preferences and needs.
This rise in personalized products is creating a tremendous strain on supply chains. After all, today’s customers are more demanding than ever, and businesses are expected to deliver these highly specified items in a short period of time.
Get personal this summer
With Memorial Day in our rearview, summer has officially arrived. And whether you’re looking forward to the season’s sunshine so you can enjoy a little rest and relaxation, tend your garden, or work up a sweat, there’s a personalized product just for you.
Take a look at some of this summer’s hottest personalized products and explore how supply chain organizations are delivering them.
Hitting the beach or hitting the links
Warm, sunny weather is the perfect excuse to take a day trip to the beach (or, if you happen to hail from New Jersey like I do, it’s a great opportunity to head “down the shore”). Either way, a beach bag, beach ball, or beach towel emblazoned with your name or initials is always a fun accessory to bring along.
If the beach isn’t your thing, perhaps you’ll enjoy an afternoon at the local golf course. And since you’re not a fan of the beach, you’ll definitely want to stay out of the sand (hey-oh!).
Today, personalized smart golf shoes can help keep you on the green and lower your handicap. Iofit recently developed a golf shoe – embedded with an Internet of Things-enabled sensor – that can analyze weight transfer and other contributing factors adversely impacting your golf swing.
Your green thumb can be bionic nowadays
Spring may be the season to begin your gardening activities. But with so many people out and about in June, July, and August, summer is the perfect time to show off the proverbial fruits of your labor.
Today, there are a number of futuristic gardening tools to help you make sure your flowers, plants, fruits, and vegetables stay in tip-top shape. One such product is Bitponics, a cloud-based solution that’s capable of monitoring soil conditions, water and air temperature, light, and humidity, all via your WiFi network. Should anything deviate too far from your pre-set personalized grow plan, you can modify your existing settings from your computer.
3D-printed sneakers: An incredible feat
Did you know that something called a “runner’s high” exists?
Yeah, I can’t believe it, either.
With the cold weather presumably behind us, you runners will certainly want to get out there and strive for that runner’s high while basking in the rays of the sun. Before you go, though, it’s important to make sure you have the proper footwear.
New Balance is currently using 3D printing technology as part of its customization process to ensure your shoes fit as perfectly as possible.
“Think about getting on a treadmill,” says Hals Thalbauer, senior vice president of Extended Supply Chain at SAP. “You start running. Your feet are being measured, and in the back of the store, a 3D printer is printing the insole for your shoe.”
Various initiatives to customize the look of your sneakers are also underway. NIKEiD, for example, allows customers to design their own footwear. They’re able to select from a variety of color combinations and add personalized messaging to the tongue of the shoe.
Delivering personalization is imperative
The modern-day supply chain must be agile and responsive enough to meet customers’ needs for personalized products. This begins with organizations having the right technology in place. Companies need to embrace the Internet of Things, 3D printing, embedded sensors, and Industry 4.0 in order to deliver greater value to their buyers. Doing so will ensure that customers – in the immortal words of an unimaginative yearbook signing – “have a nice summer.”
Download “Individualized Products: The Burning Platform for Future Competitiveness” to explore how you can get started delivering greater personalization – and value – today.