Skip to content

Creative Innovation across Disciplines Seminar Series: The presence and future of mass customisation

Open book

As part of the School of Art & Design’s Creative Innovation across Disciplines Seminar Series, Professor Frank Piller presents: 'The presence and future of mass customisation'.

  • From: Thursday 26 May 2016, 12 am
  • To: Thursday 26 May 2016, 12 am
  • Location: Newton 55, Newton building, Main Entrance, Nottingham Trent University, City Campus, Goldsmith Street, Nottingham, NG1 4BU
  • Download this event to your calendar

Past event

Event details

As part of the School of Art & Design’s Creative Innovation across Disciplines Seminar Series, Professor Frank Piller presents: 'The presence and future of mass customisation'.

Mass customisation has been proposed for almost three decades as a key strategy to meet the opportunities of individualisation of demand and the advent of long-tail markets. In his research, Professor Piller has studied mass customisation in depth in more than 200 different organisations. Recently, his Customisation 500 study provided the first international benchmarking of more 500 companies in business-to-consumer mass customisation.

His findings indicate that mass customisation is a strategic mechanism that is applicable to most businesses, provided that it is appropriately understood and deployed; the key is to view it as a process for aligning an organisation with its customers' needs. Mass customisation is about moving towards these goals by developing a set of organisational capabilities that will, over time, supplement and enrich an existing business.

Recent developments in the field of additive manufacturing, Industry 4.0, smart products and embedded toolkits provide new opportunities to address the idea of mass customisation. This talk will review what we know about mass customisation and speculate - with an educated, data-driven guess - what we can expect in the future in this domain.

Frank T. Piller is the Chair Professor of Technology and Innovation Management at the Business School of RWTH Aachen University, Germany, one of Europe’s leading universities of technology. He also is a co-founder of the MIT Smart Customisation Group, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. Before entering his recent position in Aachen, he worked at the MIT Sloan School of Management (2004-2007), and has been an associate professor of management at TUM Business School, Technische Universitaet Muenchen.

Frequently quoted in The New York Times, The Economist, and Business Week amongst others (and listed as the only German professor on LDRLB's 'Top 50 Profs on Twitter' list), Frank is regarded as one of the leading experts on strategies for customer-centric value creation, like mass customisation, personalisation, and innovation co-creation. His group at RWTH Aachen is considered to be one of the globally leading research centres for open and distributed innovation, and is supported by competitive research grants of about US$1million annually. This research has been acknowledged, for example, by a finalist nomination for the 'Innovating Innovation' Award by Harvard Business Review and McKinsey for their work on implementing open innovation, and the Global Co-Creation Award by PDMA (the largest professional association for product and service development) for their work on ideation contests with senior citizens. His recent research focuses on need of established corporations to deal with disruptive business model innovations and support organisational structures and cultures.

For any enquiries please contact the College of Art, Design & Built Environment Research Office by email, or telephone +44 (0)115 848 2301.

Location details


Newton 55, Newton building, Main Entrance


Nottingham Trent University
City Campus
Goldsmith Street

Past event

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418