In this presentation and interview, Eric Zhang, VP of engineering at Scalable Press, provides an insight into how mass customisation is applied in the company. (See video below)
Scalable Press can supply manufactured goods in batches of 10,000 or any number. But it’s the fact that it can also supply that “batch of 1” that makes its process an example of mass customisation.
A vast number of Scalable Press’ customers are individuals who may be buying a T-shirt online, through a store of some kind, and selecting their own, individual design preferences.
However, the company also supplies massive, global companies such as sportswear giant Adidas.
Zhang says setting up the manufacturing facility was rather difficult, mainly because it’s a relatively new technology and approach and not many other companies have done it.
As well as apparel printing, there are other services Scalable Press supplies, including embroidery. And Zhang says the future direction of the company is open to market demands.
Quite obviously connected to the huge and growing trend towards 3D printing, Scalable Press may look to expand in that direction in the future.
But the company has already grown to an enormous size, with 200,000 square feet of production space, and 10 million custom items produced.
All of Scalable Press’ production takes place in the US, in four facilities in facilities across the country, and has shipped its products to 185 countries.
Already profitable, and with no outside funding, Scalable Press currently employs more than 300 people and says it has “averaged triple-digit growth over the past five years”.
Not bad for an initial investment of $2,000.