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Modularity and Product Platforms

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The markets of different products are fast growing and extremely dynamic with different needs. Most customers demand customized product that meets their interests. To meet these demands and fully satisfy the customers’ needs manufacturers need to employ certain production techniques. However, all these techniques have their advantages and disadvantages.

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Modularity is a production technique where manufacturers design common or standard parts that products of the same family may share (Abdullah, Kamaruddin, & Ripin, 2008). This system breaks products to separate but compatible units that can swap with each other through the properly demarcated interfaces.

This form of production is advantageous because it is easy to supplant units when they break down. Huang, Zhang & Liang (2006) believe that this saves time and money that would be spent to brek down the product if it were in a single unit. Apart from that, the manufacturers may also sell the modules to other industries thus generating more income for the company and sharing the production costs.

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Its disadvantages include the extremely complex procedures that are used when integrating the product system that sometimes makes it difficult for some modules to work together. Consequently, the issue of incompatibility may arise if there is a single error. Moreover, the cost of producing a single interface is higher compared to when it was in a complete system. The last, but not the least, it is easier for the competitors to steal a company’s creativity thus one needs to spend extra money for the certification of copyright.

On the other hand, product platform is an assembly of assets by a set of products. The assets include production processes, technical knowledge and componennts. This process is beneficial because it addresses different market needs thus satisfies customers desires and wishes (Abdullah, Kamaruddin, & Ripin, 2008). It has economies of scale that allows the manufacturer to reduce the costs of production and price per product at the same time. Apart from that, it also cuts the production financing because same equipment produce diverse products. Nonetheless, the platform has some limitations including very difficult process of differentiation of products. The products are common thus it is very easy to lose the uniqueness of a product (Erickson & Erixon, 2009). Moreover, if a company decides to differentiate a product, it will be forced to incur extra expenses. Apart from that, the differentiation process is time consuming thus makes the product less competitive. Disadvantages of platform planning emanate from the fact that it is easy to achieve commonality but difficult to differentiate the products.

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