December 4th, 2018

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BethLiving – A Unique Blend of Customization and Standardization

When one designs his home Interior a very commonly used word is customization.  It’s so commonly used that it is equally misunderstood. This misunderstanding also leads to serious misadventures in home décor. Let’s understand these two terms clearly.

 

Standardization

Standardization is the process of implementing and developing technical standards based on the consensus of different stakeholders like companies users, interest groups, standards organizations and governments.

So in the home décor parlance, we say sliders would be 300, 350, 400, 450, 500, 550 etc and not an odd number like 571 mm. Similarly, in Sofas, we have one, two, three and four-seaters and not a 2 and a half seater. Each seat width standardized either at 500 mm or 550 mm. Kitchen doors standardized to 300, 350, 400, 450 etc and not an unusual number of 421 mm. These are general conventions we follow around the worked as part of standard engineering practices.

The question is why do we have to standardize? The purely technical answer is “ Standards facilitate everyday life. They increase safety and can be used to rationalize operations. Standardization ensures that products, services and methods are appropriate for their intended use. It ensures that products and systems are compatible and interoperable.”

To explain this let’s think of an unusual size car with unusually big wheels. It’s technically feasible, however for the fancy of it if one goes down that route it will call for the series of matching parts from the entire drive chain to the engine and brakes to be altered with unique parts. This poses two major problems. First, it demands a special process for each unique part thereby pushes up the cost. But more often than not, to keep the cost under check compromises are made and in the process and parts. Secondly, it poses an insurmountable problem of maintenance because of the need to repeat the same process of manufacturing the components again.

Standardization is an essential aspect of modern engineering to ensure satisfaction on product usage. That brings us down to the commonly used term called module. A module is a combination of standardized parts. Modules utilize all the benefits of standardization perform a function.

Customization

Customization is modifying something to suit once desire. A more modern definition will be “a modification made to something to suit a particular individual or task using the combination of standard part and modules”.

Hence one choose from the standards available, uses the permutation and combination of these modules to achieve the customization he needs instead of modifying a standard part or module

The Misconception

Quite often the term customization is understood a creating a new standard or new module or modifying one for the specific case.  This will lead to all the disadvantages of not standardizing.

Conclusion

Customization is expressing oneself. However, it has to be done sensibility without interfering with standards. Use the standard part and modules available and arrive at the unique presentation you require. In the process, one achieves the satisfaction of customizing to match his personality yet reaps the benefits of standards when it comes to quality and maintenance.

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