Customer-Oriented Product Configuration Systems: One Type Fits All?

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Weinmann, M., Hibbeln, M., & Robra-Bissantz, S. (2011). Customer-Oriented Product Configuration Systems: One Type Fits All?. Paper presented at the 19th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2011), Helsinki, Finland.

Publication type

Paper in Conference Proceedings


Product configuration systems are useful instruments of individualization in the field of mass customization. Recent studies have shown that the two factors Expertise and the ability to deal with a lot of information (Cognitive Load) have a significant influence on the preference of configuration. In this paper we consider the influence of those to factors on the fit of two types of configuration systems: Parameter-based and Needs-based configurators. While a Parameter-based system allows users to specify design parameters, a Needs-based configurator calculates those parameters based on the users weighted needs. To test the fit of each configurator depending on the Expertise and Cognitive Load of users we carried out an experiment. Therefore, we developed a prototype for both types of configuration systems. We found out that Parameter-based systems are more appropriate for customers with high Expertise and high Cognitive Load. Contrary, customers with low Expertise and Cognitive Load are better advised to use Needs-based configurators.


Organizational Units

  • Institute of Information Systems
  • Hilti Chair of Business Process Management