Alibaba is one of the world’s largest commerce enterprises and handles more business than any other e-commerce company. It implemented a “customization to manufacturing” (C2M) business model for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that helped companies gain better consumer insights. Alibaba’s pilot factory, Xunxi, tackles manufacturing issues such as high trial and error costs, under- or over-stock situations and long reaction times using three stages: consumer intelligence, product development and production.

Consumer Intelligence – Alibaba combines its technologically advanced digital platforms and information about consumer preferences and market trends to help its small business clientele remain competitive in the fashion industry.

Product Development – During product development, Alibaba’s development needs, supply chain status and manufacturing scheduling are taken care of. Design optimization employs a large library of patterns while artificial intelligence boosts durability. This helps match products to the best manufacturing resources in both workforce capacity and machine availability.

Production – During the last stage, or “production” phase, small batches of products are manufactured to match the exact amount in demand. Operators and resources are strategically used through automated configuration, which also evaluates risks with digital simulation.

Alibaba is a strong example of the many ways companies can effectively use real-time data and digital technology to achieve customer centricity. This approach allows businesses to concentrate on dynamic production efforts to manufacture what is needed, when it is needed and where it is needed.



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Avanthika Sinha is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with University Honors at Wayne State University. She is a driven and hardworking student who aspires to gain valuable, hands on experience in the technical industry. Avanthika has a firm understanding of engineering principles with strong technical skills, as she has worked on multiple projects that utilized different computer software including Siemens NX, C++ and Verilog. She aspires to implement her knowledge of engineering to create innovative technology that will help a community bigger than herself and her network.

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