Mass customization is a common trend in industries and platform-based product family strategy is widely used for an efficient mass customization. While commonization of a platform is a viable mean for reducing the customization cost, it also has a risk of losing some market share due to its limitation on differentiating individual products. This trade-off requires a platform to be balanced between commonality and distinctiveness of products. In this paper, we focus on developing a versatile platform that maximizes the use of common components while facilitating differentiations which are highly effective for increasing the market share of a product family. A versatile platform is comprised of versatile components which do not restrict effective differentiations even if it is commonized. To determine a certain component is versatile or not, we considered which specifications are preferred to be differentiated in the market and how much change would be required for the component to differentiate a specification. With these two measures, we define a versatility index representing how versatile a component is. Components with higher versatility values are appropriate to be platformized since they are less likely to be changed for differentiations. Furthermore, identification of non-versatile components may provide a clue for improving architecture of the product. The proposed method is applied to the PC mouse design, which yields reasonable alternatives for platform design.

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