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887: How Cimpress Is Building Mass Customization Businesses

In 2014, The parent company of Vistaprint and other Web-to-print brands changed its name to Cimpress N.V. The company invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the development of proprietary software and production technology, in order to evolve its operational capabilities into a shared mass customization platform (MCP).

Cimpress set out on a mission to transform this technology investment by advancing its proprietary computer integrated manufacturing technologies. The end goal is was to enable the company to mass customize personalized and unique physical products in small quantities at an affordable price.

Here in 2019, Cimpress N.V. (Nasdaq: CMPR) continues to invest and build customer-focused, entrepreneurial, mass-customization businesses for the long term. Mass customization is a competitive strategy which seeks to produce goods and services to meet individual customer needs with near mass production efficiency.

Cimpress businesses include BuildASign, Drukwerkdeal, Exaprint, National Pen, Pixartprinting, Printi, Vistaprint and WIRmachenDRUCK.

Eugene Hsu, VP of Platform Strategy at Cimpress joins me on my daily tech podcast to explain how autonomous technology teams can help businesses respond rapidly to change. We also explore how it can promote innovation, experimentation, and drive decision-making closer to customers. Yet, autonomy without some guardrails can result in a technology organization without a clear direction or purpose. To balance this, some alignment is necessary, but how much and what style?

Hsu talks about how senior leaders can find the right balance of autonomy and alignment. In his role, Hsu explores the competitive landscape of mass customization and advises leaders on how platform strategies can be applied to their businesses. He has held various positions in innovation, software engineering, and computer science research, and has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT.

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