A classification of barriers to product variety reduction

Loris Battistello*, Anders Haug, Alexandria Trattner, Lars Hvam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Many industrial companies face demands for increases in product variety in order to accommodate customers’ requirements for additional individual products. With this increasing product variety come increasing costs, poor delivery performance and quality problems. Thus, many companies attempt to reduce their product variety but often fail to do so. To understand the causes of this problem, we identify the most important barriers companies face when trying to reduce their product variety. We review the existing literature and highlight the identified barriers. Then, we carry out a single case study, which identifies a type of barrier not previously described, namely a barrier related to the culture and the personality of the people involved. The paper adds to the literature by extending the perspective on barriers to product variety reduction. The overview of barriers to product variety reduction may help managers focus their attention and resources.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCIRP Journal of Manufacturing Science and Technology
Pages (from-to)517-525
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Product variety reduction
  • SKU rationalisation
  • Barriers
  • Product variety management


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