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Conquering Complexity in Your Business: How Wal-Mart, Toyota, and Other Top Companies Are Breaking Through the Ceiling on Profits and Growth


by Michael L. George, Stephen A. Wilson

Editorial Reviews
From Publishers Weekly
When Thoreau’s injunction to simplify, simplify, is translated into the context of business management, the result is this labyrinthine treatise. George, author of Lean Six Sigma, and "complexity expert" Wilson contend that overcomplication is an insidious drain on businesses. A proliferation of product and service offerings intended to boost business actually imposes hidden costs and masks the unprofitability of stagnating lines, while consumers are often baffled and irritated by the plethora of superficially distinct options. The authors’ cure for complexity, however, seems almost as complicated as the disease. They offer a maze of arcane diagnostic tools for assessing the complexity and profitability of products, services and customers, along with advice on how to simplify, standardize or eliminate them altogether, and pile on mathematical equations, byzantine flowcharts and highly technical case studies ("at 50KW the DC voltage doubled, cutting the current in half—which meant the design for the lower power ratings could be used all the way to 80KW"). They provide a number of useful insights, actually, although lumping them under the trendy rubric of "complexity" doesn’t add much conceptual rigor. Unfortunately, the method of quantitatively analyzing the profit impact of minute components of larger processes seems itself an onerous layer of complexity to add to the project of simplifying business practices. The accountants and process design engineers who might read the book will find much food for thought, but are also likely to put it aside when it comes time to roll up their sleeves and get to work.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Description:
Conquering the complexity in products and services can generate larger contributions to profits and growth than nearly any other business strategy

Here's a guarantee: Somewhere in your business, there is too much complexity. You may also be losing out by having too little complexity where it counts - in the products, services and options you offer to customers. Either way, the impact of complexity is enormous in terms of lost profit and missed growth opportunities.

Conquering Complexity in Your Business shows how to break through the ceiling on profits and growth by implementing the three rules for conquering complexity:

  • Eliminating complexity that customers will not pay for
  • Exploiting the complexity that customers will pay for
  • Minimizing the costs of the complexity you offer

You'll find methods and tools you need to:

  • Identify the offering and process complexity in your business
  • Quantify the impact of that complexity
  • Decide which complexity you want to keep and which to eliminate
  • Select specific approaches to eliminate different kinds of complexity

    This knowledge will significantly improve your ability to grow profit, revenue, and shareholder value.

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