Cut complexity -- and costs

Cut complexity and costs

It's axiomatic that complexity is bad for business. In a recent Bain & Company survey of executives worldwide, 70% said that complexity drives up costs and hinders growth. For goods manufacturers, the evidence is hard to miss-stockpiles of inventory, costly downtime for production-line changeovers, merchandise languishing on retailers' shelves or in their showrooms. For service companies, though, complexity is much harder to spot and root out, largely due to the ease with which new products can be created and marketed. Invoking Henry Ford's "Model T" approach to product-line simplicity, the authors of this article suggest three disciplines to help you hold "complexity creep" in check as you innovate to meet your customers' evolving needs.

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