Summary of Waging War on Complexity Costs

Reshape Your Cost Structure, Free Up Cash Flows, and Boost Productivity by Attacking Process, Product, and Organizational Complexity

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Waging War on Complexity Costs book summary
Companies gain competitive advantage when they eliminate complexity.


8 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

7 Style


A company’s complexity directly affects its cost structure, the biggest determinant of its capacity to compete. Businesses can gain enormous advantages by minimizing or eliminating complexity. For example, offering a wide variety of products and services may be inefficient, while a condensed product line could improve a company’s profitability. Not all complexity is counterproductive, so distinguishing “good complexity” from “bad complexity” is critical to simplifying a business. Consultants Stephen A. Wilson and Andrei Perumal promote a thorough – though sometimes, ironically, complex – approach to complexity control that unearths “non-value added” spending you can target for reduction. While the authors’ systematic prescriptions clearly apply to large companies with extensive product and service lines, getAbstract believes this book can also be useful to small and midsize businesses as a tool for weeding out wasteful complexity.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How companies waste time and money on business complexity that does not benefit customers;
  • What steps firms can take to distinguish “good complexity” from “bad complexity”;
  • How to reduce “product, process and organization” complexity; and
  • How to cut complexity costs.


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About the Authors

Stephen A. Wilson and Andrei Perumal are managing directors at Wilson Perumal & Company, a management consultancy.

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