E d w a r d H . F r a z e l l e , P h . D . RightChain™ What does all of this have to do with supply chain strategy? We call it “pruning for profit”. According to Webster, “pruning” means “to reduce especially by eliminating superfluous matter, to remove as superfluous, to cut off or cut back parts of for better shape or more fruitful growth, to cut away what is unwanted or superfluous.” The purpose of pruning is to focus the resources available to the plant in the healthiest limbs and branches in order to maximize the quality of the fruit produced by the plant. Pruning is not easy. It is painful. You probably know from your personal life when you have had to cut out certain activities or cut off certain relationships that are not profitable or are even harmful. It comes up in supply chain strategy when someone in marketing and/or product development faces the fact that their customers, SKUs, and orders are no longer profitable. Simplification is never easy. It goes against the grain of human nature and the pride in the complexity or difficulty of what we do. During one of our seminars in Tokyo an attendee asked me what they would do if they took all the complexity out of the work. I said, “You won’t have to work nights and weekends. Your husband and your family need you.” My translator started crying. Then the lady started crying. Then I started crying. | 35

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