38 | R i g h t C h a i n ™ supply chain professionals. Let me take a stab at simplifying the concept. If I asked you to tell me the best way to travel from Atlanta, Georgia to Los Angeles, California, what would you say? When I ask that question in our seminars, most say by plane. When they say that so quickly they are making assumptions about the trip, that there is sufficient money available to buy a plane ticket, that time is of the essence, and that air travel is preferred. (That says a lot about our culture.) The real answer is, “It depends.” Suppose I add something to the question and ask you to tell me the best way to go if you only have $100.00. What would you say? Now the range of options may be limited to hitch hiking or stowaway. Suppose I add that money is no object and that youmust arrive within 12 hours. What would you say? Now the only option is to go by plane and since money is no object, why not charter a jet? Suppose I say that you must arrive in 12 hours and spend the least amount of money possible. What would you say? Now the range is even narrower and probably means getting the cheapest possible coach plane ticket. In that example, the “12 hours” is a constraint and the “least amount of money possible” is the objective function. In optimization format it would look like this:

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