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Making Improvements in the Logistics Sector - The KISS Method

Posted on Monday, December 28th by Pallet2ship logo

The KISS method (Keep It Significant and Shareable) has managed to consolidate its position in the business world as one of the most effective ways to make improvements in the logistics sector, regardless of the particular domain one runs their activity in. Undoubtedly, one of the secrets behind the success of this method lies in its simplicity. In fact, this is the very principle the KISS method addresses - simplicity. Unfortunately, many businesspeople are sceptical about this concept, but, in the end, it all comes down to fear. A simple and straightforward idea can generate a great deal of awkwardness, no matter how good. Thus, dimensionalising a management decision, for instance, is all about creating a plan. So let us look further into this kind of approach, which the KISS method relies on and promotes as being the key effective management.

Simple versus Complex as per the KISS method

Improvement in the logistics area requires proper communication between the logistics service provider and the customer/shipper. The secret to achieving that lies in simpler key performance indicators (KPI) and less crammed quarterly business review (QBR) meetings, which will allow you to meet your goals and make the necessary improvements in terms of company-wide communication.

As far as manufacturing and distribution are concerned, the concept of simplicity is described by the 5S principle (Sort and Set in order to Shine, Standardise and Sustain) and the LEAN method. These provide a solution to the Kanban system, which in this context stands out as a rather sophisticated method to adjust the inventory processes so as to meet the requirements of customers using signal cards.

Although the whole concept of working to achieve improvement in the logistics sector may come across as overwhelming at first, it can be narrowed down to a list of very simple and useful tips, as follows. For starters, in order to be successful in this sense, you need to remember never to let your ego cloud your judgment for clear judgment is rooted in reality. This goes hand in hand with acting based on real facts and situation rather than on wishful thinking. Also, you need to improve your listening skills in order to be able to react to their wishes and demands. This is where common sense is rooted. Moreover, note that it draws from experience rather than from wishful thinking. Last but not least, you need to be clear and concise in your thoughts and actions for clarity, conciseness, efficiency and results all go hand in hand.

Let us take a look at a few commonly used terms that can easily be simplified for the sake of improving communication. You might want to use "correct", "exact" or "right" instead of "accurate", "divide" instead of "allocate", "prove" or "show" instead of "demonstrate", "end" to replace "expiration", "give up" or "lose" to replace "forfeit", "carry out" or "start" to replace "implement" or "issue" and "publish" instead of "promulgate", for instance. And the list can go on. The formula is very simple. Opt for familiar words instead of fancy ones. Keep things short, avoiding unnecessary details and therefore the use of unnecessary words. Use active verbs. Also, use the oral language rather than its strict written counterpart. Communicate using terms and expressions that the people in the logistics sector can easily understand. Use the experience of those handling your freight. Last but not least, remember that your aim is to express ideas, not to make an impression.

The impact of complicated communication on logistics

Note the fact that providing people with excessive information is bound to cause one of the following four reactions, all negative and counterproductive. First of all, the target audience will not be able to respond due to both a lack of interest and an inability to immediately filter the information being provided to them. This is why instructions given to employees, for instance, must always be clear.

Second of all, they will most probably get either bored or irritated. Obviously, you are seeking a level of emotional engagement, but it is not these reactions that you want to stir among your potential customers or business partners. Take suppliers, for instance. Failure to engage them properly will impede the achievement of value in the long term.

Next, they will doubt the value and relevance of the information you are providing them with. Once again, that will affect your collaboration with your business partners and thus your business performance.

Last but not least, they will not be able to take any action anymore. They will not be able to make decisions. And unfortunately, their action lies at the core of your success in the business world, whether your aim is to sell, plan or reach any other kind of target.

The purpose of this article is to shed some light on the line between simplicity and complexity in communication and the ways in which they impact performance within a company and beyond. As already mentioned, there is little room for complexity in the logistics sector. In this context, you should remember that complexity and attention to detail are two separate things. However, this does not make the whole concept of complexity wrong. It is just to say that it belongs in other sectors, such as the IT or social media ones. Programming languages, for instance, will confirm it. The mission to keep things simple also justifies the use of acronyms for logistics purposes and business purposes in general, such as ERP to replace Enterprise Resource Planning, EDI to replace Electronic Data Interface, WMS instead of Warehouse Management Systems, TMS instead of Transportation Management Systems or YMS instead of Yard Management Systems.

To conclude, conciseness and therefore simplicity constitute a golden rule in journalism, as well as any other communication-based environment. They are the key to grabbing the attention and interest of any target audience, whether potential customers, business partners or friends, whether in the mass-media environment, within a group or during one-on-one discussions.

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