If you were a leader at UPS and were tasked with creating a strategy that would save 10 million gallons of gas, reduce carbon emissions by 100,00 metric tons, and create a safer work environment for your drivers you might think the task would be overwhelming. After all UPS is a 54 billion dollar company that delivers over 16 million packages daily using a delivery fleet of 96,000 vehicles.
You could analyze the problem, build theories to be tested, create complicated goals and tactics, and finally deliver a convoluted strategy that requires staff to monitor and report on. Or you could do something very simple. Which is what UPS did when they used delivery routing to eliminate as many left turns as possible.
As reported in a recent Washington Post article and on UPS’s Compass Blog the company implemented this simple strategy to great effectiveness. Achieving the desired results of less fuel, less emission, less time on route, and increased safety. After years of executing this strategy I imagine making a left turn in a UPS vehicle must feel uncomfortable and maybe even wasteful. This simple strategy has been accepted and optimized.
The lesson for small business is that strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the simpler the strategy the better.
Simple strategies have these advantages:
- They are more easily communicated and understood by your staff or team.
- They are more likely to be implemented and sustained.
- They are more likely to achieve results.
That does not mean that simple strategies are easy. They may, in fact, be very hard to get to. That said, it is certainly worthwhile to ask yourself “Am I over complicating things?” and actively and purposely investigate simple options. By attempting to build the simplest strategy possible you stand a much better chance of getting your team on board, sustaining execution, and achieving results.
Want to discuss ways your business can develop simply strategies? Contact us and let’s get the conversation started.