There’s an acronym in the word of engineering design which dates back to the 1960s, but is just as valid today as it was back then.
That acronym is “KISS”, which stands for “Keep It Simple, Stupid”. The KISS principle states that systems work best if they are deliberately kept simple, rather than made unnecessarily complicated or over-engineered, meaning simplicity should be a key goal in design.
Most sources agree the acronym was coined by Kelly Johnson, who was lead aircraft engineer at the Lockheed Advanced Development Projects facility in California, USA. Developing new advanced jets for the US Military, he became frustrated that some of his designers were coming up with overly-complicated systems which had more potential for going wrong and were then more complex to fix.
One story goes that Johnson presented his design engineers with a handful of basic tools and a challenge – that the jet aircraft they were designing must be repairable by an average mechanic in the field using only those tools. The ‘stupid’ part of his KISS acronym does not imply that the design engineer is stupid, but that he should always keep in mind the relationship between the way things might break and the level of sophistication needed to repair them.
Since then the KISS acronym has become widely used, especially in the military (where technology needs to be simple, reliable and easy to maintain and repair), but also in many other industries. It also underpins our approach at Acorn Stairlifts, where we strive to ‘keep it simple’ in many ways.
First of all, we only design and manufacture one product – home stairlifts – which come in two variants, straight and curved, to fit staircases of either type. Focussing solely on a single product enables us to give it our all, with the aim of making our British-built stairlifts the best in the world.
Our stairlifts incorporate every feature that you need and, just as importantly, none that you don’t. For example, essential features on Acorn Stairlifts include easy-to-use paddle controls on both arms; multiple safety sensors to stop the stairlift automatically if it meets an obstruction; a locking swivel seat to make getting on and off the stairlifts easy and safe; a secure locking safety belt like the one in your car; and two remote controls to send or summon the stairlift.
We do not offer different colour schemes, a range of or ‘trim levels’, or optional extras which serve no real purpose. These would only complicate the manufacturing process and ultimately make the product more expensive.
Keeping it simple doesn’t mean we don’t innovate; just the opposite. Acorn has set new standards with innovations such as powerful rechargeable batteries which mean you’ll never be stranded on the stairs, even in a power cut. Perhaps the biggest innovation has been our unique FastTrack® system for curved stairlift rails.
Rather than waiting weeks for a one-off rail to be engineered in a factory then shipped to you, our engineers build a tailor-made FastTrack® rail on site using a specific selection of interlocking rail sections to precisely follow the contours of your staircase. It can be installed in just a few hours and within days of your initial inquiry.
Another way we ‘keep it simple’ is by providing a one-stop stairlift solution. We don’t just manufacture Acorn Stairlifts – we sell them direct to you, the customer, we install them and we service and maintain them, all done ‘in-house’ by highly trained staff employed directly by Acorn. Our stairlifts are designed and engineered to be extremely reliable, but should something go wrong we are just a phone call away, seven days-a-week, 365 days-a-year. Our Acorn engineers, based across the country, are skilled in servicing, maintaining and repairing our stairlifts using genuine Acorn parts, and our range of aftercare packages (service agreements and extended warranties) is designed to meet all requirements and budgets.
Keeping it simple also brings benefits for the customer, making Acorn Stairlifts user-friendly by design and straightforward to install, with no disruptive structural work or rewiring. What’s more, we believe our simple but effective stairlifts offer the best all-round value for money on the market.
Deal with Acorn and you won’t be paying for fancy “bells and whistles” you don’t need, or for retailers’ flashy high street showrooms. Our home surveyor will only recommend modifications if they meet your specific needs (established by speaking face-to-face with you), and the price our surveyor quotes is the price you’ll pay, with no hidden extras and the quote valid for a full year.
You’ll be investing in retaining your independence, continuing to enjoy full use of all your home and, most of all, removing the daily pain and struggle of climbing the stairs. So if you want to ‘keep it simple’ and enjoy the many benefits it brings, give Acorn a call today on 0800 016 9760.