Killing A Company Slowly


“If we get orders and we don’t supply it and satisfy our customers, we’re going to fail as a company.” -John McCranor, vice president of warehouse operations, Lifetime Brands Inc., in the Wall Street Journal

I had a client that seemingly loved post-order crisis management:

  • Orders were shipped incomplete
  • The wrong parts were shipped
  • On-time delivery wasn’t even in their vocabulary
  • There were technical issues with the products that did ship

The client had a customer that represented 80% of their revenues. The COO said this problem was killing their business yet, for the troops on the frontline, this was business as usual. I even had managers tell me, “Problem? What problem?”

The COO was right: the customer that represented 80% of their business walked away from them. They can’t say they didn’t see it coming.

Yet, the culture and history suggested to the vast majority of employees that nothing was wrong in spite of the fact there was a clear and present danger.

Are you looking at issues from your customer’s perspective? Or, are you thinking you are “too important to fail?”

Thought for the week:

“Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.” –Albert Einstein

What do you think? I welcome your comments!

Dave Gardner

© 2015  All Rights Reserved

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