Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.
Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – March 25, 2013
Lululemon Athletica has been in the news a lot lately because of massive recalls of the black yoga pants that have made them so famous. The recalls were a result of the material being too sheer and not living up to the company’s standards for quality. This is an unfortunate situation for Lululemon, but only the first real hiccup we have seen from this rapidly growing company. Now is not the time to panic. It is still a great company that makes great products and has a very loyal customer base. The analysts have declared that the sky is falling, but Lululemon has a terrific opportunity to resolve this issue quickly and minimize the damage. Here’s what they should be doing:
  • Publicly accept responsibility for the issueIt doesn’t matter whether it was Lululemon’s quality department that didn’t identify the issue before the pants made it into the hands of customers or that their supplier didn’t manufacture the right product. Lululemon needs to publicly apologize to customers and take responsibility for the issue and its’ resolution.
  • Communicate changes openly and transparentlyLululemon needs to communicate what steps they are taking to identify and resolve the issue, as well as how they are improving their business operations to ensure it won’t happen again.
  • Use this as a way to improve performanceLululemon should look at this as an opportunity to improve the way it operates. Looking at how it manages its’ supplier base and how it manages product quality assurance would be two places to start.
Rapidly growing companies often encounter some issues as a result of that rapid growth,” says Andrew Miller, President of ACM Consulting. “That is why it is important for organizations to grow responsibly. Even some of the best companies in the world, like Toyota and RIM, are not immune to issues resulting from rapid growth.
 
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