Published August 8, 2014

According to today’s Wall Street Journal, McDonald’s July sales were DOWN by 2.5% – the worst in over 10 years! A significant contributor to this weak performance was due to the meat-supplier scandal in China affecting its sales in Asia and Africa. As businesses try to find ways to grow sales in today’s highly competitive environment, fundamentals must remain in place to ensure quality and service. What could be worse than finally achieving some success with organic growth to have it squashed by quality concerns? (In McDonald’s case, meat expiration date concerns..) Once customers leave, they are far less likely to return.

One tip to implement this week: Check in on your fundamentals. Typically we are buried in day-to-day survival – managing projects, resolving problems, handling customer questions, preparing for Board meetings and the like. Instead, set aside time (which you consider to be as important as your top customer, CEO or Board member calling with an urgent priority) to take a pulse on your fundamentals. Go to Customer Service and Shipping, and ask about customers and service. Go by a the production line and ask questions about quality. Pick up your phone to call a key supplier. Talk with your informal leaders and find out what’s on their mind. Take stock of your fundamentals and address any potential risks uncovered. If you don’t, you’ll wish you had as they surface from your customers instead!