Raising the level of your leadership




The Twinkie Resurrection


TwinkiesTwinkies are back—from the dead! After shuttering all their bakeries and laying off thousands of employees in 2012, the golden, cream-filled, 150 calorie, spongy cakes are back on the shelves at more places than ever. I call it the Twinkie Resurrection, but Twinkie Revolution might be a better description.

Why revolution?

Today’s Twinkies are made by $20 million robotic Auto-Bake systems run by 500 people instead of 9000 before the revolution. Result: lower costs.

The new Twinkie has a shelf life of 65 days—up from 25 for the old Twinkie. What difference does that make? Delivery costs have been cut in half, enabling the number of Twinkie retail outlets to be more than doubled. Result: higher sales in more markets.

The bakeries have been modernized and airflow has been improved for the benefit of the workers during the hot summer months. So much for management not caring. Result: better working conditions.

Production, inventory and logistics are now managed by a new SAP software system. Results: current and accurate information in the hands of the decision makers.

What is the bottom line? Cash flow is running more than 75% ahead of the forecast, prompting a decision to use the same approach to reopen the Hostess CupCake lines. Result: more jobs, more sales, more profit, and more happy customers.

The Twinkie Resurrection Story is a classic case of new leadership with a new vision, giving new life and new hope to a dead organization—really dead in the Twinkie case. If your organization (business, church, college, or whatever) is dead or dying, tweaking will not be enough. You need a resurrection strategy. Is it possible? Drive to your closest convenience store and buy a Twinkie for inspiration. Then, remember if you’re the leader, it’s up to you!

[Read The Twinkie Miracle from the May 4th edition of Forbes for the full story.]

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© Copyright 2015 by Dick Wells, The Hard Lessons Company

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