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Logistics Labor Management

You Gotta Love a Good Comeback Story

Alex Stark | March 03, 2016

I was reading an article on the turnaround of Hostess. I love a good comeback story. Being from Philadelphia originally, I’m certainly a sucker for Rocky (see the movie Creed, by the way) – the quintessential comeback movie.

And being from Philly, I was always a huge Tastykake® snack fan. I never ate Hostess growing up and even looked down on their national brand compared to my beloved, regional companhostess-twinkies-416834065y (although now they belong to FlowersFoods).

After spending more than half of my life in supply chain and business, I now look at things much differently. I admire the resurrection of Hostess Brands. It’s a credit to the company’s strategic vision, plus a huge win for logistics and the supply chain talent there. 

Steve Banker over at the ARC Advisory Group recently published a case study on Hostess, documenting how the company changed its business model to survive and prosper. It’s a great example of how a manufacturer, their suppliers, retailers, and logistics providers work as one unit all along the supply chain – in this case, assisting a beleaguered brand to meet the needs of today’s marketplace.

In 2013, Hostess’ SVP of supply chain re-evaluated their distribution network. Working with all parties to map out the most efficient and effective manner to move product, along with complete visibility of data for inventory demand, they implemented a winning formula. Since getting off the bankruptcy canvas for the second time in nine years, Hostess seems poised to build on their recent success.

In no small part, this success is attributed to logistics. Score one for the invisible industry.

I’m most interested in a point made in that study by the SVP of Hostess. He stated that “3PLs face a tough challenge cultivating a deep bench of supply chain talent.” To me, this statement means everything. He’s staking the successful execution of his supply chain on a logistics partner that will match his company’s vision. These are high stakes, people. It’s always about the men and women doing the work in the trenches.

Shippers and retailers that don’t do their homework on company culture run the risk of being disappointed by their logistics partner. I applaud the wisdom of Hostess and wish them every success in the future. I’m still going to keep eating Kandy Kakes®, though.

 KANE Culture Video