Five Tips for Avoiding the Fate of Hostess

Originally published by Faith Stewart on

The world is asking one question.  “What happened to Hostess?”  We all love Twinkies, right?

Sadly, that is not enough.  Though many claim it was the unions that sunk the ship, there is really much more to it than that.  Sure, high labor costs due mostly to union regulations played their part, but that was only a small peak on the total iceberg that eventually caused the company’s demise.  It really can be summed up in one word: flexibility.  However, there is much more to it.  Flexibility was needed all around, and these five tips can help ensure businesses stay flexible where needed in order to avoid the same fate.

Flexibility in Upper Management

Despite two previous bankruptcies, Hostess upper management took sizeable bonuses.  To those lower down in the chain they main have seemed exorbitant, but in the context of others on the same level in other companies, they were probably pretty standard.  Still, taking the money didn’t do the company any favors, and it would have been a sign of goodwill to suspend or at least reduce bonuses substantially in an effort to save the company or better meet union demands.

Flexibility in Employee Demands

Had the unions made a few more concessions, such as allowing the same people who load donuts on the truck to also load the bread on the truck, there could have been more hope.  Unions are supposed to be there for the good of the workers, but now all of those workers are out of jobs.

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