Monday, July 11, 2016

Twinkies Hostess Brands Streamlines And Automates: 1,170 Employees And 3 Bakeries Replaced 22,000 Employees And 40 Bakeries

From The Washington Post, "What it took to save the Twinkie" by Drew Harwell:
Where the [Hostess Brands, LLC] company just five years ago had 8,000 employees — 75 percent of whom were represented by unions — the company now says in filings that it has a “streamlined employee base” of roughly 1,170 workers. That workforce is the shadow of a once-vast empire, which shortly before its troubles totaled 22,000 workers across more than 40 bakeries.

The company has invested $130 million to upgrade production lines and industrial ovens in its three core bakeries in Indianapolis; Emporia, Kan.; and Columbus, Ga. Its other bakeries have disappeared: The company in 2014 announced it would shutter its long-running bakery in the Chicago suburb of Schiller Park, where the Twinkie was first baked. About 400 jobs were affected.

Based in Kansas City, Mo., the company has closed all 600 or so of its Hostess outlet thrift stores and now delivers directly to warehouses, helping avoid the inefficiencies of regional bakeries, small distribution lines and direct-to-store delivery.

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