McKee Foods

 | Case Study

A better way to reach the frontline

Connecting the right person, at the right time, with the right message

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How it started

'A better way'

Tom Hunter, communications leader at McKee Foods Corporation, knew there was a better way to reach the baked goods manufacturer’s more than 6,000 employees, spread across Tennessee, Arkansas, Virginia, and Arizona—most of whom are deskless. For years, to provide information and resources to staff, McKee Foods had been relying on an ecosystem of a traditional intranet as well as bulletin boards and kiosks. “Employees were not getting key information that they needed,” Hunter recently told Firstup. “It was very difficult to know what messages were getting to any specific group, or anybody for that matter.”

“We all knew there were better ways.”

For the full story, watch the video above. 

McKee Foods employees

Where they landed

'I see the culture starting to shift'

With MIX, their custom-branded intelligent communication platform by Firstup, McKee Foods can now reach the right employee, at the right time, with the right message. With employee engagement and retention remaining a challenge for the industry – employee turnover costs US businesses more than a trillion dollars each year, and more than half of US manufacturing employees are planning to leave their jobs in 2023, according to recent research – McKee Foods knows communicating with their workforce intelligently is key to their success.

“Since we’ve implemented MIX, the culture of the frontline workers is slowly coming around to what it was decades ago,” Hunter said. “I see the culture starting to shift back to that family feel.”

“Anyone who thinks they’re reaching their folks by relying on just an intranet is kidding themselves.”


McKee Foods

McKee Foods is best known for its line of Little Debbie baked goods. Little Debbie is America’s leading snack cake brand in unit and dollar sales, with annual sales totaling about $1.5 billion. A privately-held company that’s now into its third and fourth generations of family ownership and leadership, McKee Foods has a long history of innovation and a deeply-held belief in doing business the right way—with honesty and integrity every step of the way. The McKee family is still actively involved in guiding the overall business direction as well as day-to-day operations.
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