Quick Links: Return To Entrepreneur’s Resource Center

When Good Deeds Run Afoul

Digital Library > Operations and Technology > Suppliers “When Good Deeds Run Afoul”

Ice cream manufacturer Ben & Jerry’s has a reputation for being a socially responsible business. But it learned — the hard way — to proceed with caution when combining benevolence with business.

For example, co-founder Ben Cohen learned of a bakery that hired the homeless and used profits to provide transitional housing to these employees. Ben & Jerry’s switched from an established supplier to this bakery for brownies used in the company’s ice cream products. It quickly became apparent that the bakery owner had oversold his capabilities, and the good deed became a nightmare.

The new bakery could not match the previous supplier’s quality for the quantity required. Dropping the bakery was not an option. The owner had borrowed $250,000 to prepare his facility for Ben & Jerry’s orders; pulling out would bankrupt the very business Cohen wanted to help. A Ben & Jerry’s executive finally developed a 10-point turnaround plan to get the bakery on track, while working with a bank to restructure its debt.

Source: "Ben & Jerry’s: The Inside Scoop," by Fred Lager, Crown.

Writer: John Duggleby

Related Articles...
Communicating the Vision: Lead by Telling Stories

When you need to make a point, tell a story. Stories make connections for your listeners between context and content — attaching facts to a story makes them much easier to remember.

Read More ...
Goal Setters Go Farther

Digital Library > Building and Inspiring an Organization > Planning, general “Goal Setters Go Farther” Jotting down some goals can help you face the millennium more confidently. Studies show that only 2% of the population has written goals. Interestingly, those are the ones who achieve success. Check out "What Are Your Goals: Powerful Questions to Discover What You Want Out

Read More ...
When to Outsource HR Functions

Perhaps your time ought to be spent managing your core business instead of managing your employees. A one-time investment in choosing the correct human resources firm could free up loads of time for more lucrative endeavors.

Read More ...