Olé Mexican Foods Reveals “Secret Sauce” in New Recipe for Success

by Jeff Lowney
May 02, 2019

The amazing tortilla and its culinary kin—chips, salsa, cheeses and dips—went mainstream long ago; these staples of Mexican cuisine have become part of our American diet. Back in 1992, the New York Times announced that salsa had already replaced ketchup as the dominant condiment and today, 40% of consumers buy tortilla products weekly.1

Olé Mexican Foods can claim bragging rights as an industry pioneer, opening their doors in Georgia in 1988 as a small supplier of homemade tortillas. Today, they are one of the nation’s largest tortilla makers and a nationwide distributor of tortillas and complementary products. As Olé’s share of an ever-evolving market increased, they saw the need for new recipes and introduced healthier alternatives including whole wheat, high-fiber and low-carb tortillas. Growth also created unique challenges for Olé—by 2016, they understood the need for a new “recipe” of technology solutions.

Olé Mexican Foods

Old recipe no longer satisfies

In recognizing the need for new technology, Olé also knew they would need a new “chef” to create a winning “recipe.” Seasoned IT director Wilston Lynch was brought onboard to transform the business. In his assessment, Wilston quickly identified the key inhibitors as a lack of network redundancy and insufficient bandwidth. Frequent network impairments and outages carried a financial risk estimated at $1.4M daily. The company was also incurring significant long distance charges for voice communications.

New ingredients for changing appetites

The key ingredients for a creating new operating environment at Olé included:

  • Connecting 29 locations with a redundant MPLS network, connections vary from 50 to 250 Mbps
  • Migrating IT infrastructure from HQ to a data center for clustering and redundancy
  • Deploying 210 seats for Mitel UCaaS (unified communications as a service)

Olé Mexican Foods Quote

Getting it right the first time

In Wilston’s own words, “One of the best things about the implementation was that we migrated to MPLS without one second of downtime.” Beyond a seamless implementation, the benefits to Olé have become evident:

  • Continuous network uptime—communications and financial transactions flow uninterrupted
  • The ROI to replace long distance charges with UCaaS was just over a year and employees now enjoy name recognition, four-digit dialing and other advanced communication features
  • IT resources are no longer in “fire-fighting” mode to simply “keep the lights on”—they can be focused on strategic work to yield greater value

Perhaps best of all, Olé now has a flexible set of technology solutions that enables them to continue scaling up well into the future.

“Secret sauce” revealed

Wilston attributes the “secret sauce” in his highly successful new “recipe” to the “chefs” he collaborated with from Windstream Enterprise: “They’re expert at doing what they do.” And that expertise included hands-on execution:

  • Engineering resources were in every meeting throughout the entire project
  • A dedicated project manager kept everything on-time, in-scope and in budget
  • Trainers enabled employees to realize the full value of new solutions immediately

You can read the full case study here for more details on their success.

Whether you’re seeking a new path to digital transformation or simply want to run faster down a path you’ve already chosen, Windstream Enterprise would be happy to help.

1 Future Marketing Insights. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/tortilla-market-is-projected-to-be-valued-at-us-12-324-4-mn-by-2028-end-future-market-insights-818122774.html