A Look At The Best Logistics Operation: Or A Trip to the North Pole

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The CEO, Taking a well-deserved break

Christmas is finally over, and the day of logisitics miracles has once again managed to make the impossible, possible. All of the letters to Santa were processed, categorized and the orders were fulfilled. With all of the packages requiring the guarantee of overnight delivery, it was a challenge of epic proportions.

The folks over at SupplyChainDigest were able to spend a few days taking a look at the heart of the world's largest toy distributor and they came back saying that they were tremendously impressed. They hailed the operation center at the North Pole as a “model of efficiency, collaboration and integration” and suggest that many companies across the globe can learn a few lessons from the streamlined systems in place at the middle of the Arctic circle.

The CEO of the operation, Santa Claus, offered this quote to SCDigest: "We do a great job of branding, and we don't have to worry much about creating demand, though the low rates of child birth in Europe are a concern. In the end, we have to have a supply chain that can seamlessly support our overall strategy, and do so at an affordable cost."

But, rather than just trying to do everything well, the North Pole has really focused on developing relationships with their customers and creating a real sense of “customer intimacy”. According to an Supply Chain Elf, the key to their success is consistency.

Although their ROI is difficult to show on paper, the tools they use to streamline their process and the dedication of their small, full-time staff is definitely worth the cost. And, although they have looked into global sourcing strategies, it seems that they are content with their winning setup.

Being able to excel in such a highly seasonal business is a challenge. But all of their work throughout the year is done in preparation for their big day. Since it can be a challenge to accurately forecast the demand for certain toys from one year to the next, they have developed software that scans emails and post on social networking sites to monitor and prepare for the demand.

Although they have been delivering result for decades and have the highest levels of employee retention and customer satisfaction, their job isn't without challenges. This year, fuel cost have more than doubled due to the higher cost of grain and reindeer feed. Additionally, with the demands placed on them due to their aging and retiring workforce, they are struggling to fill the additional job vacancies.

But, now that their job is complete for this year, don't think that the work at the North Pole is done. They are already busy preparing for next year, and hoping that next year brings them more success.
By: Melissa Kennedy


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