How does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?
Happy holidays folks! Surely by now, you are wrapping up your work week before a well deserved break, and your kids are counting down the hours until Good Old Saint Nick comes sliding down the chimney.
This got us thinking, for one man to deliver the world’s presents in one night, he would need a very serious supply chain! And being located so far north, Santa would need to know a thing, or two, about warehousing and shipping.
Here’s the situation Santa is faced with. He must deliver gifts to roughly 526,000,000 kids under the age of 14. That comes out to 22 million kids an hour, every hour. That’s 365,000 kids a minute and about 6,100 a second. Impossible? Well not for this 300 pound jolly elf.
So, we did a little digging and found an article written a few years ago by the Supply Chain Digest on this very subject! I guess Santa’s supply chain is the worst kept secret in the North Pole! Here’s a quick snap shot of Santa’s operations, including some insight into just how he does it.
All things that happen at Santa’s workshop, cannot be directly overseen by him. It’s just too much. So Santa has taken toy making to the 21st century. Under Santa Industries Inc, Santa relies on his Chief Supply Chain Elf, who heads the division known as North Pole Distribution Services (NPDS). This division manages Santa’s logistic services like manufacturing, procurement, and distribution. You can only assume they specialize in “child-direct” of course!
Because this is the largest, most advanced supply chain in the world, Santa needs to have some serious tracking. To make sure all the good boys and girls get their toys, Santa has continual tracking in place – seeing which areas are performing, checking production schedules, and reviewing raw material needs.
And to make sure his elves can get the raw materials to build the toys, Santa needs offshore shipments. Just an FYI, there are no roads coming in or out of the North Pole. The NPDS is charged with the task of dealing with the multitude of duties and tariffs attached to raw materials from around the globe. Despite the overwhelming amount of products, they somehow find a way.
When it comes to manufacturing, Santa runs a lean production line. Because he works on very specific orders (per Christmas lists), he has a hybrid strategy of make-to-order, and make-to-forecast for high volume items.
And how does Santa distribute all these toys??? Obviously on his sleigh, but he needs a staging ground and storage. It is estimated that Santa uses a four million square foot distribution center! With all that space, and all those gifts, Santa has a constant flow of items put away, replenished, ordered, and loaded into the sleigh for shipping!
This is one of the largest distribution centers in the world, with most of the contents being delivered in one night. That means loading the sleigh and pulling items needs to happen in seconds. Kind of like a Nascar pit stop! Which is a great analogy, considering his sleight travels somewhere near 3.6 million miles an hour!
At the heart of Santa’s supply chain is an unbelievable (opportune word) logistics strategy. While, not many (wink, wink) 3PL logistics services can match this, they can help you distribute your product more seamlessly.
Thanks for reading. Hopefully you learned something fun! Don’t forget to track Santa with the Norad tracker and have a great holiday!