Santa Faces Daunting Supply Chain Challenge
December 13, 2011 Alex Woodie
Your friendly neighborhood UPS driver works extra hard during the holidays, especially the week before Christmas, during which UPS expects to deliver 120 million packages. Big Brown may love and excel at logistics, but frankly it doesn’t have anything on Santa Claus, as the old elf is self-tasked with delivering a supply chain miracle this year–delivering presents to 1.9 billion children, in a single night.
The legend of Santa Claus is well-documented in hundreds of books and stories, but thanks to some numerical figuring by the ERP experts at Sciquest, we can put Santa’s work into the proper logistical perspective. After all, considering today’s troubled economic climate, even old St. Nick isn’t immune to employment pressures, so it stands to reason that he might want to update his resume with the latest facts and figures documenting his accomplishments.
Sciquest estimates that, on Christmas Eve, Santa will deliver an average of two toys to each child on Earth, which is an incredible feat in itself. But the real story lies in what occurs before Santa’s trip down the chimney: the vast and complex supply chain that provides Santa with the goods.
According to Sciquest’s analysis, Santa will need to procure 19 million different product types spanning six different varieties from 1.9 million vendors. Santa–or more likely his elf workforce–will need to work closely with these suppliers to ensure that the goods are transported to Santa’s main distribution hub, located far from anything, at the North Pole.
Sciquest obviously had some fun putting together its report on Santa’s annual logistics miracle, in particular the amount of transaction fees that vendors would charge Santa for the privilege of participating in their various supplier networks: 493 quabillion dollars. You can read Sciquest’s at www.sciquest.com/blog/?p=1224.
Merry Christmas everybody.