Business Logistics of the North Pole One Company You Wouldn’t Want to Run
Did You Know? • The first Christmas card, created by a London businessman, was printed in England in 1843. Three years later, the first commercial Christmas cards were available to the public. In all, 1,000 cards were produced, and they were an instant success. The holiday season is now the busiest time of the year for the U.S. Postal Service. Last year, over 20 billion cards, letters, and packages were sent, causing the USPS to hire nearly 40,000 temporary workers and put thousands of additional trucks, trains, and planes in service. • In 1939, an advertising employee at the department store Montgomery Ward wrote the story of Rudolph the Red- Nosed Reindeer for a store promotion. That year, the store gave away 2.4 million copies of the story. Gene Autry recorded the song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" 10 years later. Since then, it has sold over 80 million copies. Rudolph has definitely gone down in our holiday history! If you think running your business is tough, try thinking about how Santa operates the North Pole. From least to most complex, here are the four hardest aspects of running an operation that delivers gifts to 7 billion people. 1. Real Estate Finding an office space that can facilitate your business operations is a challenging undertaking for anyone. You need to provide an optimal workspace that offers room to grow. If you run a production operation like Santa’s Workshop, you also need adequate space to house your products. Just think how big the warehouses up North need to be. If you thought Nike or Google had big campuses, Santa’s must cover the entire Arctic. 2. Internal Communication A frequent business killer for most of us is probably a smooth- sailing process for Santa — surely the North Pole doesn’t have any challenges creating a positive work culture. Elves are often depicted as cheerful and consistent team players. They whistle while they work and enjoy Christmas candy, and every toy is ready by Christmas Eve. 3. Labor Finding skilled labor in America is a challenge, but in the North Pole, it has to be even more challenging. Since Santa can’t hire new workers or offer moving incentives, the amount
of available labor is directly proportional to the number of elf births. On top of that, Santa has to consider the worker- to-production ratio when factoring in new employees. The number of new hires and how much they can produce has to outpace the population increase of the world. For example, if Santa has 100,000 workers, each employee needs to create at least 70,000 toys so they can supply the world’s human population. If elf births go down, then production has to increase to make up for the difference. 4. Materials Since Santa can’t gather raw materials from the barren wasteland of the North Pole, he is required to import or artificially grow the necessary supplies and equipment to produce toys. The number of shipments needed would be a nearly impossible feat, so Santa would need a facility that could produce synthetic materials and greenhouses that could grow organic materials. These facilities alone would be impossible to keep hidden from explorers or satellites, so he would need shrinking capabilities via a laser, or perhaps he’d have to go underground, which is the more commonly accepted explanation. We don’t know how it happens each year, but somehow, Christmas goes off without a hitch. It’s the greatest feat in the world of business. Move over, Jeff Bezos, because Santa is coming to town!
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