Santa's supply chain - the secrets of Christmas revealed!

Darragh McCarthy 05.12.2017

Everything you ever wanted to know about how your presents arrive under the tree, but were afraid to ask...

With today’s global population clocking in at over 7 billion people and counting, we can estimate that there are approximately 2.5 billion children currently at present receiving age. Given that the Christian population of the world works out at 32%, that’s approximately 787,200,000 children (*) that Santa Claus has to visit on Christmas night.

* This figure includes both naughty and nice children, as naughty children should at least expect to receive a bag of coal.

Taking an average of three children per house, Santa is looking at around 262,400,000 stops this Christmas Eve… so that’s basically a SHED-LOAD of people counting on Santa’s supply chain not to let them down on Christmas morning!

Materials, demand and supply planning have all been really difficult this year for Santa and his elves. Many of the letters didn’t arrive at the North Pole until late this year, so order fulfilment is going to be tricky. Luckily Santa’s S&OP team, wonderfully lead by Mrs. Claus, knew that Frozen dolls and Minions were always going to be huge this year, so the elves have been making them non-stop since last Christmas.  

Procurement have been busy this year too with the elves in that department re-organising according to category management. For the record, these included the direct categories: toys, games, dolls, books, clothes and sweets; while the indirect categories were: energy, telecoms, IT, wrapping paper and reindeer-feed.

A new ERP system was also rolled out to the delight of the North Pole workforce. After a long selection process by the procurement team they finally went with SAP  (Santa’s Arctic Planning), which plugged in nicely to their bespoke inventory management system RUDOLPH  (nobody knows that this actually stands for).

Unlike most big players in the market, Santa does his own deliveries, so instead of a 3PL he goes with an 8RL (8 Reindeer Logistics) provider. The fact that these reindeer can fly at approximately 11 million kilometres per hour means that Santa can cover the entire globe quite easily in the 32 hours the night lasts. Assuming, of course, that he flies from East to West. 

Morgan McKinley’s Supply Chain recruitment team would like to wish all of those looking for new employment opportunities and employers right across Ireland and all over the globe a very Happy Christmas, and a healthy and prosperous New Year. 

Darragh McCarthy's picture
Manager | Supply Chain & Procurement
dmccarthy@morganmckinley.ie