The holiday season is rapidly approaching, and retail outlets globally are alive with the spirit of Christmas. Many shops have been selling Christmas themed goodies for several weeks, and there’s a strong focus on ensuring consumers are getting what they want when they want it. But, this powerful new consumer mindset and high expectation levels pose a challenge for logisticians and supply chain managers as they often struggle to cope with increases in production and delivery. However, this is becoming much easier to manage as more and more companies digitize their supply chains to streamline processes through the adoption of intelligent software.
But what about Santa Claus? Traditionally portrayed as an elderly gentleman with a significant paunch, he’s known to make and source gifts on a colossal scale before delivering them to children around the globe using what many of us now consider to be outdated manual processes.
Let’s fast forward to the modern-day Santa …
🎄 Predictive Technology 🎄
Imagine the benefits Santa can appreciate by being able to instinctively predict what the latest ‘must-have’ toys will be and how many of them will be required. Digitization boasts the ability to provide Santa with accurate predictions and possible fluctuations in what the latest trends are in the same way that modern warehouse management systems greatly enhance inventory accuracy.
☃️ Transparency ☃️
Santa Claus might be considered ‘all-seeing’ and, as such, knows the exact location of where his gifts are at any given time, purely by his magical prowess, but it’s highly unlikely the same can get said for the humble retailer. High levels of visibility and traceability are essential to ensure customer expectations and satisfaction get met, and this is where innovative solutions such as our purchase order management suite of modular apps come into play. These apps help achieve unrivaled levels of transparency and optimize the entire end-to-end supply chain to ensure on time in full deliveries get assured.
🎅 Automation 🎅
Santa Claus traditionally picks and packs his gifts manually, which is often the same for the numerous warehouses and manufacturing companies yet to have embarked on the journey to digitization. The digitalization of processes enables technologies to provide transparent processes and support the automation and alignment of systems in the most efficient way to ensure delivery reliability and efficiency.
🔔 Sustainability 🔔
Many of today’s retailers are proactively tackling sustainability issues such as:
- Abolishing child labor from the supply chain
- Lifting workers out of poverty
- Enabling deforestation measures
- Reducing carbon emissions
- The production of products using sustainably sourced materials
Santa himself can also minimize the environmental impact of the “Christmas Footprint” by embracing the significant quantities of verifiable data provided by supply chain solution providers such as ours, to enable improved levels of supply chain confidence.
❄️ Big Data ❄️
Historically, vendor information gets managed in multiple siloed systems, which is not only a time-consuming process but one that is inaccurate, inconsistent, incomplete, fragmented, and often fraught with human error. Santa’s role in fulfilling expectations is pressing, and as such, it's essential he gets one trusted view on supplier data; primarily, one version of the truth to mitigate risk and compliance issues, and this gets enabled through the leveraging of technology.
🎁 Supplier Management 🎁
Santa definitely needs to know his suppliers. Our Purchase Order Management and Source apps can provide him with the vital management of supplier lifecycles, that mitigate risk, and support his extremely complicated and demand-driven supply chain. Not only can the utilization of such technologies improve supplier relationships and collaboration, but it can also significantly reduce costs and support regulatory compliance. These in-depth views can strengthen Santa’s capabilities to understand who his suppliers are and, as such, ensure he makes the essential choices into who he works with in terms of ethical and environmental standards through increased levels of visibility and traceability.
Closing thoughts … With Santa needing to ensure everything gets planned with 100% accuracy, transparent processes, process automation, and innovative technologies will help ensure delivery and reliability. The future of Christmas will likely see Santa’s Elves embracing new technology such as 3D Printing; this change will allow them the ability to produce trending goods on the go. Santa will no doubt adopt a driverless sleigh, and possibly rideshare with any digital implementation managers stuck overseas and desperately trying to return to their home country to celebrate Christmas with their friends and families.