Santa Claus has been around as long as we can remember, and yet his magical annual toy operation has not yet been modernized. In total, 526 million kids in the world send letters to Santa each year, and on Christmas Eve, Santa delivers presents to 22 million kids an hour. That’s 365,000 kids a minute or about 6,100 kids a second.
While the throwback to snail mail, the sleigh ride delivery method and a little magic may be charming, we were curious about what it would take to modernize his massive operation.
Mobile apps allow businesses to foster better engagement with clients and customers. In fact, the majority of companies now have apps. 52% have a fully implemented mobile app strategy and 37% have a partially implemented one. These apps have had good results, with 74% of companies reporting a positive outcome after creating an app.
Instead of snail mail, a modern-day North Pole would upgrade to the custom Santa App. Children can log toy requests within the app, and their information is then funnelled into a central database system.
The app’s video feature can be used to send personal messages. For example, children can catch up with the Big Red himself through a little chit-chat, or kids can express how much they really, really, really want a certain toy. A video can also be used to explain any incriminating incidents from the past year that might have landed you on the Naughty List rather than the Nice one.
Parental control features can add to or amend a child’s request to help Santa bring just the right gift. Plus, elves can directly message a child to clarify requests.
The biggest U.S. call centers have about 5,000 workers. American Express in Phoenix, Arizona, has 5,200 employees, while Fidelity Investments in Westlake, Texas, has 4,400 employees. Santa would need a significantly larger staff of 30,000 elves working on his customer service team.
He’s making the list and checking it twice. But what if Santa’s project management software could sync with the database of toys and children. Software features allow for itemizing toy requests (telescope, iPad, etc.), noting any preferences (likes the color green and zebra prints), tracking each child’s gift history (received a cowboy-themed gift last year) and calculating the annual Naughty/Nice scale (plus 2 points for cleaning his room, minus 1 point for not always being nice to his sister).
68% of businesses already use a cloud-based database. Of these companies, 88% report that using the cloud lowered their expenses, and 56% saw an increase in profits. If cloud computing has been so effective for corporations, maybe Santa ought to give it a try.
Santa’s software analytics would show trends in toy requests and adjust the toy supplies to the fluctuating demand.
No longer do elves need to labor endlessly at the North Pole workshop. Thanks to remote manufacturing, toys can be made anywhere in the world using automation. Elves can manage the all-digital North Pole command center. Increased automation saves companies, on average, 16% to 22% on labor costs. In some factories, 90% of humans have been replaced by robots.
With all of the info in the cloud, Mr. and Mrs. Claus can get a break from the cold and snow. Santa himself can telecommute into the office. The only thing needed is a fast Internet connection. Companies that have already integrated telecommuting see a 35% to 40% increase in productivity by those working remotely. In addition, remote workers report a 7% increase in happiness.
Who wouldn’t want to see an even jollier version of “Jolly Old St. Nick” after he starts telecommuting?
Parents can track real-time package delivery status on the phone app.
Reindeer drones fly across the sky to deliver special Christmas packages, and children can peer through their windows to look for that glowing red “nose.”
Each day, Amazon ships 1.67 million boxes. For Santa’s Christmas gifts, he would be preparing 159 times that number of boxes.
UPS delivers 16 million boxes each day, so Santa would need a delivery capacity of 33 UPS fleets.
Santa is not alone in the daunting task of modernizing operations. 72% of Fortune 500 CEOs say that rapidly changing technology is their biggest challenge but also opportunity!
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