Just in Time for the Holidays

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Situation

This case study is about the struggle that Santa Clause has to deal with in order to keep its promise to give every child the toys he or she deserve. Children all year long have been sending Santa Claus letters to request toys for Christmas. The main problem for Santa is to figure out what the children want for Christmas and get all ready for delivery before Christmas. Santa has noticed that children request has become over the years more various and flexible which make it harder for Santa to keep its promise and deliver children their wishes. It’s the busiest time of year for North Pole Workshops. Production is in high gear, and the elves are on overtime in the sprint toward Christmas. But an unexpected spike in demand for one toy may leave children around the world disappointed on Christmas morning, whether they‘ve been naughty or nice. At the same time, another toy's popularity threatens to plummet, leaving Santa and his elves faced with the prospect of millions of unloved playthings left in the warehouse. This is the third time in three years that Santa's elves have been caught off guard by a toy's sudden surge in popularity. Earlier in the season, even just a month ago, it would have been possible to find capacity, but now every line is running full tilt. Obviously Santa like the old days when everything used to be simple; wooden blocks, a train set, a doll... One of the demands on hand is more than a million SKUs. The investment in software doesn’t seem to be helping and Santa can't help thinking that one of these days they are not going to be able to do it. For Santa and his staff not to disappoint the children, they have to find a way to improve its response to shifts in demand.

Discussion

The main concern for Santa is what he should do to avoid this situation. There are many ways to predict the trend in the market. M. Eric Johnson, the director of the Glassmeyer/McNamee...
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