Optimizing Santa's Christmastime Operations

Topics: North Pole, Santa Claus, South Pole Pages: 4 (1346 words) Published: April 26, 2014
Santa has been in business for over 2,000 years and he has one job- bring children joy on Christmas morning. The task seems easy enough, but with a growing population, advancing technology, and more ‘trend-savvy’ children, the big man can hardly keep up! Santa’s main problems lie in market trend analysis, meeting production requirements, and inefficient planning for the holiday season. The presented case refers to the Timmy the Tinsel Town Train CD-ROM situation where current demand exceeds supply. “This is the third time in three years that his elves have been caught off guard by a toy’s sudden surge in popularity” (McNulty, 2005, 40). The opposite happened when a teen pop icon made fun of the ‘Meowrrr’ belonging to her rival, resulting in a dip in demand for the accessory. Keeping up with fluctuating trends is no simple task, especially with the increasingly digitized world. Children who were once satisfied with action figures or dolls are now demanding tablets and smartphones. Technology has changed the dynamic of children’s wishes and Santa has to incorporate that fact into his production planning. Failure to recognize the Timmy CD-ROM’s growing popularity resulted in maxed out manufacturing and a stress-filled workplace. This coupled with the stress surrounding what to do with an excessive 3 million Meowrrr cell-phone carriers brought chaos to the North Pole. No one, not even Santa can predict shifts in market trends; however, in order to achieve his goal of making the world’s children happy, he needs to implement better planning strategies for the coming Christmas seasons. Analysis/Evaluation

Advancing technology has caused many of Santa’s problems. Discovering what is considered ‘cool’ among children was once difficult enough, but with real-time demand shifts it has become next to impossible. Trend-setting currently belongs to those companies using unique, creative ads to capture children’s attention. Their ability to draw...

References: Johnson, M. Eric. (2005). “How Can North Pole Workshops Better Respond to Shifts in
Demand?” Harvard Business Review, HBR Case Commentary. Page 44.
McNulty, Erin. (2005). “Just in Time for the Holidays”. Harvard Business Review, HBR Case
Study. Page 40.
Omrod, Anne. (2005). “How Can North Pole Workshops Better Respond to Shifts in Demand?”
Harvard Business Review, HBR Case Commentary. Page 49.
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