When you think about big corporations, the first ones that come to mind might be General Motors, Disney, or Procter and Gamble. Surprisingly, one of the most overlooked corporations is also one of the biggest worldwide operational companies that boast incredible workflow and efficiency: the workshop of Santa Claus in the North Pole.
This mythical and legendary workshop has been operating since the 3rd century BC and is host to tens of thousands of employees that diligently work to manufacture and distribute toys for children all around the world for the Christmas holidays. Its lore regarding reindeers and elves is actually quite well known through the songs, movies, and TV shows. Albeit fictional, Santa’s workshop possesses many great characteristics that rehash as lessons to be taken, used, and adapted to your organization with.
1. Amazing Supply Chain Management
Think of the sheer number of children that Santa’s workshop needs to serve for the holidays. These children require toys, and their toys require a substantial amount of raw materials. Not only does every order need to be fulfilled, but it also needs to be ready at first light on December 25th. The North Pole sets a goal every year to meet every child’s demands and does so efficiently due to its amazing supply chain management. In the many depictions of Santa’s workshop, the main features for accomplishing its yearly goal was alleviated and efficiently managed by:
- Automization: Santa utilizes an advanced CRM to categorize the good and bad children, and also takes into account psychographics such as location and age
- Regional Alliances: Santa has many branches across various geographical locations, instead of putting all of his eggs in one basket
- Rotative Shift Teams: Even the magical creatures need to rest, elves are not Santas Slaves, they like to see themselves as his collaborators
2. Supercharged Team
Elves are mythical creatures full of energy, grace, positivity, and optimism. To provide great nurturing, Santa pampers his colorful crew with plenty of sweets, treats, and breaks. They are the perfect employees because of their work ethic and loyalty, not to mention they are also quite imaginative and productive when they are not playing or fooling around.
How can your company benefit from this? Almost every company has some form of a vacation system in place. The reasons for providing vacations are beyond legal purposes. Vacations, leaves, or breaks allow your team to take a breather from work and come back with more energy and motivation. Sometimes, your team just needs a small recharge to break the monotonous repetition of scheduled work. Santa pushes his elves to laugh, play, and rest to increase efficiency and productivity so that company goals can be met.
The term reinvent is defined in the dictionary as producing something new that is based on something that already exists. Accomplishing a business reinvent is not an easy task. Santa’s Workshop had to reinvent its organization from producing wooden handcrafted toys to modern technological devices and gadgets. Also with the worldwide population skyrocketing dramatically every century, the population of children also increased alongside. This meant more toys and gifts to be produced and facilitated.
Based on the old workflow of Santa’s workshop, Santa and his team were able to reinvent the entire organization to accommodate for the growing population size and demand for toys utilizing high-end technology. The perks of reinventing your organization in today’s corporate world are numerous. Sometimes you need to balance out the constant pressure of growth with the present and future demands. Here are some pointers:
- Divide workloads into smaller parts
- Use scientific methods to select workers
- Provide the best possible training and focus on retention
- Separate work from management and supervision
4. Customer Centricity
Santa and his workshop serve children all over the world, encompassing different cultures, languages, preferences, ages, and environments that would make any business to lose control of the situation. If we can learn something from Santa’s operation, it’s that he always centers everything around the customer, in particular, the little children and their hopes and dreams.
You might be asking why it’s important to worry about the customer rather than trying to achieve bigger yearly revenues and penetrating new markets. Your client is the one and only advocate that you’ll ever need. In the recent case of Blizzard Entertainment and what they decided to proceed with a beloved franchise in Diablo, the backlash that spawned from a business decision has caused the company to be at the butt of numerous jokes, death threats, and hate mail.
Santa’s Workshop in the North Pole works diligently and constantly to maintain its efficiency. Take these lesson to heart and hopefully, you can adapt some characteristics for steady growth. If you need any more information about implementation, or you want to have a discussion about this, feel free to reach out as I am open to talk and am always listening.