Once December rolls around, we receive quite a number of holiday-themed press releases and suggestions for articles, all of them fun and interesting. But the award for cleverest goes to Melissa London of the e-procurement software provider SciQuest, who wrote "What if Santa Had a Supply Chain Problem?" on the company's "Kitchen Sink" blog and news site.
"Any way you look at it, Santa Claus faces the most daunting supply chain and logistics challenge in the world—and as the single-source supplier of all things Santa, he cannot fail," the story begins. London then goes on to point out that Santa relies on an almost infinite number of toy suppliers, his customers are widely dispersed, and his central warehouse location is "the very definition of remote."
What could go wrong? Well, if the old server farm out by the reindeer stable crashed, it would take a while for repair technicians to mush their way to the North Pole. And if Santa's suppliers had to pay huge numbers of supplier transaction fees, they'd probably run the other way, and then what would the Procurement Elves do? The solution, not surprisingly, is for Santa to use a cloud-based e-procurement system with no transaction fees—hmmm ... kind of like the one SciQuest produces.