This blog follows last year’s post about our exclusive partnership with Santa. Catch up on the story so far by clicking here.

December 25th, 2018 (26th December GMT) – A leaner, fitter Santa slowly breathes through his nose and stretches into “downward dog” position. Gone are the post-Christmas binges to kebab shops and near bottomless glasses of sherry. As a 1,701 year old, Santa needs to look after himself, and with all the extra time he saved by partnering with ByBox, he was able to take up more than just yoga.

One year ago today, Santa had his big epiphany. When he first started delivering toys it was easy. A little wooden train here, a rocking horse there. He could make all the toys in his shop and it didn’t really matter who got what. But now children write lists and even send vlogs, and every toy has to go to the right child. Give the child asking for a PlayStation an Xbox and suddenly Christmas is ruined!

And then it hit him. The whole world is using technology to make things work better and more efficiently. Everything from delivering pizzas to running global distribution networks has been revolutionised with clever technology. So why couldn’t he apply tech to his processes? That’s when he picked up the phone and spoke to us.

Fast forward one year and Santa has just had his most successful Christmas yet, but this time it wasn’t thanks to magic.

The right toy, to the right child, at the right time.

Do you even know how many versions of Monopoly there are now?! The aforementioned PlayStation / Xbox problem is one of thousands Santa had to deal with. These days kids write detailed lists of exactly what they want, and it was an inventory nightmare to keep track of. Before working with ByBox, Santa had his elves make educated guesses as to what kids wanted what, but after the 2016 “Hatchimals” debacle where Santa had to make up for a 200,000 stock shortfall by buying extras off eBay for £200 a pop, it was clear things needed to change.

Now, every letter arriving at the north pole is scanned and assigned to a child using our Thinventory™ system. A pick order for the toys is automatically raised, Santa’s elves pick it and add it to the right section of the sleigh based on delivery time and geographical location. Plus, Santa scans everything back off his sleigh when he delivers it so the data can be used to predict demand the following year. Did you know that after requesting a PlayStation one year, a child nearly always wants games the next? Santa has you covered.

Inventory control

Santa and his elves are a tenacious bunch, but have you ever sat down and tried to build an iPhone, Nintendo Switch or any of the seasons must-have gadgets? It’s not easy, but the problem isn’t just fiddly circuit boards. Getting all the parts to Santa’s workshop when they are needed was proving to be a huge challenge and in the build-up to Christmas, any delay was costly. Hundreds of intricate parts go into gadgets and if just one is missing the whole thing doesn’t work. But if Santa ordered too much, the workshop could be full of iPhone parts that can’t be used for next year’s model. Tenacity can only get you so far, what Santa needed was clever inventory management.

Enter ByBox and Supplier Direct. Santa orders all the parts he needs directly through our mobile app. We collect them from his suppliers all around the north pole* and deliver them directly to his workshop, so they are there when he needs them. No more over-ordering parts.

Looking to the future

After a year of evening yoga classes and spa days, Santa is very much on-board with the ByBox philosophy. Yet, innovation never stops and we’re already looking to the future on how we can further improve Santa’s operation.

Our top-secret Greenland labs are currently trialing our new Rud0lf automated drone with chimney seeking technology. These drones will drop off thousands of presents directly into people’s homes leaving Santa with a much more manageable to-do list on Christmas eve. Just one of the many ways we’re working on making Santa’s life easier.

As Santa finishes his yoga session and slumps gently into his chair, he starts to reflect on a job well done. For the first time in a thousand years, he’s taking January off, safe in the knowledge he can come back in February and still have enough time to get ready for next Christmas. Thumbing through holiday brochures he stops on Australia. “Christmas on a beach” he thinks to himself. “That sounds nice”.

 

*We are unable to disclose the location of our north pole suppliers due to an NDA with Santa.