If ModusLink Managed the Santa Supply Chain
For children across the world, Santa Claus is a legendary figure who embodies the spirit of Christmas, goodwill, and of course, gift giving — and to companies, he represents that and much more. To those in the industry, Santa can be seen as something of a supply chain hero — single-handedly executing order fulfillment, manufacturing, shipping and delivery on a global scale, all in one night! Still, while Santa operates within the magical supply chain, trends like globalization and customization have added complexities that most companies can relate to during the holiday season. As the physical and digital supply chain has expanded and evolved, even a global veteran like Kris Kringle could benefit from a supply chain partner to help revamp his strategy.
The story goes that Santa and his elves work all year long to prepare for Christmas — a good approach for brands to follow when forecasting inventory. Even with extensive planning, however, brands still need flexibility to navigate the fast-paced market. If a product unexpectedly spikes in popularity, brands run the risk of product shortages — a likely outcome for Santa, who can receive wish lists from children before holiday product surprises hit. With an international network of sites, a supply chain solution provider like ModusLink can make sure inventory is located where brands can access it, whether it’s all in one place or across several markets. That way, brands can make inventory decisions later and respond to last-minute demands, and Santa can refresh his global strategy by creating hubs to expedite his deliveries, cater to specific markets and lighten the load of his sleigh.
Ultimately, it’s Santa’s elves, the mini manufacturers, who might benefit most from a supply chain partner. The trend toward built-to-order and customized products has pushed final manufacturing steps to the last minute, and while most companies don’t need to deliver all around the world in one night, they still face a time crunch, especially around the holiday season. The best supply chain solution provider helps brands manage postponement, building a strategy that defers final touches and packaging until the optimal time at the most convenient location. This empowers companies to manufacture the base product and then ship it out to be finalized at global facilities closest to the consumer. ModusLink provides light manufacturing services to finalize the assembly of finished goods and even offers product testing and packaging design, so the last mile is shorter for brands and elves never have to leave the North Pole.
On the back end, a supply chain partner will manage the end-to-end reverse supply chain, so Santa doesn’t have to. By setting up an online portal and staffing warehouses and contact centers, ModusLink makes sure every return is processed correctly, and either replaced, repaired, refurbished and resold, or recycled, allowing brands to focus on other things.
Just as children count on Santa every year, consumers rely on brands to deliver on their demands. By partnering with ModusLink, companies can find more flexibility in their go-to-market strategy as they tackle unexpected spikes and expand globally — not just during the holidays but all year round. To learn more about how to streamline the supply chain, check out the variety of solutions that ModusLink has to offer here.
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