Top 5 Digital Transformation Problems at the North Pole

by Jay Joyce, President/CEO - Dec 11, 2018

The North Pole and its operators are faced with the same challenges as we are to maintain credibility and pace with changing business demands, scalable growth and demanding digital transformations. In many cases, the North Pole and its work force are plagued thousands of times over what we are, even if their only public event is one day; Christmas Eve.Digital transformation at the North Pole from The Idea People in Charlotte, NC.

They have to be struggling like so many other businesses around the world. Their primary core customers, ages 5-11, are accessing Santa Claus and updating their gift requests millions of times a day!

How is the North Pole dealing with the transformation of moving from paper lists to purely digital? How is Santa balancing his production schedule with longer lead times on evolving technology gadgets? What does the North Pole supply chain look like today with the logistical transportation shortage facing us all? And why doesn't somebody fix those misfit toys?

Top 5 Digital Transformation Challenges at the North Pole

  1. Moving from paper trails to digital streams - way back in 2017, the North Pole post office began requesting that all gift lists from children be sent via email or Facebook messages. But not everybody got the message or they can't switch to digital. So how does Santa blend the digital and paper worlds into one seamless global database? And do they ever really want to eliminate paper lists?
  2. Replacing outdated manual processes with automation - it's not that Santa wants to cut jobs or force early retirement on elves, but how long does it take for 5 elves to build one wooden train? Would machine automation help in increasing production volume? Yes, we imagine so. Also, updating the letter writing routine to a streamlined digital platform would save children and Santa time.Business overhaul through digital transformation from agency The Idea People in Charlotte.
  3. Elf Learning is not Machine Learning - Santa definitely would benefit from a machine learning program on a number of fronts. Let's take the popularity of certain toys as an example. Santa could export the incredible amounts of data from the letters and wish lists that are submitted from his digital platform, import that into a cloud-based machine learning environment, whip up some development code, and then export trends on demands for the most popular toys. This could help Santa's supply chain partners know of the demand before the panic button is pushed. And it relieves any elf errors that sometimes block forward movement.
  4. Reindeer and elf recruiting - the manpower (eh, reindeer power) recruiting at the North Pole is probably a conundrum. With the thousands of elf and reindeer referrals going on, Santa probably needs a warm toddy to keep it all straight. Introducing digital tools and simple database queries will help him manage all of his incoming resumes, match the qualified ones with current openings, and build a backlog of elf or reindeer in training.
  5. Change of infrastructure changes relationships - let's face it, change eventually will disrupt every organization, including the North Pole. And when Santa adopts new infrastructure improvements, it will change the relationships he has with his management, his work teams, his supply chain and, ultimately, his customer and fan base. The core of digital transformation is business process overhaul backed by a state of disruption. Most people don't like change. But imagining the practical upside to Santa and the North Pole undertaking a digital transformation will bring smoother processes, great production volume and happier workers and customers. And isn't that what the Holidays are all bout anyway?!

I think we can all see how digital transformation can help the North Pole with transforming their business into a more optimized model of efficiency. It will truly be a magical time of the year when you guide your company through a digital optimization, too.

If we can help your company with digital transformation programs, please contact Jay Joyce with The Idea People at 704-398-4437 or email

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