Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Santa Corp. Factsheet

Founded: 1840

President & CEO: Nicholas “Kris” Kringle (a.k.a. “Santa Claus”)

Headquarters: North Pole

CEO residence: Korvatunturi, Finland

Manufacturing facilities (year built): North Pole (1869), Antarctica (1954), China (1998)

Employees*: 22,312 elves, 398 reindeer, 62 yeti, 4 humans, 1 snowman

Annual revenue*: $90.4 billion

Revenue sources: licensing deals (for example, use of the Santa Claus image by companies like Coca-Cola), patent fees (Santa Corp. owns patents on everything from the game of checkers to the technology behind Xbox Kinect), defense development contracts (stealth and project management technology for the U.S. military), toy manufacturing contracts (Hasbro, Parker Brothers, Tyco and others)

Annual charitable giving*: $59.7 billion

Annual corporate taxes paid*: $0

Distribution: “Santa's main (North Pole) distribution center is a sight to behold. At 4,000,000 square feet (370,000 square meters), it's one of the world's largest facilities. A real-time warehouse management system is of course required to run such a complex. The facility makes extensive use of task interleaving, literally combining dozens of distribution center activities (putaway, replenishing, order picking, sleigh loading, cycle counting) in a dynamic queue... the elves have been on engineered standards and incentives for three years, leading to a 12% gain in productivity...The WMS and transportation system are fully integrated, allowing (the elves) to make optimal decisions that balance transportation and order picking and other distribution center costs. Unbeknownst to many, Santa actually has to use many sleighs and (teams) to get the job done Christmas Eve, and the TMS optimally builds thousands of consolidated sacks that maximize cube utilization and minimize total air miles.” (source: SupplyChainDigest, December 16, 2004)

Controversy: “Occasionally you run across an adult who doesn't believe in Santa Claus, which of course is just foolish. Santa's existence is well-documented by forensic scientists, and there are several new sightings by credible sources every Christmas Eve. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is even able to track his movements globally with the aid of a sophisticated, multi-billion dollar tracking system built specifically for that purpose. Santa is elusive to be sure, but the evidence is there. In the 1950s and '60s, teenagers in the U.S., and later in Great Britain and elsewhere, began spreading rumors that Santa was a hoax. Why these allegations were able to gain traction is beyond me, although it should be noted that smoking was also popular among teens during this time, so apparently they were willing to believe anything. That the rumors persist to this day speaks to the deep, underlying cynicism in our society - no doubt attributable to those adults who were naughty enough as children to never enjoy the magic of getting presents from St. Nick to begin with. And of course, the role of the major toy companies in perpetuating these rumors cannot be discounted, for while Santa is now heavily invested in them - and indeed directly manufactures many of their toys at his North Pole, South Pole and China facilities - there was a time not so long ago (the Great Toy Recession of 1972) when that relationship was severely strained.” (source: Wull Street Journal editorial, April 11, 2009)

* Source: 2007 Santa Corp Annual Report

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