A ‘White Christmas Paper’ — with THE Chief Procurement Officer

Once upon a time, Spend Matters Europe Editor Nancy Clinton and the UK site’s outgoing leader, Peter Smith, were asked by Trade Extensions, now with Coupa, to interview a very special customer and write a case study about the firm’s work with him. So after a magical flight, they sat down with him to learn all about the particular distribution problem he was facing this year. They learned how the Trade Extensions optimization/market informed sourcing system helped him and his business meet quite incredible seasonal demand, by engaging a wide range of distribution sub-contractors. That was done in an optimized manner, despite the great complexity of the problem to be solved.

So sit back and listen as Nancy and Peter share how Father Christmas — the Chief Procurement Officer — comes to grips with sourcing software …

“A stable network is vital for any distribution operation but when you are the oldest, largest and most successful global distribution operation in the world and your stable network goes down (with reindeer flu) the financial and reputational damages could be irrecoverable.

This is the situation SLEIGH (Santa’s Logistical Enterprise Innovative Gift Handling) faced this winter when all nine reindeer, including Rudolph himself, contracted reindeer flu. It left the organization on the brink of a distribution catastrophe as the team solely responsible for driving the Christmas delivery vehicle thousands of miles delivering millions of presents on Christmas Eve were unlikely to recover in time for Christmas.

“SLEIGH Chief Procurement Officer Father Christmas had to seek rapid and expert guidance. Legendary supplier relationship management over the years means the world’s most famous CPO is known to almost every supplier and end user across the globe — albeit by different names. However, whether it's Father Christmas, Santa Claus, St. Nicholas or Père Noël in Europe, Viejo Pascuero in Chile or Hoteiosho in Japan the response is the same when he's in trouble.

“And when Trade Extensions, a world-class sourcing and optimization solution provider, heard of his plight they were quick to respond. SLEIGH is responsible for the stringent on-time delivery of approximately 526,000,000 individually packaged parcels to all good girls and boys across the world, mainly in one night. The presents have to be wrapped, addressed, loaded then distributed within the space of 24 hours across hundreds of states and territories in the world. Traditionally this mammoth logistical task could be achieved by only one guaranteed method — pure magic.”

Happy Christmas! And keep the holiday spirit going with a full reading of the holiday classic, White Christmas Paper: Dealing with Seasonal Fluctuations in Times of Crisis.

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