While we are all looking forward to a peaceful festive season, there’s one person with little reason to celebrate: Santa Claus is under a lot of stress and pressure. Apart from the usual Christmas business, he is also worried this year by profit concerns as he has recently gone into the red. It’s high time to whip performance into shape.
The presents business has become hard. Apart from an increasingly complex business environment, Santa has had to contend with completely new challenges for some years now:
- More and more children wish to order their presents from the online competition.
- Judging whether a child has been good or not is becoming more and more complicated. Many children now play their tricks anonymously on social media platforms. Santa simply no longer has the time for a detailed good-bad evaluation.
- Individual cost drivers are regularly breaking the budget: excessive wrapping paper costs, an explosion in the travel costs of elves, the exorbitant cost of repairs to machines for the production of toys etc.
- The presents children ask for are becoming more and more outrageous and sophisticated. Santa often loses track of all his Excel sheets that he has created for this.
On top of this come further problems such as climate change, making the North Pole only partially passable by toboggan, as well as new and stricter animal welfare regulations for keeping reindeer.
Integrated Christmas Planning
Santa Claus would be well advised to switch to an efficient planning method as this is the only way he can continue to maintain his position as clear market leader in the presents industry in the future. We recommend that he adopt an alternative approach to ensure flexible and target-oriented planning. His business relies too heavily on unforeseeable underlying conditions to stick to a rigid budget year after year.
Flexible methods such as driver-based planning or the rolling forecasting approach would undoubtedly be better solutions. One particular challenge for Santa will be to define all his different planning areas and integrate them in the overall planning. After all, a self-contained planning model indisputably leads to a clear improvement in profitability, the balance sheet structure, net current assets and cash flow. This is obviously of the utmost importance for a listed company such as North Pole Santa Inc. The use of a suitable planning solution is recommended so as to ensure flawless implementation of an efficient budgeting and planning method and finally break out of Excel-hell. As a small Christmas present, Apliqo would be happy to offer him a six-month trial version of Apliqo C3.
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