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How Santa does procurement - and how the real world can do it

While Santa Claus has elves and magic on his side, real-world procurement teams need to track data for robust supplier management

Santa Claus does procurement with magic and elves, but Canopy helps with real-world procurement
Just how does Father Christmas manage his major procurement problems?

At this time of year, many people's thoughts turn to Father Christmas. But have you ever considered how complex his supply chain is? With so many toys, games, devices, and bikes to procure and deliver, he really has his work cut out for him. And of course, he has the added task of tracking whether his clients have been naughty or nice. As he prepares for his big night, we map out how Santa Claus copes with the pressure - and how we can help procurement teams in the real world too.

Yes, delivery is tough: but what about Santa Claus's procurement team?

Most people thinking about Santa Claus focus on the delivery of the presents. With time zones and long northern winter nights, he has around 28 hours of night-time to spread the Christmas joy. In that time, he probably has nearly 2.5 million square miles of habitable land to cover. No wonder some of his reindeer have red noses.

But for people with a procurement background, it's more about getting the presents in the first place. It’s estimated that two billion people celebrate Christmas each year across the globe. Of course, not everyone gets a present (the naughty/nice factor). But then again some Christmas lists may be as long as Santa's arm. Let's net that out to assume that Santa gives on average one present a piece. Procuring two billion presents from a myriad of suppliers is quite a major undertaking.

How we can do procurement better in the real world

Of course, Saint Nick has a whole host of elves and more than a dollop of magic on his side. Mortals working in procurement must come up with more practical solutions for managing their suppliers. And that's what Canopy does. It's a ProcureTech solution to supplier management (with perhaps just a little bit of magic).

Canopy puts all the data about your supplier in one place. With visibility of the data comes the power to use it to your advantage. It makes it easy to onboard new suppliers, and it can help make sure suppliers are aligned to your broader business goals. Procurement professionals can even tell if your suppliers have been naughty or nice, by tracking their compliance and performance. If suppliers are naughtily non-compliant, you can put a block on new POs through integration with your ERP. And as soon as they're nice enough to return to compliance, you can start trading with them again.

Looking forward to supplier management in 2023

So far, Santa hasn't called us up for a comprehensive supplier management platform. In fairness, he's got a good track record of doing things his way. We're confident that he'll procure and deliver the goodies in 2022, just as he's been doing for years. But if you live in the real world and you're looking at better ways of managing your supplier data, make sure to contact us in 2023.

Wishing our clients, staff, and followers all the best for a safe and happy festive season. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

To find out more about how Canopy can help you to a great start with supplier management for 2023, contact one of the team today.

Post by Nick Verkroost

Nick is an experienced business leader and the CEO for Canopy (OCG Software), the rules-based Supplier Management platform. Nick's focus is on commercial and operational excellence and ensuring our clients maximise the opportunities that Canopy offers.


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