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North Pole Productivity Best Practices

December 19, 2014
Gregg and Santa

Gregg Gordon being very patient with his customer’s “jolliness” in 2012

As many of you know, I’m pretty tight with the big guy. Last year, I got an interview on Christmas Eve! As you can imagine, Nick (he doesn’t like being called “Chris”) was super stressed over delivery issues, but he really opened up for me and my readers. So there’s that. While most of my coverage has been related to workforce management at the North Pole headquarters, I’m not in Santa’s pocket with the old cookie crumbs. Nope. I’ve reported on the elf strike of 2011, and also ran an extensive interview with “Strider,” a discontent millennial reindeer. Still, you’ve got to admire the sheer scale of the operation, and I’m proud Kronos is there to help. Our own Gregg Gordon has spent quite a bit of time at “Ice Station Zebra” as he calls it (he hates the cold), consulting on lean manufacturing with their EEC (Executive Elf Committee), and has helped the operation increase productivity almost 4x all while reducing costs! Check this out. Disney produced this documentary on Santa’s workshop in 1932. As you’ll see, it’s a very labor intensive operation, and it worked for the estimated 2,070,000,000 people not on the naughty list that year mostly due to the big guy’s leadership, spirit, and a fully engaged workforce:

Now, fast forward to 2014, and there are around 7 billion on Santa’s list! (As an aside, North Pole coal production for the naughty is off the charts, but that’s a blog for another time…) Anyway, after implementing Workforce Scheduler in 2011, they moved to Workforce Central SaaS after melting of the polar ice cap flooded their datacenter in 2012. While they upgraded to our cloud, the EEC had the foresight to add analytics and mobile technologies to their Workforce Central suite, and things are really humming this year. I mean, this is increased productivity illustrated. What took Disney over 6 minutes to document in 1932, we’ll show you in 34 seconds… That’s workforce innovation that works.

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