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Most people know that Santa’s magic is powerful enough to violate many laws of physics.  A real student of business would realize that the more powerful, but less spectacular, magic is usually hidden.  Anybody can show off once.  Santa has been doing the same thing for hundreds of years.  Repetition takes real magic.

Think of what has to start on Dec. 26. 

The CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software needs to determine who is naughty and nice for billions of individuals.  The performance record for Santa’s CRM is better than either the NSA or CSEC: there is no evidence of the false positives and false negatives which plague other researchers.  (The rest of the marketing department seems to need upgrading every year since Santa does not always know which gift to give to which nice child.)

Hard-working elves deserve some downtime but, by mid January, they are probably back into production mode for the traditionally-popular toys and the planning department needs to be thinking ahead for the year’s specialties.  So, think about the magic which needs to happen in the manufacturing.  The local resources are cheap, abundant but basic: snow, ice and water.  Starting with only the two types of atoms in H2O, Santa’s workshop is able to make all kinds of plastics, metals, woods, glass and papers.

Somehow, they also turn H2O into the infrastructure needed to operate a modern business, such as warehouses and residences for the workers in this one-industry town.  Igloos might sound like an obvious solution but they are not that easy to make and, with global warming, one wonders whether they are a durable solution.  (Recognizing this behind-the-scenes aspect of Santa’s success would also open the door to important financial questions such as: is there a price bubble in North Pole homes?; If so, is the local industry sufficiently resilient that the residents can work through the crash? What do elves spend the wages on, other than the toys that they make? and Who do elvish children ask when they want toys: Santa or their parents?)

Santa needs the equipment to move stuff from the manufacturing site to a warehouse and from the warehouse to Santa’s sled.  Each item labelled correctly and pre-sorted for the big trip, since Santa needs to go up and down the chimneys efficiently.  Efficiency must be Rule Number One in the workshop since, without an obvious source of revenue, it is necessary to keep costs down to an absolute minimum.  There is evidence that Santa’s operations are so lean that, regardless of the magic, they are unable to respond to unforeseen conditions: there was that one year where the plans nearly failed because of a last minute glitch, until Rudolph saved the day.

So, we hope that you enjoy your time between Christmas and New Year’s.  For many reasons, it is a magical time.

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