Essay on Just in Time for the Holidays

1161 Words Oct 17th, 2011 5 Pages
Situation

This case study is about the struggle that Santa Clause has to deal with in order to keep its promise to give every child the toys he or she deserve. Children all year long have been sending Santa Claus letters to request toys for Christmas. The main problem for Santa is to figure out what the children want for Christmas and get all ready for delivery before Christmas. Santa has noticed that children request has become over the years more various and flexible which make it harder for Santa to keep its promise and deliver children their wishes. It’s the busiest time of year for North Pole Workshops. Production is in high gear, and the elves are on overtime in the sprint toward Christmas.
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Market research is necessary, but it is a mistake to rely on focus groups for kids. Nor do even the best technologies for capturing early demand indicators work reliably for toys. Instead, Johnson recommends advertising, tie-ins (with some cautions), and controlled scarcity with variety (as used with Beanie Babies). He also points out the rolling mix strategy used to good effect by Mattel and Spanish retailer Zara.
I think the best way for Santa to manage the situation is use a better forecasting method. Forecast is a well informed, educated decision. In forecasting and modeling you take various input parameters and other factors to create a well informed decision. However, just because you make an informed decision or guess, it doesn't mean that you will be correct. Since forecasting deals with using past data, it would be hard to account for unforeseen circumstances that may arise. According to businessdictionary.com, forecasting is, “a planning tool which helps management in its attempts to cope with the uncertainty of the future (“forecasting,” n.d.) As well, Kros (2009) suggests that, “the heart of forecasting is “good” guessing and the best guess is an educated guess.” Part of forecasting deals with formulating equations to make models from past data. The other part is based on logic and common sense that managers obtain through experience. Combining the two parts help managers make more confident decisions.

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