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GPS Insight Santa Tracking

The tech and numbers geeks here at GPS Insight were sitting around the lunchroom this week in their ugliest Christmas sweaters, talking about Christmas presents and what they wanted from Santa this year, when one brought up a great question: just how does Santa deliver the presents to all the good girls and boys across the globe?

That got us thinking…Santa’s operation is a small fleet and field company, moving goods, running on a very, very tight schedule for which customer service is paramount. What are his key challenges? How does he keep his fleet working in peak condition? How does he manage his workforce? How on Earth does he keep up with the paperwork? With approximately 280 million customers, the naughty/nice list would run 8.8 million pages printed out!

The back office of Santa’s workshop either runs with supernatural efficiency or is a chaotic mess. Santa needs top-of-the-line fleet and field tools to succeed.

The Big Night

The logistical challenges Santa faces are enormous.

Traveling east to west, Santa has 34 hours to deliver toys to the 238 million home offices of his 280 million customers before the last of them wake up on Christmas morning. Whiz kids at the University of Leicester in England actually determined Santa and Team Reindeer would need to travel at half the speed of light, or 93,000 miles per second, to successfully deliver his cargo to his customers. If Santa’s sleigh included just one 2 lb. gift for each customer, the haul would weigh upwards of 321,300 tons.

We are going to ignore eminent astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s assertion that Santa and Team Reindeer would be traveling through the atmosphere at such speed that they would be vaporized. We will assume magic wizard technology—and some good goggles—protect Santa and his amazingly fast reindeer.

Still, Santa is going to have to do a lot to ensure his fleet—or sleigh—is operating at peak efficiency and his assets are properly maintained. Any problem would be catastrophic, not just because the kiddos wouldn’t receive their toys. Were Santa’s sleigh to crash at that speed, and with that cargo, the impact would explode with the force of 500 billion tons of TNT!

The right non-magical technology can ensure Operation Santa is well-prepared and ready to succeed on the big night.

Tools of the Trade

Preventive maintenance is important to every fleet manager, but the unique challenges and responsibilities of Santa’s fleet operation make it a critical tool. Supply chain issues at the North Pole are common—lack of or delayed replacement parts, extended service lives of unreplaced units, inflation, and skyrocketing elf labor prices—make it difficult to keep the budget balanced. 

Is Rudolph’s nose in need of replacement? How much wear and tear have the sleigh’s runners experienced? Are the reindeer jingle bells all working properly? The right technology alerts Santa’s elf manager of potential issues before they become costly problems. 

GPS tracking software is the key to preventive maintenance. It provides automated reminders when service is due, as well as a digital log of the information, such as service costs and any additional service that need to be performed. Service intervals can be set based on mileage, run-time hours, or even dates. Santa can reduce reindeer downtime and improve overall efficiency while avoiding more expensive repairs post-Christmas or a disastrous accident.

Improved Maintenance Scheduling

The ability to run a cleaner and healthier fleet is one of the most important advantages of GPS tracking.

GPS Insight maintenance scheduling module could enable Santa’s fleet or maintenance managers to track maintenance services easily by sending a notification when service is due. A report can also be generated to provide an overview of upcoming or overdue maintenance.

GPS tracking is great for efficiency and accountability information, but it won’t tell you everything. For example, if his GPS tracker alerts Santa’s team that he stopped hard, they don’t know why. They’ll need context and data. Was it because of a jumbo jet, or was Santa looking at his phone?

Smart dash cams provide answers. If Santa had to swerve to avoid an airliner, they would provide direct evidence to the what and the why. The camera provides the critical context for why the event took place. GPS tracking devices installed inside the sleigh transmits critical data needed to perfect routing and mapping data, reindeer idling, and more.

Long Naughty/Nice List? There’s an App for That

Flying at 93,000 miles per second is not conducive to leafing through nearly 9 million pages of toy requests. Paper can also get blown away at that speed, and an excited child’s handwriting can be illegible, especially in the dark. Digitizing that list would make it easier to navigate. It would also eliminate the need for endless cabinets, folders, or drawers for storing each annual list. Digitizing increases efficiency and reduces costs. Effective field service management software can also transform operations by reducing errors and redundant tasks and giving Santa peace of mind the other 364 days of the year. 

In addition, dispatch features, like the Smart Scheduler, helps Santa’s service managers streamline fundamental operations, enhance efficiency, and ensure his team is where they need to be, when they need to be there. Dispatch software efficiently tracks arrival times, locations, and supply inventory to give service managers a clear, complete picture.

Ho! Ho! Ho!

As Santa and his reindeer prepare for their annual global delivery run, think about the Herculean logistical task he performs and the tools—magic or otherwise—he must use to accomplish it. Whether delivering to 238 million locations across the globe or to one spot across town, fleet and field software can enhance any operation.

From the entire GPS Insight Team, Ho! Ho! Ho! And have a very Merry Christmas!