It was just a year ago that we did our part to try to make Santa, that Jolly Old Elf, aware of the great benefits of hyperledger and blockchain technologies when it comes to streamlining his vast North Pole operations.
All we can do is make the suggestions. We don’t know if Santa took our advice. Our letters aren’t answered, even the ones we submit in crayon. And we have tried to contact him during his visits to local shopping areas to find out, but his security people keep getting in the way. They may be small, but they’re effective.
We just have to figure that someone who has been so successful for so long in the toy business is picking up on the potential for improvement that these emerging technologies offer. So we’re going to offer more advice this year, and Santa, we hope you’re listening.
You think warehousing is expensive for your company? Try storing more than a billion toys produced over the course of a year – a challenging task even for Santa’s advanced connected manufacturing operations. The national average for total asking lease rate is $1.10 to $2 per square foot per month. Now we know the North Pole isn’t your typical warehousing market region, but it’s still got to be pretty costly with a once-a-year inventory turnover.
For Santa – despite being jolly, he’s a coldly realistic businessman – these considerations put a damper on obtaining all these gifts in advance and storing them. And then there’s the added stress of carefully monitoring toy trends and fads. For instance, Gizmo the Robotic Puppy may be the hot gift in July, but perhaps not so much by December 25.
But at The Pole (that’s what they call it there), Santa’s research elves could easily leverage useful blockchain and hyperledger tools to smooth out these seasonal demand peaks. For instance, the use of hyperledger micro-contract just-in-time ordering and invoicing can help lower warehousing costs.
With Santa’s remote location, supply chain visibility is always going to be a challenge. That can really get in the way of assessing his constituents’ demand. Traditional supply chain systems consist of multiple suppliers, distribution centers, and retail partners. Each of these parties uses their own methods and systems for managing transactions and the movement of goods.
Santa can do better than that. Mrs. Claus, who we understand handles the Christmas Supply Chain backend, has certainly by now recognized that supply chain enhancement is the most frequently named example of an optimal use of these transparent new data technologies.
Blockchain can help in streamlining the workflow and maintaining a hassle-free and accurate system since the data, pricing, and availability are all available in real time.
A savvy guy like Santa has by now seen that one of the most efficient forms that warehousing can take is in the semi-trailers (and reindeer-hauling sleds) that are delivering the goods just in time for loading onto the sleigh. Blockchain and hyperledger offer significant capabilities to realize the efficiency of tying the manufacturing, invoicing, shipping, receiving, and payment into a rationalized microcontract utilizing Track and Trace capabilities.
As a rotund and rosy-cheeked student of technology advances (his work schedule allows him ample time to keep an eye on developments throughout the year) he has no doubt witnessed Cold Chain implementation successes by major big box retailers. Instructing his elfin executive team to adopt similar strategies would be a smart move and position him well for 2020 deliveries.
It seems difficult to believe, but even the Claus database (it’s mostly binary – nice or naughty) is subject to hackers. And he does have a lot of sensitive information at stake when it comes to kids’ personal data. Even Santa doesn’t want to run afoul of GDPR, which could seriously hamper his work in Europe.
So to protect that huge and ever-changing database, Santa needs to be investing in the most advanced cyber and crypto solutions. His objective should be the Triangle of Truth, a combination of security, trust, and especially immutable data – data whose integrity is so tightly protected through blockchain and hyperledger that there is never a question of its validity and trustworthiness.
That way, Santa can say to the hackers and bad actors, “Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
As the world’s most generous philanthropist, Santa asks virtually nothing in return for his gifts of love and laughter. In his free time, Mr. Claus has been observing that transactional FinTech has seen large swings in value in 2019, and is still languishing in the face of uncertainties over potential regulation.
But we’re sure he’s confident that legitimate products will arrive once the issue of consensus processing is tackled and resolved. He has seen, like the rest of us, that the hype has been like visions of sugarplums dancing in developers’ heads.
Most every enterprise south of the North Pole deals with at least some of the same considerations that Santa and those hard-working elves face, even if it may not be at such a massively global scale. They don’t have to wait for a snowy Christmas morning to see if there are blockchain and hyperledger solutions gift-wrapped under the tree. They can add themselves to their own gift lists, and treat themselves to solutions that are increasingly available and ready to be put to work.