Santa has a lot of work to do every year. However, for some reason, he seems to be compelled to do it all by hand each year. This has led some people to wonder what might change for him if he decided to go virtual. If Santa decided that he wanted to switch to a virtual setup for his workshop, what kinds of things would really change?
The good news is that most of Santa’s proceedings could have some form of automation to them. This could make Santa’s process work much more effectively. Here’s how Santa could go virtual in the coming years.
1. How Many Kids Does Santa Need to Consider?
First off, to understand what benefits Santa might get from automation, you first need to think about how many kids Santa is going to deliver presents to. In years past, some have estimated that there may be around 526 million children around the world under the age of 14 who believe in Santa or their culture’s version of Santa.
This means that Santa is delivering presents to about half a billion kids every year. There’s a wide margin of error in this calculation, but it’s one of the numbers that people use to calculate the scale of Santa’s operations. Clearly, this is a gigantic operation that could do with a bit of automation.
2. “Customer Service”
In this situation, customer service refers to the letters that Santa receives every year. The United Nations estimates about seven million letters addressed to Santa go through the post office. However, if Santa wanted to modernize his letter-responses, he might want to switch to more of a customer service-style process and offer every child a call with the North Pole every year.
If Santa decided to move to this structure, he would instead need a call center staffed with around 28,822 elves, each taking the average customer service agent rate of 50 calls per day. That would be the largest call center in the United States by far, surpassing the current largest by much more than five times. They’d also need to be fluent in many languages, as children with many native languages believe in Santa.
Most people assume that Santa makes his own toys for the children he delivers these toys to. In most versions of the Santa story, the elves make these toys by hand. However, in today’s world, these elves don’t need to work to produce the toys individually. Instead, Santa can save on labor and free up his elves to do other things by using automated systems.
The ToyMaker 3000, a machine at the Museum of Science + Industry in Chicago, can produce up to 300 toys per hour. Santa would just need to have 200 of these toymaking machines running 24/7 to produce one toy per child. Plus, it’s likely that Santa would save more than 20% in labor costs, with an average savings of 16-22%.
On Christmas Eve, Santa has to deliver 6,100 presents every second. That’s a packed schedule; he’s delivering 24 times as many packages as the UPS delivers in a single day. One way he might be able to free up some time is to use drone delivery services for the children who live in urban areas that might be able to access drone delivery.
About 55% of the population lives in urban areas that will work with drone delivery. To deliver presents to those 289 million kids, he would need 12 million drones. However, this definitely isn’t out of the question; there are many companies doing research into the area of drone delivery, with UPS even delivering prescriptions this way in some areas.
As you can see, there are many places where Santa could maximize his automation options. Santa can do all sorts of automation when it comes to his yearly deliveries, and so can many companies from small to large. No matter what you’re delivering, look for ways to use these tips and tricks to automate your own business needs.