How Santa outsourced Christmas

Season’s Greetings from Santa’s outsourcing department.

Santa has asked me to report on how this year’s outsourcing project went. It’s not been the easiest of projects and I am not sure we totally understood the effect it would have on our reputation and service. Here are some highlights of how it went.

Outsourcing reindeer maintenance to India

Outsourcing reindeer maintenance to India didn’t go entirely as planned. No-one sent the new Reindeer Maintenance Team the full details of who is fed what. Unfortunately, the reindeer arrived at the same time as an equality memo from HR – so some bright spark decided to feed ALL the reindeer the same diet so they would all have the same shiny red nose as Rudolf.

There is a reason why Rudolf is the only one with a shiny nose. Not to put too fine a point on it – the glowing nose is a result of hotter food in his diet, but

when you change the input – you change the output

No-one told Santa about this. He was just cutting the first presents loose when the reindeer cut loose – all over the roof and down the chimney. Santa fell. The householder wasn’t too impressed by all the output that went down the chimney. The legal department has almost sorted it out now, but it was a near-run thing.

Elf and safety weren’t impressed

Elf and safety have now insisted that Santa can’t go down any chimney without a full risk assessment. We keep telling them Santa is immortal and doesn’t need death-in-service insurance or risk assessments but they say there is no exemption for immortals on their Elf and Safety checklist.

Santa’s on the naughty list

Outsourcing letter-answering to overseas Virtual Assistants went a bit wrong. It was a brilliant idea to modernise and get away from setting fire to letters in the chimney (Elf and Safety were thrilled about that). The modern child can email and use apps so it was obvious we should go electronic. But the children started getting emails from people asking if they were naughty or nice – and asking them to send videos to prove it.

It turned out Santa had not properly secured his data – and some naughty person sold it. The parents were really upset, and the police put Santa on a very special naughty list. We are doing our best to get him off the list before this Christmas.

Santa called while you were out

Moving to outsourced distribution didn’t work that well either. The self-employed drivers couldn’t land on the roof, and many of them simply couldn’t find the right house. They left little cards saying “Santa called while you were out”. The parents were not impressed when they had to go to the North Pole to collect the presents, taking two forms of ID with them. Not really consistent with Santa’s brand – and definitely did not generate much seasonal goodwill. The worst thing of all was the complaints number went to a call centre where no-one spoke anything but Elf – and most of the calls went to voicemail. We’ll be sorting that one out for years.

Santa lost control of his brand

Santa outsourced a lot of design and graphic work. Somehow it went to the cheapest suppliers in parts of the world with no respect for copyright or IP. Now there are thousands of Santas all imitating him, and there is absolutely nothing he can do as he can’t prove he was the original one – or even claim copyright on his designs. We have got the IP lawyers on it – but as there are no contracts and no records, it is going to be a Christmas miracle if we get it all back under control.

Santa’s helpers are on hand

We know that Santa was busy – working long hours to get Christmas organised. But we elves are available to make sure Santa, and you, know what you are doing when it comes to outsourcing to freelancers. Have a REAL and merry Christmas – and remember – there’s more to outsourcing to freelancers than hoping for Christmas magic.

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