Lapland Goes Lean-Part 2


In the December 2014 the newsletter I provided some information regarding Lean implementation at Santa’s Grotto in Lapland. I recently visited again to see how progress had gone over the preceding two years.

Santa comments that the number of improvements from the Elves has quadrupled over the last two years, a significant number are raised and managed through the internal Opportunity for Improvement scheme. He acknowledges that it requires a level of persistence and consistency from all levels of the Management Team. The GMS (Grotto Management System) has proven to be spectacularly successful with Elves solving 100’s of problems.

In the 2014 update we discussed an issue around damaged wrapping paper on board the sleigh. An RCA was completed which identified a number of issues:

  • No standard wrapping procedure, leading to inconsistent placing of sellotape. An SOP has been created and Elves trained.
  • Supplier issues surrounding paper quality, work has been undertaken to improve supplier performance.
  • Poor housekeeping, leading to small items tearing paper on workbenches. 5s has been implemented in the wrapping area.

Measures show some incredible results:

  • 50% increase in throughput, order placement to sleighing.
  • 90% reduction in quality issues.
  • 100% delivery performance, always.

Santa let me know that he is seeing consistent growth of 80 million new customers per year. For most suppliers this would be a considerable challenge, however, with Lean in place he can react faster to changing customer demand and comments that he has never been happier, ho ho ho.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.


P.S. Why is Christmas just like work? You do all the work and the fat guy with the suit gets all the credit.