Kris Kringle’s Executive Meeting

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Read part one of a two part series of fun articles that highlight how important it is for customers to focus on the value added by distributors to their operation’s supply chain efforts and why paying a premium is worth it to Santa and his executive team. Excerpts of the article authored by Frank E. Hurtte Jr. who has 28 years of distribution industry experience and a lifetime in sales follow.

“Kris called a meeting with his top elves.”

Kris called a meeting with his top elves. These were the folks, assuming elves count as folks, who have had centuries of experience filling Santa Enterprises’ magic bags to the brim for all the nice girls and boys. And, as Kris thought back, this team had never missed a single Christmas. Through massive snow storms, candy cane shortages and even the great reindeer food shortage of 1954, they always came through; never, ever missing a single good little boy or girl.

Even though he was madder than a wet reindeer, Kris sent a politely worded invitation to the new elfin expert down in procurement, a certain Elf Pricedrop.

“We’ve saved Santa a bundle. Why, aren’t the rest of you holding up your end of the bargain?”

You are my most trusted elves. Together we have solved some mighty big problems. We can’t let this Christmas Season go down as the year Santa didn’t show up. I am opening the floor for suggestions. What can we do?”

Almost immediately, the new elf from procurement, we’ll call him Elf Pricedrop jumped from his chair, stood up, primped his fancy tie and adjusted his finely tailored jacket. “We’ve made a lot of major improvements in the way we do things. We are doing business with some of the top suppliers on the planet. The work my team has streamlined the way we handle our orders. We’ve saved Santa a bundle. Why, aren’t the rest of you holding up your end of the bargain?” he complained.

Based on the look of the rest of the top elves, Elf Pricedrop‘s words were going over like a North Pole snowball to the face. Kris Kringle asked for more feedback.

“Every new system has a few bugs to work out. We have saved so much money on this we can afford experts to fix things and life will be good…”

Elf Evergreen, whose record at the Major Toy Shop was legendary said, “Our toy train machine has been broken or running at half speed since the end of October. We’ve called our new supplier a dozen times and the best they can do is email us an updated user’s manual. The shipment of wheels for the toy cars was supposed to be here two weeks ago. The vendor says they are working on getting us some, but not until two days after Christmas. And the new internet–based guy you procurement types have sending us red paint for the fire trucks isn’t answering emails or the phone.”

Elf Mary Sugardrop from Mrs. Kringle’s kitchen joined the discussion, “The candy making has ground to a halt because the sugar plums that give everything a unique Christmas–time flavor has a strong hint of spinach. We wouldn’t even send this stuff out to the naughty list.”

Elf Pricedrop stiffened in his chair as one by one the elves doing the real work listed issues with his new crop of low cost and efficient suppliers. Finally, he said, “Every new system has a few bugs to work out. We have saved so much money on this we can afford experts to fix things and life will be good…” But before he could finish, Kris waived his magical hand. Silence. Then the big guy spoke:

“We don’t have time to fix things. We can’t postpone Christmas. When Christmas Eve rolls around, it will be now or never. And, we’re not going to disappoint anyone. Not while I still have a single ounce of life left in this formerly jolly body. Failure is not an option. Anybody else got an idea?”

“According to him, solution based distributors have some magic of their own.”

“I’ve been reading a lot about knowledge–based distributors. I kind of stumbled onto them because I like to keep an eye on that Frank Hurtte guy. You know, according to our records, he has been on the good side of the naughty and nice list for over 50 years. And, if you skip over that little pouting spree back in 1962, he would have an almost perfect record. According to him, solution based distributors have some magic of their own.”

Elf Pricedrop protested, “I believe in the old motto, eliminate the middleman and save. We’ve worked hard…” Once more Kris Kringle stopped him dead in his tracks and said. “I believe in Santa. You can stuff those old B–school sayings in a sock full of lumpy coal. We’ve got to save Christmas, how do we get these guys to help? Get Frank Hurtte on the line…”

Click here to read the complete article.

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