North Pole Inc Goes Fully Mobile and Extends Use of NetSuite
Santa’s company North Pole Inc has gone fully mobile, deployed NetSuite Advanced Manufacturing and introduced three new Suite Apps from NetSuite Partner and North Pole Inc supplier, Cofficient Ltd.
Last year we took a trip to North Pole Inc headquarters in Greenland to see how Santa was getting on with his NetSuite ERP. Back then Santa talked about some of the issues he faced as CEO of such a huge seasonal operation. We talked about how Santa identifies trends early, how he extends his NetSuite functionality using email integration and naughty & nice configurations and also how the manufacturing business operates.
A year is a long time in the ERP community. NetSuite has recently been classed as a leading brand for ERP software in the latest (Oct 17) Gartner report. Advanced Manufacturing functionality has been released and partners like Cofficient continue to extend the core functionality. We sent our roving reporting up to Greenland to find out what has happened over the last 12 months. Here’s the outcome…
An Interview with Santa
Hello again Santa. Thank you for taking the time to meet with us again during such a busy period.
Not at all. Time is something I have more of now thanks to the Cofficient team and their implementation of NetSuite.
So, are you still using NetSuite?
More now than ever
Where is it having the biggest impact on your business?
NetSuite is having an impact right through our business. The CRM component works really well for us. The naughty and nice integration is based on a simple work flow built into the case management software but it helps us prioritise our workflow based on level of severity and the kid’s status within our system. Lots of kids now email their wish lists to us, so the Outlook integration is a real massive time saver. We still use a lot of the MRP – especially demand planning. We can see what the trends are and plan our stock levels and resource accordingly. And, of course, the global nature of NetSuite is amazing for our business. You can’t get a more global company than North Pole Inc!
So what’s new since we last visited you? Are you getting much out of the new Advanced Manufacturing capability?
For a kick off we are all fully mobile now. We’ve ditched the terminals and have moved onto mobile devices across North Pole Inc. And, yes, you’re right, NetSuite have released a bunch of new MRP functionality (Advanced Manufacturing). We are using rough-cut capacity planning. It analyses the equipment we use as well as the resource so that we can better balance the demands against available capacity. We are also using the enhancements to the work order management. It’s colour coded so it’s very easy for someone “technically challenged” like me to take a look and see what’s happening. It shows me work order status in the production planner and gives me the opportunity to re-plan or optimise customer service levels. The real time dashboards continue to offer us amazing insight into where we are for meeting our deadlines. As you can imagine – our deadlines are very strict, we can’t have any child missing out on Christmas morning. The different time zones give us a bit of reprieve but it’s really crucial that we are operationally slick – especially in December.
You’ve also started using some of Cofficient’s new NetSuite Suite Apps? Tell us about them.
Ah yes! We’ve been using the DHL and Parcelforce integrations. I’m sure I’m not breaking any confidences when I say that North Pole Inc work very closely with a number of partners – from the parent community right through to various retailers. Sometimes when the wish list comes in via email we place the order through one of our third party providers rather than manufacture from scratch. In these instances we use the Parcelforce and DHL integrators to ship the product directly to the parent in advance of Christmas morning. The integration calls the shipping information directly from the shipping provider and posts all the lists, labels and documents straight into our NetSuite system.
What’s next for your NetSuite system?
Since Oracle bought NetSuite, they have announced massive global expansion. That’s great news for us since we are now in over 20 countries worldwide. They have announced new regional offices in 6 additional countries and around 13 extra offices worldwide. That can only be good for us in terms of communication with our local partners. Also, Cofficient have come up with a nice little stocking filler for us. It’s called SAM – Service Asset Manager. When our reindeer and sleigh are not in use for North Pole Inc, we lease them out to travel companies and holiday parks (see Scottish Deer Centre). SAM (Service Asset Manager) helps us to track these assets and make sure that the reindeer are returned on time for their bi-annual service.
Do you think you’ll ever hang up your big red coat?
If things keep going well with NetSuite I may be able to have an even more hands off approach in the years to come. In all seriousness, I don’t think I will ever retire. I am too emotionally involved in the business and I would miss the reindeer too much. I can see me working remotely from somewhere warm, like Love Beach in the Bahamas. I can use NetSuite from anywhere in the world, over any mobile device, using just a 3G connection so it’s entirely possible. I just have to learn let go of the reigns a bit (no pun intended)