Is Transactional Email the Supply Chain Disruptor for Santa?

December 13, 2018 David Cahn

Elf David reporting to duty again. My fellow elf colleagues and I have been working tirelessly from the North Pole to fulfill a large volume of orders. Everyone is requesting the same delivery date! You can only imagine the logistical nightmare we are having. 

As an Elf, I work at both Santa ‘s Workshop and the Naughty and Nice Wish List Service.  Over the last few years, I have noticed mail marked “To Santa” has started to change.  Not by its content, but the way we receive it.  After I had just mastered opening envelopes without getting a paper cut, Santa’s letters have been arriving via email. It seems many are transactional emails for orders and shipments between Santa and his “customers”. Say goodbye to paper cuts, and hello to streamlining the supply chain process!

Now from one elf to another, if I lost you on “transactional” email here is the scoop.  A transactional email is a type of email sent to facilitate an agreed-upon transaction between the sender and the recipient. Common transactional email use cases include, account creation emails, password resets, account notifications, and social media updates like friend and follower notifications.  

What us elves are abuzz on is a new type of transactional email being used for supply chain transactions. These include sending purchase orders, shipment bookings, advanced shipping notifications, Proof of Delivery status, and invoice transactions between trading partners through transaction-based emails. These automatically update the ERP systems of the sender.

Some of Santa’s largest “customers” like Amazon, Alibaba, and Walmart are connected by EDI integrations of fulfillment from the Workshop. The remaining millions of “customers” we have digitized using a transactional email service to obtain the orders. Us elves then transmit transactional emails of shipment confirmations, and status real-time using GPS from the Reindeer Stable and Rudolph’s new data streaming IoT red nose.

The benefits have been tremendous! Santa has digitized and connected his “customers” and global suppliers into a Digital Supply Network, like Elemica, quickly, cost effectively and efficiently. By using the transactional email service called QuickLink Email, Santa can quickly access the request against his Naughty and Nice list for optimum fulfillment.

The more technical-savvy elves at the Candy Cane data center have been working on a Control Tower for enhanced visibility for Santa. This control tower will leverage the connected, cleaned and linked supply chain data with external data feeds on snow storms, wind conditions so Santa and his logistics reindeer team can minimize risk on the requested delivery date.  This is targeted to be completed during the off-season for Santa sometime next year.

Actually, I have my own request to Santa. A few years ago, while making a tree delivery to Merry Cottage number 7, I saw an elf that made my shoe bells ring and my ears twitch with excitement. I found out she works at the Hot Chocolate Tower and I have tried connecting with her through EDI, portals, and even Email and text messages. Santa suggested that I shorten the supply chain for my holiday request by using a transactional email to send her a special gift. Keep in touch.

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