Chairman and Chief Executive Officer S. Claus narrowly avoided an angry crowd gathered at the headquarters of Christmas Entertainments Inc following reports of a catastrophic failure in their Global Supply Chain. In what was seen as a deliberate leak to the press just days before the news of the appointment of Aptium Global Inc, Strategic Sourcing consultants, turned a dramatic decline in the company’s share price into the largest one day rise since the company went public in 2005.
Reports had been growing for the previous few weeks that there were problems at the normally secretive Christmas Entertainments, suppliers of presents to the nation’s children on December 25 each year, due to supply side disruptions and component cost increases from their Asian suppliers. In an unprecedented move Lisa Reisman, Joint Managing Director and Strategic Sourcing guru spoke from the beach to reporters from the Cayman Islands Scribbler where she was vacationing for the holiday period. “Normally client confidentiality prohibits us from going public in these situations but in this case the company has specifically asked us to reveal details of the work we have been doing over the last few months to illustrate that matters are under control. Changes in the Chinese VAT rebate structure back in the summer and rising metals costs have meant many of the company’s component suppliers have reneged on contracts causing severe problems in the supply chain. Following a thorough review we have instigated a policy of dual sourcing critical components, hedging against metal price fluctuations and outsourcing logistics to a 3PL, following the shipping delays in October caused by a severe bout of Reindeer Flu,” she said.
Ivor Biggun partner at turnaround specialists Ripoff & Screw Associates talking to Crain’s Chicago said “Aptium Global’s reputation in the market place is second to none when it comes to Global Supply Chain; this is not the first time we have heard of the firm stepping in to build processes and structures for the middle market. We suspect without their help Christmas Entertainments would probably be in turnaround by now.”
Production Manager and Six Sigma Black Belt Pixie Wee speaking from the firm’s assembly plant in Lapland via his Elfin interpreter said following the development of lean manufacturing initiatives over the last few years CEI had been running with such low inventory levels that failure of their global supply chain had caused uncontrollable disruption. Mr Wee was delighted with Aptium Global’s Lean Sourcing approach saying it was the first global supply philosophy that put his Lean manufacturing requirements as the primary focus.
Critics said that Mr. Claus’ announcement that the company had achieved environmental standard ISO 14002 was merely an attempt to downplay the problems experienced earlier in the year but a Greenpeace spokesman supported the company’s award saying the switch from using their Reindeer for supply-side logistics to a 3PL provider would significantly reduce the company’s methane emissions and hence their carbon footprint. Animal rights groups also supported the move saying it was becoming too much to expect the Reindeer to provide both component supply logistics and final product delivery services.
The Reindeer were unavailable for comment.