HOW MANY SANTA CLAUSES WOULD IT TAKE FOR EVERY CHILD TO GET A PRESENT?
3 min. reading time
13 December 2021 ·
rgent route planning requirement! How many Santas would there actually have to be in order for every child in a country to receive a present on Christmas Eve? Armed with FLS VISITOUR and choosing Germany, the home of our FLS Campus, we did the maths.
With our strict SLA (every child in the country must have a present delivered exactly on 24/12 - Christmas Eve), the question is: How can this be done logistically? How is the scheduling and dispatch process optimised to produce the correct number of human Santas for duty?
10.74 MILLION CUSTOMERS IN 8 HOURS
Germany considers a person under the age of 14 a child. According to Statista, there were around 10.74 million children under the age of 14 in Germany in 2020. More exciting to schedulers however, is the question: how many households do they live in? How many target addresses do our Christmas delivery drivers have to head for? Are some appointment windows already booked in to the schedule?
The delivery area includes around 8.2 million family households with children under the age of 18 (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung). If we roughly break that down to children under 14, we come to about 6.3 million households. Next, we need to figure out how many households its possible to deliver to in the period of time (the shift) according to actual driving time, through FLS Speed Profiles.
Then there's one further consideration. As far as the gifts are concerned (the package), let's make it simple: a small red cheetah made of fabric. This is no larger than 20cm x 10cm x 15cm (2000 cubic cm). It is not a bulky item and does not require heavy transport, even if there are more than 1000 of them. Although FLS may account for these dimensions, this saves us from having to consider more complex logistical challenges such as vehicle restrictions. The vehicles house 1050 cubic meters - we have this covered.
FLS VISITOUR FOR A SPECIAL DELIVERY
Our hardworking delivery Santas are rostered to work 8 hours on Christmas Eve to ensure the SLA is met. They have access to their usual fleet of parcel delivery vans. The starting and ending points of their shift are the parcel centres and gift warehouses respectively. These are well spread out across the country. FLS VISITOUR has calculated the fuel consumption. Each Santa reaches the first household within 15 minutes of starting work. Moreover, they must return no later than half an hour after their individual final delivery.
With 8 hours of working time minus the first 15 minutes and the half hour for returning to the depot, this leaves a "net delivery time" of 7 hours and 15 minutes (= 435 minutes).
FLS VISITOUR is configured to take a delivery Santa 5 minutes from household to household (no waiting around, just parcel delivery and move right on). 435 minutes of delivery time divided by 5 minutes per household means: One Father Christmas manages 87 households on Christmas Eve. With 6.3 million households with children, it therefore adds up to:
THE DISPATCH DESK CANNOT FIND ENOUGH RESOURCES
So now we know that our delivery resource fleet is roughly equivalent to the population of the UK's City of Chester or Inverness. What happens if some delivery drivers drop out through illness, or are snowed in? Or if their vehicle breaks down in the middle of the tour? Then the 'gift' of real-time rescheduling and in-shift optimisation pays dividends.
THE ALGORITHM SAVES OUR SLAs
Our algorithm helps in such cases. It adjusts routes and tours in real time and ensures that field service organisations are responsive, even in the face of outages, emergencies and ad-hoc orders. With our PowerOpt algorithm, Rewe Digital, Sky, Vonovia, and Jungheinrich, for example, plan and optimise their field service appointments and delivery routes and tours.
Through the link you can test the algorithm yourself and see how it calculates the best assignment of orders to your employees and determines the most cost-effective routes: PowerOpt - route planning in real time.
TALK TO FLS ABOUT FIELD SERVICE OPTIMISATION AND TOUR SIMULATION
Unless the real Santa is on your payroll, if you need to plan routes and tours for more than 20 field service resources, request an introduction to our solutions. Whether in trade, technical service, testing, or sales: our unique algorithm always presents optimal scheduling and route and tour planning to meet SLAs. Not only on Christmas Eve, but every day.