Monday, 19 December 2011

Logistics Heroes at Christmas

Sorry Santa, it's not you.
It would be easy to think at this time of year I am talking about logistics troops overseas or perhaps someone like Fedex delivering Christmas trees to them (http://www.christmasspiritfoundation.org/), but I 'm not. Perhaps the Royal Mail with the 130 million cards and packages they deliver a day to bring Christmas cheer. Nope. Christmas bikers annual toy run to the Barnados School?  Not even that.  Surely then I must be talking of the big guy in the red suit…… Santa and his many elves are worth a mention but no.

This post goes out to all the folk who cook a traditional British Christmas Dinner, Turkey, stuffing, Pigs in blankets, veggies (sprouts are a must) cranberry sauce, Christmas pud....oh it is soooo good. Logistics heroes?   This is a true supply chain logistics life cycle marvel.  First we have sourcing you can’t buy just any old turkey it has to be the right size and weight, when tendering for turkey ensure it is not pumped full of phosphate to enlarge the bird.  The timing for this is critical if you want fresh not only timing but storage media……is your fridge big enough for a 16lb bird to fit on one shelf.  If frozen you are entering into a whole JITL (just in time logistics) scenario with defrosting.  We are only at the turkey on top of this you must then cook at least 4 types of vegetable two types of potato, stuffing and numerous sauces all with four cooker top rings and a fan assisted oven.  Did I mention dessert, a flaming Christmas pudding with brandy butter...probably mince pies and cream and something for Great Aunt Maud because all this rich food plays havoc with her colon.  This kind of timing makes fleet management at a distribution centre look like child’s play.  Loading and delivery are a fine art; I personally favour high density loading of the plate but many favour a more agile lighter load courier style service.

So as you appreciate Christmas dinner wherever you are in the world spare a thought for the logistics that has gone into this.  Please be aware that The Logistics Project does not offer consultancy on this type of project but we will happily quality test the final product.  That said  I did once organise a team of highly skilled World Health Organisation team of Doctors, Nurse, Epidemiologists and Midwives from around the world to cook a Christmas dinner in the wilds of the Himalayan foothills....maybe we should consult on this, the perks were pretty tasty. 

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