Global Distributor in North Pole Overhauls ITFM Strategy

December 15, 2016

The year may be drawing to a close, but for many of our customers, it isn’t winding down just yet! One of our clients, Kris Kringle, recently told us that Q4 is his busiest season by far. After a little persuasion (that may or may not have involved homemade cookies) he agreed to participate in our case study.


Business Challenges:

  • Running global operations

  • Assisting billions of customers

  • Partnering with millions of suppliers

  • Managing thousands of workers

  • Delivering products worldwide in a tight timeframe



  • Strong budgeting processes

  • Good visibility of what drives expenses

  • Strong oversight of actual versus budget expenditure

  • The ability to forecast as customers’ requirements change


Data Gathering:

The ClearCost consultants conducted on-site data gathering at the client’s headquarters in the North Pole. Given that the financial information was stored in a variety of formats, the process would prove to be difficult. Some crucial product details and confidential client information were actually handwritten on scrolls stored away in a vault! While our client assured us that he always checked the lists twice, we convinced him to store this information in our application database to ensure accuracy and security.


Our client used to spend hundreds of hours double-checking his lists manually. Now, his ITFM application verifies this information for him.


Our consultants discovered similar methods of filing sensitive financial information as well, in the form of spreadsheets. Several of the client’s employees specifically maintain the financial records for the business, but the elf that originally created the master spreadsheet is no longer with the company. (Apparently he had other business to attend to in New York). Furthermore, we discovered miscellaneous financial records including but not limited to sleigh maintenance, employee compensation, veterinary expenses, reindeer obedience training, uniform orders, and baking supplies. Moving forward, all of this data will feed into the new IT Financial Management (ITFM) database.



“Many have doubted the long-term viability of my business. Thanks to ClearCost, I can justify my investments, identify areas for saving, and make projections with absolute certainty.”

- Kris Kringle, Founder and CEO




Our client prepared for our arrival by assessing all potential financial data that would be imported into the new application database. Our consultants were given direct access to meet with the Senior Toymaker, the Director of ER (Elf Resources), the VP of Belief, and the Chief Magic Officer, among other executives, to review key objectives and metrics. By the end of the week, the ClearCost team had imported 95% of financial data and developed a strong understanding of the client’s activities, technical services, business services, and department structures.


After reviewing his metrics, our client found more room in his budget to spend on training and taking care of his reindeer. Not pictured: Rudolph, who wished to remain out of the spotlight.




The ClearCost application provided accurate, transparent, and fully functional IT Financial Management analytics and reporting. These new ITFM metrics have replaced the inefficient scrolls and spreadsheets. Our client and his team will consult these metrics in order to justify 2016 IT spending and to provide a blended Chargeback and Showback model for 2017.



With an accurate, flexible, and sustainable IT Financial Management application in place, reporting will take minutes rather than days to produce. Our client will be able to spend more time manufacturing and delivering quality toys for children worldwide.


We shared this story to illustrate how proper IT financial management is essential to the success of any business. For more information, request a copy of our case study detailing how we are helping a major US government agency make informed IT decisions.



Photos by Melpomene, Andrey Kiselev, and Vladimir Melnikov/Adobe Stock





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