The Nuts and Bolts of LEGO Construction
LEGOs are constructed from plastic and rubber, which LEGO sources from countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Thailand. These materials are then transported to LEGO’s Billund, Denmark headquarters or another of its factories around the world. Machines at these facilities can turn out 500 bricks per second, which adds up to about 21 billion per year — and they operate so efficiently that on average only 12 of every 100,000 bricks are faulty.
After they’re built, painted, and packaged, LEGO’s products are shipped to its primary distribution center in Prague. From Prague, they’re sent to warehouses across the globe and distributed to retailers. Thanks to this highly mechanized manufacturing and efficient transportation, the entire process — from molding the LEGO to distribution — takes only ten days, and delivery to retailers can take as little as three or four.
LEGO products are especially popular during the holiday gift-giving season, with 40% of the company’s sales coming in the months leading up to the December holidays. Additionally, LEGO designers develop new products each season (and sometimes revive classic favorites) that generate heavy interest. This increased seasonal demand means that LEGO has to hire additional workers in the months leading up to the holiday season, ensuring that its factories and supply chain run smoothly to avoid any delays.
Thanks to its supply chain innovations over the past decade, LEGO has become profitable again. In the three years following its transformation, the company’s logistical efficiencies had saved it some $67 million. Ten years later, LEGO is still the envy of toymakers around the world — and a coveted toy for children everywhere.