|Posted on December 23, 2019 at 10:45 AM|
"The climate community got off track by forgetting the distinction between using scenarios as an exploratory tool for developing and evaluating policy options, and using scenarios as forecasts of where the world is headed." https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerpielke/2019/12/22/in-2020-climate-science-needs-to-hit-the-reset-button-part-one
Scenarios from scenario planning are not forecasts but can provide insight and identify many signposts that can be utilized for future decision making.
Note, there is no specific and exact way to do scenario planning. However, the IPCC scenarios may be more along the lines of scientific projections than scenario planning but it is hard to tell. The article does provide many useful scenario planning references, however.
Also, it is generally prudent to be wary of specific numbers for an event placed well into the future, especially when there is much uncertainty. Scenario planning is used to address this by helping an organization understand what is plausible and improve decision making.
|Posted on August 31, 2019 at 2:40 PM|
EforAll Lowell-Lawrence pitch contest on August 22. Great pictures and descriptions of participants in the pitch contest. http://eganwriter.blogspot.com/2019/08/recap-eforall-lowell-lawrence-change.html
|Posted on April 29, 2019 at 8:30 AM|
I taught a university-level strategic management course for over 5 years. The course used a very good textbook from Hill and Jones titled Essentials of Strategic Management (3rd Edition). One of the core concepts presented in the textbook is the explanation of the three different strategic levels of an organization (functional-level, business-level, corporate-level). Each level gets more “big-picture” as you go from functional-level to corporate-level. The functional-level book discussion presents what I considered an “aha” moment. At this level, organizations should develop strategies around what Hill and Jones consider the 4 building blocks of competitive advantage. The four building blocks are Superior Quality, Superior Efficiency, Superior Customer Responsiveness and Superior Innovation (Hill and Jones, 2009). Just look around, some of the best regarded companies these days focus on most, if not all, of the building blocks (whether they know it or not). Apple is certainly near the top of this list. Even from casual observation, one can understand that Apple appears to address each of the building blocks of Superior Quality, Superior Efficiency, Superior Customer Responsiveness and Superior Innovation. Another example organization is United Technologies (Hill and Jones, 2009). Even though United Technologies is a very diversified company (they make elevators and jet engines to name a few), these four building blocks seem to be their core competencies across all of their companies and appear fundamental to their success. For the most part, the four building blocks are nothing new. In fact, the four building blocks generally map to the Balance Scorecard (Hill and Jones did just this in the instructor notes). A major aspect of the Balanced Scorecard is its focus on developing (functional) strategies at all levels of an organization from a learning and growth perspective, business process perspective, customer perspective and the financial perspective (Kaplan and Norton, 1996).
In most cases, companies can help develop a competitive advantage by developing functional level strategies that address the four perspectives of Superior Quality, Superior Efficiency, Superior Customer Responsiveness and Superior Innovation.
The weather strategies that you develop for your company should also address these building blocks of competitive advantage.
With this in mind, let's see how an organization may be able to develop weather strategies in regards to the four building blocks: Superior Quality, Superior Efficiency, Superior Customer Responsiveness and Superior Innovation. Let's say your company is a natural foods supermarket chain. What weather strategies can you implement to help your business?
Let's start with quality. Quality can mean different things. As outlined in the Hill and Jones book, quality can be looked at from a point of view of reliability or as excellence. A reliable supply chain is important to many organizations and especially supermarkets. Weather and other natural events can affect the reliability of the supply chain. A weather strategy to address quality for a natural foods supermarket could be obtaining weather information for your source regions. A tactic for this strategy includes using recent climate information to determine active distressed areas. Another tactic may be using future forecasts to determine the potential problem growing areas so you can proactively second-source your products. It is also important to understand how weather elsewhere could affect your supply chain. One example is how the drought/flooding of a river like the Mississippi can impact deliveries 500 to 1000 miles away. The weather strategy of obtaining weather information (recent climate statistics and forecasts) could also be helpful in addressing excellence requirements. If droughts, floods, heatwaves, cold spells impact you products, this information can proactively assist in keeping the quality at a high level.
The next building block area is developing strategies that work towards the goal of superior efficiency. Hill and Jones address efficiency from many different perspectives: R&D and efficiency, production and efficiency, marketing and efficiency, materials management and efficiency, information systems and efficiency, infrastructure efficiency and human resource strategy and efficiency. On the surface, many of these perspectives match up to weather strategies and some probably not so much. For our sample natural foods supermarket there are many opportunities. Some weather-related strategies to assist in the goal of superior efficiency include utilizing weather information to help plan energy and also to assisted with marketing efforts. By incorporating long-range weather forecasts the natural foods supermarket can be more efficient with its energy usage and also be more efficient marketing products at the correct time they are needed in the future. For instance, if you know a heatwave is possible 6 weeks from now, your marketing or pricing strategy can take advantage of that information and if used correctly, increase profitability. There are new leading edge innovations that make this possible.
The next building block is customer responsiveness, A natural foods supermarket can determine weather strategies that make it more responsive to a clients needs. At the very basic level, this includes staffing the store for expected customer traffic based on weather and day of the week. Certain events can alter customer purchasing habits. One way to utilize forecast data is to make stock adjustments based on weather information. At the same time a company needs to realize some products are more weather sensitive than others and make plans accordingly.
The last building block is innovation. Our natural foods supermarket example may look at new innovative ways to incorporate weather information into their business. For instance, long range weather forecasts can be correlated to inventory and, if done right, this helps with customer responsiveness, helps assure the inventory is available and because of the integration may increase quality.
New weather-related opportunities are presenting themselves as big-data, predictive analytics, and integration of data occur. Many of these new ideas and technologies are available now. One of the focuses of WeatherStrategy is assisting organizations in developing strategies to incorporate weather data/information into their products for differentiation and to capitalize on weather related opportunities.
Hill, C. W. L., & Jones, G. W. (2009). Essentials of Strategic Management (3rd ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Kaplan, R. S. & Norton, D. P. (January-February 1996). “Using the Balanced Scorecard as a Strategic Management System”, Harvard Business Review Retrieved from http:/balancedscorecard.org/Resources/AbouttheBalancedScorecard/tabid/55/Default.aspx
Kaplan, R. S. & Norton, D. P. (January-February 1996). “Using the Balanced Scorecard as a Strategic Management System”, Harvard BusinessReview Retrieved from http:/balancedscorecard.org/Resources/AbouttheBalancedScorecard/tabid/55/Default.aspx
|Posted on April 15, 2019 at 10:10 AM|
The weather at two events this past weekend shows the need for someone to be the “weather manager” especially when there are a number of people who can be impacted. We are defining “weather manager” as someone who has the responsibility to keep track of the weather and how it may impact an event, business or organization.
We experienced both ends of the impact spectrum this weekend. On the positive side, The Masters Tournament proactively moved the Sunday part of the tournament ahead of expected inclement weather. The PGA does have meteorologists on-site and the decisions that were made on Saturday worked best for all on Sunday considering the threat of severe storms on Sunday afternoon in Augusta, Georgia.
Sadly, a cultural festival in Northeast Texas had a different outcome. The festival was impacted by two different storms and suffered a direct hit from a tornado. One person died and at least 25 people were injured. It was well communicated in advance that severe weather was possible for this area at the time of the festival. It is unknown whether someone had the responsibility to watch the weather and whether contingency plans were defined ahead of time. They did cancel one part of the event in advance based on the forecast so there was some level of weather awareness but one wonders if they did enough (especially on the day of the event).
Both cases show the need for at least someone to be the “weather manager”. In many cases, businesses, organizations or events need access at some level to a meteorologist. At the very least, someone needs to have the responsibility to be the “weather manager” to monitor the weather for safety reasons, expense control and for income opportunities.
|Posted on April 1, 2019 at 2:25 PM|
Interesting article claiming how the weather industry is evolving. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-01/wall-street-embraces-weather-risk-in-new-era-of-storms-drought ;
|Posted on February 3, 2019 at 11:05 AM|
Do you want to incorporate weather information into your business processes but don't know where to start?
First, you need to determine how you want to use weather strategically. Here are some steps to follow:
1. Select the corporate mission and major corporate goals as they relate to your weather related concerns.
2. Analyze the organization's external competitive environment to identify opportunities and threats as they relate to weather.
3. Analyze the organization's internal operating environment to identify the organization's strengths and weaknesses as they relate to weather.
4. Select strategies that build on the organization's strengths and correct its weaknesses in order to take advantage of external opportunities and counter external threats. These strategies should be consistent with the mission and major goals of the organization. They should be congruent and applicable to the company's business model.
5. Implement the strategies.
Once you have outlined your strategies, do you know or understand what is available and what is possible with weather data? You may be surprised as to what is available and what can be done with weather and climate data. Organizations like WeatherStrategy can assist you with developing weather strategies and with navigating the weather industry. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
|Posted on August 27, 2018 at 12:20 AM|
We are all familiar with weather forecasts. So much so, that users of forecasts from individuals to organizations and businesses are very comfortable making many decisions well before any impact is forecast to be felt. For instance, school or business closings for expected snow or early release for schools on very hot days where air conditioning is not available.
However, new technology and capabilities are making it possible to do even more with weather and climate data. Some of the newest growth areas in the weather business incorporates weather/climate and analytics. Another growth area in the industry is relating past, present and forecast weather data to other geospatial databases for spatial analysis.
Many companies and organizations are now incorporating these new types of weather technologies into their processes. Need some help to determine your weather strategies? First understand your goals and from that point you should be able explore your options
Remember, having a weather strategy is the best strategy.
|Posted on October 17, 2016 at 12:20 AM|
Lots of good information on preparing your business for disaster: http://www.preparemybusiness.org/
|Posted on March 27, 2016 at 1:10 PM|
Weather impacts all portions of the supply chain from raw materials through delivery to the final customer. While that is easy to acknowledge, you may not be aware of the resources available now and expected in the future to to help mitigate costs throughout the supply chain. Contact me at email@example.com if you need assistance in developing supply chain weather strategies for your business.
Along those lines here is a PDF of a survey in regards to how weather can impact the food and grocery supply chain. http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/pdf/g/c/151009_Understanding_the_role_of_weather_in_the_supply_chain_report_Final.pdf
|Posted on May 22, 2015 at 10:45 AM|
Society, in general, is very adept at using weather forecasts and past experiences to make near-term personal or business weather impact decisions.
We have all seen how weather can impact an organization's operations. Many organizations have plans in place to deal with weather. For instance, schools close when needed and add extra days to the school calendar in response. Many grocery stores staff based on expected weather and customer demand, but in general the overall impact to grocery stores is a time-shift of customer purchases and therefore the impact is lessened somewhat (http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/2000/200008/200008pap.pdf). Unfortunately, many other businesses like restaurants are impacted by weather and have no substantial way to recoup the lost business due to events like snowstorms and rain.
What if you could better understand the impact of weather and use the insight to take advantage of opportunities or cut costs? Today's technology will let data scientists analyze weather and other datasets at levels of granularity that are amazing. The starting point is by looking at historical weather first. Historical weather information can be used in analytical models to help determine patterns and relationships with other datasets (like sales, energy usage, etc.). It is easy to understand how energy usage is affected by weather (especially temperature), but other patterns and correlations can also be discovered. One widely mentioned example of unexpected discovery with weather events and retail is a dramatic increase in strawberry Pop-Tarts at Walmart stores ahead of a hurricane (http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/hurricane-coming-get-pop-tarts-21329).
To do these correlations, a data scientist or analyst will use many different methods to help them understand the relationships and patterns between different datasets. Once these patterns and relationships are better understood, current and/or forecast weather can be incorporated to help predict sales, usage or other impacts. This is how historical weather data can benefit a business. Is this process beyond your capabilities? There are a number of independent data scientists and business analytic experts that can assist smaller organizations who don't have the staff to perform the analytical functions.
Since weather is local, it is imperative that organizations offering or performing the analytical services use the proper weather data for their analyses. In the past, historical weather data has been only available from weather reporting stations, many of which are located near airports. Weather data from stations 10 to 50 miles away may not be very useful, especially if elevation or coastal influences are common. Technology is such that historical weather data down to the ZIP Code or Latitude/Longitude level is now available making it possible to correlate weather with specific locations. After these correlations are understood, it is then possible to use this intelligence in many ways. At the very least, the knowledge of how last year's sales or energy usage was impacted by weather can assist in making decisions about what to do this year. By using weather forecasts, the same correlations can be applied and actionable decisions can be made for the near-term. Some long-range forecasts (15-90 days out) are granular enough that they can also be used especially if temperature extremes impact your business.