It is estimated that 70 % of the economy is weather-sensitive. Yet, if weather forecast has been used for decades in most industries, its economic potential for supply chain optimization had remained, to this day, largely underexploited.
AI AT THE HEART OF METEOROLOGICAL ANTICIPATION
Weather forecasting applied to supply chain management is nothing new, nor groundbreaking. In fact, demand forecasting based on weather has been around for years. However, the unprecedented level of precision achieved with AI and the rise of weather strategy is setting new standards for weather-smart supply chains.
Thanks to increasingly agile APIs and algorithms, intelligent systems are now able to aggregate variables such as temperature, sunshine duration, rainfall, or wind strength into patterns in order to feed their predictions. This smart forecasting allows them to anticipate a variety of risks such as trajectory, road adherence or decreased visibility.
These weather analytics systems also use historical weather data to highlight cycles and predict common meteorological occurrences, however, their main advancement lies in the inclusion of real-time weather updates and external sources of information such as social media or live reports to foresee unusual phenomenons, a breakthrough for industrials, considering the growing impact of climate change on seasonal patterns (see IBM’s use of weather analytics during Hurricane Patricia 2015) .
ANTICIPATING RISK WITH PREDICTIVE WEATHER INTELLIGENCE
Predictive weather intelligence is another key area of development for the supply chain and recent developments and acquisitions (Climpact-Metnext / Weathernews) go to show that weather risk management is becoming a dynamic sector. International weather advisor, Weathernews has transformed the market by providing targeted reports and guidelines to BtoB companies to help them anticipate and reduce the impact of weather on their activities. These seasonal reports take into consideration the challenges faced by each industry (material constraints, means of transportation, etc...) in order to deliver detailed preventative guidelines.