6.9 Impact of Weather on the Retail and Manufacturing Sectors

Wednesday, 12 January 2000: 1:59 PM
Frederic D. Fox, Strategic Weather Services, Inc., Wayne, PA

It has been recognized for some time now that the greatest furture potential growth area in the field of meteorology is the private sector. The growth will be in services to industries such as aviation, energy, commodity trading, insurance, risk management, agriculture, health and beauty care, public services, retailing and manufacturing. Strategic Weather Services (SWS) has focused attention for many decades in all these sectors. However, most recently during the decade of the nineties, SWS has placed tremendous emphasis on the retail and manufacturing sectors. In these two closely related sectors, there are a tremendous number of consumer products that are weather sensitive. In other words, the consumer's decision to purchase or not to purchase a particular product is driven to a very high percentage by the weather. Obviously, not every consumer product is weather sensitive, but most people are amazed at just how many consumer products really are very sensitive to changes in the weather. Nothing hurts a retailer's or manufacturer's profit potential more than to be out-of-stock when demand for a product peaks. As a result, SWS is helping to create a new field of meteorology focused on meteorological applications to business decisions. Further, the most expensive decisions retailers and manufacturers make, related to product purchases, are the strategic planning decisions they must make 6 to 18 months before the product is on the shelf in the retail store, available for purchase. Therefore, the real challange for meteorology is to produce decision aids capable of minimizing the risk taken at the times when these decisions must be made. The purpose of this pesentation is to describe the needs tht SWS has recognized in the retail and manufacturing industries and actions taken to support these sectors.
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