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Learn how to turn weather disruptions into opportunities for growth and profit with IBM Sterling Supply Chain Insights and The Weather Company.


Today, every business is different. But in many ways, businesses that exist within various industries are affected differently by weather. Weather conditions are getting more unpredictable, impacting almost every sector — energy, agriculture, transportation, insurance, aviation, and many more. Managing global supply chains in these situations can be a tricky and risky endeavor. Extreme weather, epidemics, and other unexpected events can disrupt the delivery of products and services, which may affect your delivery schedules and bring your assembly lines to a grinding halt due to lack of raw materials. This is because businesses lack control of these unpredictable supply-chain scenarios.

IBM Sterling Supply Chain Insights With Watson® can help businesses turn these disruptions into opportunities for growth and profit. It provides visibility across your supply chain to help you manage constant change. It helps you quickly detect potential disruptions and collaborate with colleagues and IBM Watson to resolve issues. Supply-chain managers can synthesize insights by combining location-specific data from social media and The Weather Company to help predict and mitigate the effect of unexpected events.

Weather services are available in IBM Sterling Supply Chain Insights With Watson through The Weather Company. The Weather Company brings accurate, timely, high-resolution weather forecasts to all businesses. The terabytes of information available in a weather forecast need to be refined down to essential business-impacting components. You can now integrate weather data into your operations for better business outcomes. The Weather Company delivers personalized, actionable insights to consumers and businesses worldwide by combining accurate weather data with industry-leading AI, Internet of Things (IoT), and analytics technologies. For example, a company can use weather services to improve on-time deliveries and optimize travel routes by predicting potential disruptions in operations due to weather events.

How it works in IBM Sterling Supply Chain Insights

  1. Administrator configures and activates the out-of-the-box weather connector service within Sterling Supply Chain Insights. The user can select the countries to show weather alerts that might affect the supply chain.
  2. Once the service is activated, a scheduler job runs on the back end and gets weather alerts from The Weather Company, converting external events that Sterling Supply Chain Insights understands and loading to the application.
  3. Based on the weather alerts, external events will be created for the affected location with longitude/latitude coordinates and the impacted radius. If your shipment falls within the location’s external event radius, the shipment will be affected due to this external event.
  4. Supply-chain managers can quickly collaborate with Watson™ and other team members to ensure that appropriate action is taken to improve on-time deliveries, optimize travel routes, or check for an alternate supply source to avoid disruptions.

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If your supply chain has been struggling with unexpected weather snafus, you now have options for handling these situations. Let’s turn these disruptions into opportunities for our customers. The Weather Company data will help businesses in any industry mitigate business delays, resulting in higher customer satisfaction and revenue growth.

Use case example

In preparing to respond to a weather event, supply-chain managers can redirect resources and proactively provide alerts to customers and drivers in areas affected by severe weather. The Weather Company API provides current and forecast conditions of the weather and helps create weather events with the expected start date, estimated end date, event severity, location coordinates, and impact radius of the event. For example, a shipment is moving from its location of origin of Mumbai toward its destination location of Chennai, and its current location is near Ratnagiri. The Weather Company service creates an external event for the location ‘Goa’ experiencing the impact (radius of 20 Kms). With the provided scenario, our shipment might get delayed due to the timeframe of this external event. In this scenario, you may opt for an alternate route or extend your route to avoid this disruption and ensure on-time delivery of your shipment. Weather services can certainly help improve on-time deliveries and optimize travel routes by predicting potential disruptions in operations due to weather events.