As I sit here peering out my partially snow-covered window and into the sleet at about 10 inches of snowsnow, I’m listening to the news and realizing how debilitating bad weather can be, even in a world full of technology, which seems to be untapped by some. The announcements that schools and companies are closed, and supermarkets and convenience stores sold out of ice melt, shovels, and bread, are making headlines while my Facebook feed is full of complaints about the same things.

Since this isn’t the first bought of snow we’ve encountered this season, the 10 inches seem a little easier to dig through, but the disruption to education, service, and supplies seems harder to ignore. So, while I sit here answering emails and reading through complaints and concerns, I feel compelled to share three things Mother Nature has no-so-politely taught us during the latest winter white out.

  1. The show must will go on. Just because one region is hit with bad weather, it doesn’t mean that the world has stopped turning. For companies that must keep pace and continue operating, they need to use the advantages of enterprise mobility and cloud technologies to empower their workforce and remain operational. Enterprises must have a mobility strategy and leverage cloud technology, not only because it’s 2014 and everyone has come to expect to work from anywhere at anytime, but because things must get done even if employees can’t physically be at a central location – they need to work and have access from home (or wherever they may be trapped) to ensure productivity. It’s even more apparent as I look out my window at 10 inches and know, that a mere 20 miles away, colleagues are peering out their windows, only to see the mere remnants of an earlier snow storm and clear streets, and asking for a conference call in two hours.
  1. Demand drives supply, so companies must manage supply based on the changing demand. It sounds simple, but companies really need to get a better grasp of managing their supply chains and ensuring that the demand is heard and supply is available. By implementing a flexible, real-time solution, companies can really manage their inventory to cut down costs, but also be able to quickly scale when demand is high. This intelligent and data-driven supply chain management is possible with today’s technology and in times like these, grocery and convenience stores must remember that mismanagement will cost them customers. Researchers have found that even under the best circumstances, shoppers have little patience for out-of-stocks. In the 2012 U.S. Supermarket Experience Study, the Retail Feedback Group found that out-of-stocks cost retailers dearly, with 50 percent of shoppers going to another store to purchase the wanted items.
  1. It’s ultimately unpredictable, but we must predict where/when we can. Even though we may use valid data and predictive analytics for decision making, we all know that some things just simply remain unpredictable. With the changing atmosphere affecting weather patterns and transforming some of our regions climates, won’t really know which seasons are going to hit us and how hard it may be. All we can do is use that data we have and through predictive analytics, draw conclusions and get ahead where we can, and be ready to react when necessary.

So dear Mother Nature, thank you for providing these lessons – we get it, so please stop. In the meantime, we will continue the countdown to spring and keep longing for a more “colorful” view out our windows.

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