Surge Planning: I Hate the Snow

It was cold this morning


It is going to snow, maybe not today or tomorrow, but soon

Snow is a mixed blessing, great for sledging but for some of us, it’s a work disaster

  • Pipes freeze
  • People fall
  • Cars won’t start
  • Boilers fail

If you happen to be in the game of mending pipes or cars or boilers or bones it gets very, very, busy.  Very, very, quickly.  Queues of customers, all of them wanting your attention, now

They don’t really care about anybody else

They certainly don’t care about you

They just want their problem fixed

And as I said, they want it now

You have been kyboshed, slapped, smacked, mullered, slaughtered (insert terminology of choice).  If you have ever experienced it you know exactly what I mean

The thing is the snow will be short lived, a week or so at most, but it will take until the spring to slowly chew your way through the backlog of unhappy customers.  And unhappy customers create lots more noise and rework than happy ones.  It will be a mess

You do of course have a choice.  When things get bad you could kill the situation stone dead there and then:

  • Buy in capacity, lots of it, overflow capacity
  • Turn the work away, don’t make false promises, explain the situation
  • Have a cunning plan, deal with the work differently

You could kill the demand as quickly as it came

It might be expensive, but the alternative, the two or three months it will take you to get back on an even keel, how much will that cost you?  Maybe, if you spend the money now, your customers will stay customers

So, are you going to kill your surge?  Maybe now is the time to think about it

Before it snows

Surge Planning

Read another opinion

Image by Lee J Haywood


  1. Hi James,
    Some things can be planned for and others can’t but what I think you are advocating for is for more: What if? scenario thinking as a way of preparing for the best and the worst that can happen.

    We should also be thinking about the converse situation too ie. what happens if it doesn’t snow? Particularly if your business is dependent on it.


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