But is stocking unavoidable? From what I have seen, current market trends seem to indicate the opposite: larger and larger logistics companies make it more and more common to just order your purchases online and receive them (from wherever they are manufactured) only a few days later. If this true for these giants that transport “tangible” things, why shouldn’t it also be the case for us who just deal with “light” packages of information?
Since Vortex was founded in 2005, our customers have become used to our (stock-free) On-Demand Approach: they order some wind data estimations at a very specific site anywhere in the world and our modelling chain “bakes” their results to deliver them fresh within just a few hours.
We cannot hold stocks of pre-computed data in stores or warehouses waiting for customers to request them, for a very simple reason: the Vortex system does not know where the next “click” will be located and the Earth is too large to have it all mapped in advance at the high resolution we ultimately provide.
The On-Demand Approach is possible thanks to the very efficient, fully automatized, nested WRF computations chain implemented in our cluster which is activated without human intervention after a customer’s click. This is very different from the usual way large regions are wind-mapped (e.g. when making Wind Atlases), which normally involves a relevant amount of “manual” work.
Mapping large regions and selling “tiles” of it afterwards used to be state-of-the-art in wind resource modelling before the Vortex On-Demand approach was launched and certainly it has its advantages. For example, it should not involve any delays between data request and delivery because the data is pre-computed.
The On-Demand approach does involve a time lag, which is a disadvantage, but after nearly 15 years delivering “freshly baked” data to our customers, our feeling is that waiting no more than a few days is acceptable given clear advantages of the approach, for example, the ability of incorporating the latest, cutting-edge technology (e.g. Large Eddy Simulation, LES) computed at the highest resolution, just for the specific area a user is interested in.