RM Tips and Strategy

How to improve market watch in car rental industry

Emmanuel Scuto
December 5, 2014
To keep an eye on the market, car rental companies put in place several processes, from the cheapest manual to full automatized real-time data collection. But what is the most efficient one?

Since the development of internet technology in the travel industry, tens of car rental suppliers are distributed by hundreds of sites from many sources. And prices are changing every day. To keep an eye on the market, car rental companies put in place several processes, from the cheapest manual to full automatized real-time data collection. But what is the most efficient one?

  1.  Mystery calls to realize dummy quotes from other competitors in the area. It is time-consuming and can not be replicated very often, diluting its impacts. However, if done by an expert in car rental operations, these calls can be the source of valuable information such as local counter promotion. In addition, it gives a clear understanding of the competitor’s commercial procedure to convert a prospect into a booking.
  2. Manual web survey. It is very common to hear that a sales or marketing team member is dedicated to collect prices on the web, surfing on direct brand, brokers, and resellers' websites. Again, this task requires a dedicated staff that is rarely available on a regular basis. It is often done during spare time. To a far extend, in a small company, the General Manager, who is usually the Pricing Manager, does it by himself among other executive tasks. Despite good knowledge of price levels set on a limited number of key dates, this practice brings reliable information and a poor statistical data set. Most of the market changes are simply memorized in the staff's brain or eventually stored in an excel spreadsheet.
  3. Automatic rate shopping is provided by industry experts dedicated to very large data collection. In car rental, two providers are known for a long time to provide excellent and reliable service: the American QL2 and the Indian RateGain. These companies have built their success in having a robust algorithm, harvesting multiple sites from multiple sources based on almost unlimited scrapping scenarios. A scenario set for one query can generate 1200 scenarios delivering more than 60,000 rates at once. No human can do this that quick. However, their expertise is to issue a file of rates matching the criteria requested by the business analyst. But, more tasks need to be performed before being able to read the data and take a yield management decision.

At WeYield, yield management expert in car rental, we concentrate only on process #3. In 2013, we launched Rateshaker rate shop analyzer to bring the missing element in the market watch: automatic car mapping and graphical analytics. In car rental, like in any other industry, comparing apples with apples is essential. Car rental suppliers use neither the same fleet nor the same car category coding in the same way. And every year, a car manufacturer produces a new (or more) car model which does not help!

Piloting the yield of our clients on a daily basis, we developed a web application for our own internal use at first. Then, we figured out that Rateshaker could save a lot of time to many car rental operators around the world, says Emmanuel Scuto, CEO of WeYield.

First, Rateshaker aims to reduce car mapping to a minimum of few minutes every day or every week. With its IA (Intelligence Artificial) built-in module, Rateshaker can digest any car descriptions and assign them to the appropriate car category set by the client. As this task is performed in the back-end, the business analyst gets an alert when it is done and the data are ready to be analyzed.

We want the yield manager to get rid of data collection and concentrate on analysis and actions

With more than 50 clients around the world, serving all international brands as well as local operators, WeYield is proud to bring added value to the analytical process to improve the company’s bottom line.

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Emmanuel Scuto
December 5, 2014

Expert in Revenue Management and Pricing in the Car Rental industry for 20 years, I aim to share my optimization experience with our customers throughout the world. I am specialized in revenue maximization, pricing strategy, yield management, reporting based on AI.

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