Interview: Why is Emmanuel Scuto, WeYield’s CEO, so committed to making yield manager peers meet together during a Yield management Forum?
Editor: There are already many conferences around the world talking about revenue management. Is there really a need for a new one?
Emmanuel Scuto (ES): I have initiated to start a specific forum talking about yield management for car rental because there is no single event or occasion dedicated only to this topic. You will find some conferences focused on fleet management or operating systems for car rental. Some others do exist for the airline or hospitality industries. But none for the car rental only. So I wanted to build one to serve my activity sector.
Editor: How has this idea emerged in your mind?
ES: In 2016, I had the opportunity to participate in a study trip in Silicon Valley. During this journey, we met various French-origin entrepreneurs from a wide scope of businesses. One of the main points that hit me was their spirit of openness. No matter the subject nor the problems to address, they talk openly about their business and ask questions about your environment. This really is the valley DNA: being open to new ideas, being open to others. So, the project of putting people in the same room who are willing to discuss and share their thoughts came to my mind.
I really want this spirit triggering inspiration to do things differently.
Editor: But you have always been organizing events in the past with your clients and users?
ES: Yes.Yes. For many years, we have been inviting our clients. But it was more the opportunity to share a nice dinner with friends.
In Spring 2017, I met Sébastien Payen, co-founder of Fruition Science, a French-US company providing a decision software to optimize wine grape quality and yield. Said like this, wine seems to be a bit far from car rental. However, we figured out together that the optimization constraints of our two industries are pretty close and the population of owners and managers are similar, as very much involved in their day-to-day operations without necessarily trusting enough technology to assist them in doing their job better. To evangelize the community about technology, Fruition Science has been organizing meetings and conferences for years to aggregate them and get insights from technicians and researchers. I attended one of their event in Bordeaux and felt the cooperative spirit between speakers and attendees.
Editor: and this is what gave you the “go” to launch your own forum?
ES: Last September 2017, we organized our Paris edition of the so-called Car Rental Revenue Management Forum at the Anticafé Olympiades venue. And it was a great success.
One of our clients said he learned more during our 4-hour event than attending the full 3-day IFTM-Top Resa fair. We reached the goal!
We also need to take into consideration the technology environment. As an illustration, some brokers have overtaken a strong leadership. And one of the reasons is that they have a very sophisticated technology. In car rental operations, managers and owners need to work with the same state-of-the-art piloting tools to improve their efficiency and dedicate more time to the service to their customers.
For me, it is critical that car rental owners and managers do not live in a silo environment but get opened to other sectors, experiences, new ideas. So, for the Berlin edition that took place on Thursday 8 March at Mindspace Berlin-Mitte, I have invited car rental experts as well as people from other industries to share their way of thinking to inspire the audience. The comments we collected after the Paris edition proved that we reached the goal.
Editor: do you already have set the next events after Berlin?
ES: it will undoubtedly be in Dubai in late April 2018 during the Arabian Travel Market end late September 2018 of a new Paris stop before IFTM-Top Resa starts. And surely we will meet in London during WTM.
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