This post is sponsored by Sabre.
Airlines are working to better utilize up-to-the-minute information about customers, preferences and revenue streams to optimize their profitability. Finding the right technology can help parse the data and sort through options to increase income.
In this second of two parts, we talk with Pramod Jain, vice president of marketing and solution management for Sabre AirVision, about technology solutions that can help airlines maximize revenue.
What role do data play in revenue management?
Data play a large role in successful revenue management today. The airline industry has moved to a retailing mindset, and to properly attract and retain today’s customers and competitive nuances, airlines need data in the form of proactive, actionable information. Traditional revenue-management systems have relied on a batch-based, processing methodology and predefined data-processing intervals. However, airlines need to be aware of market and competitive changes as they occur. Markets evolve dynamically, not at preset intervals.
One of the greatest influences on the success of an airline’s business and competitive standing in the market is the ability to understand who is traveling across its network and how much each passenger spends across all revenue streams. Such detailed traveler information exists, but airlines need the technology and integration to make this data readily available and accessible to support accurate, real-time decision-making that gives them a competitive advantage.
How can airlines do a better job of collecting and analyzing real-time data? What are the benefits?
We live in world that is continuously connected, with up-to-date information at our fingertips, so it’s unreasonable to expect a revenue analyst using any decision-support system to make decisions based on stale data. To overcome this challenge, analysts need a revenue management (RM) system with real-time capabilities that eliminates data lag, compiles data into one system and presents the data in an easy-to consume format. The ability of an RM system to support a quick response to all types of changes in the marketplace — big, small, internal and external — with real-time data is likely to be a game changer for the airline industry.
Furthermore, an airline cannot only focus on the frequency of data. It must also think about the volume of data the system can process. Using scalable platforms that can handle complex data improves analysts’ productivity, because the time to review flights will decrease and the time spent on strategic initiatives will increase.
Airlines’ revenue analysts are critical as the front-line stakeholders, ensuring the enterprises generate as much revenue as possible. Revenue analysts need to focus on specific activities that drive value instead of actions that may compromise revenue optimization. Revenue-management tools should be process-driven and guide analysts to the most effective interaction with decision-support models. Analysts should be able to comfortably allow the revenue-management system to operate on autopilot, allowing them to spend more time focusing on strategic analysis of the data. And since the data collected in real-time are stored and used for historical analysis, they can provide much richer insights into market and passenger behaviors.
Airlines see incremental productivity gains as well as a competitive advantage, increased customer satisfaction, and ultimately incremental revenue gains from the availability of real-time data. Airlines will no longer be reactive in the market but will be proactive, becoming smarter about when, what and how they are sending offers to their customers.
What approach to solving these challenges works best?
Total revenue optimization (TRO) helps turn this avalanche of real-time information into additional opportunities to enhance and expand carriers’ capabilities to consistently please customers and generate revenue from all possible sources. For airlines, all roads lead to TRO to help make sense of the jumble of revenue streams from various sources. While a TRO approach can be realized in multiple ways, one aspect I’m currently focused on is in the revenue-management space.
The airline industry is in the midst of an evolution, and revenue-management solutions must not only support these changes but also bring innovation to the industry. Revenue-management systems of the past can no longer produce long-term profitability, and the systems of today lack real-time, accurate, customer-focused capabilities. A next-generation revenue-management solution that uses a complete view of total passenger value, as well as network partner data, is required for an airline to have real-time insight into total revenue for each flight, market and departure date. Such a solution provides accurate, up-to-the minute forecasting and optimization logic for each market that incorporates the potential revenue impact from the vast array of codeshare, partnership and ancillary options.
Success in today’s industry requires a next-generation revenue-management solution incorporating advanced technology that is robust and provides airlines with accurate, real-time information in an easy-to-consume format. Most importantly, a state-of-the-art solution will lead to increased revenue opportunities and increased customer satisfaction by promoting a seamless passenger journey with every preference or need met along the way.
Pramod Jain is vice president of marketing and solution management for Sabre AirVision. In his current role, Pramod leads an organization responsible for a portfolio composed of products and consulting services involving our planning and scheduling, pricing and revenue management, revenue accounting, cargo revenue management and in-flight solutions. In addition, Pramod manages Sabre’s newly acquired Airpas organization, including the industry’s leading solutions for cost management and route profitability. Over the past 10 years, Pramod has held several leadership positions in solution design, development and delivery for various airline business functions.
Want to learn more about next-generation revenue management and Sabre’s approach? Click here to register for Sabre’s Live Streaming Launch Event, where we’ll talk to airline executives and industry experts and showcase Sabre’s next-generation revenue management solution, Sabre Revenue Optimizer.