Revenue management, which enables companies to maximize profits by selling the right product to the right customer at the right price, has caught on with many industries in recent years. But the Internet's exposure of the full range of available rates is impairing some companies' ability to take full advantage of traditional revenue-management techniques related to variable pricing.
Business leaders can learn how to adapt their pricing to deal with this trend at the College of Management's second annual Revenue Management and Price Optimization Workshop on May 18. Running from 9 AM to 7 PM, the workshop should also attract academics interested in the subject.
"The goal of the workshop is for industry practitioners and academics to share ideas and learn state-of-the-art strategies for revenue management and price optimization," explains Mark Ferguson, assistant professor of operations management, who's co-organizing the conference with support from Georgia Tech's School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and School of Industrial and Systems Engineering.
For years, revenue management was chiefly the province of the hospitality industry and airlines, with leisure travelers booking early paying much less than business travelers willing to pay more for last-minute reservations. Now a wide range of businesses are employing dynamic pricing strategies in increasingly scientific ways, including automakers, retailers, banks, and many other non-traditional users.
New technologies have made the revenue-management movement possible, allowing companies to better collect and analyze pricing data as well as easily change prices via the Internet and electronic shelf labeling systems, Ferguson says. But the Internet also provides a window for customers to find opportunities to pay less, he adds.
PROS's Andy Boyd, a participant in last year's workshop, highlighted the problem: "The Internet is bringing about price transparencyï¿½and that price transparency should be scaring everyone to death. It's really bringing a lot of changes about in all the applications I see."
The 2006 workshop's keynote speaker is Nell Williams, vice president of Marriott's Global Revenue Management Organization and business owner of Marriott's One Yield system, which was the grand winner of CIO magazine's 2005 Enterprise Value Award.
Registration for the conference costs $250 before May 5 and $300 after that date. A limited number of discounted registrations are available for Georgia Tech students ($25) and faculty ($75). To register, contact Mark Ferguson at 404-894-4330 or . For more information on the workshop agenda, visit the workshop's Website.