Featured Resources

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Handbook of Operations Research Applications at Railroads

by Bruce W. Patty (Editor) Published Download PDF Buy on Amazon

This is the first book to offer a complete spectrum of the role that operations research has played and can play in the improvement of North American freight railroads. It explores how decisions are made at railroads, contains examples of the mathematical programming formulations to the complex problems, and provides insights into real-world applications.

The handbook is divided into eleven chapters, covering topics including scheduling problems, empty railcar distribution, and intermodal rail. These topics have been specifically selected to offer a thorough examination of the application of operations research at freight railroads. The chapters are written by recognized award-winning scholars and practitioners with a deep knowledge and understanding of their specific topics. The Handbook of Operations Research Applications at Railroads is an ideal resource for academics, experienced researchers, and consultants in the field.

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Multiple Signal Modeling & More in Self-Storage

by Warren Lieberman Published Download PDF

Veritec Solutions’ Multiple Signal Modeling (MSM) approach and other innovative methodologies such as value pricing are opening new doors to profit in the self-storage industry.   This article from the February 2015 issue of ORMS magazine discusses these methodologies and how they are expanding the frontier of pricing and revenue management.

Veritec Solutions’ Multiple Signal Modeling (MSM) approach and other innovative methodologies such as value pricing are opening new doors to profit in the self-storage industry.   This article from the February 2015 issue of ORMS magazine discusses these methodologies and how they are expanding the frontier of pricing and revenue management.

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Revenue Management in the Travel Industry

by Warren H. Lieberman Published Download PDF

During the past half-century, and especially during the past 30 years, the science of price optimization has advanced considerably. Beginning with the airlines, expanding to other segments of the travel industry and then beyond, many firms that invested in improving their pricing capabilities have reaped

extraordinarily large rewards. This article provides a historical overview of why and how this transformation occurred within the travel industry.

Often misunderstood, this science known initially as yield management and then as revenue management has transformed the ways in which products are sold as well as how prices are set. Focusing initially on how many products to sell, given a set of prices that could be offered, the discipline now also includes finding the profit-maximizing price levels.

From a relatively obscure business practice 50 years ago, yield (or revenue) management has emerged as one of the most significant technologies to transform the profitability of travel companies. And had it not been for dramatic changes in the way airlines competed for business, it might never have happened. Here is that story.

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The Arithmetic of Human Behavior

by Michael Raskin Published Download PDF Buy on Amazon

Social scientists are often criticized for leaving out much of what makes us human, but they have their reasons. If we hope to get at what is really going on, they argue, we have to cut away the incidental, disclose the underlying consistencies, and from that identify more basic structures, forces, and

mechanisms. Leaving things out isn’t only an analytic tactic forced on us by the complexity of the human world, it is central to a scientific approach.

It’s a good argument given its assumptions, but what if the patterns of human behavior we observe do not stem from underlying consistencies? What if the underlying consistencies, like the rules of a game of chess or computer hardware, just allow a wide variety of ways things can happen? In that case explanations are not restricted to consistencies leading to consistencies. Reliable patterns of behavior can arise because there are many ways the same thing can happen: inconsistent ways to reach consistent results. In this case behaviors are explained by the sum of the probabilities of the diverse ways they happen, and a science looking to tease out consistencies leading to consistencies is an exercise in misdirection. Mathematically, the idea of different and even improbable inputs leading to a probable output is not problematic. It is simply the effect of a disjunction under uncertainty. But are disjunctions a plausible mechanism for explaining much of the human world?

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Modeling Experience Yields Key Insights

by Bruce Patty Published Download PDF

This article discusses general insights for modeling business problems, based on some detailed work performed in the freight/intermodal industry.

This article discusses general insights for modeling business problems, based on some detailed work performed in the freight/intermodal industry.

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Debunking the Myths of Yield Management

by Warren H. Lieberman Published Download PDF

Yield Management has become an accepted part of the hotelier’s lexicon. Yet if you ask ten hoteliers what it is, you are apt to get at least five, and possibly ten, different answers. On the other hand, ask ten airline executives what it is, and you will probably encounter far greater agreement.

 

The reason for such disagreement among hoteliers, I believe, is that the underlying concepts of yield management have not been well communicated to them. Yield management in the airline industry is not the same as yield management in the hotel industry. The root concepts are the same, but the applications and the techniques used to implement the concepts differ widely. Unfortunately, yield management is often discussed in the context of the applications and techniques, not the root concepts.

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Making Yield Management Work for You: Ten Steps to Enhanced Revenues

by Warren H. Lieberman Published Download PDF

In virtually all industries, firms are facing increasing pressure to boost their revenues to maintain, if not improve, their profitability levels. Yet greater competitive pressures are making it more difficult to generate these additional revenues. This is especially true in industries where inventory or sales

opportunities “evaporate” at the end of the day. As a result, more travel (and other) companies are turning to yield management—also known as revenue management or revenue enhancement—a systematic approach to applying pricing and inventory controls to the sale of a perishable asset to maximize net revenue. Perishable assets (i.e., those whose use is, or can be, limited by specific time frames) include a wide variety of goods and services—including rental cars, theme park admittance, seats at sporting or theatrical events, cruise berths, radio or television advertising time, airline seats, hospital resources, utilities, freight shipments, and hotel rooms.

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Distinguishing Characteristics of Revenue Management in the Self-Storage Industry

by Warren H. Lieberman Published Download PDF

This brief paper reviews how seven characteristics of the self-storage industry affect designing and implementing revenue management systems in that industry. The characteristics we focus on are:

1. Low transaction volume

2. Length of rent is not controlled by the rental agreement

3. Rates can be changed during the term of the rental

4. Individual contracts and transactions can be reviewed

5. Conventional revenue management purchase fences may not be applicable

6. Computational requirements are reduced

7. Revenue management strategies and tactics are in their infancy

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Practical Pricing for the Hotel Industry

by Warren H. Lieberman Published Listen to Presenation

This presentation is part of a collection of Henry Stewart Talks (HST). These are offered as an educational resource to academic and commercial organizations. Veritec’s President, Warren Lieberman, has contributed two of the 17 talks to the series on Practical Pricing and Revenue Management.

The link above will provide access to the first five minutes of Warren’s talk on the Hotel Industry. If you want to obtain access to the full talk or to the entire series, information is provided on the HST website on how to subscribe.

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Pricing and Revenue Optimization: Maximizing Staff Effectiveness

by Warren H. Lieberman Published Listen to Presentation

This presentation is part of a collection of Henry Stewart Talks (HST). These are offered as an educational resource to academic and commercial organizations. Veritec’s President, Warren Lieberman, has contributed two of the 17 talks to the series on Practical Pricing and Revenue Management.

The link above will provide access to the first five minutes of Warren’s talk on the Maximizing Staff Effectiveness in regards to Pricing and RM. If you want to obtain access to the full talk or to the entire series, information is provided on the HST website on how to subscribe.