Welcome to RTS Newsletter

Summer 2016
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Mukundh Parthasarathy
Vice President at RTS
Dear friends,
As we begin the third quarter of 2016, it is a good time to take stock of one’s progress on targets and goals that each of us had set for the year. We at RTS are racing against time to wrap up projects as we kick start new ones. Apart from keeping our focus on completing customer implementations on time we are also applying finishing touches to the maintenance releases across passenger and cargo portfolios. We are also launching two new solutions, Revenue Planning (yet to pick an official name for this solution) in the Cargo area and ProfitOpt OD (origin – destination based revenue management) in the passenger area. We are pretty excited about showing this off at the next available opportunity.
We are actively participating in our marketing efforts as you can see in the scoop section where along with gearing up for our annual summit in London, our presence will also be felt in Chengdu and Manila. After hosting our annual RTS Summit in Cape Town, London, Barcelona, and Dallas the last few years, we thought we will return to London based on the voices that we heard during our summit last year.
Our teams across the globe are ramping up their efforts to give back to the community by volunteering their time and money to various causes as we strongly believe nothing is more satisfying than making a difference in the lives of those who are not as privileged as some of us are.
Wishing you all the best for the remainder of 2016 and we look forward to continue working closely with all of you for the rest of the year and beyond.
Sincerely
Mukundh Parthasarathy

Our services

 

Airlines

Passenger & Cargo Pricing Revenue Management

Cruise Ferry

Highly accurate demand forecasts coupled with capabilities

Hospitality

RTS is a pioneer in hospitality revenue management

Logistics

Cutting costs & increasing efficiencies are not enough

Rail

Price sensitive revenue management Competitive insight

RTS at World Routes Conference in Chengdu, China
The World Routes Conference is the most significant conference for airline scheduling departments and airport route developers around the globe. Several international airlines and airports from all over the world will be represented at the conference.
The conference is held on a yearly basis and this year's event will be held from September 25th through the 28th in Chengdu, China. Pradeep Bandla, Vice President of Passenger Solutions will be attending the conference as a delegate. The RTS SchedOpt Scheduling solution has received positive reviews from airlines that have been exposed to it and we plan to expand visibility and generate interest in the latest solution in the RTS portfolio to the airline community in Chengdu. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Pradeep (pradeep.bandla@rtscorp.com) if you will be attending this event. More information about this event can be found at http://www.routesonline.com/events/182/world-routes-2016/
As a part of concerted effort by RTS management team to visit the various offices on a quarterly basis, the second quarter of 2016 observed Pradeep Bandla – VP Passenger Solutions visiting our India offices. During this visit Pradeep had several interactive sessions with the team during the day and later the team had a blast by enjoying RTS’ achievements in a fun-filled gala evening.
RTS Summit provides the unique opportunity to meet RTS customers and industry thought leaders and network with fellow travel and transportation professionals in the areas of pricing, revenue management, and profit optimization. You will gain strategic to tactical insights in managing your customers, inventory, and pricing through key note speeches from thought leaders, group discussions with panel of experts, user presentations from the airline, cargo and cruise ferry worlds, and sharing of future vision and experiences by RTS leaders. While having thought provoking discussions, the group also makes it a point to indulge in a lot of fun as well.
This year our Summit will be held at the Double Tree by Hilton, London Heathrow. For those who have been waiting for the agenda, the working copy has been placed on the summit website here. The Summit commences at 6.30 PM on 04 October with registration and a cocktail reception. 05th and 06th October see a range of topics and group discussions by RTS members, clients, and external speakers, with the evenings taken up by social events and dinners. Topics are centered on this year's theme of The Future is Today. Network with your peers and the RTS team at the RTS Summit Welcome Reception on October 04th, as well as during the conference breaks, meals and social events.
What can we say about London that has not already been said significantly better, by others, over the course of its two millennium history? A leading global city, with activities ranging from financial powerhouses through arts, fashion, entertainment to tourism. It forms a convenient hub with global access, making it an ideal location for all our clients. There truly is something for everyone, whether your interests lie in historical sights, the theatre, music, museums, shopping, sports or royalty. "No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford." (Samuel Johnson)
Registrations will open soon for RTS Summit 2016, but in the meantime if you have any queries you may contact your Relationship Manager OR email lisa.martin@rtscorp.com
We look forward to welcoming you to London in October!
RTS attending Interferry Conference in Manila, Phillipines
We strive to keep ourselves up to date on industry happenings in all the domains we serve in. In that spirit, RTS will also be attending the cruise ferry industry's premier conference - the Interferry Conference. This conference is a forum for cruise ferry executives, vendors and thought leaders to review the most pressing issues facing the cruise ferry industry today to offer potential solutions.
The conference will be held from October 15th to 19th in Manila, Philippines. In case you have not registered yet, we strongly encourage you to attend to learn about some of the exciting revenue management, pricing and scheduling solutions that RTS has specifically built to cater to the requirements of cruise ferries. We look forward to seeing you there. More information on the conference can be found at http://www.interferryconference.com/
interCaribbean goes live on RTS ProfitOpt
interCaribbean Airways is a passenger airline based in the beautiful Turks and Caicos Islands, headquartered at Providenciales International Airport. The airline offers scheduled domestic and regional services from Providenciales to multiple destinations including Antiqua, the Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and Puerto Rico. They also operate domestic flights between Providenciales, Grand Turk and South Caicos as well as domestic flights in Jamaica. They are the latest client to go live with the RTS ProfitOpt solution to manage their passenger business. With this implementation, we were able to expand our reservation interfaces to include the Videcom Reservation System.
With the solution hosted in the RTS data center, the deployment was seamless. Booking data collection was started in October 2015 and training was conducted on-site at the interCaribbean Airways offices in Providenciales at the end of May 2016. The interfaces were built in our India development center, giving a truly global deployment.
We are confident that the revenue optimization models along with an intuitive graphical user interface and extensive reporting capabilities that comprise the RTS ProfitOpt solution will provide significant value to interCaribbean in the future.
CargoProfitOpt Customer Value Enhancements at Brittany Ferries Freight
At RTS, we are continuously looking for ways to develop and improve our products, and have recently been working with Brittany Ferries Freight to complete a number of changes to the ‘Customer Value’ module in our freight revenue management system, RTS CargoProfitOpt, to further suit specific business requirements.
A key change has been introducing ‘clipping’ algorithm to the ‘Relative Volume’ component of the customer value module. Relative volume is usually seen as one of, if not the most important of the seven components used to evaluate all customers and provide them with a customer value score relative to each other. The ‘clipping’ can be used to define the top x number of customers, which may be the top 5-10 customers shipping considerably more volume than other customers. These will automatically get a top score of 10, and their volumes are no longer considered in the relative evaluation. Similarly an absolute lower clipping values can be defined, for example less than 5 shipments (or an equivalent volume measurement), and these customers are given the lowest score and also removed from the relative evaluation. By excluding the best customers and those that ship very infrequently, an improved spread of customers in the remaining score bands of 1-9 has been demonstrated. In addition, the cancellation element of the score has been given the option of calculation by a percentage rate as well as an absolute value.
The customer value module provides insightful and important data on customer performance in the key areas of shipped Volume, Peak/Off Peak business, No Shows, Cancellations, Transfers, Bi-directionality and Payment History, which is useful for rate negotiation. Within CargoProfitOpt it can be used to give better access to space for customers on constrained sailings, or if required it could be used to guarantee access to remaining free space. Customer value is also a key-weighting variable in the ‘Waitlist Management’ process, which determines the priority ranking of all waitlisted bookings.
Bid Price Rate Adjustments have also been added, which are essentially ‘Customer Loyalty Adjustments’, where the user can add a positive adjustment. This has an indirect impact on the customer’s value and increases their rate on an individual booking to make it easier to meet the bid price. These can be set at the individual departure level, to all sailings in a market, or for the entire network for individual customers. In addition this could be used, for example, to give a new customer an initial boost in a given market.
On a separate note, new booking projection fields have been added to the freight data extract to allow forecasted information to be available for internal consumption in reports and decision making.
All these additions come ahead of the main maintenance release, which is due for release in the final quarter of this year.
CargoProfitOpt 2016.0
RTS CargoProfitOpt 2016.0 is scheduled to be released to the customer community in the fourth quarter of 2016. The release includes various product specific enhancements and general enhancements as listed below:
Product Specific Enhancements (Cruise Ferry)
  • ‘My View’ enhancements includes ability to select multiple city pairs, multiple equipment types and allows additional flexibility to enter ‘Reading Day’ range when defining a user specific view
  • Improvements to ‘Automatic Email’ notifications sent from the system to include additional information
  • Modifications to ‘Waitlist Ordering’ calculations to include negative rebates
  • Additional filter options in ‘Sailing Manager’ user interface for ease of use
Product Specific Enhancements (Airlines)
  • ‘My View’ and ‘Critical Rules’ functionality enhancements to allow additional flexibility
  • Ability to apply ‘Critical Rules’ immediately without waiting for the forthcoming nightly batch run
  • Enhancements to ‘Manage Allotments’ module for ease of use and additional capabilities to view the ‘Request Recommendations’ and ‘Release details’ for each allotment request
  • Report Enhancements
    • New report for managers and other authorized users to track the system usage
    • Ability to schedule the existing reports to automatically run at specific interval
General Enhancements
These includes various improvements, which will be part of all the RTS Cargo Suite of products:
  • Enhanced ‘User Management’ functionality
  • Lane based security allowing only permitted users to view specific data
  • Dashboard updates to include ‘Batch Process Status’ and ‘Quarantine Record Statistics’ for users to find the status of each process without browsing to ‘Scheduler User’ interface
  • Quick currency filter in the header for users to view the revenue data in different currency
ProfitOpt Release
We are pleased to inform you that development of ProfitOpt 2016.0 is complete and the RTS Client Services team is planning the deployment schedule. Some of the key features of this release include an enhanced look and feel to the Graphical User Interface (GUI), improved system robustness, and a newly designed ad-hoc reporting module. If you are interested in getting this latest release sooner rather than later, please don't hesitate to contact your Client Services manager so he or she can slot you for the deployment.
SchedOpt Release 2016.1
Development of the next major release of SchedOpt has just gotten underway. This release will include several significant enhancements over the base release. Some of the key features include:
  • Ability to consume Origin – Destination based demands and fares
  • Optimization module that optimally allocates demand to scheduled flights
  • Interface that allows users to perform what-if simulation scenarios to gauge profitability of the schedule.
These functionalities will be incorporated in the 2016.1 version of SchedOpt with an expected release date in 4Q2016.
RTS launches ProfitOpt OD
In response to demand from the market place and in our quest to enhance our solutions to cater to airlines with significant amount of connecting traffic, RTS is extremely excited to announce that we have commenced building an Origin Destination Revenue Management system. This solution will be called ProfitOpt OD and will consume Origin Destination level demand and fares and optimize the entire network to generate the most profitable inventory controls at the leg/segment level. The solution will minimize disruption to already established practices at airlines while according the benefits of an OD system by considering the network effects of Itinerary level demand and fares at the flight segment level. For more information on this solution and if you have interest in signing up to be a launch customer for O&D control for some of your markets where there is significant connecting traffic, please contact Pradeep Bandla - VP, Passenger Solutions at pradeep.bandla@rtscorp.com
CargoPriceOpt 2016.0
We are putting on the final touches to our CargoPriceOpt 2016.0 maintenance release and here are the major features that made the final cut:
  • Opportunity Alerts – alerting the pricing analysts on potential opportunities for rate increases in strong markets
  • Soft Market Alerts – alerting pricing analysts to retain customers by rate freeze or drop in soft markets
  • Batch process for recommended contract and general tariff rates – producing recommended rates for all markets on a nightly basis on top of ‘on demand’ recommended general tariff / contract rates
  • Ability to recommend spot rates covering scenarios where there is lack of data points
  • Import capability to upload contract rate spread sheets
  • Currency Exchange enhancements
The release should be available by middle of fourth quarter to the customer community.
In a new series, we want to showcase RTS’ social commitment to the local communities where our different offices are located. RTS and its employees take this commitment very seriously and contribute time and resources in trying to make a difference.
RTS giving back to the community
At RTS, we strongly believe in giving back to the community that we live in. As individuals, several of the RTS employees have always been contributing to the betterment of lives of disadvantaged people or communities through charitable donations, sponsoring children, and volunteering. We want to make corporate social responsibility as a core cultural characteristic of our organization.
RTS is now taking the first step toward giving back to the community using its most valuable asset – employees’ time. This new movement is not a feel good afterthought, but is a critical part of our company’s core values. RTS is partnering with the Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity that brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.For 30 years, Dallas Habitat has worked to transform Dallas neighborhoods—fighting blight, advocating at the city for better development policies and tools—while also increasing access to affordable homeownership for hard working families in Dallas. RTS employees from its corporate headquarters will be volunteering as a team once a month at the Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity.
Our initial plan is to volunteer at the ReStores. ReStores sell both new and donated home improvement products at a fraction of retail cost! ReStores are open to the public, providing everyone in our community access to affordable home goods. Shopping at restore provides the much-needed capital to support the mission of Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, keeps reusable items out of landfills, and offers great deals for your home improvement projects.
We did our first day of volunteering at the northwest ReStore in Dallas on July 28, 2016. It was a totally rewarding and a fun-filled day for all of us. We worked in the bathroom accessories section: sorting items, restacking, putting parts together in a package, and cleaning up. This experience reinforced the value of being socially responsible while shopping. Time flew by so quickly that we didn’t even know that we were working for that long. It felt great to give our time and not just donations. It was a great team building opportunity as well. We had a chance to talk about different things – work, politics, movies, and so on. Our team will continue to volunteer at this location to help organize the store and its departments/sections. We will share more about this and other volunteering activities as we expand our community involvement.
Puneet Malhotra, making a difference with YV (Why We) for the society
Puneet Malhotra, working as Sr. DB Architect with RTS at India Office, began his journey of social service in 1999 with providing food, shelter and education for homeless and orphan children. Since then Puneet has been contributing to various social causes like spending time with old people in ‘Old Age’ homes, caring for the cancer patients, blood donors for Thalesimia kids, transforming beggars to self-employed youth etc.
In 2015, Puneet named all his initiatives as “YV” (Why we), with the ideology that why we all are here in this world, is to make change, change and change. The core focus area of YV is educating under-privileged kids and Puneet is investing his money and time for creating infrastructure for the hi-tech mini-schools for under-privileged kids as well as funding the facilities and faculties for these schools. With YV, Puneet is spreading the message “Love All, Serve All” by choosing any one service around you and make a difference.
With the support of RTS and dedication of Puneet Malhotra, YV initiative is making difference for the society. More updates about YV are available here https://www.facebook.com/educatemotivatetransform
Green Initiative
Concern for the environment and pro-active initiatives to ensure the well being of our world is a civic responsibility of not just individuals but organizations as well. Though RTS has always strived to engage in eco-friendly processes, we took a major step forward in formalizing this commitment by becoming a part of the Green Business Bureau (GBB). Membership in this prestigious institution entails living up to the green principles specified by the GBB. Introduction into the program is kicked-off by a self-assessment process which gives a company points for their existing green accomplishments. We are pleased to inform you that we scored pretty highly on the self- assessment part even though we have not had a formal eco-friendly business process policy in the past. The GBB then recommends a set of green initiatives appropriate for our business. Completion of these initiatives enables us to reach different levels of certification starting with the 'Green Aware' tier and ending with the Platinum certification, which most certainly is our ultimate goal as part of this initiative.
If you would like to know more about the Green Business Bureau or share thoughts on how your organization contributes to being a more eco-friendly business, would love to hear from you .
Employee of the Month
Continuing from the past edition of the newsletter, RTS’ commitment to recognize talent and significant contributions of RTS team members under the new Initiative "RTS Employee of the Month" is gaining momentum and popularity. RTS’ team members are taking on the competition to excel in their ‘On the Job’ activities and even going beyond the call of duty to the next level. The first six months of 2016 with six different recipients of the “RTS Employee of Month” award echoes the dedication of RTS’ team members.
Mr. Abhishek Mehta, Mr. Anil Nautiyal & Mr. Arumoy Kar bagged the title for the months of January, February& March of 2016 respectively; Mr. Amritpreet Singh, Mr. Manpreet S. Sidhu & Ms. Baljeet Kaur were named RTS’ Employee of the Month for the months of April, May & June of 2016 respectively.
Blurring the Lines
Crossovers. They happen everywhere. We have SUV’s, because we wanted some degree of truck or van type capability but with car style handling, and as a result this market has exploded. Running shoes? We used to have cross-country shoes, road running shoes, mountain boots and various varieties in between. Now you can get a one size fits all (if you will pardon the pun).
We see similar trends in various domains, but for our purposes, we are talking Revenue Management. In the early days, revenue (or yield) management ran as a fairly isolated system. Sometimes it fell under pricing, sometimes reservations, but in general booking system and inventory control functions were very distinct from revenue management that was there almost solely to generate optimal class allocations for inventory.
Fares were fenced, applying strict criteria for what qualified for a fare in a booking class, be it round trip only, Saturday night stay, or as we used to jokingly say in training, “If you fly out on a Tuesday around midnight wearing a green tie and pink shoelaces, you qualify for this fare”. Nesting of fare classes was less critical, since the fences on the fares in most cases prevented down selling.
Scheduling was typically done by a separate scheduling department, often up to a year ahead of time, sometimes even longer in the Cruise Ferry side. Schedules were typically built more around equipment availability and crewing, with little or no influence from the booking/inventory side of things. Legacy products had somewhat limited GUI’s, a result of both available technology as well as the limited information needed to optimize a departure.
Stepping forward a few years brought with it a host of changes in the travel industry. The Ryanairs and SouthWests introduced new concepts and ways of doing business in the airline industry, which in turn had a knock on effect through other transportation verticals. Restriction free pricing (typically a misnomer, as it tended to actually be very restrictive) offered, as one-way fares needed an adjustment to traditional thinking. If not managed carefully, down selling too much of your inventory became a very real possibility, as there were no longer restrictions regarding travel dates applicable. This was where the restriction free part came into the naming, since there were severe restrictions on the tickets themselves, limiting changes up to and including “use it or lose it” type conditions.
Carriers also had to be more sensitive to balancing operating costs with demand. No longer was it applicable to be confined to a single equipment type on a route, unless specific operational requirements dictated it. On the Cruise Ferry side, port technologies often still dictated the ability to use certain equipment on a route, but they had the befits of flexibility in manning the ships more efficiently.
As a result of needing to be more dynamic, clients had additional needs beyond basic RM. Because the RM systems gave them A) an interface to the booking system, and B) a decent indication of expected demand it made more sense to make certain changes within RM.
Adjusting capacities allowed for evaluation of risk vs. reward when changing equipment. Tactical changes could be made to schedules using actual analysis, bringing additional gains beyond optimizing only existing schedules and traffic.
Functionalities were added over time, which would previously have been considered the domain of the booking system:
  • Nesting controls different from the booking systems, allowing evaluation at traffic type and fare level which could then be rolled into specific recommendations for the booking system to consume
  • Taking a more holistic view of ranges of departures, accounting for round trip activity and constraints, allowing a better balance in traffic mixes, and avoiding have a mismatch of constrained resources in one direction but not the other.
  • Opening or closing fare classes for a range of departures on short notice, such as for a Fire sale or special fare
  • Dynamically optimizing the range of available fares based on price elasticity
The above is a small subset of changes made to allow more of the inventory activities to be consolidated in one place, hence the lines blurring. How much more is incorporated, only time will tell, but as with our SUV’s and running shoes, ultimately we are looking at giving the clients the best all round bang for the buck.
Jason Codd

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