PDC Projects

The overview of our recent projects below can give an idea of the kind of consulting services PDC can offer:
  1. During the second half of 2016, PDC joined forces with Revenue Analytics to help Maersk Line, the world's biggest container shipping line, kick off their Revenue Optimisation project.
  2. Back to Scandinavia to take on a temporary and part-time role as head of Operations Research for a Pan-Scandinavian Tour Operator. Very good to be exposed again to the detailed workings of an actual RM system, and to be reminded of the critical dependency on good input data!
  3. At last...: after six years, PDC is hired by a Dutch company for the first time, albeit for only a couple of workshops. More to come perhaps, at this leading Holiday Park Operator.
  4. Is it a hotel, is it a holiday park? It is Warner Leisure Hotels, and although the revenues are modest in comparison to other RM companies, a tailor-made solution is called for. PDC evaluates Warner's commercial decision-making and sees this is about a lot more than "just" dynamic pricing. A prototype to feed into this wide variety of business processes is in the making.
  5. A state-owned North-African network airline in a turbulent political and economical environment has been requested by the Minister of Transport to improve its financial performance. PDC is taking on the challenge to find (and then implement) opportunities for robust, permanent profit improvements on the Air Cargo side. A combination of strategy consulting and RM consulting, so an exciting project for several reasons.
  6. Our appetite for spreading RM concepts to new business environments was satisfied when a multi-billion dollar Hotel Room Wholesaler asked for PDC's advice on selecting a software supplier and RM solution. One of the key challenges is to turn 'analytics' of 'big data' into automated and optimal RM controls, while avoiding the risks, cost and timelines associated with a fully custom-built application. It is great to spar with the world's leading companies in these areas, at least that's what we think...!
  7. After the failed tendering process for the West Coast franchise, the re-privatisation of the East Coast franchise - handed back to the government by National Express in 2009 - is a major event in the UK rail industry (and politics). Using lots of data from a variety of sources, PDC helped one of the bidders construct and justify a detailed, bottom-up estimate of the benefits that a renewed focus on commercial objectives and RM best practice could bring.
  8. Back to Pieter's air cargo roots, with a pure consulting approach to create a tangible, industry-strength RM application for a top-10 Air Cargo Carrier from Asia. As a special adviser to a great boutique cargo consulting firm, PDC helped to achieve the necessary sophistication and detail in a solution that only comprises a freeware optimisation tool and lots of Excel. Total commitment to a 'glass box' approach meant that the end users had to scale a learning wall rather than curve, but it caught on and resulted in a RM application with an extremely high bang/buck ratio.

  9. The biggest company PDC has worked for so far is probably Russian Railways. The implementation of a Sabre RM system triggers the need for major changes in business processes, analytical capabilities and performance monitoring, an ongoing and (pleasantly) challenging engagement for Pieter.

  10. Diamond Resorts International are quite unique, in the sense that they run a timeshare business, but also rent out the surplus inventory that they need in order to ensure good availability for the timeshare guests. Most RM principles are still relevant for this business model, but they are applied in a different way. DRI realised that the first step towards effective Revenue Management was to introduce new and existing employees to the art and science behind RM in a way that would emphasise the relevance to their own jobs. PDC created a 'knowledge foundation' course, consisting of training materials, an interactive game, a trainer manual and various examination and feedback forms, and did the initial delivery at DRI's European head office in Lancaster.
  11. Although not listed as one of PDC's service offerings, Pieter does occasionally lead RM conferences and moderates the discussions. It is a great way to keep up to speed with the latest developments and to stay in touch with the main players in the industry. The 2012 Terrapinn conference in Amsterdam was a good example, bringing together train operators from many different regulatory environments to discuss the impact of privatisation on RM opportunities, and many other subjects.
  12. Exploring what Revenue Management could look like for one of Europe's largest commercial Radio Broadcasters, Global Radio in London (Classic FM, Heart FM, Capital FM etc.). We looked at the theoretical and practical hurdles that would have to be overcome to establish RM at the core of commercial thinking and decision-making. The initial study was successful, and after developing a prototype for an campaign optimisation tool, we have now moved on to (agile) development. The tool maximises the contribution to overall profit of a single campaign, while satisfying campaign goals related to client budget, efficiently reaching the target audience and a sensible distribution of spots across stations, days and day-parts. A truly fascinating project that brings profit-modelling to the heart of otherwise very client-focused commercial planning.
    In the UK, the biggest prize for the Train Operating Companies is the West Coast Main Line franchise. PDC is helping one of the bidders to assess how much value more sophisticated RM could bring over the 13-year duration of the franchise. It's big numbers all round, and a bit like being an under-secretary in the shadow cabinet...
  13. PDC was asked by two European train operators to help them select the most appropriate existing RM system and system provider for them.
  14. Thomas Cook in Belgium hired PDC to investigate ways to  improve demand forecast accuracy. One of the key findings was that the strong in-house statistical skills were not linked up with the equally strong business knowledge elsewhere in the organisation, leading to a formal, sophisticated but little used forecast on the one hand and an informal, crude but useful forecast on the other. Recommendations to link up the two separate sources of expertise are now being implemented.
  15. VIA Rail, the Canadian train operator linking all Canadian cities from Halifax to Vancouver, is in the process of implementing a revenue management system. Over the course of the next couple of years, this will take them from a very manually RM-ed environment, via rules-based automation, to cutting-edge price optimisation. An intense, challenging and risky but potentially very rewarding process, which PDC will support on the business side by designing appropriate business processes for each stage.
  16. For a leading European Tour Operator, PDC delivered a RM Concepts training.
  17. Before embarking on the actual implementation of a state-of-the-art Revenue Management system, SAS Cargo  wanted to make their analysts more familiar with the underlying concepts. PDC created and delivered a bespoke RM Concepts training course, taking a decision-making perspective to discuss the similarities and unique features of RM in various industries. Special attention was paid to the essentials of optimisation, and the trainees actually optimised a simplified planning and execution cycle, using the Solver add-in in excel.
  18. Setting up an analytical framework for a train operator in the UK. The client had implemented a new RM system, and the last technical and data problems were being ironed out, when the realisation sank in that this new system was really quite different from the previous one, especially as it requires an accurate demand forecast and contains a formal network optimisation module. PDC was asked to design and implement a set of analytical workflows that should keep the users in charge of all of the system's behaviour, thus avoiding a situation where the system operates as an ill-understood 'black box'.
  19. Staff capability assessment and RM Concepts training for an air cargo carrier in continental Europe. As the first step of a major RM system upgrade, the client wanted to assess the skills and capabilities of the team who will not only have to work in the new,  more analytical environment, but who also have to be the change agents during the challenging implementation project. PDC was asked to design, create and execute a set of tests and workshops that would objectively determine which analytical, commercial, communication or change management skills were missing from the incumbent RM team.
  20. Market research study. For some time, the client - a RM application provider - had tried unsuccessfully to enter the market for RM systems in Germany, where they are not represented very well. PDC was asked to assess the  reasons for this lack of success, and to come up with recommendations to change this.

The names of some of these clients cannot be revealed. This is partly because some projects are still ongoing, and because most companies have a fairly lengthy process in place to approve this kind of publicity. If you wish to talk to one of PDC's clients to obtain a reference, please do contact us. 

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