Coronavirus (COVID-19) advisory for rental vehicle operators
by MarginFuel, on Mar 18, 2020 9:22:50 AM
MarginFuel is fielding enquires from rental vehicle operators around the globe about managing their response to the impacts of Covid-19 Coronavirus, by leveraging experienced pricing intelligence. Being agile, staying in control and making strategic decisions are the key themes of our advice to them.
We’ve summarized these into advisory notes below. MarginFuel have an expert team with over 30 years’ experience in tourism pricing, and more importantly in managing market shocks like the current one.
This is a challenging time for our industry, so we are being very proactive and flexible in multiple supporting options for customers. Please book a session with one of our rental vehicle pricing strategy experts if you’d like specific advice for your business.
Coronavirus is making current market conditions very uncertain – how should I approach my pricing strategy?
Agility is key i.e. focusing on analyzing and forecasting demand on a daily basis, and then updating pricing through all of your channels immediately. You need to be ahead of the game as market conditions tighten. If you can’t review your pricing against forecast demand daily, work out as quickly as possible how you can.
Shouldn’t I just drop price to improve demand?
With a pandemic crisis, being able to exercise control is critical. You need to be able to make strategic decisions about your pricing by market segment and execute them quickly. Optimizing your pricing daily based on market shifts in demand and competitor behavior, gives you the ability to achieve the best possible returns.
Is it all about protecting downside risk?
At the moment yes, but not in the short to medium term. You need to be prepared to take advantage of the inevitable rebound as the Coronavirus situation is brought under control. Those prepared to anticipate and thereby take advantage of the inevitable surge in demand will prosper.
Can I save money by making smarter fleet decisions?
Yes, providing you have the right data. Better visibility of demand means you can reduce costs by knowing where and when to drop fleets, without incurring penalties. By knowing the extent of the impact on demand in each of your locations for each date going forward, you can proactively plan fleets to save cost.
What are the staffing implications?
Being able to automate data gathering, analysis, pricing updates and other non-automated revenue related tasks frees up valuable human resource in a crisis period. Keeping staff focused on your highest value activities, e.g. customer service, is critical.
To help with your Coronavirus pricing strategy response, book a coaching session with one of our pricing experts today.
How MarginFuel helps in challenging times: leveraging forecast demand and market intelligence
We support our customers with our fully automated price optimization platform, and the expert advice that sits behind the technology.
Using machine learning and artificial intelligence, MarginFuel enables rental vehicle operators to tightly predict demand at location and category level for all forward dates. Historical market trend data has limited use in the current environment - you need to be able to respond as the market is moving.
MarginFuel provides a daily (or more frequently if needed) forecast update that reflects booking pace and momentum trends, along with seasonality curve data. This gives you agility in a very fluid situation, so as soon as any upturn or downturn in booking pace for any given date, location and category is noticed, a daily reforecast reflects can ensure matching demand with best possible price.
No-one could have predicted the Coronavirus, but Marginfuel’s AI forecasting engine picked up the subtle effects of the virus in booking demand immediately. That’s because MarginFuel is unique in having the pricing intelligence to re-forecast your demand daily. This is based on our innovative technology and over 30 years experience in successfully predicting demand in tourism markets.
This is a challenging time for our industry, so we are being very proactive and flexible in multiple supporting options for customers. To help with your Coronavirus pricing strategy response, book a coaching session with one of our pricing experts today.