Forecasting tool puts rail operator on track for £4.3m revenue boost

By Derek du Preez
07 Mar 2011 View Comments
Commuters at London Liverpool Street station

Railway company East Coast Main Line (ECML) says it has increased its revenue by £4.3m over the past year by using integrated forecasting software.

The company implemented JDA's Retail Price Manager software in December 2009.

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By using JDA's software to model future demand for ticket sales, ECML is now able to respond quickly to market changes, and adjust prices more effectively.

"With three-quarters of passengers booking in advance, we're able to analyse data, as well as monitor and understand our customers' behaviour to accurately price our seats," said Suzanne Donnelly, head of revenue at ECML.

"We're now able to forecast demand and gain greater visibility into how we can satisfy this," she added.

"It's better overall for the company to be able to get people to book early and travel on less high-demand services, even if it means having to reduce prices on some tickets."

ECML achieved a 17 per cent increase in forecast accuracy, despite setting a target range of only eight to 11 per cent improvement.

"Research suggests that a 10 per cent increase in forecast accuracy can result in 0.5 per cent increase in revenue, and we have already surpassed our objectives," said Donnelly.

ECML has also achieved a three per cent increase in passenger numbers over the past year.

ECML currently carries 18 million people annually between London and major cities in the north of England and Scotland, and runs 136 high speed trains a day.

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