Project Description

WeYield is a SaaS car rental revenue management platform supporting over 150 franchisees and independent operators around the world to manage their car rental businesses and optimise pricing for greater profitability. Since 2020, the company has partnered with ForwardKeys to incorporate comprehensive global air travel data from ForwardKeys Nexus into their platform, as well as piloting the use of Flight Search data from ForwardKeys Connect to add additional context.

“What we focus on most in our analytics is to be able to detect — with minimum effort — the future behaviour of customers.”

— Emmanuel Scuto, CEO, WeYield

We recently had the chance to speak with Emmanuel Scuto, founder and CEO of the company, along with Adrian Treacy, Customer Success Manager in order to better understand how WeYield incorporates ForwardKeys data into their platform and the value it adds for their clients.

Key Benefits of Partnering with ForwardKeys

Emmanuel and Adrian revealed a number of key benefits that WeYield attributes to their use of ForwardKeys data, which they explain in greater detail during the call summarised below.

  • Early detection of customer global behaviour vs last year (at equivalent date of reservation).

  • Seasonal demand prediction

  • Comprehensive demand analysis

  • Customized data analysis

  • Reduced uncertainty

  • Triggering

  • Fleet management adjustment

  • Demand forecasting

  • Strategic revenue management

  • Operational strategy enhancement

Emmanuel begins by outlining why global air travel is intrinsically linked to the demand for car rental services in destinations served by an airport, “For us, it is extremely important to detect how demand will behave — as far in advance as possible. Because air travel is a major indicator for us, it’s a big help to have access to this ForwardKeys data in our model as there is a strong correlation of air passengers with car renters.”

Figure 1: Above we can see an increase in the number of ‘on stay passengers’ (solid green line) this year vs last year (dotted green line).

Understanding global air travel is important for WeYield’s clients as it is one of the earliest signs of upcoming demand, with travellers arranging air travel long before they even consider booking car rental services at their destination, as Emmanuel explains. “Both corporate and leisure travellers tend to book air travel first, then accommodation, and then ground transportation like car rental is the third priority. Most customers will only book car rentals between six weeks and seven days prior to their departure.”

Customer Success Manager, Adrian Treacy, offers more detail on how WeYield’s clients apply the insights gained through ForwardKeys data, “It’s the certainty that it can give our clients in relation to the fact that there is potential demand there — far out into the future. The fleet manager’s job can be made easier, adjusting the total number of cars to be allocated as well as fine tuning new car delivery dates when possible.”

“With the ability to compare year versus year, our clients can establish whether it’s logical to increase, maintain, or reduce their fleet size.”

— Adrian Treacy, Customer Success Manager

“Another advantage from our clients’ perspective is the ability to see capacity — not just tickets booked, but when airlines are adding more flights,” he continues, “It allows them to predict — almost down to the exact day — when the shift between seasonal demand patterns may happen.” In practice, airlines must declare their future routing to global air control authorities between six and 12 months in advance. WeYield app users can view this future capacity displayed on the piloting graph, thanks to the data supplied by Forwardkeys.

Figure 2: Air capacity data from the WeYield user’s point of view — current or future capacity in bold purple and the previous year’s capacity in dotted purple.

Emmanuel breaks down how ForwardKeys data fits into the bigger picture at WeYield. “We have three levels of demand that we look at. The first is the meta demand — for which we use ForwardKeys data. The next level is macro demand, tracking car rental interest on our clients’ websites using Google Analytics. And finally, micro demand, which is confirmed car rental bookings.”

The challenge, though, is that using these macro and micro demand indicators to inform operational strategy is limited in its effectiveness. “This demand accelerates in the last 30 days before booking,” he adds, “but by then it’s too late to make major changes.” However, access to ForwardKeys’ air capacity and bookings data — to accurately calculate meta demand — allows WeYield’s clients to look further ahead and predict what the demand for their car rental services will be.

“Using ForwardKeys data to compare booked tickets year-on-year and seeing that it’s 20% higher for the coming Christmas period, for example, gives us a good degree of certainty.”

— Emmanuel Scuto, CEO, WeYield

This level of foresight is crucial to optimising revenue management strategy for WeYield’s clients. “When our clients see an advance air arrivals peak, they can decide to move to a higher pricing bracket for that time period as they have a good level of confidence that demand will follow,” Emmanuel points out, “And that can be a strategic move. Even if their competitors are picking up some advance bookings at a lower price, they can be confident there will be sufficient demand remaining for them to achieve high fleet utilisation at the higher price through later bookings.”

Length of stay is another important metric for WeYield and their clients, allowing them to identify, for example, the proportion of air passengers arriving for a 1-2 day stay versus a 4-5 day stay. This gives car rental firms advance notice of how their fleet might be utilised, and what the most popular check-out and check-in days will be for their vehicles — allowing them to adjust pricing according to the most in-demand length of rental.

Figure 3: Looking to the future — the bold green line indicates a future peak in arrivals which differs significantly from the previous year (dotted green) allowing WeYield users to optimise their pricing strategy and fleet management in advance.

While for WeYield, the main benefits result from the higher-level global air travel data that ForwardKeys can provide, they understand the value of more granular data for their individual operators — as Emmanuel reveals. “Our role is to provide our clients with a broad overview of predicted demand, but we advise them to use ForwardKeys solutions directly for their own analysis — for example, to break down the data by market segments or individual airlines.”

For Emmanuel, being able to make confident predictions about future travel is key — it’s what allows WeYield to deliver value for its clients. “Without ForwardKeys data we would have more uncertainty — the main benefit of the data is that it gives our users more visibility into the future, allowing them to detect peaks in arrivals ahead of time and adapt their strategy.”

We’re grateful to Emmanuel, Adrian and the rest of the team at WeYield for taking the time to discuss how ForwardKeys data benefits their clients, and for their valuable feedback on the solutions they use. To find out more about how ForwardKeys could help your organisation to better understand the impact of global air travel, book a consultation with one of our team, and we’ll be happy to demonstrate our data solutions in action.


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