Two principles of pricing management to help you do more with less

6 November 2020

Pricing Blog main

Learning from the past can help us answer today’s challenges—and adapt so we’re ready for more. But moving ahead isn’t easy when resources are slim, product offers are complicated, and fares change many times a day.


How airline pricing is different now

During my 20-plus years in the industry, I’ve always seen an innate need for airline pricing teams to understand their markets, make informed strategic decisions, get fare content into the marketplace quickly to remain competitive, and do all of this as efficiently as possible.

This job was never easy, even during golden days of travel. It required a balance of talent, pricing tools, and accurate data. Now with more sophisticated technology and airline pricing strategy tools, the art of Fare Management has become a science that requires mastery of data structures, tools, and techniques to truly optimize the outcome.  

Of course, this job is even harder right now as airlines are pressured to cut costs but also remain competitive in this pandemic market. They need ways to do more with less while still chasing their pre-COVID goals to evolve their pricing strategies. The good news is, we can be more efficient in fare management by following two simple principles.

Embrace complexity and strive for simplicity

I know, it sounds like a paradox. But instead of being intimidated by the complexity of the data that flows though the airline ecosystem—and the tools required to manage it—we can accept the challenge. We can explore how to use the flexibility and precision that complexity brings to achieve our strategic goals.

How? By introducing more automation and efficiencies to fare management workflows. Automation simplifies complexity, and airlines can use modern tools and techniques to not only bridge the existing gaps in their process, but also integrate more information. Aggregation tears down disparate workflows, closes gaps, and connects the dots across the information we are managing and the results we intend to achieve.

quote: change forces us to change with it, so why not leap ahead?

Make your new normal a new opportunity

As the industry is forced to transform, we will lose vast amounts of experience and knowledge across the industry. This reduction is accelerating a demand from airlines for more intuitive tools that are easy to implement and integrate into existing systems and processes.

Airlines need workflow automation to reduce errors, save time and costs, and capture revenue by getting offers to market faster. When they have tools that are easy to learn and use, airlines can reduce the time their people spend in training and onboarding and get their strategies into place even faster.

Change forces us to change with it, so why not leap ahead while we’re at it? There are many opportunities for digitalization and automation across the industry. Don’t be afraid to look at each challenge individually and analyze the new opportunity it could present.

How to do more with less in fare management

Sketch out your own business processes and workflows for getting fares to market to see where inefficiencies exist, where they can become leaner, and where industry changes could help.

Next, group some of those tasks by the outcome you are aiming to achieve so you can find ways to streamline your processes. For example, if you are monitoring and analyzing industry competitiveness using multiple tools, you may find a new solution that helps you achieve the same outcome with fewer steps.

At ATPCO we have been modernizing Fare Management solutions on a global scale for over 55 years. We are uniquely positioned to deliver tools enabling pricing teams to drive efficiencies and make more effective decisions with the most complete and accurate fare data in the industry. Pricing excellence is what we do best, so don’t hesitate to connect with our experts. Email us at hello@atpco.net to learn more or visit our pricing analysis page.

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By Doug Sharpe

A transformational leader and advocate for simplicity, Doug Sharpe has over 20 years of experience in air travel, spanning technology, product, marketing, business development and sales. He has held many industry leadership roles over the course of his career, including diverse account roles across ATPCO’s community of global airlines and systems/sales channels. In his most recent post as Commercial Director over ATPCO’s Pricing Portfolio, he led the company’s market and positioning strategy over their suite of airline pricing and fare management products. Doug is an avid traveler and musician with roots on both the east and west coasts.