The Fall 1997 INFORMS National Meeting was held in Dallas, October 26-29, 1997. The focal point was modelling customer behavior (including price and market analysis) and needs (logistics services). RASIG did organize a roundtable discussion and three paper sessions. Cluster Chair for the meeting was Bengt Mutén, Reebie Associates, P. O. Box 1436,. Greenwich, CT 06836. Any questions and comments about this meeting should be addressed to Bengt at 203-661-8661, fax 203-661-8886 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BYOB (Bring You Own Bag lunch). All Sunday Activities are Business Informal.
Chair: Bellur N. Srikar, email@example.com, Amtrak.
Nejib Ben-Kheder, SABRE Decision Technology.
Abstract: In order to increase their revenues,
improve market share and reduce their costs,
railroads have to move from constraint-driven decision making to market-driven decision making. The marketing process starts with long term product positioning,
medium term planning and pricing to end with short term yield
management and scheduling. OR techniques can be used at every step to ensure consistency and added value throughout the process.
Approaches to Yield Management in Railroad Applications: A Survey
Edwin R. Kraft, B. N. Srikar, Amtrak.
Abstract: We survey the research and implementation of revenue management of yield management techniques as applied in airlines, passenger rail, freight rail and trucking applications. We explore the relationship between the analytical approach, marketing characteristics, operating environment and transportation network topology.
B. N. Srikar, Amtrak.
Abstract: This paper describes the basic model that has been developed to simulate the revenue management system controls to evaluate the strategies and policies that affect the system operation. The leg class control and market limit control optimal authorizations along with hierarchical bucket nesting and the reservations behavior modeled for departure day simulation. The expected revenue generated for alternate revenue management policies is estimated from the Monte Carlo simulation.
Tom Shelton, SABRE Decision Technologies.
Passenger railways like most large corporations are faced with making both strategic and tactical decisions. Typical strategic decisions for railways include fleet planning, pricing structure, marketing programs and long term inventory control levels. Tactical decisions include such areas as competitive pricing, yield management and short term equipment redeployment. More often than necessary, decision making for strategic and tactical purposes is flawed and contradictory.
We will visit the Operations Control Center and Museum of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe in Fort Worth. Seating is limited, please sign up with Michael Gorman, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, 817-352-2260. The cost ($20) for transportation and a box lunch, is to be paid at the conference.
Chair: Marc Meketon, firstname.lastname@example.org, US Airways OR Group, 703-418-5641.
Robert Lucas, David Lawson, Norfolk Southern
Darin A. England, Erick D. Wikum, Norfolk SouthernAbstract: We describe our Automod model, which simulates operations at any of three Norfolk Southern "mixing" centers, wherein automobiles are unloaded, grouped by destination, and reloaded. Together with dedicated unit train service, these facilities are part of an efficient automobile distribution network. We explain how the results of our simulations have influenced business decisions relating to design and operation of the facilities and network.
Xingang Cheng, Ajith B. Wijeratne, Norfolk SouthernAbstract: We present results from our simulation model of the Chicago automobile mxing center, one of four facilities in Norfolk Southern Corporation's automobile distribution system. This model was developed using Automod, a 3-D and true scale simulation package and is utilized to evaluate capacity and service level and to determine resource requirements for the mixing center through designed experiments.
Chair: Joe Plaistow, email@example.com, Snavely, King, Majoros, O'Connor and Lee, Inc., 202-371-9148.
Min Luo, Service Design and Planning, Conrail.
Abstract: MultiRail is a leading railroad service design and planning tool used by almost every major railroad in North America. The proposed system will extend its capability for designing and evaluating service plans, and overcome some of its inherited design limitations. It will provide not only the regular service design functionality for planning personnel, but also the capability for marketing/sales people to check and verify the available capacity or capacity limit for new traffic demands to both proactively and interactively. Such practice will lead to more reliable and executable service commitment to the customer and it will also foster more effective and quality related pricing for services. Unfortunately, these functions have been traditionally partitioned and managed by different departments in railroads, and supported by isolated and almost independent information systems. the advancements in information technology, especially those in system integration, distributed computing, and computerized service planning tools (such as MultiRail) made such an integrated system possible and inevitable, in order for the railroads to become more quality and cost competitive than other modes of transportation.
Joseph Bryan, Reebie Associates.
Market intelligence about freight traffic is used by carriers to plan operations and strategy,
by shippers to gauge logistics opportunities,
and by governments to guide policy,
and economic development.
Reebie Associates has been the leading commercial supplier of freight market flow data for almost two decades.
A new visual database system is under development by a Reebie-lead team,
supported in part by federal R&D investment.
Working with geographic information software to display and analyze market patterns,
the system shows freight traffic as it moves on modal networks at the national and local level.
Underlying this network view is a powerful database of U.S. county-to-county commodity volume information,
treating the full modal spectrum for domestic and inland international freight.
The speaker will discuss highlights of the system and its applications.
Pricing and Product Mix Optimization in Freight Transportation Markets
Michael Gorman, Burlington Northern Santa Fe
Abstract: Pricing strategies may be used to address the chronic imbalance of traffic flows in freight transportation markets and improve profits. However, the large number of markets combining to create the imbalances makes it difficult to identify the most effective combination of price changes to achieve this goal. I propose a methodology for determining the profit-maximizing pricing strategy considering both the imbalance at each node in the network as well as the demand characteristics for all markets creating the imbalances. Monte Carlo simulation is used to incorporate stochastic demand shifts and the uncertainty of the price elasticity of demand. Initial results applied in intermodal service in freight rail shows potential for improving profits over current pricing strategies.
Lawrence Bodin, College of Business and Management, University of Maryland
Abstract: We will describe key features of a Geographic Information System (GIS), show how a GIS can be used for routing vehicles, and describe why vehicle routing problems (VRP) imbedded within a GIS can have different ways of achieving cost minimization than other classes of VRPs. Computational experiences in solving VRPs imbedded within a GIS will also be presented.
Chairs: Bruce Patty, firstname.lastname@example.org, Mykytyn Consulting Group, 415-491-1770, and Dharma Acharya, email@example.com, CSX Transportation, 904-366-4374.
Bruce Patty, Mykytyn Consulting Group, and Dharma Acharya, CSX Transportation.
Abstract: CSX Transportation has recently developed a new operating plan in order to respond to the needs of the customer. While railroads continously adjust their operating plan, this development process started with a "clean sheet" of paper. This presentation will discuss how the customer's needs were identified, the process used to develop a new operating plan, the tools used to support this process, and the lessons learned during the development of the new plan.
John Gradek, Canadian Pacific Railway, and Bill VanMarter, Canadian Pacific Railway
Abstract: Canadian Pacific Railway is undergoing a major transition in its operating plan development process. The traditional planning process typically involved the railway operating functions – Transportation and Field Operations - with the resulting product being offered to the Commercial functions for advice to the railway’s customers. The new service planning process requires a thorough understanding of customer expectations and subsequent design of a plan supporting the specifics of demand. This presentation will provide an overview of the methodology used by the railway’s planners in understanding customer expectations and effectively designing a supporting operating plan.