The Basics of Yield Management

By. Sherri Kimes 13th Nov 1989

Book Discription

The Basics of Yield Management

Yield management, also known as revenue management, is a strategy used by businesses to maximize their earnings. It involves making decisions about how to allocate resources (such as hotel rooms or airline seats) in such a way that the company can charge the highest possible price for them.

The concept of yield management originated in the airline industry, where companies faced the challenge of selling a perishable product (empty seats on flights) with limited capacity. Over time, this strategy has been adopted by other service industries such as hotels and car rental companies.

Understanding Yield Management

At its core, yield management is about finding the right balance between supply and demand. The goal is to sell the right product to the right customer at the right time for the right price. Here’s how it works:

  1. Segmentation: Businesses divide their customer base into different segments based on factors such as demographics, preferences, and willingness to pay.
  2. Forecasting: Using historical data and market trends, businesses predict future demand for their products or services.
  3. Optimization: With this information in hand, businesses can then set prices dynamically, adjusting them based on factors such as time of booking, length of stay, and demand levels.
  4. Allocation: Finally, businesses decide how to allocate their resources among different customer segments in order to maximize revenue.

Benefits of Yield Management

Yield management offers several benefits for businesses:

  • Increased Revenue: By pricing their offerings strategically, businesses can generate more income from each sale.
  • Higher Occupancy Rates: Yield management helps businesses fill their capacity more effectively, reducing the number of empty seats or rooms.
  • Competitive Advantage: Companies that implement yield management successfully can gain an edge over their competitors by offering attractive prices while still maximizing profits.

Challenges of Yield Management

While yield management can be highly effective, it also presents some challenges:

  • Complexity: Implementing a yield management system requires businesses to collect and analyze large amounts of data, which can be time-consuming and resource-intensive.
  • Price Sensitivity: Customers may become price-sensitive if they perceive that prices are constantly changing, leading to potential dissatisfaction or loss of loyalty.
  • Operational Constraints: In certain industries, such as hotels, implementing yield management may require operational changes or upgrades to existing systems.


Yield management is a powerful tool that businesses can use to optimize their pricing and revenue strategies. By understanding customer behavior, forecasting demand, and making data-driven decisions, companies can increase their profitability and stay ahead in today’s competitive market

About The Author

About Sherri Kimes

Professor Kimes  Is considered to be one of the top thought-leaders and experts in Revenue Management in the world. She has been working in Revenue Management since 1988 and has had the privilege of helping to educate some of the top leaders in Revenue Management. She frequently engages with corporate, government, education, advisory, legal, and private equity

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