Edelstein, Martin; Melnyk, Myron
November 1977
Interfaces;Nov77 Part 2, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p21
Academic Journal
Hertz Rent-A-Car operates a substantial fleet of vehicles in more than 100 rental cities in the U.S. and Canada. Most of the important field operations are organized on a pool basis. In a pool, a group of cities, each run by its own management, shares a fleet of cars. The Pool Control System (PCS), a timeshare based model-oriented system, helps answer these questions for each city for the next few days: How many cars will be needed? How many cars will be available or can be moved in from other pool cities? How many reservations can be accepted? How will the actions taken for any city on any day affect future days and other cities? The fluctuations in demand, the disparities in customer characteristics from city to city and day to day, and the interdependencies that exist between cities ere accounted for by the PCS model which provides a detailed picture of the pool for the coming week. Assumptions can be easily modified to yield different pictures so that alternative strategies can be fully evaluated. PCS is run daily by local management in the major pools representing some 50 cities and over 60% of Hertz' domestic car rental fleet. It has been used most successfully in handling the Super Bowl, the Florida winter season, the Montreal Olympics, the West Coast summer peak and major conventions. Dramatic improvement in fleet utilization and control, as well as customer satisfaction, have all been attributed to the system. In a more general way, the basic concepts underlying PCS have impacted management's approach to decision making at all levels.


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