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MyTravel IT issues contribute to losses

The failure of holiday company MyTravel to align its business processes to new IT systems contributed to a record £911m pre-tax...

The failure of holiday company MyTravel to align its business processes to new IT systems contributed to a record £911m pre-tax loss last year.

MyTravel told Computer Weekly that problems with business processes following the installation of a £15m Anite reservations system and an Oracle Financials accounting system meant that a sharp drop in gross margins went unnoticed.

The Anite Travel Tour Operator Package system, which went live at the end of 2001, consolidated MyTravel's three charter businesses - Airtours Holidays, Direct Holidays and Panorama/Manos - onto a single platform.

Last June, Duncan Wilson, the then chief executive officer for MyTravel in the UK and Ireland, said a single reservations system would help reduce costs by £20m.

However, when the legacy systems were switched off, data was lost and MyTravel stopped receiving information on margins. As a result, the firm sold holidays up to £60 less than they cost.

"The issue was not the systems, but how we used them," a MyTravel spokeswoman told Computer Weekly. "In moving to new off-the-shelf packages, we did not change our process of inputting data. As a result, we based our decisions on incorrect information."

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