BA implements sourcing software

British Airways is planning to implement enterprise sourcing software over the next few months, as part of its continuing drive...

British Airways is planning to implement enterprise sourcing software over the next few months, as part of its continuing drive to cut costs across the business.

The sourcing software, from Frictionless Commerce, will be used to target a cross-section of spending areas in BA's business. It forms part of the airline's company-wide commitment to strategic sourcing.

The Frictionless software includes project management capabilities for improved collaboration, visibility and alerting; advanced analytics to target areas of sourcing and measure ongoing success; and supplier and contract management features to track contract terms, and benchmarking.

Silla Maizey, procurement director at BA, said the software fits in with the airline's overall e-procurement strategy. "We see tremendous value in enterprise sourcing - from analysis to decision support and negotiation, to supplier management - the complete process," she said. "Frictionless also complements our other investments in e-procurement."

The Frictionless implementation comes during a sweeping two-year review of BT's IT division. IT managers have been told they need to find about £45m in cost savings over the next 18 months.

Other major moves include a consolidation of BA's back-office systems on to a single technology platform, such as Unix or Windows NT. The company is also due to complete its migration to a new reservation system by the end of this month, while a new inventory management system is expected to be ready in 2003.

BA chief executive Rod Eddington was yesterday (Wednesday) due to announce details of the company's Future Size and Shape review.

Speculation suggested that Eddington will announce BA is to use the Internet to launch a cut-price travel war against low-cost airlines, although BA refused to confirm or deny this at the time of going to press.

A BA spokeswoman said, "All aspects of the business are being considered in the review, including distribution - how we sell tickets. Clearly low-cost carriers are here to stay and we need to consider how we co-exist with them and compete effectively with them."

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