Tomasz Zajda -

Virgin Atlantic partners with Accenture to bring self-service capabilities to cargo management

Transatlantic airline becomes the first to adopt the latest version of Accenture's cloud-based Freight and Logistics platform as part of its digital transformation push

Virgin Atlantic is to embark on a phased replacement of its decade-old cargo management system with a self-service-focused offering devised by Accenture from the start of 2020.

The transatlantic airline is replacing its long-standing Voyager cargo management system with the eighth iteration of Accenture’s Freight & Logistics Software (AFLS), marking the company out as the first to deploy the cloud-based platform once the project gets underway early next year.

The two parties claim the deployment will underpin various parts of Virgin Atlantic’s wider digital transformation efforts, paving the way for its customer-facing systems to plug into the firm’s booking and allocation systems through the use of application programming interfaces (APIs).

Customers will also be able to access round-the-cloud service support through the addition of chatbots and live chat options, based on their individual communication preferences.

The overarching aim of the platform is help automate large parts of the booking process for customers so they have the option to serve themselves when securing tickets and deciding the best route to take on their journey.

Suzy Wardle, head of digital and distribution at Virgin Atlantic Cargo, said the system is being introduced in direct response to changing customer demands and preferences.

“We are making this significant investment in a new cargo management system and digital infrastructure because the way customers want to interact with us, and their expectations, are changing as new technologies emerge in the cargo space,” said Wardle.

“With Accenture’s full suite of AFLS modules, including cloud-enabled digital interactions with our customers and partners, we will evolve the way we do business and offer our products and services.”

Dominic Kennedy, managing director of Cargo at Virgin Atlantic, said the platform should also go a long way to future-proofing its business, as the ways in which its customers choose to interact with its brand continue to evolve and develop over time.

“Our entire business model is based on giving customers more choice and flexibility, whether this means more routes and frequencies, new products and services, or the ability to interact with us in the way they want to do business,” said Kennedy.

“We want our customers to experience great service. We are making positive progress in each of these areas, but to modernise and future-proof our business we need a far-reaching digitisation programme, which allows customers to interact with us in new and innovative ways by offering them the opportunity to do everything they do with us today by phone and email via a digital platform.”

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