Swiss WorldCargo, the cargo division of Swiss International Air Lines, has chosen Mercator, a leading supplier of IT solutions to the global air transport industry, to develop and implement a comprehensive "Next Generation" suite of systems. By replacing its legacy platform CARIDO with a modern, flexible and modular solution, Swiss WorldCargo intends to strengthen its reputation as an innovative carrier dedicated to serving niche air cargo markets requiring special care and the highest quality standards.
The new platform will facilitate the development, streamlining and re-engineering of a number of key business processes. It will incorporate the latest industry trends, such as the transmission and processing of electronic messaging mandated under IATA's e-freight initiative.
As the contract for the current system CARIDO expires in 2008, Swiss WorldCargo initiated a comprehensive survey of alternative products in early 2006. As Swiss WorldCargo's specific requirements extend beyond anything available off-the-shelf in today's market, the key criteria for selection were a commitment to ongoing joint development, besides the ability to support implementation and to reduce costs substantially through process improvement.
The cargo reservation and business management solution developed by Mercator, Skychain, will be extended with additional modules specifically tailored to the needs of Swiss WorldCargo. The new system, to be called Swiss Worx within Swiss WorldCargo, will thus offer a large number of advantages to customers and users. These include easy interfaces to customs systems, and to industry distribution channels including GF-X. Swiss Worx will also support the monitoring of standard quality metrics specified by the Cargo2000 group, in which Swiss WorldCargo is very active. Swiss Worx will have the capacity to accommodate upgrades and changes through flexible system architecture, designed to address the needs of today's air cargo industry.
"Swiss WorldCargo is one of the most forward looking and innovative cargo carriers in the business, and to realise its ambitious growth objectives it is vital that it escapes the constraints of legacy technology", says Patrick Naef, Senior Vice President IT of Mercator. "Our next generation Skychain solution has proved to be a great success, and it will do so again at Swiss WorldCargo. Working together, Mercator and Swiss WorldCargo will further enrich the system to offer unprecedented flexibility, and the support needed to develop innovative business strategies with confidence."
"The choice of a new IT platform is probably the most critical decision yet in the young history of Swiss WorldCargo", says Oliver Evans, Chief Cargo Officer." Swiss Worx will enable us to consolidate our position at the forefront of the industry in terms of innovation and focus on the needs of specific niches. We were not looking for a supplier but for a partner, and we believe we have found a best-in-class solution with Mercator, who have a proven track record of development and implementation."
"There has been huge progress in the reliability and flexibility of IT platforms for the cargo industry in recent times." says Frank Meyer, CIO of SWISS. "Our cargo division gave us a challenging and exciting assignment to replace a system that has served us well in the past but has become very expensive and cumbersome to develop and maintain. Modern technology enables the integration of in-house systems with the wider industry community of customs and clients, thereby supporting data integrity and the strategic drive to reduce costs and paperwork.
The development and implementation of Swiss Worx will be managed by a team of fully trained experts, including IT specialists from Mercator and Swiss International Air Lines, and business specialists from Swiss WorldCargo. This team will ensure seamless service to customers, especially during the transition phase, and regular information bulletins will be distributed to inform customers and partners. The system will go live in 2008.