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Thomas Cook increases automation with new IT system

Thomas Cook increases automation with new IT system

Troubled travel company trying to improve efficiency as it reports over £300 million in losses

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Thomas Cook has implemented a new IT system that has enabled it to reduce the number of manual processes in the business and contribute to operational savings of £45 million.

According to its unaudited results for the six months to 31 March 2012, the troubled travel company said that the system from IT supplier Navitaire, deployed in March, allows it “to better manage yield on seat-only sales whilst automating processes and focusing on ancillary sales”.

The system implementation was part of Thomas Cook’s ‘operational excellence’ programme, which is about reducing and eliminating operational inefficiencies in the business driven by a siloed structure and overlapping, manual processes.

Another project it launched under this programme this summer was paperless ticketing for summer 2012 holidays.

Earlier this year, Thomas Cook awarded a multi-year contract to Anite for the supply of an online reservation system, called Travel @com, in its UK business.

In its results today, Thomas Cook provided an update on the Anite implementation: “[The new platform was installed] to drive improved processes and increase the functionality for our online customers.

“The first phase of this is expected to be implemented in the first half of FY13 (full year 2013) for departures in FY14.”

Thomas Cook has admitted to having a “difficult” first half year. Its revenue for the period was up three percent to £3.5 billion, from £3.4 billion last year, however its underlying pre-tax loss had risen by £95 million to £328 million compared with the same period last year.

Other IT providers at Thomas Cook include Galileo, which runs its global distribution system (GDS) operation and Lufthansa Systems, which has a major data centre in Hertfordshire that hosts its applications.The travel company also has a long-term contract with outsourcer Accenture for cloud-based infrastructures for the delivery of services.

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