informa
/
Feature

Web Invoicing Takes Flight At Airlines

About a dozen carriers will use system to cut procurement costs
The trade organization for international air carriers is launching a Web-based invoice-management system that will let members and their trading partners invoice each other electronically. The system, IATA InvoiceWorks, will run on applications from electronic-billing software vendor iPayables Inc.

The International Air Transport Association has tapped professional-services firm BearingPoint to implement the system. Charles Beard, a managing director at BearingPoint, says about a dozen major carriers have committed to running invoices for consumables, such as in-flight service items, through InvoiceWorks. He wouldn't disclose which airlines have signed on for the system, which is set to launch in the fourth quarter. IATA's North American members include American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and US Airways.

Software-enabled business-process reengineering is essential for the financially troubled airline industry, Beard says. InvoiceWorks will cut procurement costs, although Beard couldn't provide an exact figure. "Airlines are realizing it's not enough just to be the low-fare carrier; they also have to be the low-cost carrier," he says.

Other cost cutting among airlines includes Delta's move to tap Wipro Technologies to operate a call center for it from India.