British Airways cuts costs, adds value with Essbase

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British Airways is exploiting the full value of its data via Arbor Essbase as part of a seven-figure overhaul of its corporate financial planning operations. As part of an initiative to reduce costs and improve value-added output, British Airways has replaced its spreadsheet management accounting system with a solution that provides a multidimensional view of the data. British Airways chose Tamaris general ledger from Walker International as the transaction repository and Arbor Essbase for all management accounting functionality including budgeting, financial reporting, forecasting and analysis. Combining Arbor Essbase with Tamaris has helped reduce processing costs. The new system automates the interfaces between the personnel and the management accounting system, and local and central reporting, in addition to automating processes such as forecast preparation. Manual rekeying of data is eliminated. "The use of OLAP technology has allowed us, for the first time, to exploit full value from the wealth of financial information that surrounds us in the airline industry," says Nick Hird, programme director of British Airways Finance Change Programme. "The move away from linked ad hoc spreadsheets already has allowed financial analysts, and will soon allow line managers, to make key decisions that further improve the profitability of British Airways." Arbor Essbase is represented in South Africa by The IBD Group.

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