New ERP system improves on-flight customer experience

    Finnair airplain takeoff

    One ERP system serving two business areas

    The enterprise resource planning (ERP) system of Finnair’s Kitchen and Travel Retail operations was reorganized in partnership with Solteq in 2018-2020. The goal of the project was to improve customer experience during on-flight catering and shopping, and to minimize wastage.

    Oskar modernized the ERP system

    “OSKAR” is an acronym for Operating System Kitchen And Retail. This uniform ERP solution now serves two business areas: the preparation of on-flight foods and their delivery to the planes, and the delivery of duty-free products to the planes.

    The new ERP system will make it easier to predict demand for products during flights on the basis of the flight time, destination, and customer profiles. The uniform ERP will also create synergies between Finnair’s Kitchen and Travel Retail functions. Microsoft Dynamics and LS Retail were chosen as the engines for the new system.

    When Finnair Kitchen services were returned to Finnair from Lufthansa in 2017, the time was right to update the ERP system. Travel Retail was merged into the system in 2020 using a solution provided by Solteq.

    “We wanted to modernize the business to improve operational reliability. Now we can run two companies using the same material flow system,” says Atte Iso-Kuusela, Finnair’s Head of Supply Chain and Transformation.

    Ready for further development

    It was not possible to launch the new system overnight; it had to be done in stages, because Finnair has flights round the clock, seven days a week.

    “The functions could not have been combined with the old system. We have been able to make considerably improvements to inventory management and raw material consumption.”

    Now we can make entries that help to improve processes. For example, production employees report on the utilisation rate of the refrigerating room, having an immediate effect on wastage.

    Iso-Kuusela is happy with the partnership with Solteq. Now that the basic version of the system is up and running, we can also plan further projects, the company’s operational situation permitting.

    “The project went very well as a whole, and collaboration was smooth. It was great to be part of this project. We develop items one step at a time. At some stage we could also streamline loading, the packaging process and production management,” says Atte Iso-Kuusela.

    ”The transfer to a new ERP system went according to plan and on schedule.”

    Atte Iso-Kuusela, Head of Supply Chain and Planning, Finnair Kitchen

    Benefits of the OSKAR system to Finnair:

    • Unified ERP system serving two business areas
    • Better process management
    • Less wastage

    • Solid platform for further development
    • Functional support services

    A member of the Oneworld alliance, Finnair Plc was founded in 1923 and is one of the world’s oldest airlines still in operation. Finnair is a network airline, offering Finland comprehensive connections and bringing Europe and Asia together using the shorter northern route.

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    Mikko Roininen

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