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Handler Menzies Aviation, which recently admitted it had failed to keep up with IT developments, has opted for Wipro to develop its air cargo platform.

Last month EVP cargo Robert Fordree told delegates at Air Cargo Africa Menzies needed to update its IT, saying: “We hadn’t invested – and that’s something you can’t change overnight.

“But we are doing it now, with a new software management system for warehouse handling.”

Menzies said it would roll out the Wipro product to five air cargo locations: Bucharest in Romania; Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland in New Zealand; and Macau in China by the end of 2023 and across its global network by the end of 2024.

Wipro claims the product will address “all of Menzies’ needs, as well as those of the broader air cargo industry,” but Mr Fordree acknowledged that not all IT systems across the wide industry would link up seamlessly and simultaneously.

“There are too many stakeholders, we are never all going to be on the same page. We are not all aligned,” he told delegates, “but if we don’t move forward we’ll be waiting for ever.

“We were too focused on trying to get everyone aligned, which was like herding squirrels.”

Wipro’s product is designed to increase visibility for Menzies and its customers, using scanning technology, to integrate directly with customer operating systems and will be able to integrate new technologies such as robotics and autonomous vehicles.

Mr Fordree said: “We are committed to investing in innovative solutions, such as our recently launched robotic inventory checks and digitalisation of flight packs, and Wipro’s platform will ensure we can utilise cutting-edge systems and products in the years ahead.”

The deal with Wipro will digitalise end-to-end operations for Menzies and standardise processes, said Mr Fordree, but added it would also help the company bring in the next generation of staff.

“It’s essential investment and innovation, and if we don’t embrace and implement [new technology] we won’t be able to attract people [to our workplace].”

The new operating system is said to look and feel like everyday apps.

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