European International Freight Forwarders: Information as a Strategic Product

European International Freight Forwarders: Information as a Strategic Product

Hans Lehmann (Western Washington University, USA)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-770-6.ch069


This case study is about information systems in one of the largest freight forwarding companies in Europe, here named Spedition Chur AG (SCA)1. With a long tradition of computers, data processing, and information systems on a global level, SCA has used information technology extensively since the 1960s. Over the years, their systems have become a truly strategic resource; many of the services SCA offers today are based solely on information management — the physical side of the transport business has taken a back seat and is often outsourced. The problems and issues SCA is dealing with now are the dichotomy of its IT strategy: how to coordinate a stringently standardized core of systems with its critically important but highly individualized system-to-system interfaces with its key customers. Furthermore, the rapid change in technology and the very wide range and reach of its operations now means that the global implementation of new information systems often cannot be completed before the technologies underlying them have become obsolescent. The case describes the development of the systems that underlie the business success and sets out the governance and management structures that make this possible.

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