Tranz Rail gets into e-commerce

Tranz Rail's ferry division The Interisland Line has appointed its first IT manager as it embarks on a major e-commerce drive. From October people will able to book and pay for tickets on the web with the ferry operator's real time, online booking service.

Tranz Rail’s ferry division The Interisland Line has appointed its first IT manager as it embarks on a major e-commerce drive.

The first stop in Interisland Line’s e-commerce strategy is a web-based booking system. Currently ferry tickets can be booked by phone through a call centre or by making a booking requesting by email through the Interisland Line website. From October customers and travel agents will able to book and pay for tickets on the web with the ferry operator’s real time, online booking service.

The web booking system, to be developed by tourism website specialist Sandfield, will go live in October in time for the summer.

Sandfield will build an external web interface system to integrate with Interisland Line’s existing Reservations 2000 booking system.

The new IT manager, Craig Anderson, was seconded from Tranz Rail’s information services group (ISG) where he worked for nine months on a review of collaborative processes and software systems. He also played a major role in renegotiating and streamlining Tranz Rail’s mainframe software license agreements.

Interisland Line group general manager Thomas Davis says the new position has arisen due to a series of recently commenced IT projects within The Interisland Line to improve services to customers and business partners. He says the creation of the position is a significant step as it underlines the ferry operator’s status as a separate business unit within Tranz Rail.

“Although a division of Tranz Rail, we have our own business and IT needs, so it’s important that we have a dedicated specialist to focus and implement technological innovation for The Interisland Line. Of course our relationship with Tranz Rail means that we can still leverage benefits from the economies of scale and valuable data processes from the corporate group - so it’s a win-win situation for us”.

Projects range from implementing data management and financial packages to customer relationship management and e-commerce projects - such as improved travel payment options for customers with New Zealand Post and a real-time online reservations channel.

In his new role, Anderson will manage The Interisland Line systems support team plus continue to oversee his existing ISG team in Wellington.

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