By Doug Bartholomew IFS, a familiar name to manufacturers as a leading ERP/MRP solutions company, has entered the aviation market. Midway Airlines Corp. is the first North American aviation firm to select IFS' Web-based system for managing its jet airline operations. IFS, based in Linkoping, Sweden, with U.S. headquarters in Tucson, was awarded the business, valued at more than $2 million over three years, based on its integration strategy and technical architecture. "Our choice was IFS because it appears to offer a superior technical and architectural framework in a totally integrated solution," says Thomas Duffy Jr., vice president of maintenance and engineering at Midway, headquartered in Raleigh-Durham, N.C. Many of the challenges facing the aviation company are ones manufacturers are grappling with also. Duffy says the airline plans to use the software to "reduce instances of aircraft on ground, improve employee productivity, decrease inventory levels, and identify and control expense related to borrowed aircraft components." The IFS Applications for Aviation contain complete fleet management and maintenance capabilities for civil and military aviation. IFS has other aviation industry customers, among them the Norwegian Royal Air Force. Earlier this year, IFS launched its eVolve for Mid-Size Manufacturers suite of applications to help manufacturers with limited IT resources to exploit e-business opportunities. IFS offers industry-specific software packages for automotive, electronics, service management, engineer-to-order, configure-to-order, and maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) for aviation.