Implementing a Stock-Control System at Swissair

Winfried Grassmann
Professor Emeritus
Department of Computer Science
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, SK


Swissair was an airline with about 10,000 employees, and an inventory high in the millions of dollars. The inventory consisted of both consumables, which could only be used once, and rotating parts, which could be repaired. I developed the formulas for the consumables, which was adopted successfully, and after that, I suggested formulas for procuring and repairing rotating parts. These formulas were modified by Mr. Oesch after I left the company. After their implementation, both projects became a great success, saving the company millions of dollars. When I started at this project, the situation did not look good due to the fact that a previous attempt to implement an inventory control system for the consumables had just been scratched. To avoid a second failure, I decided not to remain in my office at the operations research department, and sit instead among the people of the materials department. I also was very lucky in having a person in the materials department who fully knew the system, and who eventually guided the implementation of the system. After its implementation, the success made it much easier for me to attack the system concerning the rotating parts which, as stated earlier, also become a success.

Biographical Notes

Before Winfried Grassmann joined the University of Saskatchewan in 1969, he was working at Swissair. However, the inventroy system he proposed was in use long after his departure, under the name Grassmann/Oesch. While in the Computer Science Department at the University of Saskatchewan, he published widely, and for his work, he received the merit award of CORS, as well as the service award. There are two numerical methods for which he is well known: the uniformization method, and the GTH method, named for its authors Grassmann/Taksar/Heyman.

April 14, 2016

Park Town Hotel

Cocktails 5:30, Dinner 6:00, Presentation 7:00

Tickets $28

For more information contact:

Kent Kostuk (306) 244-3295

Winfried Grassmann, (306)