Logica Plc has won a multi-million pound contract to help the Ford Motor Company develop project management software designed to speed up the introduction of new European models. The software will also monitor and control improvements to existing car ranges. The first phase is due to be operational for the launch of a new Ford model at the end of this year, by which time a second phase is scheduled to have started. The contract represents the first time Ford has enlisted outside help to design and implement a major information system in Europe and although neither side will reveal exactly how much it is worth, an indication of the contract’s importance to Logica can be gauged from the fact that it is seconding a minimum of 35 people to Ford full-time for its duration. The 35, who will be replaced on their existing projects by new staff, will work alongside eight Ford software developers to produce a system that will run on the automaker’s IBM and Amdahl-based data centres at Warley and Brentwood here, and Cologne in West Germany.