KLM Catering Services serves up meals faster and more efficiently

July 02, 2003 | 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands

The Company
KLM Catering Services Schiphol (KCS) prepares and delivers 45,000 meals a day for 12 airlines, 350 flights, and 50 different types of aircraft. The 1,300-person company is a subsidiary of KLM Airlines, and is the catering company for KLM, KLM Cityhopper, and KLM UK, as well as for Northwest Airlines, Japan Airlines, Iberia, Royal Jordanian, and Cyprus Airways. KCS also manages non-food supplies such as beverages, sales trolleys, and navigation bags to the private airport lounges in Schiphol Airport. KCS has a delivery performance of more than 99%, which it attributes to the Quintiq solution.

The Business Process
The business process at KLM Catering Services is unique for three main reasons:

  • The goods that the company transports vary greatly from day to day in number, content, shape, and packaging.
  • There are extremely strict food hygiene rules (HACCP norms) and product quality regulations to follow.
  • Due to the nature of airport operations, there are always last-minute orders, gate changes, flight schedule revisions, and unexpected onboard materials that must be handled.

The Challenge
KCS needed to optimize the speed of its service delivery, maintain consistent delivery performance and product quality, increase productivity levels, and control costs. The information the company had gathered did not sufficiently help management determine the right commercial conditions for its customers. Furthermore, competition had increased dramatically, with several companies entering the market to provide similar services at lower costs. KCS realized that a comprehensive planning software package could help answer their challenges and get the company back on track.

The Solution
KCS evaluated the planning systems that other airline catering companies and service companies used, as well as many planning software packages. After an exhaustive and thorough review, the team selected Quintiq software and Ab Ovo for the implementation.

"The reasons we selected Quintiq and Ab Ovo were the flexibility of the software, the short implementation time needed, and the extensive experience of Ab Ovo regarding logistical processes on airside," says Walter Kimmel, Unit Manager of Distribution for KCS Schiphol.

In addition, the Hub Control Center at KLM, where all platform activities are managed, a terminal session of Quintiq will, in the near future, be used to monitor the activities performed by KCS. This increases communication and mutual trust between customer and supplier and provides more data for KLM's management to analyze.

Using Quintiq, KCS improved its delivery performance from 98% to 99.5%.

Jacques Blaauw, Managing Director for KLM Catering Services said, "This is one of the few IT projects which has been implemented on time and within budget. The punctuality of the distribution of the catering products to the aircraft has increased from 98% to 99.5%, which is an important improvement for us. It has exceeded our expectations concerning the functional requirements.

"In addition, implementing Quintiq has allowed KCS to improve the utilization of its materials, increase productivity, and structure better commercial agreements with customers. The company realized a 3% gain in capacity through more efficient use of its vehicles and drivers, thanks to Quintiq. The system has proven so valuable and reliable that additional activities, such as de-icing aircraft, have also been included in the system.

After a relatively short but intense analysis, modeling, and interactive development phase with Quintiq, KCS realized 100% of its required functionality. Simultaneously, the company implemented a real-time interface to Schiphol Airport's flight information system, "Firda". This link provides a quick and accurate overview of the many changes in flight times and positions at the airport, then automatically adjusts the assigned tasks and alerts the planner of possible scenarios based upon pattern recognition. With this capability, KCS staff can better analyze any delays in deliveries, and can communicate the reasons for those delays with customers.

Henk Ruiken, Shift Leader at KLM Catering Services said, "After a period of testing, we have very successfully gone live with Quintiq. The project team and KCS are very enthusiastic about the results."

About Quintiq
Every business has its supply chain planning challenges. Some of those challenges are large. Some are complex. Some seem impossible to solve. Since 1997, Quintiq has been solving each of those challenges with a supply chain planning & optimization software system. Today, approximately 12,000 users in over 80 countries rely on Quintiq software to plan and optimize workforces, logistics and production. Part of Dassault Systèmes (Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA), Quintiq has offices in the Netherlands, the USA and around the world.

For more information, visit quintiq.com or follow Quintiq on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.