customer story


How the airline’s catering service has improved communication across their IT, Facilities and technical service departments

KLM Catering Services (KCS) is responsible for providing the meals, snacks, drinks and newspapers for about 280 flights with a total of 55,000 passengers – every single day. Each plane has its own cargo, and a range of passenger diets, which makes getting all the meals out on time quite a complex operation. They use TOPdesk to streamline their services.

The Facilities, IT, Quality Control, and Technical Services departments at KLM Catering Services all use TOPdesk, and together they support 1,350 employees. “The communication between all 1,350 employees was a difficult logistical puzzle to solve,” says Willem van Sutphen, front office coordinator. “Eight employees have to process all the calls coming from each department, so they really have their work cut out for them.”

Instead of receiving complaints we now receive enthusiastic responses about our communication.

Willem van Sutphen

Automating complex processes

“Prior to implementing TOPdesk, we worked with an application that we had made ourselves,” explains van Sutphen. “Although we were consistent when registering calls, the system was still a little noncommittal. We would receive calls concerning wrong meals being ordered, a broken roll-down shutter or clothing that was the wrong size – everything was logged, but not directly. We were receiving complaints about the lack of communication surrounding the ongoing processing and outcome of the calls. Callers also didn’t know how we were handling their call. Our need for more structure led us to immerse ourselves in ITIL.”

Van Sutphen then began looking around for an application that would meet their requirements. “It couldn’t be too expensive. We compared TOPdesk with other suppliers, which we found too cumbersome and too costly. After attending an excellent demonstration afternoon, we decided that TOPdesk was the most suitable application.”

KLM Customer story

From complaints to enthusiasm

Initially TOPdesk was only used by the IT department. Since 2005, employees have been able to log their calls via the online information portal, the Self-Service Portal. Now 90 per cent of callers are using it. “Callers can always see who is handling their complaint or request, no matter the origin of the call. TOPdesk enables callers to see that their complaint is being processed, as well as the action that will be carried out and when their call is closed. This is the biggest benefit for us – instead of receiving complaints we now receive enthusiastic responses about our communication.”

Perfect solution for facilities

In 2006, Van Sutphen heard that the Facilities department was looking for an application to replace the scraps of papers they were using. “Because the IT department was already pleased with TOPdesk, the Facilities department also implemented the system.” The solution is ideal for the varied tasks performed at KCS, as Van Sutphen explains. “Every day, trolleys stacked with food and beverages are boarded onto the planes. And when a stewardess finds out that she has almost run out of refreshments, she passes this information on to us. We even use TOPdesk to register the distribution of our work clothes. We have various types of uniform, so it’s important that everybody receives the right ones. Now we have fully automated this process in TOPdesk.”

Spotting problems with reports

Reports also help to bring about improvement. “We are now able to gain insight into problem areas and frequently made mistakes. Because we deal with a very diverse range of calls and a complex production chain at KLM, staying on top of things is crucial. We can’t afford to let our performance slip, especially now we can implement crucial changes effortlessly.”