Efficient catering in a demanding environment
Supplying the aircraft with enough food, drinks and tax-free gifts is essential before each flight. As KLM’s planes typically don’t spend that much time on the ground, and there are 165 of them flying on a tight schedule, there is little to no room for error for the people providing the catering.
Managing the logistics behind this time-sensitive operation isn’t an easy task. KLM Catering Services needed a way to efficiently plan the catering and organize the employees’ schedules. The solution would be a custom-made application for the handheld devices used in the field.
In full flow, thanks to a smart user design
KLM Catering Services contacted icapps to build an application that would greatly optimize the workflow. The app needed to manage the entire catering operations, from the moment the catering carts leave the assembly area, through the loading of the catering in specialized trucks, until the final transfer to the correct aircraft.
The application built by icapps allows employees to quickly indicate the start and finish of every part of the workflow. Step by step, employees document everything they’re doing using a dedicated app on their handheld devices. They tell the app when they start loading the trucks, when they leave with the truck for an aircraft, when empty carts are removed from a plane and so on. They have the option to manually enter data into the application, but they mostly use their handheld devices to scan barcodes found on all the trucks and carts.
Using the app, the catering cargo is tracked through all stages of the loading process, and administrative officers can easily follow the status of the catering of all aircraft. This allows them to efficiently plan the entire resupplying operations in advance, including breaks. Employees get notified when they can take a 15 or 30 minute break, and need to ‘accept’ this using the app.
Easily tackling disruptions
In such an elaborate operation, it is inevitable that sometimes things go wrong. A truck might get a flat tire, or an airplane might not yet be ready for loading at the scheduled slot. The app makes it easy to report any disruption to the planning with the press of a button, so that the administrative officer can alter the schedule. It is also possible to send a photo direct to the planning system to visualize the problem.
Today, the app is being used at Schiphol Airport and both employees and managers greatly value the efficiency of this step-by-step workflow.