KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has opted for AI-powered WorkforcePlus software to optimise workforce scheduling for its employees. The software is provided by INFORM, an internationally active optimisation specialist based in Aachen, Germany.
The project aims to standardise planning in the three business units Ground services, Engineering & Maintenance and Cargo at Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport, as well as to optimise shift schedules and extensively automate the complex planning process. Following the footsteps of LATAM, Etihad and Lufthansa Technik, KLM is the next airline to put its trust in INFORM’s expertise in the field of efficient staff scheduling at airports.
The cloud-based AI solution from INFORM will replace a legacy solution developed in-house by KLM and will be integrated into the airline’s IT landscape as one of its central elements of the operational processes. WorkforcePlus will map the rules and regulations of the Dutch Working Hours Act as well as the equally multi-layered and dynamic company agreements for many KLM employees. With a high degree of automation, the system will incorporate these rules and regulations into seasonal and continuous shift planning.
Core system for operational planning
KLM and INFORM have been working together for over 25 years in planning and real-time resource dispatching for logistics processes. Previously, staff rostering was carried out utilising an in-house developed planning module, which was used to update shift plans twice a year. With the deployment of the new software, staff scheduling will now be optimised using AI. Planning will not only be automated to a large extent but will also cover seasonally varying needs with greater precision and flexibility than before, as well as individual requirements across business units.
“Demand-driven and predictive workforce management is essential for KLM’s ongoing operations. The transparency created by this flexible and future proof new system will simplify the necessary procedures. In line with this, the introduction of WorkforcePlus is centrally embedded in KLM’s AI and digitalisation strategy,” said Aart Slagt, EVP Information Services & CIO at KLM.
The flexibly adaptable software considers all relevant planning parameters, such as applicable laws, collective agreements, company agreements, working time models, different requirements for the shift system in the various areas of operation, or employee qualifications. From a vast number of possible plans, the AI-based system creates an optimised plan that automatically takes all of these framework conditions into account. Various tools already established at KLM will be replaced or linked to WorkforcePlus during the course of the project.
“We are pleased that we have now also been able to convince a significant customer in the Netherlands with our adaptable system,” said Dr. Jörg Herbers, CEO and Head of Workforce Management at INFORM. “With our AI technology, we are able to individually consider complex and diverse requirements of large companies and regionally applicable regulations. For KLM, we are adapting our optimisation procedures to reflect the specific conditions at Schiphol.”
In addition to numerous companies in the aviation industry, companies in production and logistics as well as ports also use INFORM’s solution.