John O'Rourke | Dec 01, 2022

Improving Visibility into Route Profitability and More at KLM Airlines

Airlines were one of the hardest-hit industries during the global pandemic that broke out in early 2020 and brought global travel to a screeching halt.  While the travel industry has since rebounded, it’s still a challenging industry to navigate with rising fuel prices, labor shortages and increasing demand. Learn how KLM Airlines is using OneStream to help their Finance team lead at speed and navigate through the complexities of today’s airline industry.

Leading at Speed at KLM Airlines

One of the most valuable benefits we get from hosting our annual Splash user conferences is the opportunity to meet with and learn about how customers are leveraging the OneStream platform to navigate today’s challenging business environment.  At our Splash Paris user conference in September 2022, I had a chance to interview Stefan van Heukelum, Manager of Finance Decision Support at KLM Airlines to learn how they are using OneStream.

For 99 years, KLM Airlines has been a pioneer in the airline industry and is the oldest airline to still be operating under its original name. KLM aims to be the most customer-focused, innovative and efficient airline in Europe, offering reliable service and top-quality products.

Prior to implementing OneStream’s corporate performance management (CPM) platform, KLM’s Finance team had been relying mostly on Oracle Essbase and Excel and a variety of other tools across various businesses in support of financial planning, reporting and analysis.

After evaluating several alternatives, KLM selected OneStream’s unified CPM software platform to streamline and unify their complex financial processes.  According to Mr. van Heukelum, “In the end, we really wanted to focus on getting a solution in which we could operate from one platform. So really creating a one stop shop for our Finance staff where they could do all their processes.”

Creating a Solid Foundation for Expansion

KLM case study for CPM

The KLM Finance team implemented OneStream in a phased approach, onboarding various businesses sequentially.  Their initial deployment to the Inflight Services department set the foundation for further expansion with their chart of accounts, organization structures, certain standard calculations, variance analysis, impact of exchange rates, and other capabilities.  After the rollout to Inflight Services, they extended the application to other departments such as Flight Operations, the Fuel Department and Ground Services.

The initial focus was mainly on financial planning, budgeting and the related reporting and analysis, people planning as well as capital expense planning.  As part of the foundation implementation of OneStream, KLM also implemented the core design of their route profitability analysis.

Gaining Visibility into Airline Route Profitability

The focus of the profitability analysis solution KLM implemented was airline route profitability.  This requires the ability, at the lowest level of detail, to allocate all the costs of the business, via drivers, to all of the flights KLM operates so they can gain a view into profitability at a very granular level to assess performance across the network.  According to Mr. van Heukelum, “For us as an airline, specifically in these dynamic times, it’s absolutely key that we have the ability at a low level of detail, to be able to steer and optimize our network. And the route profitability model with within OneStream really helps us to do exactly that.”

Empowering the Enterprise with Insights

As a result of the OneStream implementation, KLM is now benefiting from a unified platform that provides a single source of the truth for financial and operational information that’s critical to their business.  According to Mr. van Heukelum, “Instead of people collecting all the data themselves and always ending up with differences in numbers, we now have one place where all the data centrally load loaded, all the pricing information, salary information, all that kind of information is just monitored and operated centrally. So there’s  a huge increase in the quality of information and decreased risk of reporting different numbers in different places.”

He continued, “The impact this project has had on the users is that they get a lot more information, which they didn’t have before. And a lot more costs are allocated more precisely to the routes than was done before. So that’s helped the users to get more insights into the whole build-up of the profitability model and getting more qualitative information as well.”

Learn More

To learn more, watch the KLM Customer Testimonial video and contact OneStream if your organization is ready to conquer the complexities of managing in today’s volatile economic landscape and lead at speed!

Watch the Video