AF-KLM and Martinair happy in Atlanta base
Air France-KLM Cargo and Martinair Cargo’s Americas operations have a new home.
In November, employees who had been spread throughout the United States began the process of moving into a Delta building in Atlanta, part of the company's "under one roof" concept. By the end of this year, the Atlanta office will house “99 percent of the management team and the core units,” said Jan Krems, vice president, Americas.
To bring everyone together, KLM employees had to make the trek south from Chicago, and Martinair officials drove north from Miami. Atlanta was chosen as the new headquarters for the organization’s Americas operations because of its central location and its proximity to Delta, a major operational ally, Krems said.
“If you look at the pros and cons financially, it may have been cheaper to have an office in Florida,” he admitted, but he added that logistically, Atlanta just made better sense.
The togetherness concept is being implemented company-wide, but the Americas region is a textbook example of the theory behind the program. Employees from the different companies are now working together to present “one face to the customer,” said Harm Winkeler, deputy vice president, Americas. Winkeler formerly served as vice president for Martinair Cargo in Asia. He said that the program is all about establishing a better workflow among new colleagues. “Communication lines are much better — quicker and shorter,” Winkeler said. "'Under one roof' just means learning from each other and better communication.”
This educational aspect benefits the company as well as their customers. “It’s crucial to learn from each other. We are all three different companies and have three different ways of working, but if you do the right thing, we are very complimentary to each other,” Krems said. “After a few months of being together, we really see the benefits of this integration.”