Becoming the linchpin in a changing corporate culture

Customer stories | Coster Diamonds

Coster Diamonds Amsterdam

It is one of Amsterdam's most popular tourist attractions: Royal Coster Diamonds. From all corners of the world, people come to our capital to visit the oldest diamond cutting factory in the world. 150 dedicated employees, from office staff to goldsmiths, now also collaborate digitally to share their passion for diamonds. “With the Fellow intranet, we have made an incredible efficiency improvement,” said COO Robert Groot of Coster Diamonds.


The situation

150 employees, from different countries and cultural backgrounds, work in separate, autonomous departments. This “island culture” works satisfactorily. Requests for tours from Spanish tour operators are handled by the Spanish department, those from Vietnam by the Vietnamese. This way of working begins to falter once the need arises to reach a larger audience with one central and transparent organization.

The solution

A secure and user-friendly platform that everyone understands immediately, is quick to set up and facilitates information sharing. Processes must become simpler, old ways of communicating via e-mail must be given a better and smarter alternative.

The result

  • Everyone is visible to each other

  • Mail traffic decreases drastically

  • Processes run more simply

  • Stimulates the changing corporate culture

  • Creates involvement among colleagues


For 175 years of craftsmanship

Royal Coster Diamonds is the oldest and one of the most respected diamond cutting companies in the world. For more than 175 years, the team of highly experienced diamond cutters and goldsmiths continues to create the most beautiful jewelry. But Coster does more. In 2007 it opened the Diamond Museum, where the passion for diamonds is shared with 300,000 visitors each year. To continue to guarantee the high quality standard and to bring more solidarity in the organization, Coster sought and found an online platform that creates involvement among the staff and makes the work much more efficient: Fellow Digitals' intranet solution, formerly known as Viadesk.

The organization

When you receive hundreds of thousands of tourists every year, you need an impeccably operating organization and skilled personnel to hospitably welcome all those interested parties. To achieve that, Coster works with country managers who manage their own team and guide customers in their native language. For example, the 'Russia' country manager is responsible for all Russian tourists, arranges all contacts with Russian tour operators, and a Russian-speaking team takes care of the tours. The same structure also applies to visitors from Spain, Thailand, America, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and all these other countries: a “country department,” a country manager and an autonomously operating country team.

A changing way of working

Escorting large groups is easy to organize. But what do you do when an individual Spanish tourist knocks on the door? “That's a lot trickier,” says Robert Groot, COO of Coster Diamonds. “Who is that person? How did he come to us? How can we accommodate this visitor properly, based on his needs?” To serve all those individual visitors, Coster's internal structure in particular needed to be addressed. More cohesion and cooperation between the various countries. More central, more professional, more togetherness.

Search for a suitable solution

To facilitate this better collaboration, Coster decided to purchase a social intranet. To make communication more efficient and optimize the provision of information. So less e-mail and telephone contact, but cooperation on one central platform that is accessible to everyone. Groot: “We missed a place where everyone is visible to each other online. Where you can quickly share news and information. Both for permanent staff and seasonal workers. The colleagues now see each other and know what we are doing.”

Results: peace in your mailbox

Since starting with Fellow Digitals, a lot has changed at Coster. The new way of collaborating and communicating has certainly not been a boon. “Quite honestly, in the beginning there was the necessary skepticism among the staff,” says Groot. “The goldsmith was wondering what to do with the new platform. Logical, of course. But in the process everyone discovers that there is more involvement, simply because they are informed about everything that is going on within Coster. A month after the start we had as many as 1000 logins while only 60 people were using it.”

“We had a huge mail culture. Bad, inefficient! That's 100% different now. With the daily notification mail from the Fellow intranet, the email traffic decreases significantly. That gives peace of mind and ensures a more efficient way of working. Because the information on the Fellow intranet is easily structured, a lot of time is saved with tedious searching. The best “side benefit” is that everyone is aware of what is going on. The diamond cutter now also sees the ads from the marketing department touting his work. Nice right!”

Robert Groot, COO of Coster Diamonds

Cooperation with Fellow Digitals

“Our cooperation with the people at Fellow Digitals is particularly pleasant. They like to think along with us.” To illustrate, Groot comes up with a recent example. “We struggle quite a bit with requesting vacation days. That seems simple, but in our case it is rather complex for various reasons: employee wants to request vacation, has to print the form, then send it to country manager, who sends it back to HR. Anyway, very cumbersome. We looked for a solution in a separate workflow system, but these are very expensive. Now Fellow Digitals has built this into the platform especially for us. Great! So for vacations, declarations ... we can use it for everything. Wonderful that everything is digital now.

Hans Koekkoek

Business Development Manager

Hans Koekkoek

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