Saturday, May 12, 2007

Monday: burned down plant / Friday: new plant running

What a week it has been! Monday morning 7:10am I heard the news that our Photobook plant was burning and that the whole place with all presses and equipment could be considered lost: it was at and here a news publication with lots of pictures.

The firemen were focusing on saving the serverroom from the start, which was amazing to see. When I arrived at 9:30am in The Hague, the sight was terrible. After talking to the firemen we agreed that we would try and save all backup tapes and servers first once the firemen agreed it was save to move in. At 11:30 it was the time, and a guy from our team went in with gas mask on and came out with secure servers and backup tapes! We managed to reach Norman data security in Hoofddorp and they started working on the servers immediately: they had been too hot and too much smoke got in to be able to turn them on without damaging anything.

The rest of the week we formed a crisis team and within one day we had a new temporary location already. Within 36 hours the first new presses were being installed again and we had a new cutting machine already standing there. At the same time I was preparing the IT infrastructure with new hardware, networking equipment and internet connections. By the end of Wednesday, only 2 and a half days after the fire we were already producing the photo products again! What an accomplishment. I was amazed by the dedication and teamwork of all of us, and the way partner companies and suppliers did the best they could. What would normally be a 3-month project, we did without any preparation in just 3 days...

The complete story is up on our corporate weblog now. What a week it has been...

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