Thoughts and News on High Visibility Packaging

Ecobliss finalizes the implementation of a contingency office

In order to ensure continuity of supply of materials to its customers, Ecobliss has implemented a full operational office for contingency purposes. This contingency office is in the proximity of the ‘normal’ office building of Ecobliss Headquarters in Echt in the Netherlands. Ron Linssen, founder and Managing Director of Ecobliss Holding is known for taking up challenges and for approaching matters unconventionally. His view on contingency is clear and straightforward: “I know from a fact, that contingency plans very often are well described plans of how to act, and where to go to if for instance fire hits a building, but this is all on paper. I will not make the useless joke in stating that probably the plan will go up in smoke as well, but these are plans, plans, plans. And when push comes to shove, you need the solution, not a plan. If you do not have a physical and tested  actual back-up facility, it will take a significant amount of time to be up and running again. In the meantime, your customers will certainly undergo the effects. And customers do find alternative sources. So by the time you are up and running again, you have installed your offices again with the insurance money, you will find yourself without customers. And studies have proven that over half of all companies that have a fire go bankrupt in the first six months after a fire, exactly because of this”.

The Ecobliss contingency office indeed is a fully furbished office. In the lobby there are framed articles of companies having suffered from fire damage and it does place the threat in perspective. “These are all companies we know, either because we have had a working relation, or this one (Ron Linssen points to a photo of a building in flames) is a few hundred meters from our main office. We saw the particles flying in front of our office like it was black snow”. Not anyone in that office could have imagined that the next day the building would be a pile of charred remains. And should it happen to us, we are be prepared”. The Ecobliss back-up facility also has a full back-up server configuration, which communicates real time with the other server in the regular Ecobliss office. Each few seconds they synchronize so no data can get lost. Ecobliss works via terminal server, all administration is done in SAP and the entire quality management system is done on a portal. “It is true that nowadays it is easier to have a full back-up, as it is not required to have a physical copy of each document and we work as digital as possible. This means that literally, while one office is going up in flames, the other office will host the personnel taking on their regular work by logging in from another working station”. The contingency office is tested on a regular base, so even the smallest details are taken care of; up to paper clips, pencil sharpeners and sticky tape is available. “Customers feel more comfortable when they know for a fact that there is a contingency, and obviously, it is for our own sake as well’.

Is there nothing that has no back up? Ron Linssen smiles. “Well, in fact there is. Years ago we were at a printing house in Durban in South Africa. In the middle of the printing house there was a small bar and it was a really special place. When moving to our new facility 6 years ago, we thought it would be nice to have such a bar of our own. So we built a complete bar, with anything in it you can imagine; a pool table, a pinball machine, a good sound system, souvenirs from our business trips, etcetera. We use it to have a drink with customers and often with the Ecobliss team we have a drink on Friday just before the weekend. But it is true, we do not have an in-house contingency bar. But so far, we have not had any comment from a customer who made a problem about the absence of a contingency bar!”.