When you walk into the Crocs building in Hoofddorp it oozes light, space, openness and action. The world famous shoe brand, which represents ultimate walking comfort at work and at home, has succeeded in implementing the brand’s positive appearance in its working environment as well. And then one morning, before the staff started work…… a fire. It wasn’t a massive fire that had broken out but a small intense fire that was quickly extinguished yet it still had an enormous impact. A total of three floors became unusable as a result of the fire, the smoke and the extinguishing water. It was a disaster, explains HR Director Edith Koevoets, which meant the staff were no longer able to work in the building.
‘It won’t happen to us’
Like many entrepreneurs, the Management Team at Crocs thought until then: ‘It won’t happen to us’. Edith: ‘We are a commercial organisation and every hour we can’t work costs us a lot of money. That’s the reason we looked for an organisation that could help us in the event of a disaster. Not just an office with desks, but a place where we could be up and running immediately following a disaster; a turnkey solution, that’s what we wanted and that’s what we want. And that’s how we found COIN. They helped us understand everything that was needed to be able to continue working. Immediately after the disaster, when our premises became unusable, that’s where we went.’
After the fire, Crocs relocated 130 staff to the COIN premises. Edith: ‘We could be reached immediately in the most optimum way, we had Internet and our customers were able to contact us as normal. We could pull up a chair and continue to work as usual. Our normal work processes were replicated 100% at the temporary accommodation and we were able to operate from there to our full satisfaction for nine months.’
The management and staff at Crocs of course had the prospect of eventually being able to return to their own premises. But until then, the COIN recovery location turned out to be an ideal solution. Edith: ‘We had an exceptionally positive experience. COIN has a service-oriented and flexible team, with people that didn’t just offer a solution but who thought along with us. Everything we needed was there and if we asked for something it was arranged quickly. There was plenty of parking and we could use the conference room for our large meetings, with snacks and refreshments on hand – it was really perfect. Our customers barely noticed that we were operating from different premises. We could configure our work area as we wanted, so it became more of ‘our own’. Nine months was a considerably long time for keeping everyone happy but as a temporary solution it was perfect. The fact that it took nine months was mainly due to the investigations by the insurer, structural experts and second opinions.’
Having gained greater understanding from the experience, the team at Crocs now feels able to encourage and motivate other businesses to consider what to do in the event of a disaster. Edith: ‘Think about it early. Make a disaster plan and a contingency plan detailing who to call and everything that has to be done in order to continue working as quickly as possible. COIN can help internationally with the preparation of a disaster plan. If something serious happens and you have to vacate your premises make sure you have a suitable recovery location where all of your processes can continue as normal. We have learned a great deal, for example about safeguarding your IT and housing your servers and storing your data elsewhere so you don’t lose anything if things go wrong. No one wants to be a victim of a disaster but if it does happen then be prepared.’
For more information about Crocs, please visit: www.company.crocs.com