At the beginning of the year, it still seemed as if an epidemic arising from largely unknown virus might impact us, perhaps the effects would only be marginal, for a few days or weeks. It was something that belonged to our past, but within a short time, reality struck and we were all caught up in the crisis that continues to affect our lives to this day. We consider it a privilege that we were able to continue our business without interruption. To do so responsibility, with prudence, commitment and the will to make our contribution to a society that has to continue to function and be supplied, we defied the exceptional situation.
The exceptional situation becomes the normal case
It was mid-March. The epidemic had developed into a pandemic. There was a need for action. Now it was up to us to make things happen. Within a day, we were able to have the entire Riege team operate from their home offices. There were no technical problems providing protected network connections to our servers. But then who, if not us, should be able to do this?
The same was true for our customers. We were able to give a binding promise that we would continue to be there for them without restrictions and offer them technical solutions for protected work environments, if these had not already been implemented. This was not business as usual, but overnight it became business as usual for everyone and remains so today.
People are needed more and more
The switch to digital was successful. Without problems for people. Without impacting daily work. Online communication media and a direct line to team-mates provided a seamless transition. For employees with children to care for, we applied our flexible work time models. For colleagues who could not work from a home office, we sought and found quick and secure solutions.
No one had to go on reduced hours. On the contrary, business development and its associated workload called for reinforcements. Over the year, we hired thirteen new colleagues. In the first quarter of 2021, we will be joined by two more.
How little the new working conditions have affected our co-ordination is revealed by the participation in our internal events. Whether strategy meetings, presentations by individual teams or the annual International Meeting: all events took place online. However, the personal contact that some people still miss will hopefully soon be possible again.
The week 40 incident and the consequences
Unrelated to the intervention of the virus, a major incident occurred in week 40. A changeover of the database query to a modern system, which was intended as an improvement, led to an overload of the storage systems and triggered backups and failures in data processing for some users.
After extensive analysis, we were able to identify and fix the problem. But that's not all. There is more on the agenda. The installation of new storage systems. The adaptation and expansion of measurement systems to control performance. The implementation of further tools to identify problems, causes and their remedies more quickly. So that the KW 40 incident remains an exception. And, ultimately, for Scope to run even more securely and reliably.
Riege's presence is growing
Christian Riege was once again a welcome guest, speaker and juror at various industry events this year. At the IATA ONE Record Hackathon "Leverage ONE Record API for the logistics supply chain" in September, he was a member of the jury. During the DVZ webinar ONE Record, he answered questions on the topic from interested participants.
Tobias Riege had already been elected to the board of Air Cargo Community Frankfurt (ACCF) in 2018. In 2020, Benjamin Riege was appointed to the presidium of the Aircargo Club Deutschland (ACD).
The willingness to help knows no bounds
Helpfulness – not only at Christmas time – is a tradition at Riege. This ranges from supporting social institutions locally to reaching out to the other end of the world.
This year, for the first time, the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) was chosen as a beneficiary. This organization has been active for more than thirty years with technical research, events and political consulting. We were happy to respond to their request for – no longer – used server hardware. Twelve discarded servers became the property of the CCC.
Since March 2011, Riege has been supporting two foundations dedicated to the people still suffering from the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. The “Foundation for Haiti” was created by Aranea and Henk Boorsma. These two representatives of Riege Netherlands market handicraft items that they buy directly from people in the street. The proceeds go back into numerous local projects.
The Foundation “To School In Haiti” is supported with money and donations. It provides 700 children with the human right to education through regular school attendance and a daily, often their only, hot meal. The idea to name the warehouse for self-sufficiency gardening tools and seeds as the “Riege's School Garden Barn” came from the founder of the foundation, Marijke Zaalberg. For that we say, “Thank you!”
The development of Riege worldwide
After almost the entire world seemed to fall into a kind of paralysis of shock at the beginning of the pandemic, it quickly became apparent: logistics will, indeed must, continue. The prompt import of protective masks by DB Schenker, which Riege supported technically, is just one example. When even the first supply bottlenecks emerged, it was clear: logistics companies must become even faster and more efficient. Quite a few therefore decided to switch to Scope.
We welcomed almost fifty new customers to the Scope Community in 2020. In Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Mexico and the USA. We are working to ensure that this development continues in 2021. A first important step has already been taken: we have established a branch office in Singapore to work the Asian market more intensively.
The final word
2020 – not a year like any other. There were countless challenges to master and many hurdles to overcome. We succeeded. The fact that growth was even possible was something we ourselves hardly expected. That is why we would like to conclude by thanking everyone who supported our work in this difficult year. Customers, partners, colleagues. We wish you all a happy holiday season, above all good health and, last but not least, the optimism that allows us all to look to the future with courage and confidence.