Headquartered in Rīga, Latvia, Maxima Latvija is part of the largest retail chain in the Baltic region and employs more than 30,000 people. Their holding organisation, Maxima Grupe, spans across Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Following on from an initial, fruitful scoping meeting with Robert A. Jensen earlier in the year, in July Maxima Latvija began a partnership with Kenyon on a project that has involved examining and restructuring Maxima Latvija's entire emergency response organisation.
Kenyon’s David Herriman has already conducted a thorough Emergency Response Plan (ERP) interview; this consists of talking to the personnel who are involved in the crisis organisation, such as the heads of department, to ascertain their opinion as to what was both right and wrong with the existing system and how they would improve matters.
Leadership involvement during the crisis management planning stages determines the efficiency and success of an organisation’s response should an incident occur. David noted immediately how involved Maxima Latvija’s senior management was throughout the interview and with the project as a whole, with both Maxima Latvija CEO Andris Vilcmeiers and CCO Jānis Vanags offering enthusiastic support for the revitalisation of their crisis management organisation.
With the ERP interview phase complete, David is now drafting a plan and supporting training concept that will leave Maxima Latvija with a fully restructured system and the confidence of knowing that they will have system that will effectively aid them managing the consequences of any crisis.
Jānis Vanags joined Maxima Latvija in January 2018 and is responsible for strengthening the company’s reputation, customer relationship and communication. He is also in charge of fortifying the management of effective internal processes and quality, as well as corporate internal security and risk management.
We had the opportunity to speak with Jānis about the project and what he hopes to attain once it’s complete.
Maxima is growing by leaps and bounds, acquiring new retail chains in the region, developing new shop formats and e-grocer technologies. This rapid growth and the previous emergencies we faced were the main stimuli for Maxima to reinforce its emergency response organisation.
I have led emergency teams through multiple crises, so I take a very keen interest in emergency response best practices. Furthermore, I am an IATA instructor and train senior managers in locations like Singapore, Geneva, Hong Kong and Madrid in emergency management. Re-evaluating and strengthening Maxima’s emergency response structures and attracting and training the right talent was a logical step for me; therefore, we launched a tender to find the most suitable emergency management partner. I was happy Robert A. Jensen responded immediately and personally visited us in Rīga, Latvia, to give us the best offer.
We set a goal for ourselves to re-launch our emergency response organisation by the end of 2018 with new manuals, staff and completed training. We established a focused working group that is very strongly supported by our CEO, Andris Vilcmeiers, and the entire Board. I am personally satisfied that we are ahead of our timetable to deliver our new plans.
A more resilient Maxima. We want stress-test Maxima’s emergency response procedures, integrate best practices from organisations around the world and further upgrade our training programme in order to achieve a step change in the current emergency response organisation.