18 October 2001 | Robin Parker
The global purchasing director of a major bank has described how his staff and suppliers got business back on its feet just 24 hours after witnessing the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.
Deutsche Bank had been due to hold its senior purchasing management meeting on 11 September in offices next to the second of the towers that was struck.
About 5,500 employees were forced to evacuate the office and a second building within the World Trade Center complex, including the 40 staff in its corporate purchasing department and eight visiting contractors.
Mike Daly, managing director of global purchasing, who had travelled from London for the meeting, told SM: "When the second building dropped, it was an extremely scary moment. As the smoke blew, it felt like someone had turned the light out."
Deutsche Bank's mid-town office was established as a command centre. Within 24 hours, staff had been relocated to five of the bank's New York locations and several suppliers' sites, and purchasers worked with suppliers to deliver additional basic office needs for every worker that had been moved.
"The suppliers moved heaven and earth to help us get trading floors up and running in a day. It proved the strength of the supply relationships - when we needed them, there they were," Daly said.