As companies prepare for the future, office relocation is proving to be an effective strategy for getting into better, cheaper and more appropriate office space.
With the right relocation planning, budgeting and management, office relocation enables businesses to raise their corporate profile, grow their client base, improve operational efficiency, retain and attract staff and give the right first impression to clients.
Value for money should be at the forefront of every business decision – and this is certainly true when it comes to moving office. The end game for most companies will be to end up in the right property, on the right terms, with the right deal, with the right office design and layout, with the right furniture in the right places, with everything working on that first morning in the new office – and all this having happened on time, to budget and with the minimum hassle and disruption to the business. Easy when you say it quickly!
Office Relocation Planning
For this to happen there needs to be a relentless focus on office relocation planning and preparation – and a strong commitment to engage the expertise of external professional office relocation experts to help with each key stage of the office move. However, there is often reluctance for businesses moving office to seek professional advice.
There are, sadly, all too many examples where companies have paid the penalty (and price) for trying to go it alone – usually driven by a lack of experience or a desire to “save money”. Whilst the sentiment of trying to achieve best value is understandable the result is often the opposite. Best practice and experience clearly shows that companies that don’t engage external professional expertise waste unnecessary time and money. Conversely, businesses that do work with office relocation experts (property consultants, property lawyers, office fit-out companies, IT, Telecoms and office removal companies) avoid mistakes, save time and get better value for their money.
Office Relocation Management
The office relocation management is very likely to become a nightmare for you and for your business if it is handled as a pack and move service. After the packages are moved to the new site and you stay alone with the packages you may face a disaster that is the most expensive way of having an office relocation management experience.
Although the service provider has declared that your office move management services have been completed, and you have to sign the delivery receipt and pay for the service, the truth is that your corporate move has not been completed yet. An ideal office relocation management services package should include various details such as;
- Assessment of your new office space requirements,
- Space planning of the new site,
- Interiors design,
- Construction works,
- Leasing contract (if needed) for the new site,
- Exercising the safety and health regulations,
- Acquiring new office fit out and technical equipment,
- Disposal of old office fit out and equipment,
- Establishing communication lines and cabling (Communication/Data),
- Sanitary works,
- Electrical works including cabling and illumination (fixtures),
- Extra storage areas.
Indeed, you lose twice when you decide choosing a cheaper pack and move service as an commercial relocation management service. Because, each service above is more expensive in case of being purchased individually. A single provider that provides these services in a single contract you will have the comfort as well as a cost efficient all in one professional office move service.
It follows from this that the commercial relocation management services should be carried out by the professionals that are eligible for fulfilling the complex services without missing any detail while letting you to focus on your business. This also provides a seamless commercial move management services that will reduce your down time period as much as possible.
For more information of the areas we cover with our Commercial Moving Services
Managing a business office can be a daunting task, but have you ever considered what it would take to perform an office move or an office relocation? Luckily, there are office relocation services that specialize in just this specific service!
Let's take a look at some of the key elements for choosing the right company to perform an office relocation or office move for your business.
1. Licensing and Certification - Any time you are considering doing business with a company, it is a good idea to check if their business license is in good standing. It is also extremely important to know if their licensing is not only valid in the area you are hiring the company you are in, but also that it's valid for the area your furnishing will be traveling in, and their destination too! Imagine if the vehicle your belongings are in is hindered on the road, or if the company ran into problems when attempting to perform their service in an area of the country where they didn't have proper certification to do so. This could spell BIG TROUBLE if your move is on a deadline!
Always request proof of licensing for the state in which the company is operating in, and for the area your furnishing are being relocated too. DOT certification can help ensure that your property is protected while it is being hauled to its destination too.
2. Staffing - An office move and office relocation services hiring policies can say a lot about the caliber of people who'll be handling your property, and the company overseeing their performance. Safety and security are of vital importance when you have so much at stake. Make sure you check out whom you'll be dealing with!
3. Equipment - The condition and availability of the proper equipment to perform the necessary stages of your office move or relocation are of vital consideration when choosing a relocation company. Do they have access to all the equipment that is needed? Do they have backup equipment in case of mechanical failure or theft?
Is your relocation to be completed in stages or all at once? Does the company have the ability to safely store your furnishings while the project is in progress, or if there are unseen circumstances or delays? These may not seems to be instances that are everyday occurrences, but things happen and you will want to know that the company you hire to manage your project is well prepared.
4. Insurance - No one likes to think about what could go wrong. That's where insurance kicks in. Like a warm blanket protecting your belongings, a fully insured company can give you the security of knowing that no matter what, property will be taken care of. Be certain to verify that not only is the company you choose to manage your project is fully covered to handle your business, but that that coverage is in and will be in full force, during the entire time frame of your office move and relocation project.
5. Tracking - Nothing can give you a sense of confidence about your relocation project than the ability to get up to date information about the status of your project. Instant communication via satellite and cellular devices, along with GPS tracking for vehicles, is nearly standard for the industry. There is no reason that an expert office move and relocation service cannot give you an up to the minute status of your property. Inquire with relocation provider as to their ability to give you what you require, if needed. Your job and your property may depend on it.
6. Performance - This is what sets the expert relocation company apart from the rest. Top companies keep track of their performance for the purpose of illustrating to their potential clients their ability to get the job done, on time! Be sure to ask for proof of past performance.
7. Experience - Nothing measures the ability of a company to perform what they promise than the longevity. With years of business practice comes experience, and when it comes to choosing a company to expertly and efficiently get your project accomplished, a company with a long, proven track record of service commitment speaks volumes. Look for a company with years of experience to find one that can get the job done right.
8. Reputation - Business references are always a great way to get a sense of just whom you are dealing with. Nowadays you can research online the customer satisfaction level of just about any company, through many business social media sites. But nothing stands stronger than a good ole fashion testimonial. Many successful companies will have a list of past business contacts that are willing to share their experiences with the level of service results they received. Ask for references.
9. Customer Service - Often implied, a written document detailing a company's customer service policies and their commitment to the customer is a key element in establishing a relationship of trust and assurance. Look for a company who has taken this commitment to heart when making a choice.
10. Professionalism - Your choice of office move and office relocation services is not only important to the business of getting the job done, but it is also a reflection of your ability as a decision maker to make the right decisions too. Be sure to choose a company who not only performs professionally, but who looks, talks and walks the job too. Remember your choices reflect your abilities, and you never know just who may be watching.
Where do you start?
It's a daunting task even thinking about relocating an office. We all wish there could be a magic button that just makes it all happen, but in reality it takes considerable planning and ongoing management to ensure a successful outcome. Not many offices are prepared to go through the upheaval on a regular basis, so this is probably the first time you ever had to manage such a project. It will involve more than just booking an office removal business and making a start by booking a skip for all the unwanted files and broken chairs cluttering up the office corners.
Start with remembering the reasons you are moving and keep these in the forefront of you mind at every step of the process. If you're moving to larger offices due to company expansion, then that is a wonderful position to be in, but with it comes a set of specific challenges, a lot of which is forecasting the unknown. If you're downsizing due to a change in company fortunes, then this should also be seen as a positive. What you are doing will help the company stabilise and this is your opportunity to review business practices and make some real changes that will help productivity and overall efficiency. Perhaps your company is remaining the same size but has decided not to renew the lease on it's current location and needs to find a new home or has decided to cove closer to your customer base? Again, this should be seen as an opportunity to make changes for the better.
Outline your goals. Use planning methods such as the SWOT analysis to help determine how you can make positive changes to the business in the new offices. Gather as much information as possible about the reason for the move. Don't be afraid to ask directors about why they wish to relocate the business. The more information you have, the better you will be placed to help them achieve their goals.
Research and appoint an office relocation company as soon as possible. They will have a wealth of information which you can draw upon. After all, this is not something you or you business does every year, but an office relocation company with have undertaken hundreds of similar projects and will be able to guide you when looking for new premises. Choose wisely. Some office relocation companies specialise in removals but lack the necessary knowledge of how an office will best operate. Find a company that also specialises in office interior design. They will have an understanding of how you need to plan your space and be able to make constructive and important suggestions and help guide you in your decisions. The last thing you will need is six months down the line someone pointing out a fundamental oversight.
Once you have all the information, document it and this will provide a good basis to move forward.
Find your new home
There are numerous ways to find a new office. Get as much help as possible from chartered surveyors, estate agents and property management companies. They will be best place to know what properties are available and which would be suitable. Communicate with them your goals and go along to see as many properties as possible to get a feel for what is out there. Once you have found you property, find out immediately the required date to be into the new office and when the lease will start. This is also a good time to employ the services of a chartered surveyor to make an inventory of the new offices to ensure any future schedule of dilapidation works are understood by all parties. Also, don't be afraid to demand improvements from your prospective new landlord. If something needs updating, then find out how and when they will go about it.
Planning your move
Your move will be planned around some key dates. When are you due out of your existing offices? When is the lease due and what time do you have to give to your dilapidation schedule?
When is your target date for relocating into the new premises? Your office relocation company will want to be in the new building as soon as possible to start work.
Discuss with your office relocation company all the additional office move issues that will require consideration. They will have a comprehensive list of considerations, such as telecommunications, IT, local authority planning, accessibility etc. All these will need budgeting for.
How are you communicating the office relocation to the business and it's employees. Remember, change can make people nervous and they will feel at ease if they feel part of the design making and kept informed of progress, timings and the overall goals.
It is a good idea to make sure all parties involved going forward, yourself and your team, the company directors and the office relocation company commit to regular meetings ensuring your office relocation budget is sufficient to achieve your goals and that everyone is on the same page.
Now comes one of the more exciting parts of the office relocation. Your office relocation company will help you plan your office space to make best use of the footprint. Good companies will make a comprehensive set of 3D plans based on your suggestions and their previous knowledge of similar successful projects. Modern computer aided design tools allow the office relocation companies to quickly change plans and experiment on the fly. One you and you office relocation company are in agreement, then these plans can be used to report back to the company directors and the business employees. Don't forget to involve everyone, but make sure you remain in control. Maybe set up a 'War Room' where the plans are displayed and set up a consultation meeting and invite comments. These comments can be very constructive as members of other teams will be able to highlight potential issues going forward.
The big day
Arrange a date for the physical move to be undertaken. Communicate this with everyone in the company as soon as possible so they have the opportunity to plan ongoing projects accordingly. Task other members of the company with specific things to do running up to the move and on the day itself. This not openly helps take some of the burden off you and your team, but also helps empower them and get them positively involved.
Your office relocation company will help with all other considerations as well as making sure you complete all necessary paperwork such as renewing all the service agreements. They will also help you with any storage arrangements needed during the move and the disposal of unwanted items prior to your move.
Its is also a good idea to keep a record of the move for future reference. By an office digital camera and task a junior within the office to document the move. This will also help you reflect of the project at a future date.
All that is left is for you to enjoy your new office and see you company flourish in the new surroundings. Good luck!