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Entries Tagged as 'Office Relocation'

Guide to Office Relocation - Part 6

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Pre-Move Walkthrough

Conduct a pre-move meeting and walk-through with your selected moving company representatives and primary vendors. This allow you to confirm your pending time-line and clarify responsibilities. Ensure all items have been tagged and labeled for placement in the new space. EVERYTHING should be labeled, even trash cans floor mats, and plants.

Also secure several backup copies of all company data systems including phone and voice mail systems, routers and firewalls, and workstations and servers. Transport the data backup copies to the new location separate from the main system and each other.

Some Small Details Often Overlooked

  • Make sure you have a spare set of keys available for the new space
  • Confirm the electricity is on and the restrooms are working
  • Confirm that your phones and Internet connection are working properly
  • Confirm there are no outstanding obligations to your previous office space

Relocating High Tech Equipment

As you can see relocating a business is an extremely complex task, and no component of this process is more challenging than moving your high tech equipment. You can hire a specialty technology mover, but they can be expensive.  For those companies that wish to manage this task in-house, see our ‘Relocating High-Tech Office Equipment checklist that offers some sound advice for the relocation of high-tech office equipment.

Conclusion

As you can see, a successful commercial relocation requires the consideration of many different factors. We hope this guide has helped to inform you on some of these important considerations relating to the Office Relocation process.

In our final instalment of this series will introduce you to a great new resource we have developed to assist you in a smooth office relocation. Stay tuned.

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General , Office Relocation , Office Space

Guide to Office Relocation - Part 5

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Additional Tips on Selecting a Moving Company

Research all of the contact information for the company including name, physical address (no PO Boxes), and any other names they do business under. If you find more than one firm at the same address, that is a definite red flag.

Also determine how long the company has been in business. Many corporate movers have been doing business for many years so it’s a good idea to work with companies that have been around for at least five years. It also a doesn’t hurt to find out how long they’ve been operating under the current ownership and management structure.

Check to see the company is properly licensed. Properly licensed interstate moving companies will have both a DOT number and a MC number from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You can verify these numbers  at safersys.org. Intrastate movers aren’t subject to the same regulations, but most states have their own licensing requirements you should check.

Check for Insurance Coverage

Inquire about the company’s insurance coverage - what’s covered and for how much. They should carry insurance that covers your materials while in transit, as well as any damage the movers cause to your old or new properties. While all movers are required to have basic insurance, be sure to check into the limits on their coverage, and consider paying extra for additional insurance if you think you need it. Also make sure they carry current workers’ compensation coverage because if they don’t, you may be liable for any injuries their workers receive.

Note: You can also call FMCSA’s Safety Violation and Consumer Complaints hotline at (888) 368-7238. It’s free, available 24/7 and you can check the complaint history of any interstate mover.

Get Reliable Recommendations

Get reliable recommendations - You must check out potential movers through objective sources like the BBB or your state’s Department of Transportation. A reputable commercial moving company will be listed with both these agencies. Don’t just jump at the lowest price - you need to investigate the estimate to find out if it’s realistic. As they say, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Get at least three estimates from commercial movers. This will allow you to make a fair, objective comparison. Compare apples to apples. Break down each mover’s estimate into parts and compare them to estimates from other commercial moving services.

Consider factors like the amount of time and the amount of materials estimated. Expect estimates to fall within a reasonable range of each other. A good estimate should be no higher - or lower - than 10 percent of the final cost of the move.

In the next part of our series ‘Guide to Office Relocation’ - Part 6 we will go through the pre-move walkthrough and relocating special items.

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Guide to Office Relocations - Part 4

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Other Commercial Mover Selection Considerations

As noted in Part 3, there are options in the type of estimates you can receive, and some companies will charge an hourly rate for an office move and some will give you an estimate based on weight or volume. Also, your business may be able to get a discount if you move during off peak hours. If your moving date is flexible, check with the moving company before booking your relocation date to inquire about this option.

Although the office relocation is similar to a home move in that you can do your own packing, or pay the moving company to do it for you - there is one major difference: Your office will have more heavy equipment, furniture and boxes and other heavy stuff. Also, you will have much more paperwork in an office move and need to ensure that it is protected during the move. You will need to rent special crates and boxes from the moving company in order to successfully move your paperwork.

High-Tech Office Equipment

An Office Relocation generally involves the transportation of valuable high-tech and office systems, and you should hire suitable containers from your moving company to protect those items as well. For large, complicated network systems it may be prudent to hire specialists who will disconnect the equipment, pack it, and install it in the new location. If you lease equipment check your agreement for any moving requirements that are stipulated. Some leasing companies will not allow you to move equipment, and may insist on doing it themselves (for a fee).

Ask prospective movers how they load their vehicles to protect your property, and what equipment they use that can help protect your items. The moving company may simply tell you to lock filing cabinets rather than empty them as they can use equipment to move them easily even when full. Some will insist that desk drawers be emptied even if they can be locked as the contents are generally easily damaged.

Insurance Coverage

Proper insurance coverage is absolutely vital for office moves and you need to discuss the mover’s policy and check out your own before you come to a decision. With office moves, insurance isn’t just about equipment and furniture, it’s also about vital records and the information stored on your computers. You’ll find that most movers won’t insure you for these items and you need to make sure you back-up data and make adequate provisions for your paperwork during the moving process.

If you need to pay extra to get the coverage you need then do so. If you lose something vital you’ll effectively be losing business, and you may also wish to consider a policy that will pay you for lost business if something goes wrong with the move. You also need to consider liability coverage; if movers damage your office building during the moving process (and it’s easily done!) you will generally be held responsible, so you need to know you can claim the costs back. Read the mover’s terms and conditions CAREFULLY. It’s the exclusions and restrictions that will indicate what coverage you may really need.

Also make sure you contact your insurance company to make any changes to your commercial policy that may be necessary prior to your relocation.

In the next part of our series ‘Guide to Office Relocation’ - Part 5 we will give you some additional tips on selecting a commercial mover.

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Guide to Office Relocation - Part 3

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Prepare RFQ’s for Movers and Facility Requirements

An RFQ (Request for Quote) is a request that a company puts out when they want to hire contractors to perform a job, and is basically their way of encouraging contractors to bid against each other. The company that issues an RFQ then selects one of the vendors to take the job.

In order to minimize business downtime and unexpected costs, it’s important to prepare an RFQ for critical facility requirements such as: Insurance for property and casualty, HVAC systems, voice and data cabling and integrity, local telecom facilities and accessibility, and voice and data network circuits.

An RFQ is also important to clearly state your requirements to prospective moving vendors.  The following should be considered as components of your Move RFQ:  Time-line including dates for vendor site visits, special disassembly of office systems, modular furniture, and technology equipment, damage prevention concerns, timely setup for business resumption, and reservation of moving dates and times including contingencies.

Selecting a Commercial Moving Provider

Always select a moving company with a history of successful office moves, as they are different than residential moves and require different equipment and skills.  Costs will vary between companies as some charge an hourly rate and others are based on volume/weight.  You may also pay a premium if you opt to move during non-working hours or on the weekend.

Most commercial moving companies will offer two types of estimates: a non-binding estimate which means your final price will be based on the actual amount of hours and materials used on the job; and a binding estimate which gives you a guaranteed price that won’t exceed the amount quoted.

A non-binding estimate can be beneficial if:

  • You are not exactly sure of all the items you will be relocating ahead of the move date.
  • You are not sure if you will be ready and may require additional packing help.
  • Your move will involve an unusual amount of details, or the handling of sensitive equipment.
  • An elevator cannot be made available for exclusive use during part or all of the move.
  • Construction or other improvements that the mover has no control over may slow progress.

A  binding estimate or flat rate for the moving services is preferable if:

  • You want to guarantee your relocation budget.
  • You haven’t moved often, and are not familiar with the process.

Requirements you must meet in order to receive a binding estimate:

  • A detailed inventory in writing must be agreed upon by the client and the moving company.
  • Packing, tagging, assembly, etc.  - any service required must be in the written binding agreement.
  • Elevators must be for movers exclusive use.

In the next part of our series ‘Guide to Office Relocation’ - Part 4 we will explore other considerations surrounding selecting a commercial mover.

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Guide to Office Relocation - Part 2

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Fail to Plan - Plan to Fail

Again, the most important part of of an office relocation is to plan everything out in advance as much as possible. Businesses are about making money, so if your company is not up and operational but rather moving, then you are not making any money. The major goal in an office relocation is to be cost-efficient. One of the ways to achieve this objective is to be time-efficient. The less time you spend relocating, the more cost-efficient the process will be for your business.

In order to save time, make sure you are very familiar with your new location and offices. Know exactly how large the new spaces are. Notice any differences in shapes of the rooms or new furniture. Ensure your old or new desk, chairs, filing cabinets, etc. fit inside your new space.

To make sure that everyone knows their new dimensions, a floor plan should be created before the move. This plan should include, by floor, location of employees, furniture, plants, and whatever else you are moving to your new location.

See that every employee receives a copy of this plan and post them throughout the building on moving day. Being organized before the move will not only reduce the stress for employees, but for the movers as well.

Communicate Openly and Often

Communication one of the most important factors when it comes to office relocation, so keep everybody informed of the exact moving plan, as the fewer questions on relocation day, the better.

Keep in mind the movers will need to be directed exactly where each piece of furniture needs to be placed. If you have many desks that look the same, but belong to certain employees, make sure they know that they need to go in particular places.

One way to facilitate the process is by using colored labels. All of the furniture that belongs on one floor can be labeled a certain color and you can even get more specific if required. Label colors and numbers to each employee, and all equipment and furniture that is being moved. The label needs to be placed in spot that is very easily visible to the mover.The easier and more understandable you make the move to the mover, the faster and more cost-effective the relocation will be.

In the next part of our series ‘Guide to Office Relocation’ - Part 3 we will go over preparing Request For Quotes (RFQ’s) for commercial movers and facilities product and service providers.

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General , Office Relocation , Office Space