Every year, hundreds of thousands of businesses across the country relocate their offices to new space. Many have grown too large for their current space, while some companies are down-sizing to smaller, more cost efficient offices. Still other businesses may be relocating to a new geographic area offering lower operations costs. Whatever your particular reason for making a change, moving a company requires a lot of thorough planning, open communication, and hard work.
One of the very few events that may be more stressful than a residential move is a corporate office relocation! Most people are totally unfamiliar with how to prepare for a corporate move and the process can be quite overwhelming to the inexperienced. Without proper planning, you may find yourself with a digital copier too large for its designated space, a phone system without enough telephone lines, or movers being paid to stand around and wait while employees pack up their belongings.
This Guide is designed to inform you of some of the most important issues related to office relocations, and to help you avoid costly mistakes during the process.
According to the International Facilities Management Association “Two-thirds of those responsible for their company’s relocations either lose their job or get demoted after the project.”
Start with a Comprehensive Moving Plan
The key to assuring success with any office relocation is planning everything down to the smallest detail. As part of the process of planning an office move you should first determine who will be on the relocation team and what you can handle in house and what might you need or want to outsource.
If you are considering hiring a relocation consultant to manage the move process only, you may be wasting your money. Most reputable office moving companies will assign you a project manager to assist you with the process from beginning to end. However if you need a consultant to help with space planning, furniture purchases, implementing new technology, etc., then a relocation consultant could be a valuable resource.
Factors to Consider When Planning an Office Relocation:
Technology Systems Planning – What is the current status of your high tech equipment? Since most companies renew their technology every 18 to 36 months, is this an opportunity to upgrade or expand your systems?
Asset Management Planning – Audit your existing assets. What’s worth moving in the area of technology and furnishings? What should be replaced or upgraded? Can you install what you’re moving in the new facility or are there obsolescence and incompatibility issues?
Space and Interior Design Planning – Whether you elect to handle the space planning or to use a consultant, building floor plans drawn to scale are very important. Drawings that are reasonable facsimile representations of your space can be very misleading and create substantial problems on moving day. Once you have the ‘big picture’ settled you can focus on special details for decorations, artwork, enhanced lighting and plants.
Space Requirements Analysis – For space planning purposes compile a roster of personnel and their anticipated space needs as well as a detailed inventory list of the minimal space requirements for all machinery and office equipment. Once you have your roster and equipment list compiled, you can easily determine your total minimum space requirements.
Business Requirements Analysis – Employees should be consulted for specific preferences and requirements. Once all the information has been compiled, you will be prepared to complete a ‘needs analysis’ of business requirements and preferences. Develop a ‘must-have’ priority list from your requirements list to help you identify which areas of your business need the most attention. Also develop a timeline for your requirements list that includes the start date and the projected completion date for each item.
Part 2 of our Office Relocation Planner Guide will address the key factors in developing an Office Relocation Plan.
If you need some help, we’d be happy to help you Find Office Space.
By: James Osgood