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Master plan the key to successful commercial relocation.

Conducting a cost-effective and smooth corporate relocation takes long-term planning and preparation. Organization, careful planning and an experienced team are integral to a successful relocation. Combined these factors will aid in eliminating complications before they occur or will at least place a company in a stronger position to manage unexpected issues.

Whatever a firm's size, type or industry, comprehensive project management is the best way to ensure a smooth transition. For many managers who are assigned the responsibility for relocation, this is a once-in-a-career situation, and they are unaware of the many complexities involved.

In many cases such an unexpected challenge results in insufficient planning that can lead to increased costs and unnecessary downtime. Creating a detailed master plan is the most effective way to avoid these pitfalls. A good plan will define what is to be moved, when it is to happen, who is responsible and the timeline for each aspect of the relocation.

Most people underestimate the time it takes to plan a move properly. For a move of less than 50,000 square feet, allow at least six months, and for a move of 50,000 square feet or more, allow at least a year. Start assigning tasks as early as possible to provide time to deal with unexpected developments as planning progresses.

The planning process is an enormous undertaking, and the more employees assigned to assist in the relocation, the better.

The company's employees are an extremely valuable resource; they provide crucial information about what is important for their department to function, which may affect what is moved and when.

Schedule the date of the move as early as possible, and build in contingency plans that anticipate potential obstacles. The move date must be coordinated with the new furniture and equipment delivery schedule and with internal departments so they are not forced to move during periodic busy times. The goal is to keep the company operating for as long as possible and avoid downtime.

There is another frequently overlooked aspect of relocation: the less you move, the less it costs. Encourage employees to purge files and reduce duplication; arrange for off-site storage where feasible. Get rid of debris hiding in closets and storage rooms. Arrange for sale or donation of unwanted furniture and equipment.

A comprehensive detailed inventory is your best tool for controlling costs, Preparing a detailed and accurate list of all items of furniture and equipment to be moved is essential. Identify areas that require special handling, such as file rooms, conference rooms and libraries and items such as valuable artwork or sensitive equipment. This information will ensure that you are comparing bids developed from identical information and will avoid unpleasant surprises in terms of unanticipated costs and charges at the end of the move. Make sure the building's elevators and loading docks are available and clear for both departures and arrivals. For large moves, coordinate the relocation with the completion of new space and installation of new furnishings and equipment to avoid overtime or return visits. After researching the process that a corporate relocation involves, a company may decide to retain a professional commercial mover.

If this is the case, remember to proceed with due diligence. The moving firm's reputation, size, resources, availability and performance on similar moves should all be researched. A visit to a mover's facility can also be very telling. When a mover is selected, ensure that there is a detailed move and budget plan that is mutually understood and agreed upon by all parties.

Planning a commercial relocation can be a daunting task. The in-depth planning and intricacies that constitute a corporate relocation can be exhausting to a company's facilities and building managers. Because these projects can be complicated to plan, organize and manage, relocations on the commercial scale are best left in the knowledgeable hands of professional commercial moving companies. Professional commercial movers understand that there are delicate nuances to every company's relocation, and they are experienced adapting to unforeseen complications in the execution phase.

Commercial moving companies have a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw from. Use this knowledge to to save time and expenses. In addition, professional movers offer additional services that companies may need during the relocation process.

For example, a company may need to temporarily store files or equipment, or may need to refurbish old office furniture or assemble new furniture.

Commercial movers are familiar with these issues and they will be readily able to offer solutions.


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Author:Parziale, Anthony
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Dec 13, 2006
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