No business can afford downtime, so it is a huge risk when a company has to move from one location to another. The company needs to be relocated as quickly as possible with the least amount of disruption.
Finding a qualified moving company can help ensure a smooth transition from point A to point B. Here are six tips to manage a successful office relocation.
1. Obtain referrals
Call the local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau to obtain recommendations. Most office moving companies are members of an accredited trade association, so this is also a good source. Property managers and commercial real estate representatives may be able to suggest reputable moving companies in the area as well.
2. Interview potential candidates
Zero in on two or three moving companies and then schedule interviews well in advance of the move date, especially if the move is going to take place during a peak period (first or last few days of each month, holidays and summer months). This process should be cost-free and obligation-free.
3. Schedule a site visit
Arrange site visits to acquaint prospective moving companies with the premises. If relocating a small business, a moving company will likely send a sales representative who will make all necessary arrangements. However, if relocating a large business, a moving company should send a well-trained project manager to conduct the walk-through. At this time, it’s important to be thorough so that the movers can get a good idea of the unique needs of the company and the quantity of items to be moved, including those in storage lockers, in order to provide a relatively accurate quote.
It’s also advisable to schedule a walk-through of the new site, especially once a moving company has been selected. Provide floor plans and space assignments so that the mover knows exactly where everything must go.
4. Get a written estimate
A written estimate should provide as much detail as possible, so that comparisons can be made with other estimates. It should include: pick up and delivery dates; the number of hours the relocation will take, which entails the time to pack, load, transport and unload possessions at the final destination; the equipment required to execute the move; costs for special handling and special packaging; hourly rate of movers and/or vehicle and equipment rental costs; insurance coverage; and a list of potential cost-reducing strategies, if applicable.
Upon receiving the written estimate, review it thoroughly to ensure there are no hidden costs such as fuel surcharges and additional fees for extending the rental equipment period.
5. Assume nothing, check everything
Discuss the company’s IT requirements in detail with the mover. Most moving companies have special packaging specifically designed for moving technology equipment such as small printers, computer screens and hard drives; however, they won’t disconnect or reinstall any of that equipment.
6. Be clear about requirements
Most companies require systems furniture to be relocated, so ensure the selected mover is proficient in the disassembly and reinstallation of all major brands. Some moving companies do not want to be involved in this step and will outsource this service, which may be an added cost. Check to see if the moving company offers an all-encompassing solution or, at the very least, will assume responsibility of the management of the outsourced service.
Kirsten Flynn is vice-president of Premiere Van Lines Inc., a coast to coast Canadian moving company that provides services to residential, corporate and commercial customers.