If you don't prepare for your upcoming
"If so many of the managers placed in charge of moves have no experience in these areas, how can they know exactly what to expect?"
The plethora of details needing attention, stresses not only the mental acuity of these managers, it also saps their physical energy. The learning process is basically trial and error and, hopefully, learning from past mistakes. Mistakes that will cost hard dollars in addition to lost production time.
Discussed here will be the most repeated mistakes noticed by relocated companies. Then some solutions will be revealed. Is this the be all, end all list? No. This is only meant to help you get through the worst of the experience without wasting too much time, money, or effort.
Probably the most important mistake is "inadequate budgeting". Most companies never establish a firm budget because they don't take the time to include everything related to their move. Some create arbitrary budgets with no relation to reality. If this is the first time you are relocating, and you aren't asking for outside help, you will more than likely forget about whole areas until the last minute.
These services must then be paid with non-budgeted money. A
short list of items to think about include:
To help with all this, you might contact the following professionals:
Next is the problem of "starting late". Any move will take several months even after you have approved a site and signed the lease. Try to realize everything that your company is going through and must complete. Your moving vendors will have some of your same scheduling problems.
Give them enough time to prepare for your work. You will not be their only client. Rushed vendors make mistakes. Prepare early instead of expecting miracles.
Your move time is directly related to the size of your company. Think about all the issues involved and how each relates to the other.
No hard and fast rules exist explaining when you should begin or the time needed, so by starting early you save a lot of grief. A brief list of what must be done follows only to help you set your calendar. Please take notice there is an order to these items.
You need to be aware that some things will take an inordinate amount of time. Finding your space, negotiating your costs, obtaining building permits, construction in general, telephones and computers may have long lead times, as well as their services, employee relocations, etc. Relatively short times will be realized by the move itself, new stationery, and changing insurances. By starting early, you will be better prepared.
Next is the problem "Poor Vendor Selection". Many vendors might need to be selected for your relocation. Architect, construction manager, tradesmen, mover, telephone/computer/cabling, furniture, security, etc. In fact, it may number close to one hundred people you have never dealt with before. Bad vendors can place your entire move in jeopardy. Failure to keep delivery times and promises will delay your move and cost an untold number of hard dollars, along with many hours of production delays.
Most companies will select their vendors based upon bid price and references only. Normally the lowest price wins, because most managers never call the references. Even when provided, do you really think someone is going to list a reference that will not support them?
The better way to choose is to develop your total budget and your budget for each area or phase. This will give you an idea of the size of your move. Now you can narrow your search. Look for vendors with experience within your job size. Make sure they suit you and have performed work similar to yours and this is not a stretch for them.
Don't just call their references, tour their sites. This will provide a better indication of what they can do. You want to know now, not after you hire them. Don't ask easy questions like, "Were you satisfied?" Ask if they showed up on time, met deadlines, did the costs overrun the estimate and by how much, have they lived up to their warranty promises, and would you use them again in a similar situation?
Next is the problem of "Improper Coordination". This rears its unsightly head in the form of delays and cost overruns. Inexperienced managers will place their architect or construction manager in charge of scheduling. Not a good choice. They will usually schedule everything to fit their needs, not yours. It's your move; you deserve the right to run it.
By placing anyone else in charge, your primary job will become referee for all the ensuing arguments. You probably realize this. Any time you have multiple managers, you have conflict. If you remove yourself as their leader, the only outcome that you can be positive about is that conflict will follow.
Your vendors will fall into two categories - construction and non-construction. The construction vendors will include your architect, construction manager, interior designer, tradesmen, etc. The non-construction vendors typically include telephone, networking, furniture, service providers, and the like.
Here is where coordination becomes a factor. Imagine that the wall covering you choose is back-ordered. Now the painting can't be done, which backs-up electrical, flooring, furniture installation, cabling, etc. Even a one day set back can mean the difference between everyone completing their work together and no one showing up. You not only have to keep track of your work progress, you must be aware of your vendors schedules for their completion times as well.
Remember, when they finish your job they want to be able to move on to their next job without any loss of days. Timing and coordination are critical. Never leave your responsibility in the hands of someone else.
Next on your list is "Insufficient Staffing". This will result in poor coordination and insufficient supervision. You just cannot manage an entire move by yourself. You must learn to delegate work, not authority, and trust the people you place in charge.
Choose your team members according to their
knowledge of the task. You don't have to choose department heads. In most
cases, they are unaccustomed to taking orders and will dispute your decisions.
Choose people who have a certain amount of expertise in combined areas, though.
Select your teams early and provide specific tasks and completion dates. Use weekly meetings to check progress and problems. Set measurements for completion of each assignment. Stick to the set agenda. Take minutes and set up a task sheet to track who says what and what is agreed to. Review the previous minutes and task sheets at the start of each meeting.
Nominate or choose coordinators for each department. They won't be team members and need not attend the meetings. Simply, they represent their department for the planning and coordination. They will be responsible for the database tracking in their respective departments of what is to be moved, trashed, archived, and stored. These databases can then be used for estimates from vendors for the move.
These coordinators will also be responsible for knowing where their people will be placed, where their equipment will be located and exactly what and how much their departments need. They should also know what type, location, and quantity of electrical/lighting outlets, and telephone/computer outlets. All this information can then easily be placed on the plans for the contractors.
Last on your list is "Communication". Keeping your employees advised of this move is a no-brainer. This is where most people stop. You cannot forget about your customers, suppliers, and of course the people selected to help you with this work, your vendors.
The best choice to keep these people informed is a letter. First, notify your customers that you plan to move, and then notify them of your new address and phone numbers afterwards. Set up an emergency number, just in case, for anyone who may need instant clarification from you.
Especially if you have automatic shipments, let your vendors know when you are moving and as soon as you have it, the new address. Let them know the last date for deliveries at the old address and the first date of deliveries at the new location. It's easy to forget someone who hasn't provided a service in some time. You might also want to place a notice in the newspapers. Make it a big deal. Then be prepared, for this notice might bring in additional business.
For your employees, you might want to schedule a road trip. Let them get oriented to the new route to work as well as where they'll be situated in the new location. If it's a distance from the old place, you might even want to scout the area before hand and provide a map for lunch places, banks, day care, service stations, etc. You'll also want to take care of the needs of your employees who use public transportation by providing schedules and pick-up/drop-off locations.
Let everyone know their department coordinator and what and how to pack for this move.
One area that many people overlook is their service provider. You'll be making many calls to connect electric, phone, broadband, gas and the like. Don't forget that you are leaving a building where all these services must also be terminated. Timing is critical here.
Nothing is worse than scheduling a service cut-off date and then having a move delay. Give yourself a cushion, even if it costs a couple of dollars.
Some of you have gone through this before and remember some of what is mentioned above. Do you also remember the many things that you forgot to do? A good hint is to get some poster board. Use a different board for each area of concern, and use different color markers for dates and deadlines.
Also, keep one master move board with your overall schedule and key dates for a quick reference.
Hang these in a large open area in both locations and keep them both updated. Check boxes as each task is completed with different colors. This will make it visible to everybody in case someone forgets something.
Globus Electric wishes you good luck and we hope this helps make your next move error free.
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