Whether you’re moving hundreds of employees into an office in a different state, thousands of products from one warehouse to another, or your entire storefront business to a bigger space to accommodate growth, commercial moving can be an overwhelming endeavor.
No matter what industry you’re in or the size of your organization, the same best practices ensure a stress-free move with limited risk.
Optimum Moving continually improves the techniques behind its commercial moving service to remain an industry-leading moving company capable of servicing businesses in the Tri-State area. One powerful tool it developed for its business customers is the Business Relocation Checklist. This step-by-step guide empowers all types of organizations to take control of relocating from the very start to execute a seamless transfer with no disruption to production and customer service.
Give yourself 3 to 8 months for planning.
Small offices should allow for at least three months for planning, and medium to large offices should allow up to eight months.
⃝ Assemble your team. Establish a Relocation Committee made up of a representative from each department. The representatives will communicate, coordinate, and manage the move objectives with their department teams. The Relocation Committee should meet regularly and discuss meeting outcomes with the entire organization to ensure everyone feels informed about the move.
⃝ Nail down the details. Decide on a reasonable timeframe and budget. Once you have a realistic budget to spend, start with the most important move objects first and work backwards. For instance, you should spend whatever it takes to properly accommodate your IT equipment and systems, even if it means your employees pack themselves.
⃝ Prepare to move into the new space. Ideally, obtain blueprints of your new space and look at how your people will physically fit into it. It’s important to consider your office layout now so there’s time to get in carpenters, electricians, painters, and anyone who will customize the space for a turnkey move in.
⃝ Contact utility companies. Once you have a timeframe, reach out to your utility providers—including phone and Internet—for both locations. This may seem like a mundane task, but stay on top of it to avoid profit-damaging downtime.
⃝ Get commercial moving quotes. These moving estimates should be free with no obligation. In New Jersey, only use NJ moving companies that are fully bonded, insured, and licensed with the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs. Call the state Division of Consumer Affairs at 973-504-6200 to find out if a local moving company is licensed and if there are any complaints filed against the company. If the company handles interstate moves, it needs a license from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which has a searchable database of moving companies. Also be sure to check peer-to-peer review sites such as Yelp or Angie’s List.
When interviewing moving companies, ask if they provide an experienced move coordinator to guide the Relocation Committee on developing a comprehensive moving strategy to meet all your company’s needs. Look at your moving company as consultants, and the informed insight they share can add exponential value to the physical moving service.
⃝ Tell everyone you’re moving. This is a long list and needs to be checked twice. From customers to business partners to banks and creditors to various regulatory and licensing agencies—everyone you do business with needs to know your new address. If you have a storefront business, do enough outreach to ensure your new neighborhood knows you’re coming, including targeted ads, website and social media updates, and maybe an on-location event.
2 months to go . . .
⃝ Finalize your packing process. By far, the simplest way to expedite the move-in process is to color code boxes. Organize your new building into color-assigned sections and label your boxes accordingly so movers can quickly and clearly see where boxes need to go.
IT should have a definitive game plan for setting up Internet service, server rooms, telephone equipment, computers, printers, and all supporting systems and equipment.
⃝ Hand out the employee moving guide. Your workforce should be up to date with all aspects of the move thanks to the hard work of the Relocation Committee. Now, it’s time to hand out the definitive guidebook to how the move will unfold and each person’s responsibilities. This go-to reference should include everything from security and parking to phone numbers for key contacts and lost-and-found procedures.
⃝ Confirm cleaning and trash removal. Not only do you need to leave your old space in respectable order, but you also want to move in to a clean space. Get a solid confirmation on all arrangements with landlords and cleaning services to ensure everyone has clear expectations for the move. Plan to have expanded trash removal services when employees pack and on moving day to accommodate unwanted items.
The day before…
⃝ Relocation Committee meeting. This is the final meeting before the move. Before end of day, all department representatives should ensure employee spaces are totally cleaned out, each employee knows the schedule and procedures of the move, and there is a list of key contacts to distribute to movers.
⃝ Be present. Your team’s planning and hard work pays off today. Meet with the movers to walk them through the building, hand out key contact phone numbers, and confirm how the day will unfold.