Finding the right commercial mover is a big responsibility. If you have been tasked with planning your company’s move—whether across town or across the country—congratulations. Your boss has a lot of faith in your capabilities. Now you must deliver with flawless execution while trying to keep your colleagues from pestering you too much about the new floor plan.
Planning an office move is a lot more complicated than planning to move your home, but the basics are similar. Everything gets packed up, moved, and unpacked. In a commercial move, there are many more people involved, it has to be done all at once, and the stakes are pretty high if anything goes wrong.
Let’s talk about local moves first, although choosing the right commercial mover will have the same elements, whether the move being planned is local or long-distance. In a local move, you have the benefit of being able to walk through both spaces with the moving company. You will need their help in determining the move timeline, including whether any items can move ahead of the primary move day. Often conference room furniture, filing cabinets, and other storage accessories can lead the way, reducing the amount of material for the main move.
When you are interviewing commercial movers, it is essential to discuss their prior experience in office relocations. If your company is large, with open plan seating, you need a mover that can quickly break down and reassemble the cubicle system you have, so that it isn’t wasting time. If your relocation is into a furnished facility, that familiarity isn’t critical, so it’s up to you to create a list of essential qualifications before you begin the selection process.
Most office moves include quite a few dissimilar considerations: executive offices, cubicle or open seating, mail and storage rooms, conference rooms, possibly fitness facilities, and even food service and childcare. The relocation incorporates furniture, telecommunications, computer hardware, and very often artwork and other types of décor as well. Because the information is usually confidential, the company must be able to guarantee the security of the material being transported. If you want one company to handle all these pieces, you will need to find out if their experience encompasses everything that your project requires.
A full-service commercial mover will offer you a list of clients with which it has worked successfully, and you should have in-depth discussions with several to ask about their experience. This strategy will be a good way of learning about the mover’s abilities, and it will help you broaden your exposure to the move process as well. Talk about the services from which you can choose. In many office relocations, the employees will pack their desk contents and personal items. This practice helps maintain confidentiality and offers an opportunity to reduce the relocation of obsolete material. If your company wants to have the desks packed up by the moving company employees, how do they screen their staff?
Another critical question to ask is about packing material. In many commercial moves, the moving company will provide used boxes temporarily. It will drop off the boxes ahead of the relocation date for packing, and then pick them up when you have completed the project. This model saves your business from the cost of buying them, and it’s environmentally friendly as well.
Depending on the type of business you are in, and the kind of building you are moving to, you may have to think about services like the internet and phone. If so, that is outside the moving company’s scope, but if the mover gets everything in place and your employees can’t work, you don’t want to be the one that didn’t think about the wireless access. A great office relocation consultant with a commercial moving company will have that item on its checklist and remind you.
The movers you want to hire is also able to tell you how many people and trucks it needs to complete your relocation overnight, based on the number of employee workstations and other pieces of furniture and equipment you need to move. The coordinator will be able to help you create the floorplan, if desired, and plan what goes where. This is why interviewing and walking through the building with potential move partners is going to help you choose.
You may already have experience with a moving company, even if you haven’t moved your office yet. Companies will frequently engage moving professionals for in-house relocations when personnel change, floorplans change, or the configuration requires a conference room to become an office or vice versa. Your experience with a vendor doing this kind of service will give you an indication of its reliability and may lead you to consider it for more.
If you are starting your search for a commercial mover from scratch, you may want to ask for other companies’ recommendations. Your real estate broker can refer you to clients who have moved, and you can ask colleagues at the Chamber of Commerce or other local business associations. Depending on the size of the metropolitan area, you may have many or few options.
As with a local move, the level of complexity depends in part on the number of people moving and the readiness of the new facility. Moving people from one office to another isn’t as tricky if the destination office is already prepared for occupancy. This status reduces the burden of the move to office items instead of rebuilding an existing office footprint. With that in mind, if you are preparing for a large move, consider whether you have the option to break it down into stages and move people in various smaller groups. That will likely reduce the impact on service levels and minimize disruption.
You may be sending computer equipment, sensitive files, and other vital records, so again you must select a company that you can rely on to maintain security and communication with you during the process. The vendor will also need to provide documentation of insurance, licensing, and any required certifications for your industry.
Suppose you are moving a large team to a distant office. In that case, you will need to rely on the moving company to provide support in facilitating the arrival of the furniture and other items in preparation for the opening. A high-touch operation will provide directions and make it easier for the transferees to find their way when they appear, ready to work.