Are you relocating offices? Our experts share their top tips to help you move with ease
At Crown Commercial Service (CCS) we understand that relocating offices can be one of the most stressful things you have to do. We recognise that, at some point, estate managers will be asked to support or arrange a commercial move. Whether you are looking to move to an office, a clinical ward or warehouse, our subject experts have the knowledge and skills to help you make moving as stress-free as possible.You can access commercial removals and relocations through our Logistics and Warehousing (RM6074) framework.
We have used our knowledge and experience to put together 5 tips that we recommend you consider when managing a commercial relocation.
Tip 1: communication is key
How you communicate the news that you're moving can have a significant impact on the reaction of your stakeholders.
Many people are impacted by a commercial move, including:
- employees: either positively or negatively moving can have an impact on personal arrangements such as the school-run, using public transport and travel expenses
- public relations: your clients/customers will need to know when and where you will be moving to. Not communicating this effectively can severely impact the response you get back from the public, suppliers and other external stakeholders - they will need to understand the details of the move and how it will affect the commercial relationship they have with you
The news should be communicated as early as possible, in as much detail as possible. This will help prevent misinformation and assumption. To ensure all stakeholders are kept up to date we recommend:
- a shared calendar detailing the dates and deadlines of the move for employees
- a move newsletter or weekly email round-up for employees, customers and other stakeholders dedicated space on your employee intranet and external website for move related updates
- regular all staff catch-ups
- a working group of move champions who can share details of the move and collect feedback from their teams
As part of the communication process, it's also important that people understand why the move is happening and how it will positively affect them individually, as well as the business as a whole.
Tip 2: plan early
Planning your relocation should be the first step in your moving journey. Clarify the move deadline and work backwards, establishing a clear timeline of activities and communications needed.
Consider the services of a relocation company early in your planning to ensure you set realistic budgets and timelines. . We recommend contacting the removal specialist 6 months in advance of the move so that you can arrange a site visit to provide an accurate quote.
Tip 3: set a clear, detailed and realistic budget (and stick to it!)
There are many different considerations in a commercial move and these can impact the most carefully planned budgets. If you are considering sourcing the services of a relocation specialist, they can advise on items to consider and help you to set a realistic budget that you can stick to. Our suppliers recommend that you consider:
- insurance premiums
- fire assessments
- fit-out expenses
- cabling and IT relocation charges
- new furniture installation
- removal and disposal of unwanted fittings
- handling of specialist or high-value items
- hiring an experienced project manager
When setting your budget, consider the addition of a buffer to account for unforeseen complications. A 15% flexibility should cover any unexpected costs. Likewise, a similar approach should be taken when setting your timelines.
When moving, your tenancy may place a responsibility on you for refurbishing the space you are vacating. It's worth considering this at the planning stage and consulting the terms of your tenancy agreement to be sure of your obligations.
Tip 4: moving office IT
IT relocation can be one of the most complicated parts of a commercial move. Every colleague in the business has their own specifications, which will need to be replicated in the new location. You will likely need to be moving services, workstations, telephone systems and any other ICT equipment that is housed in your current premises. If you are engaging the services of a professional relocation contractor, this will be one of the areas they can support you with.
Also consider how you will protect your data during the move. Damage to hard drives or servers could potentially result in the loss of valuable data with financial or legal General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) implications. It's therefore important to ensure that all data is carefully and securely backed up to prevent data loss.
Tip 5: arrange site visits
Site visits can be very useful if you are planning to engage the services of a professional relocation contractor. Site visits allow the consultancy to better understand the context of the move, such as:
- access to the building, road infrastructure, congestion, vehicle height and weight restrictions, parking, tolls and congestion charges
- internal access such as the size, number and availability of goods lifts, fixtures and fittings that may act as obstacles
Other factors to consider
It's also important to consider which internal stakeholders will need to attend a site visit. It's a good idea to bring along heads of department that may be impacted by the move. There will inevitably be questions raised by the consultancy that your stakeholders may be better placed to answer.
How we can support your commercial move
Lot 4 of our Logistics and Warehousing framework provides access to 6 suppliers that can provide a range of specialist relocation and removal services.
How can we help?
You can find a full list of all the commercial agreements we offer, alongside details of how we can help you build policy considerations into your procurement, in our interactive digital brochure.
Sam Hunt | Category Manager | Logistics and Warehousing