Have you ever been involved in relocating an office, or offices, or an entire company headquarters? If you think moving home is complicated and difficult, try moving offices. Moving home involves packing, moving and unpacking one family’s belongings. Of course it helps to label the boxes so that items from the same rooms can be kept together and placed in the appropriate rooms upon arrival, but at the end of the day it’s generally only one family with only one kitchen, one living room, not very many bedrooms and not a vast distance between them. When relocating offices, on the other hand, there may be several separate but integrated departments each with their own specific requirements. The people charged with the task of moving everything have a lot to think about.
Meeting the staff for initial planning
Delivery of packing materials
Packing (especially of I.T. equipment)
Labelling of packages
Handling, transportation and delivery
First Things First
Planning and co-ordination are the most important foundations of any logistical operation, and that certainly includes office removals. Imagine asking the office staff to do it themselves. Without the relevant experience they wouldn’t know how to begin and would probably soon get into arguments. The removals teams or team leaders have to hold a preliminary planning meeting with the office staff in order for all involved to understand what is required of each person for a smooth operation. Lack of communication leads to misunderstandings, confusion and frustration, so efficient communication is vital for co-ordination. Office move plans must be drawn up, including who is to do what, where and when but to allow flexibility in order to minimize disruption to the business. Depending on the sizes and number of offices being moved there may need to be a series of meetings to determine the particular needs of each department. This allows the production of an operational timetable including specialist services that may be required. The manager or co-ordinator needs to nominate team leaders for each department or delivery site according to their speciality (heavy objects, furniture, electronics, security for valuables and so on). A general layout plan of the new premises should ideally be drawn to help staff decide where various items should be placed, and this in turn helps the movers to put everything where it ultimately needs to be. If a whole headquarters is being relocated then the labels must specify which building, floor, room and general area the box is from. For this reason labelling is a very important part of an office move.
Delicate or sensitive equipment needs to be handled, packed and transported with appropriate care to avoid bumps and vibrations. Looking after such equipment has to be a priority, using plastic bubble wrap to protect all the components of I.T. systems. It helps to have a variety of shapes and sizes of removals cartons for the variety of objects (such as desk lamps and standard lamps, vases and ornaments large and small). A lot of office furniture has to be dismantled and then reassembled after the move. That entails a lot of work, which the office staff certainly would not want to be loaded with even if they were capable of doing it. Of course it has to be carefully wrapped, packed and protected during the move. Heavy-duty equipment, such as safes and fireproofed cupboards, needs specialist handling equipment, which that particular team needs to know how to use. For fragile and high value items it may be necessary to design and produce custom made crates for complete protection, and indeed some removals companies do have this facility.
If doing all the planning and packing would be too much to ask of the office staff, how about asking them to do the actual lifting, carrying and moving? This is probably the most obvious reason for employing a removals company, although the other reasons mentioned above are no less significant. The company will arrange the most suitable forms of transportation, be it over land, water, sea or by air. If you are relocating over a large distance, then this may involve more than one type of vehicle and a lot of handling.
Finding the Right Company for You
These days there are a large number of companies, some using the new lexicon of logistics and others the more traditional word removals, offering the types of services described above. The choice can be daunting, but there are online comparison websites which you can use and are good for people looking either to make savings on their removals costs, or to optimise efficiency in the relocation process. Such services can save as much stress as they save time.
This article was written by Viviana Alberti for The House Removals Company.The House Removals Company is market leaders in relocation services. Viviana has two teenage children and has relocated her family several times. She enjoys sharing her stories and experiences in her blog.