Move Your Office Without Going Crazy

sitting on floor with laptopIf you go crazy it doesn’t count as a successful office move.

A move coordinator is usually a hard-working employee who is willing to take responsibility for others and make sure things get done no matter what. Maybe that’s why you got picked to do it. You’re exactly the kind of person needed to coordinate a successful business move.

The problem is, no one else gets what is involved in planning a move. It can all seem easy to them.

Because coordinating a move is a complex, time-consuming, and fast-moving process, a coordinator can try to do more than can or should be done. When the move is over, and everyone is happy, but the coordinator is stressed-out and exhausted, and their regular work has suffered,  then the move was not really successful.

I think there is a better way to move a business than driving a good employee crazy during a moving project.

 

If you are the move coordinator, here’s what you can do to make your move a success and not go crazy doing it.

1. Start with a clear understanding with your boss.

Agreement is needed on two things. First, you need time to get things done,  Unless your job is coordinating moves for your company, you can’t do your regular job and add move coordination on top of it without going crazy. Agree to adjust other responsibilities so you can focus on the move plan. Second, you need the authority to get things done. If a boss is not involved in the planning process and then gets involved later it can mess up a great move plan. It is important that everyone understands your company needs one point person for move coordination–and you’re it.

2. Start the process as soon as you can.

Time works in your favor for planning and coordinating people. There are a lot of decisions to be made and details to be addressed. For a 5 to 25 person move 2 weeks is a minimum, 2 to 6 months is great. For a 25-75 person move, 3 to 12 months is great. For a 75 to 300 person move, 6 to 18 months is great. I started working with a client on a 150-employee move in downtown Seattle two years before the target move date. It gave us the time to work at a steady pace.

3. Pull your team together early.

IT, department  heads, administrators need to be involved. They need to be people who will get things done, work as a team, and put in the time needed to prepare.

4. Contract good providers to do the work so you don’t have to.

Other people and companies make a living doing relocations, whether it’s moving, furniture, computers, data, or equipment. Get them involved so they can get you what you need. Having a competent team on your side makes your job much easier.

5. Find out what each vendor needs from you and get it for them.

It’s not an endless list of things to do (it only seems like it.) If you do your part you can expect them to do theirs. If they have what they need they can carry the weight of getting their tasks done.

6. Focus on the essentials of coordinating the move.

Screen out the non-essentials. Moving isn’t the best time to re-organize. If something can be done before or after the moving project, it should be.

7. Stick with a realistic goal. It isn’t perfection.

Your goal is to get people to another location and get them working normally again. If that gets done, you succeeded.

8. Agree on a schedule so everyone can fit into it.

This might be the most overlooked but easiest ways to get everyone working together without much effort. For more information on scheduling, read my mini article: The Key to Moving an Office: How a Realistic Schedule Prevents Disaster and Makes Almost Everything Work Out Almost Perfectly.

 

Are you ready to get started planning your moving project?

Contact me to ask your questions, schedule a visit, or request a proposal.

 

Article by Don Warner

Website: ILoveToMove.com

Email: don@ILoveToMove.com

I love to plan and coordinate moving, especially for critical or complex moves.  My clients are busy organized people who want their moves to go smoothly.  Let’s talk about your moving plans.

 

 

 

How a Realistic Schedule Makes Almost Everything Work Out Almost Perfectly

Good-moving-plan

 

There is one major reason it is so important to me to get in on my client’s moving project early. Someone has to stick up for moving.

Tenant improvements and furniture deliveries can take months. Delays can push the project later and later. Moving seems like one of those things in life that can just be done faster to make up for lost time.

Most professionals and trades not familiar with commercial moving don’t have a way to determine how much can be moved in a certain amount of time in a particular building. There are some hard and fast things like building restrictions, elevator size, dock space that go into move scheduling. Then there are the details of furniture, panels, cubicles, computers, and equipment. We have ways to get a lot done in a very short time, the question is just how long is the very short time.

An unrealistic schedule means things don’t get done or don’t get done on time. A realistic schedule puts everyone -you, the moving company, the vendor team, your employees – in position for a successful move.

Here are the things to consider in developing a moving schedule.

 

What kind of a schedule works best for an office relocation?

 

1. Simple

Professional project scheduling software or gantt charts works if your team members are used to working with them. If not, I recommend a schedule written in plain English showing dates, times, and what is happening when. This allows department managers, IT staff, vendors, and everyone else to see exactly where they fit in.

2. Updated

With each change, the schedule needs updated.

3. Distributed

Whether it is in an email or shared software, everyone involved needs to get the latest.

 

Here are 6 of the questions I will ask to help develop a schedule for your move:

 

1. When would your regular business be affected the least?

We move a lot of businesses on weekends and evenings. This keeps your operation going as normally as possible with the least downtime. If a weekend, holiday, or slow period would work for your business, you can schedule the heart of the move during the slack time.

2. Can you get the employees off site during the move?

It is faster and safer to move furniture and equipment without the users present. My labeling system will answer all our questions without them being there. Is there somewhere else for them to work or do a training during the move?

3. What tasks can be scheduled at another time?

You can only focus on one task at a time. Moving the office will take your full attention.

For example, let’s say you have a room of files, legal records, or medical charts. Usually we work with your employees to correctly transfer the files to your new location. Scheduling it for a separate day gives you and your staff the ability to focus on it instead of trying to do it while moving a floor of furniture.

4. What can be done before the move begins?

Areas that people are not working in, new furniture installation, moves to and from storage are tasks that can be scheduled before (or after) the main move.

What can you schedule during daylight and regular business hours?

When you have a choice, I recommend scheduling moving services during normal business times. It is tempting to think going around the clock would get the most done the fastest. It’s not necessarily true.

Moving in Washington can be tricky. When it’s already raining, and then gets dark in the late afternoon, moving gets more difficult. We do it all the time, but if you don’t have to it’s safer not to.

5. What tasks have to be done at a specific time?

A computer server room might have to move at an exact time. I can have a dedicated crew ready to move it the minute it is disconnected. The crew assigned to it does nothing else until the servers are done. Your IT staff gets what they need and can get back to work as quickly as possible.

6. What tasks are flexible with time?

A realistic schedule finds the balance between specific times and keeping things flexible enough to account for operational issues. For example, to schedule moving Accounting at 9am, Sales at 11, and Service at 1pm looks good on paper. But it is usually better to say we’re starting with Accounting at 9am and then moving on to Sales and then Service, finishing everyone by the end of the day.

 

7 Guidelines for the Best Moving Schedule

 

1. Build In Time To Deal With Issues.

Although something normally takes an hour, it sometimes takes more. If the scheduling is so tight that everything has to go perfectly to work, then the schedule is too tight.

 2. Get everyone who is involved in the move to agree to the schedule.

One vendor or department that appears at the last moment and needs everything changed makes it difficult for everyone.

3. Nail down everything you can before the move so you can deal with the strange things that pop up during the move.

I work hard to make sure the main plan of the move is set in stone. Then, when the little problems appear, we are all in a position to take care of them.

It doesn’t take massive meetings of everyone involved week after week to plan a relocation.

A written schedule allows every contractor, trade, department, and supervisor to see how they fit into the plan. If the topic of a meeting is IT, only the people involved need to be there.

4. Look for scheduling conflicts.

We want to know if something won’t work. For example, in preparing for a move, the IT department was planning on installing new computers in the cubicles on a certain day. It was clear from the schedule that the cubicles would not be installed at that point so we made other plans.

5. Firm up the schedule as the move gets closer.

The closer it gets to the move date the firmer the schedule gets. It is reasonable to have cut offs to changes. At some point there are too many people, vendors, and orders involved to make major changes.

6. Trust the power of your schedule.

I listened as an administrator told a senior partner of a large law firm that, no matter how much he begged, we wouldn’t move his office right then because it was on the schedule for the next day. A good schedule really can keep everyone on track.

7. Be flexible.

Things happen. Things have to change. Changing them causes the move to succeed. 

In the end, everything will work because you started with a good schedule.

 

What is a realistic schedule for your move?

I can help you put together a preliminary schedule for your move based on your timing, business flow, building, and furniture requirements. Schedule a time to meet at your convenience.

 

Article by Don Warner

Website: ILoveToMove.com

Email: don@ILoveToMove.com

I love to plan and coordinate moving, especially for critical or complex moves.  My clients are busy organized people who want their moves to go smoothly.  Let’s talk about your moving plans.

The Office Relocation Hero: Why Everyone Will Love You

 

The Move Coordinator As Hero

When the dust settles and everyone in your company is in their new spot you don’t want them hating you.

You want them to be grateful. Grateful to you because you worked hard to plan, organize, and make it happen.

And they will be grateful to you.

 

Why?

Because you were the one who took the impossible task of moving and succeeded.

You made a bunch of furniture, computers, and other stuff disappear and then appear somewhere else.

 

Why you?

Because other people offered to help but no one else was willing to take the lead.

You took the job that no one else wanted.

 

You helped everyone get what they needed.

You got the meticulous and the careless moved. You got the overly-eager and the foot-draggers moved. You got the overly-involved and the un-involved moved.

You even got the too-busy-to-think-about-moving-people moved.

 

So, how did you do it?

  • You had a clear plan for how the move would happen.
  • You had a realistic schedule to get things done.
  • You partnered with expert vendors.
  • You had a move team you could count on.
  • You had a boss who backed you up.
  • You had a system for moving each item to the right spot.
  • You communicated to everyone what they needed to know and do.
  • You made it easy for each employee to prepare for the move on their own schedule.
  • You had the move so organized you were able to relax and watch it happen.

You were amazing.

 

Article by Don Warner

Website: ILoveToMove.com

Email: don@ILoveToMove.com

I love to plan and coordinate moving, especially for critical or complex moves.  My clients are busy organized people who want their moves to go smoothly.  Let’s talk about your moving plans.

 

 

 

Where Can You Store Things During Construction? Six Options

During construction and renovation, items need to be cleared from construction zones.  Where can these items be stored temporarily?  Here are six options.

 

1. Storage in a different section of your building.

Security:  Good

Cost: Low

Convenience:  Good, unless it is in your way.

Main Advantage: It is cheap and easy storage.

Disadvantage: Makes an area of your home or building unusable.

Tip: Cover items with padding so items can be pushed close together or stacked.

 

2. Storage in another building you own or can borrow temporarily.

Security: As good as the building.

Cost: Low

Convenience: Requires moving off-site.

Main Advantage: It gets things out of the way.

Tip: Make sure it has good access for trucks and movers.

 

3. Storage in a container placed on-site.

Security: Medium

Cost: Medium to High.

Convenience: High.

Main Advantage: It gets things out of the way yet gives you access to your stuff if you need it.

Disadvantage: Neighbors might object to the appearance.

Tip: Make sure your neighbors are OK with it.

 

4. Storage in a storage-trailer that you load and then park in a secure location.

Security: Depends on the location it is parked.

Cost: Low

Convenience: High.

Main Advantage: You can park it close to load it, then get it out of the way until you need the stuff back.

Disadvantage: Things must be loaded securely in the truck so they don’t get damaged while transporting the trailer.

Tip: Check it to make sure it doesn’t leak.

 

5. In a self-storage (mini-storage) facility.

Security: Medium

Cost: Medium

Convenience: Medium

Main Advantage: You can get to your stuff if you need to.

Disadvantage: You can’t control who stores what near your unit.

Tip: Find out how close to your unit you can park a truck.

 

6. Storage in a moving company warehouse

Security: High

Cost: Medium

Convenience: Medium

Main Advantage:  Protection of furniture, equipment, and electronic items.

Disadvantage: You can’t just walk in and get your stuff whenever you want.

Tip: Find one that specializes in furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E).

 

Contact me for a storage quote.

 

Article by Don Warner

Website: ILoveToMove.com

Email: don@ILoveToMove.com

I love to plan and coordinate moving, especially for critical or complex moves.  My clients are busy organized people who want their moves to go smoothly.  Let’s talk about your moving plans.

 

How To Verify If a Washington State Moving Company is a Licensed Mover

Anyone moving household goods for the public in Washington State is required to be licensed and to display the license on their literature and trucks. The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) is responsible for licensing moving companies in the state. To receive and hold a license, a mover has to do several things to protect the public:

  • Use the rates in the state tariff.
  • Follow the consumer protection rules of the WUTC.
  • File annual financial statements and reports with the WUTC.
  • Show proof of public liability, property damage, and vehicle insurance.
  • Participate in Washington Labor and Industries’ workers compensation insurance program.
  • File safety and operation reports.

A moving company can say they are licensed, but how would you know?  Now you can find out for yourself.  Verify a mover’s license at WUTC website: Click to go to list

For more WUTC info: Click to go to moving company section of WUTC site

Article by Don Warner

Website: ILoveToMove.com

Email: don@ILoveToMove.com

I love to plan and coordinate moving, especially for critical or complex moves.  My clients are busy organized people who want their moves to go smoothly.  Let’s talk about your moving plans.

Moving Can Cause Destructive Rage

If you’re ready to take a break from organizing your move, here’s the perfect book for you.  On Moving is a book about moving, from the experience of several writers. Maybe you can relate to this:

For author Eugene O’Neill the sight of a packed box could prompt “uncontrollable bouts of destructive rage.” He trashed his room at Princeton and once took a machete to the furniture in his parents’ hotel suite.

(From the review by Amy Finnerty in the New York Times.)

Or, maybe you should wait until you move and get settled to read these stories.

The book is: On Moving: A Writer’s Meditation on New Houses, Old Haunts, and Finding Home Again by Louise DeSalvo

Website: ILoveToMove.com

Email: don@ILoveToMove.com

I love to plan and coordinate moving, especially for critical or complex moves.  My clients are busy organized people who want their moves to go smoothly.  Let’s talk about your moving plans.

What is a Tractor-Trailer?

Tractor TrailerOne of the questions a mover will ask you is,  “Can we get a tractor-trailer to your place ?”  It’s hard to answer if you are not even sure what a tractor-trailer is.  This article will tell you what it is and what other truck choices a moving company has for your move.

A tractor-trailer is a large truck with two parts.  Other names for a tractor-trailer are 18-wheeler, big rig, semi, and in moving tariffs it is sometimes called road equipment or over-the-road equipment.

Tractor

The front part is the tractor.  The tractor isn’t a farmer’s tractor; it’s the power unit.  It’s the part with the motor and driver that pulls the load.

Trailer

The trailer is the big empty box on wheels that you put the furniture in. It’s called a semi-trailer because it is not a complete trailer.  You will notice that it doesn’t have front wheels.  The front part of it rests on the back of the tractor instead of it’s own wheels.  (A full-trailer has its own front wheels – like a kid’s wagon.)

Length of a tractor-trailer

A modern moving semi trailer is 53-feet in length.  The average total length of a tractor-trailer combination is 70-feet.  Now you know why movers ask if there is room to park one – it takes a lot of room.

Options

The tractor-trailer is the standard type of truck for long distance moving and for large office moves.  For situations where a tractor-trailer won’t fit, a straight truck is used.  A straight truck is a one-piece truck.  For example a standard U-Haul truck is a straight truck.  A local moving company usually has a fleet of straight trucks in sizes from 22-feet to 26-feet in length.

Not sure if a semi will fit or not?  Ask your mover to check out your situation for you.

Article by Don Warner

Website: ILoveToMove.com

Email: don@ILoveToMove.com

I love to plan and coordinate moving, especially for critical or complex moves.  My clients are busy organized people who want their moves to go smoothly.  Let’s talk about your moving plans.

Protect Yourself From the Latest Moving Scam

Example of mismatched MC number

Does This MC Number Match it’s Owner?

The newest moving scam tries to make a phony moving company appear legitimate.  I can tell you how to  easily avoid the scam by knowing where to look.

First, here’s how the scam works.  Because every moving company involved in interstate moving has to have and display their UDSOT and MC numbers, a scammer simply finds a website for a licensed moving company or van line.  Then, they copy the DOT and MC numbers and paste them onto their own website.  It gives the appearance of  legitimacy.   The scammer is usually an individual or company without the accountability, trucks, insurance, and financing required to have the authorization.

An unaware consumer sees the ad and assumes it must be legitimate because the official numbers are displayed.

How do you know if the moving company is legitimate or not?  All you have to do is verify that the number shown on their material  matches the company name and address on file with the government.

Checking out a moving company takes just seconds.   Here is how and where to check.  First, look at the numbers in the ad.

There are two different numbers.  One begins with USDOT and the other begins with MC.

  1. Start with the MC number provided by the mover or on their website and literature.
  2. Copy the number and then go to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) easy search.
  3. Enter the MC number and you will get the name and address of the moving company registered under that license.   You can check the US DOT number using the same site.

The info on file should match the info on the website.  If not, what appears to be a legitimate moving company, may be just a slick website.

It is important to know that a legitimate moving operation can be licensed under their van lines’ MC number.  For example,  if your local moving company is an agent for a national van line (such as Atlas, Bekins, Mayflower, etc.) they will display the MC and USDOT numbers of the van line they represent.  That is the number you will see on their website, estimates, and trucks.  When you check online, you might find their name and address listed as the van lines headquarters rather than the local address.

Article by Don Warner

Website: ILoveToMove.com

Email: don@ILoveToMove.com

I love to plan and coordinate moving, especially for critical or complex moves.  My clients are busy organized people who want their moves to go smoothly.  Let’s talk about your moving plans.