When companies are growing, they move.
When people think about business moving, they usually think of relocating an entire office to a new building. What they don’t realize is that most business moving is done in small amounts, often within the company’s own building or campus. This is the type of moving that really benefits from a moving program.
This article is for an administrator, office manager, or facility manager in a growing company who is responsible for their organization’s facility moving arrangements. As the company has grown in numbers and complexity, the need for moving has grown. You need it to arrange moves quickly and accurately so your time is not consumed by them.
I have found that a good moving program is the best way to keep up with the physical moving needs of a growing company. It is the best thing for the administrator, the employees being moved, and the moving company involved.
A moving program can be as simple as having a moving company available to do a move for you with a quick phone call or email. Or, you might have a year or two years’ worth of moving projects that you need to put a team together to handle. Or, it can be a day each week when you get all your little moving tasks done.
The idea is, instead of scrambling each time a moving project needs to be done, you have everything already in place to handle it easily and professionally. Procedures, contacts, locations, expectations, access, rates, billing, and problem solving details are already set.
This article provides information about what a moving program is; what it can do for you and your company or organization; when it does and doesn’t make sense to set one up; and how to get your own moving program up and running.
10 Moving Situations that Could Benefit from a Moving Program
- Expanding to fit in new employees or new departments.
- Temporarily moving areas in order to upgrade the space with new flooring or other renovations.
- Moving between branches
- Shifting a department to another area, floor, or building.
- Relocating an employee to another department or building.
- Changing the placement of people and departments to reflect a changed organizational plan.
- Re-configuring cubicle layout to better promote connections and communications.
- Removing old or excess furniture and equipment.
- Adjusting work surface heights, keyboard locations, and make other changes for individual users.
- Moving furniture and equipment to make better use of the space.
When It Does and Doesn’t Make Sense to Begin a Moving Program: 7 Factors to Consider
At some point, talking the maintenance or warehouse guys into moving your company’s furniture might not work any longer. Growing companies can reach a point where it makes sense to set up a moving program. Here are some factors to look at to make the decision.
1) Administrator’s Time
If you spend more of your time and attention getting things moved than on more pressing tasks, then it is time to change to a moving program.
2) Push Back from In House Moving Crew or Manager
Most small companies make use of maintenance, warehouse, or other employees for small moving tasks. But, it’s not their main job so they do not staff or train for it. When the time commitment, complexity, scheduling, or expertise needed can’t be accommodated, it is time to get outside help.
3) Scheduling Crunch
I’ve noticed that maintenance departments that handle moving projects sometimes hit a time crunch. Due to a scheduling conflict, staffing levels, or overtime issues, they are just not able to help on a particular project. You might need a backup plan for the time crunches.
4) Installation Expertise Needed
Older desks and file cabinets are fairly easy to move. On the other hand, systems furniture, cubicles, and adjustable desks require special training and tools. If your furniture needs specialized skills and equipment, it is time to look into a moving program.
5) Desire for Better Performance
Let’s face it. Everyone has their specialty. Moving in a business environment isn’t always as easy as it appears. When the results, responsiveness, or attitude are not what you and your employees need, it is time to make a change.
6) Need for Specialized Equipment
Most moving companies that specialize in moving offices own a full range of equipment to choose from (4-wheel dollies, heavy-duty dollies, panel carts, file transfer carts, machine carts, safe jacks, panel carts, speed-packs, J-bars, and cubicle tools). Usually, there is no cost for you when the movers bring and use their specialized equipment.
7) Safety Issues
The reason moving companies invest in training and equipment to prevent injuries while moving is because there is a constant risk of back and other injuries. If getting injured while moving would interfere with an employee doing their regular work, then it might not be worth having them involved.
How to Set Up Your Own Moving Program: 8 Ideas
1 ) Develop a Relationship with a Moving Company
Having a good working relationship with a mover makes it easy to set up a move. When the mover has an understanding of your business, facilities, access, parking, layout, and furniture types, it makes it easy to talk about an upcoming project. I’ve been able to set-up some big, complex moves over the phone with clients, just because we have worked together enough to understand and trust each other.
One of the big advantages of working with a moving company on a basis is their staff – the planner, movers, coordinators, and management — get to know you and your company and make a commitment to take care of you.
2) Settle on Rates
You can agree on hourly or other rates to cover almost every moving situation – long before the need arises. Then, when you need something done quickly, you are ready to act. The rates would also include overtime, material, minimums, and billing arrangements.
3) Set Up a Move with a Phone Call or Email
If you have the basics established, a quick phone call or email, or a site-visit and discussion with your move planner should be enough to set up a simple move.
4) Consolidate Several Little Moves
It’s the small tasks that can eat up your time. The easiest way to deal with them is consolidate two or more tasks on a moving list to make it worth the minimum moving time. Then, schedule the number of movers needed to take care of the list.
5) Use a Job Request System
Some facility managers and administrators simply write a shopping list of things that need done. Others use software that allows employees or departments to put in request for moving. If there are not many requests, the company’s administrator can schedule movers as needed. For a greater volume of requests, the administrator sets up a system so the requests go directly to the moving company to respond to.
6) Consider Scheduling a Regular Day
Whether it is weekly or monthly or when the list gets full, a regular schedule helps gets things done. One office manager has an arrangement with an office moving company to have two movers at her office each Wednesday. They report to her, she gives them a list of the tasks that need to be done, and they work their way through each one in turn. The advantage for her is when a department head asks her to get something moved, she can tell them exactly when it will get done.
7) Remove the Excess
Having a way to easily remove furniture and equipment in a timely way helps clear the clutter. Include disposal, charity donations, or off-site storage in the regular routine of your moving program.
8) Evaluate and Improve
Like any good team, you have the opportunity to evaluate and improve. This has been one of the best things for me in working on moving programs. With each move, the results improve, it gets easier for everyone involved, and moving actually can be enjoyable.
by Don Warner
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.