Moving Offices? Important Relocation Considerations from our IT Experts
By Jeremy Louise | June 15th, 2016
Relocating to a new office can be an extremely stressful and time consuming ordeal. Between managing the logistics of the physical move, coordinating employees and the hiccups that always arise at the most inopportune moments, it can easily become a full time endeavor that takes away from focusing on your daily tasks and core competencies. Ensuring that you’re ready to relocate on moving day requires a high level of organization and the assistance from trusted service partners that will help make the transition to your new office seamless with limited frustration or downtime.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Any successful office relocation begins long before packing or moving day and starts with a clear and detailed action plan. At TSI, we follow a thorough checklist to ensure any and all details are considered and nothing is overlooked; small mistakes can amount to huge expenses and it’s our responsibility as your technology partner to share those considerations. We’ve provided a link to checklists you can use here and here. Much like a large IT project, we start the process by creating a plan that ensures the entire organization is aware of what action items need to be performed, their responsibilities, and the deadlines associated with both. From an IT standpoint, some of the things to incorporate in your plan are:
- Identifying your needs as an organization: ISP and telecommunications needs, minimum square footage, workflow style (Open/Private), common areas, parking/mass transit access, and location to accommodate your existing and future staff.
- Informing your managed service provider (MSP) or IT department to provide adequate time to migrate the entire network infrastructure
- Choosing a licensed and reputable moving company familiar with network infrastructure breakdown/setups
- Determining who does what, when; Will the racks be moved as whole? Are the cubicles hard-wired or easy to disassemble?
- Setting Expectations; Notify both your employees and clients of the impending move, possible downtime, and/or limited availability during the transition.
We have provided an additional resource here from our friends at Isaacs’ Moving, who routinely help our clients with their relocation needs by providing a timeline of the tasks needed to complete a move. You will notice they recommend beginning the process 6 months ahead of the actual move and maintaining a clear course of action.
Visit Your New Facility
From there- and we can’t stress this enough – perform a walk-through of the new office environment with your technology partner to perform a proper assessment of your anticipated needs. It’s easy to miss minute details that can result in having a profoundly negative impact on your relocation. Through a preliminary discovery of items like the availability of special cabling, or internet connectivity, you can save your organization thousands of dollars.
Unfortunately, we’ve assisted with a number of organizations that did not include their IT partners in the process, and as a result, had to help with what were otherwise avoidable costs and associated downtime. Keep in mind that many commercial office buildings have stipulations within their contracts regarding the types of furniture you can install and the hours you can move to minimize disturbances with other businesses in the area; coordinate with building management prior to scheduling any construction, movers, or wiring.
Remind Your Clients. Again.
Once you’ve identified a mover and everything is ready to be packed it’s important to inform clients that there may be some downtime or temporary unavailability. We recommend that offices moves occur after hours, but because many of our clients are available to their clients 24×7, it’s important to advise them of any potential interruptions to their service. This not only shows you’re proactive about informing your clients but that you respect your role in their success and respect their time.
Packing and Moving
Once all factors have been identified and the check list has been completed, it’s time to plan how to pack and move your network equipment. The major factor to consider here is not all moving companies are insured or trained to break down your network hardware and properly prepare it for packing. It’s very important to not assume that this will be taken care of by your movers and that you utilize a company that is appropriately insured and trained to perform such a task. If your mover is uncomfortable breaking down your network environment, work with your IT partner in conjunction with your moving company to establish clear and defined roles so that everyone understands their responsibilities. A reputable moving company will have resources readily available to identify the best means of packing your office and organizing it for the big day.
Covering Your Bases
Regardless of how reputable your mover is, you should inquire about the different insurance and coverages that are provided to safeguard items during a move. Oftentimes, it’s wrongfully assumed that movers cover any damages associated with the move which causes problems when an incident occurs. If your technology investments are of the utmost importance to your organization, it may be wise to explore the variety of insurance and coverage plans safeguarding them.
Moving day has arrived and hopefully all the months of planning have properly prepared your organization. Everything from the prior location has been packed, labeled, and ready to be setup at your new office. Refer to your moving plan throughout the day as a management tool. Assist the movers by being onsite during the loading and unloading process. Reaffirm and communicate the intended layout to ease the hours of work for all parties as it will also make the transition less of a burden on employees entering their new environment. During the planning phase, ask your mover for suggestions on creating a tagging system to lessen the chaos while unloading and limit confusion. Lastly, create a rapport with your moving company rep who manages these sort of migrations on a daily basis, they are likely to have many shortcuts that could help save you time and money.
Moving Anytime Soon?
For assistance in relocating your IT assets, please contact us anytime. For more information regarding how to successfully relocate or move your offices, reach out to our moving and storage service partner Isaac’s. With 5 locations nationwide, they provide comprehensive relocation services that are unique to their industry, with established business relations only earned through years of professional service.
Isaacs’s Moving and Storage