Relocating an office may be one of the most potentially damaging events in the life of a business. Office relocations have the capacity to devastate the entire operations of a business and impair its productivity and profits. Depending on how it is done, the negative impact of moving an office can continue to be felt months after the actual move has been completed.
1. Damage to costly and often fragile furniture, equipment, and office materials.
2. Disruption of the business’ operations (resulting in office downtime) if items are not packed, loaded, and unloaded within a tightly managed timeframe
3. Lost time, opportunities, customers, and misplaced items (including the risk of having confidential documents fall into the wrong hands).
4. A risk to the well-being of employees and the general public if dangerous materials are not handled properly during the relocation.
To avoid these problems, how you plan an office relocation matters. The expertise of the mover makes all the difference. As the property manager of a commercial building, what do you need to know when arranging a mover for the businesses in your facility?
The first and most important thing to know is that relocating an office is significantly different from moving a home. A specific skill set, and tools are needed to disassemble, transport, and reassemble an entire office within a short time.
To do this with minimal disruption to a business, the moving company you choose must have proven competence in this area. So, what are the things to look for in a commercial mover before you hire the company? This post will answer that question.
For the sake of your property management business and the protection of the businesses in your commercial building, scrutinize your potential commercial mover using the following criteria.
An accredited mover is the only kind of mover you should be looking for. If the move is within the same state, you need a mover that is licensed by your state. For moves that will cross state lines, the mover must have a U.S. DOT number.
The information on the mover’s website is not sufficient proof of their accreditation status, you should verify all licensing and certification claims by a moving company by going through the official websites.
The company must have an office with established hours. They should be able to demonstrate their expertise and reputation through the number of years they have been in business and the quality of their key people.
Look for proof of their ability to handle different kinds of commercial moves such as in the areas of healthcare, hospitals, engineering, heavy equipment, libraries, schools and universities, chemical manufacturers, or IT.
A case study provides vital insights into a mover’s capabilities; the more recent case studies they can show you, the better. Also, ask for a list of past customers that you can talk to (and make sure you contact them).
More importantly, find out what others are saying about the business on third-party websites such as Yelp, Better Business Bureau (BBB), Trustpilot, and Google.
Does the mover provide sufficient protection from possible harm to its customers, its employees, its people, and your commercial building? If the mover is fully insured, does the policy provide enough coverage for any damage or loss to you or the businesses on your premises? At the very least, you should require that a mover have verifiable public liability, employee liability, and goods in transit insurance.
Will the mover work with you to plan and organize the move? Weeks before the move, can you expect them to visit the premises, request for floor plans, and work with you to create a project plan? Does the mover assign a dedicated manager for each move, and do they have a contingency plan to ensure business continuity even when things go wrong?
Is the quote comprehensive, transparent, and easy to read? How willing is the company to answer questions about the various fees and charges included in the quote? Before you hire a mover, compare quotes from other movers. But do not hire a mover because they have the cheapest quote. Low price quotes may cost more eventually because they often have hidden fees.
What are the specific relocation services you need? Are you doing a standard office move or a specialized move? Do you need full packing and unpacking? Do you require white glove delivery or seamless IT integration? Will the move include disposing of unwanted items like IT equipment or furniture? Do you want a company that can offer storage?
In addition to the above, communication and responsiveness matter a lot. From the first minute you start talking to a commercial mover, pay attention to your gut feelings. If you are not comfortable with anything, it is always best to walk away.