Selecting a Mover – the Make or Break of Any Office Relocation
By: Sarah Wallace, CDFA, LEED Green Associate
One of the most intimidating responsibilities facing an office manager can be an office relocation. And one of the most important decisions you have to make is selecting the relocation company. Here’s a quick recap from my selection process.
Step 1: Confirm all the Details
When your company prepares for a move, you will certainly get inundated with phone calls from several office relocation companies who are anxious to set-up a meeting right away. I recommend that you wait until you have the basic parameters of the move confirmed (date, items to move, items to liquidate, etc.) I downloaded the Office Relocation Checklist from the SDA website to help make sure I addressed all aspects as I went through the process.
Confirm the available times for office relocations with both your existing and new property management companies. Often times they require moves to be after business hours or on the weekend. You will need to coordinate the selected date with your IT and Telecommunications to ensure your infrastructure has the required time to ensure they are operational when needed.
Confirm what items are to be relocated from work stations to contents. If there are items that will not be relocated, perhaps there is an opportunity to negotiate with the new tenant for these items or you can request a separate quote for liquidation of those items when you meet with the relocation companies.
I put removable stickers on all items that either said “Move,” “Stay,” or “Donate” to assist with easy identification during walk-throughs with moving companies and the new tenants.
Step 2: Meet with at least 3 movers
I set-up appointments with prospective movers 6 weeks prior to the move and they all provided full proposals within a week following our meeting. I asked other SDA members in Atlanta for recommendations, which was also a great resource. I created a simple spreadsheet listing the proposed services and total anticipated costs for all companies. Be sure that you clarify if the proposed amounts are “not-to-exceed” or if you will be charged for additional time if your move exceeds the anticipated amount of time.
We actually had two separate moves; the first was our storage unit, and the second was the office itself. I would encourage you not to underestimate the intangible value of repore when you evaluate the proposals. While all the proposals were relatively close, I selected a mover based on the positive repore and great customer service. Moving can be stressful; and after spending a full 10 hours just moving the storage unit, I was extremely grateful that I had such a great repore with our move coordinator.
Step 3: Ancillary Services
Many relocation companies provide additional services from hanging pictures in your new space to computer relocation specialists if you don’t have your own IT team, and even document storage facilities. Be sure you ask about any additional services you might need so they can be included on your original proposal.
These are a few simple steps as you get started in the relocation process. What additional advice do you have for others who are facing the daunting challenge of an office relocation?
Sarah Wallace is the Controller for Surber Barber Choate + Hertlein Architects, an Atlanta-based boutique architecture firm specializing in high-end residential and mixed-use development. She is the current SDA National President.