How to Limit Downtime in a Corporate Office Move
By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
There are three major components to limiting your time offline, and if you implement all three you should be able to pull off a seamless transition. But here's the trick--you can't pick and choose two out of three; there's a synchronicity to this process that demands attention to each of the three pieces.
Point Person and Planning
If you were to take away one thing from reading this, it's that you need one person in charge. And that one person's primary task is to manage all the planning and logistics of the move. Determine a budget for the move and set your point person free to interview and hire a professional moving company. Here are a couple of other jobs your internal “concierge” will oversee.
Service providers--everybody from the water delivery guy to your internet provider--need to know your move date as soon as possible, and any changes in the scope of their work. Create a timeline of when services are shut off in your old location and when they will be live in the new one. Ideally, there's a few days overlap to ensure you're covered if there's a snafu with the actual move.
Get your point person a floor plan of the new space as soon as you have any upfit details and share it with the professional movers. This information not only helps estimate costs (ground floor vs elevator, loading docks, etc.), but lets the crew design the flow of the move-in. A copy of the floor plan really helps the designers place desks and other equipment ahead of the move and that in turn shortens the actual loading into the space.
Call it what you will--IT Closet, Server Room, Hall of Despair and Confusion--the sooner you identify where that space is, your IT team can prepare for running cables and whatnot.
Presumably, if you are relocating your office you're also springing for the latest in technology. If you haven't upgraded your systems in a while, you're in for a happy surprise--that large room you needed for all your old hardware has shrunk so much that you might only need a small closet dedicated to the IT stuff.
Now is also a good time to assess your tech accessories--the equipment that protects you if something goes wrong. These would include your power backups, surge protectors, fire extinguishers, and HVAC.
If you're using the cloud and your staff can work remotely during the move, you might be able to keep going without any online downtime. If that's not your scenario, make sure your moving magician has all these details nailed down.
Your IT team should have all the wiring and hookups for workstations, printers, and phones tested and ready for action as soon as the new equipment comes in the door. If you're getting new equipment, make sure it's all in place so they can plug it in as soon as the desks arrive.
Managing All the Details
Your concierge handles all the internal details and hands-off info as needed to your moving company, providers, and others that need to be in the loop. This frees up the rest of the staff to continue focusing on their real jobs instead of wondering where they can find the files. It also helps morale to know that there is one person handling everything, and they know where to go to dispel the rumors that you're doing away with the free coffee.
In short, if you have a plan and the right point person and office moving company implementing that plan, your corporate office move can be seamless and worry-free.
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