Whilst corporate moves are stressful, time-consuming and sometimes triggered by external factors, most organisations that relocate become better setup in their new facilities, benefitting from the opportunity to strategically re-think their operations and setup.
Here are BRM’s top ten tips for navigating smoothly into your new premises.
Take a moment to consider what a perfect project would look like. Other than relocating, what’s important? Zero downtime? Aesthetics and client impressions? Budget? A pressing deadline? Staff morale? Sustainability? Create a top level set of goals to guide decision-making and measure against. Break the project into stages with progressive milestones.
2.CREATE A TIMELINE
Start as early as possible - compressing the timeline is always possible but can compromise the project. A rushed property search jeopardises strategic negotiations. Tight timelines inhibit the design process. And a poorly planned relocation can quickly turn into a nightmare move. Include time for property negotiations, false starts, tendering and always allow contingency.
3.FORM AN INITIAL BUDGET
It’s nearly impossible to plan a project and make crucial early decisions without knowing rough costs. Investigate likely project costs with key providers. Form an initial budget but keep the numbers rough to allow flexibility.
4.APPOINT THE RIGHT CONSULTANTS
Key providers must have a strong match to your scope, budget and timing goals. Appointing consultants without the relevant skills and experience will drain company resources and compromise the project.
Research the commercial real estate market. Visit recent fitouts. Speak to previous project owners. Seek input from consultants. Gather as much information as practical to make informed project decisions.
6.INCORPORATE CHANGE MANAGEMENT
Change management is often given a lower priority than timelines, budgets and more tangible tasks such as the new property and relocation. But staff engagement, information flow and balanced input are essential to a quality project. Use your project to make a positive change to the working environment and how it is perceived.
7.MICRO-PLAN THE MOVE
The move is the area that tends to cause the most stress – but typically is quick and painless, even for larger relocations. The key is methodical planning, using quality, experienced providers and having the right equipment. Micro-plan the move and free yourself up to oversee any issues on the day.
8.NOW PLAN THE IT SYSTEMS
With the physical move under control, IT is often the next sticking point. Most IT partners will offer a full service covering all the applications, connections, planning and system design and sometimes the physical move as well. For everyone going it alone beware of long lead times for connection of services and ensure you have the right equipment to move your IT assets. With IT systems being the backbone of a business, servers and computers are typically the last items to be switched off and packed, and the first to be moved and setup at the new space. Include IT in your move planning and always have backup and recovery options.
9.REMEMBER THE PREMISES DISPOSAL
Whilst the project focus is always on the new space and move, don’t forget to consider the old premises and handover obligations. Any make good requirements should be scoped and tendered in advance, so pull out your lease and check the handover clauses. Proactively meet with the landlord to gauge their requirements, because leases are often vague on make goods meaning negotiation is probably required. If the old space has an upcoming make-good, sale or leasing campaign, line up the providers to commence as soon as you have relocated to minimise holding costs.
10.WHAT ARE YOU LOSING SLEEP OVER?
Sourcing or negotiating on the new space? Down time and customer impact? Relocating stock? Staff concerns? IT? Every project has challenging components which can nag at you in the middle of the night. Identify these areas and give them extra attention, so you can go to sleep knowing they are under control.