5 Things to Consider When Planning an Office Remodel or Relocation

There’s a reason you don’t want to choose just anyone when it comes to planning an office remodel or relocation.

Any significant infrastructure project represents an investment on your company’s part. It’s not just in the money you allocate to purchase your furnishings and equipment. You’ll also invest the time and resources of your staff as well as commit to downtime in order to complete your relocation, renovation or expansion.

With such a large outlay of assets on the line, preparing for success is crucial.

As you search for moving and installation vendors to complete your project, there are five key areas you’ll likely want to examine. Within each, you’ll discover a few potential hurdles that could derail your installation.

However, by recognizing these possible trouble areas up front, you’ll be better positioned for a successful project that provides a positive return on your investment.

Together, let’s walk through the five areas you should investigate when you decide to relocate, renovate or expand your office:

#1: Can Your Partner Help You Create a Realistic Transition Plan That Meets Your Goals?

When you’re undertaking a project like an office renovation or a move, you may have questions like:

  • How much will this project disrupt normal business operations?
  • What kind of downtime are we looking at?
  • How can we make sure this project gets completed on time so we don’t incur any extra expenses?

Your ideal partner in an office installation project will sit down with you to create a customized transition plan that incorporates your specific business goals.

They should address things like:

  • Evaluating the window of time you’ve budgeted for the office redesign project.
  • Assessing the viability of that timeline, taking into account the logistics surrounding your location(s).
  • Working with your master plan to create a detailed transition plan that facilitates maximum continuity of operations for your office.
  • Identifying, anticipating and managing any risks that could derail the project ahead of time to ensure on-time and on-budget completion.

At the end of the day, the transition plan should feel like a collaborative effort that takes into account your needs. While there may certainly be some back and forth in order to reach a final agreement, you should feel as though your potential partner understands your needs and is putting forth significant effort to accommodate them.

You should also look for a partner who will be honest with you. Even though you may think your office transition should only take seven days, an experienced vendor may look at your project and know it will take at least two weeks. You’ll find it much more rewarding in the long run to partner with someone who will create a realistic timeline, rather than a vendor who says “yes” to a shorter timeline and misses the deadline.

Bottom Line: If you don’t feel confident that your vendor is listening to you and giving you their honest, experienced opinion—especially when it comes to downtime and disruption to normal business operations—you may want to talk to another vendor to get a second baseline for comparison.

#2: Is Your Installer Familiar with the Brands You’ve Purchased?

If new furniture and equipment are a part of your office refurbishment project, you’ll ideally want to look for a partner who’s had experience with the brands you’ve chosen. If your vendor hasn’t worked with those exact brands you’ll at least want to choose someone with a wide variety of experience across brands. That way, they’ll have a depth of expertise they can bring to bear in case of challenges.

After all, when an inexperienced installation vendor attempts to assemble and install your furniture, problems and delays can result. For example, an untrained worker may install a desktop surface upside down or backward. At the very worst, this can result in damage to your new furnishings and, at the very least, it can cause delays while the piece is disassembled, then reassembled.

In addition, installations don’t always go as planned. In these cases, it pays to have someone experienced around. For example, we’ve worked on projects where the workstations that were purchased simply didn’t fit in the space designated for them.

When you have an experienced partner on the job, they can work with the furnishings vendor to come up with a creative solution that can save the day, such as changing the workstation configuration on the fly.

Bottom Line: Before you decide on a vendor, ask about their experience with your chosen brand of furnishings, as well as other similar brands so you can gauge their expertise.

#3: Will Your Installation Partner Coordinate with the Vendor to Pack Your Shipments Correctly?

When you’re doing a large installation or moving office locations entirely, how you receive a shipment can make a huge difference in the success of your project.

We’ve experienced scenarios where we receive a container packed with one type of furnishings in the front—and the hardware to assemble those furnishings stuffed all the way in the back.

In this circumstance, there may not be room at your location (or the time!) to fully unpack the container and re-pack the items. Instead, you may have to have those containers moved to a warehouse, where they can be unloaded and re-packed in the proper order. This can result in re-handling and storage costs, neither of which may be in your budget. It can also throw a wrench into your project schedule.

Bottom Line: Ask any potential installation and moving partners up front how they would deal with this challenge. Their answer will help you better understand which candidates deserve your time and attention.

#4: Does Your Moving and Installation Partner Have the Right Equipment to Protect Your Property from Damage?

Any reputable moving and installation company will take some precautions to protect your property during a relocation, renovation or office expansion.

However, the best partners will go the extra mile by bringing the right equipment for the job from the get-go.

For example, some of the tile floors here in Guam can be sensitive to extremely heavy objects, such as large safes. If you have tile in your office, will your vendor bring in “backer boards” to go over the tile and prevent them from cracking while moving any heavy objects?

Will they bring doorjamb protectors to make sure that your doorjambs won’t get damaged or scuffed during the moving process?

Will they bring ramps that can prevent denting doorways with dollies?

Ultimately, when it comes to doing a superior job, it’s the little things that make a big difference while moving office.

Bottom Line: Ask your vendors what kind of solutions they’ll put together for preventing damage to your property. Through their answer, you may discover yet another differentiator that will help you choose the right solution for you.

#5: Will You Be Assigned a Project Manager Who Can Act as Your Single Point of Contact?

Communication is the lifeblood of a smooth office remodel project.

Have you ever experienced the frustration of calling a vendor with a simple question and getting bounced around to multiple contacts who are barely familiar with you and your company?

Or, even worse, have you been subjected to deafening silence during a large project? There’s nothing more unsettling than a total lack of communication as to how your office redesign project is proceeding and whether or not it’s on track for completion.

If you’ve been in either of the positions, you’ll understand why it’s important to have a dedicated Project Manager for your job. You’ll want nothing less than a single point of contact who’s responsive to you and responsible for the success of your project.

That way, you have a consistent, dependable resource available who can answer your questions, provide regular updates and partner with you to deal with any hurdles that arise.

Bottom Line: If a moving and installation company is reluctant to offer you a dedicated Project Manager to act as your single point of contact, you may want to look elsewhere. At the very least, they might not have the resources to be dedicated to your business relocation or office renovation.

Investing in Success

Your relocation, renovation or expansion project depends on an experienced moving and installation partner who can help you meet your business goals. By exploring these five areas with all the vendors you speak with, you’ll get a strong sense of whether or not they’re someone you can depend on for success.

Ultimately, this knowledge will help you position your company to get the most out of its infrastructure investment—and help you create a pleasant, engaging workplace where your employees can thrive.

 

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