Your company is moving. Should be easy enough, right? Just get the goods from one place to the other?
If your solution to this problem is giving your staff a few boxes and a few days, you've already made your first mistake.
“A common mistake we see is not realizing how long things might take to pack”, Crown Relocations Country Manager Jamie Rossall said.
Rossall’s moving team advises creating a moving process that mirrors theirs: give your staff moving crates at least a week in advance and slowly start packing the nonessential items—old company records, removal or disposal of old furniture, etc.—so you don’t leave everything to the last minute. Giving yourself time to make the move correctly is the best approach to creating a smooth process.
Moving as an Act of Kindness
This step—the part of the move where you and your staff actually start moving your company’s things—ought to be one of the last stages in an extensive preparation process. Crown Relocations has a novel suggestion for your first step: use empathy.
“One of the first things we want to know is the reasons for the move, is it a good reason or a bad reason”, he said.
If the company is moving in response to something negative, “We may be seeing people lose their jobs, we need to be empathetic.”
If the move is happening for positive reasons—because the company is growing, or because a great year has allowed for bigger, better digs—this is a chance to create a positive experience within the company by celebrating it. Moving is then an asset that can be used to “sell” the company to the employees, the often overlooked first customers. Understanding the reasons for the move will help companies create a process that’s sensitive to the state of the client.
Crown Relocations makes it a priority to understand the reasons for the move so that they can create a process that’s sensitive to the state of the client. The company can help ease the pain of moving or even turn it in to an opportunity to enhance the business’ internal culture.
The company can help ease the pain of moving or even turn it in to an opportunity to enhance the business’ internal culture.
The Knowns and Unknowns
So you’ve decided to move and all stakeholders—leadership, staff, building managers—are all on the same page. Everything’s packed, so the next step is go, right?
Perhaps because moving is seemingly simple, the process only seems like it’s a matter of pack and go. What’s missing are the myriad of questions that arise during the relocation, like whether the elevators will be operational at all times and whether there will be others moving at the same time, a common problem if you’re moving into a new building.
Here’s an obvious block you don’t want to stumble over: did you know that you shouldn’t write labels on the top of the moving box but instead write the identifying information on the side where it can always be seen even if the boxes are stacked?
How about instead of just any old box, you move your company’s important assets in sealed crates, which are barcoded to track them throughout their transition to the new site? The furniture and other large items that migrate with them are similarly barcoded.
Crown Relocations has been active in Vietnam since 1993. In Rossall’s time working with the company, he has personally seen a variety of weird and bizarre problems emerge in the moving process that would stump a less prepared mover. One such story involves the relocation of a bank. All was going well with the move until the moment that it was realised that the new location had not been approved by Vietnamese authorities, a necessary step for financial institutions in the country.
Moving only seems simple until you consider all the unknowns you have to account for as well as the ones you haven’t considered yet.
It’s not only Crown Relocations’ years of service but also its resources and capabilities that set it apart as a mover.
In the situation above with the marooned bank, Crown Relocations offers what it calls “hot rooms”. These are temporary office spaces that the movers’ can set up instantly so they’re ready on the next business day. In this way the business’ operations can continue without break. All the essential personnel that need a working space and access to internet can operate from this stopgap facility as long as needed. The equipment and property that the company doesn’t immediately need during this time would be warehoused until the move is finalised.
On another occasion, Crown Relocations was navigating a move that was suddenly halted with company’s standard-sized moving van had run afoul of a regulation prohibiting large vehicles. The mover then requisitioned the appropriately sized vehicles and continued the relocation change with little delay.
Put simply, that’s experience and expertise you either have or have to hire.
A Complete Process
Moving your company is a task you ought to take as seriously as any of your other businesses’ projects, and it deserves to be managed like one.
Crown Relocations’ service starts with a survey of the moving company’s items, a study of the original location and the new venue, and a presentation of the move as a project.
“Based on their timeline and what they need, we would put together another presentation that’s fit to share with every single member of their staff”, Rossall said. That way, “every single person, no matter what their role, understands their responsibility during the entire process.”
On moving day, each sealed crate and piece of company property goes through a four-checkpoint system—leaving the building, entering and exiting the transportation, and entering the new building—which tracks each item through a unique barcode as it heads to the new location.
Once in the new location, the items are placed according to a floor plan that has been designed with the client and company. If desired, Crown Relocations’ movers can unpack at the new location as well.
Crown Relocation’s sealed crates are recycled and retired responsibly after they’ve served their function.
It’s a very robust process, but the moving company has streamlined it into an expeditious one. Rossall said that our own City Pass Guide offices—with a modest staff of about 20—could be brought to a new location in a matter of a day. For a larger scale move of 500+ employees, the relocation could be done in a weekend in order for the company to resume working on Monday.
The choice is simple: you can either move on your own and hope everything goes smoothly, or you can hire folks who know what to do when it doesn’t.