The logistics of office relocation

Neil Bishop, business development director at Bishop's Move, examines the pitfalls that should be avoided when relocating a business.

It has long been documented that a death in the family, divorce, and moving home, are considered as the most stressful events in one’s life. However, these events, somewhat of a more personal nature, can be reflected in the corporate world with redundancies, bankruptcy, crisis management and of course, the possibility of relocating.

The latter of that list has long been, and mistakenly so, considered a simple procedure. Many businesses and corporations will still insist on carrying out the move without any external support.

I still get amazed at the number of business owners who seem blinkered as to what is involved in a corporate move. Popping desks out, storing computers, files, draws and cupboards into a truck and unloading it at the other end? It is slightly more complex than that. By the time the business is swamped in files and strangled by computer cabling and not functioning three days post-relocation, it is simply too late. All one can do is look back and wish more thought had been given to the logistics of relocating the business.

As a company, the logistics involved cannot be underestimated. It is vital to start the planning process early without being too bullish and suspecting the move can be completed independently.

Whilst cost is arguably the biggest issue for a business, and why many companies prefer to attempt the move in house, it can work out to be a false economy if the move goes wrong and a business has to remain closed for a period of time.

Planning ahead

There is a host of different issues involved in a business relocation, all of which should require some external assistance. Having been involved in several hundred corporate relations throughout the years, we have seen the involvement of security system installers to architects to those pitching for planning permission to new office caterers. The list goes on and can be very deceiving. It’s important that no stone is left unturned when it comes to planning such a move.

When selecting a removals company or relocation expert to help handle a move, it is essential to have done research carefully to have a project manager on hand to see it out through to its duration. An element of trust in a consultant is key. At times the removal company might be required to handle confidential company information. It will be hard to let them in on such important, internal details but it is a hurdle that must be overcome to achieve a move without hassle.

In terms of researching, it’s advisable to speak to similar businesses that have relocated to get a grasp on other experiences and ask who was used, or look at similar jobs done by a removals company to see if what was achieved can be replicated in a comparable move.

Whilst the relocation of a business can often seem to take longer that planned, costs an arm and a leg and seemingly creates problems, through our experience we know that these ‘issues’ can be avoided by planning early, hiring the right advisers and giving them a thorough brief.

Once settled into new premises, the job will seem a whole lot easier than before, harmony within the business will have improved, and the company will often be on the road to enjoy greater success within its industry.

Moving time

A business relocation can often throw up unexpected obstacles. Anything is possible. Therefore it is important to stay on your toes and be ready for any possibility. Last year, here at Bishop’s Move, we undertook the task of relocating the Association of Police Authorities (A.P.A) in a two-phase move across London. This complex task was made all the more difficult as the two locations involved in the move were either side of the main TUC protest route in SW1, London.

The Bishop’s Move vehicles had to cross the route with careful assistance from police and we were tasked with relocating various types of equipment such as workstations, pedestals, chairs, cupboards, I.T equipment and the careful handling of sensitive A.P.A files.

Despite the two locations being just a quarter of a mile apart, we were surrounded by thousands of protesters. However, with police assistance to cross the barricades and to ensure we were safe from any dangerous hazards, the moving teams involved ensured A.P.A enjoyed as smooth a move as possible.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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