5 Mistakes When Moving Offices

Making mistakes during an office relocation can be costly. Critical files could be lost, employees could lose valuable working time and business schedules may be seriously set back. Be sure to avoid these common office moving pitfalls for a quick, painless move.

Here are 5 common mistakes when moving offices!

  1. Not starting to plan far enough in advance
    1. In order to properly plan and execute an office move, I would recommend planning 3-6 months in advance or once the new space is selected.
    2. Ordering furniture can take 6-8 weeks from the time of the order, this does not include the time it takes for space planning, selecting a vendor, selecting finishes, and getting a finalized quote.
  • Especially during the summer times moving companies get booked up weeks and even months in advance.
  1. Not leaving yourself room for error and time to fix it
    1. I have seen a lot of clients that understandably didn’t want to overlap time on two leases. To avoid this they plan on having the construction/furniture completed in the new space the day before or a minimal time before their lease expires in their existing space.
    2. My experience is that about 50% of interior renovations go over budget and past the expected completion date. This leaves some companies have to pay double rent, having to move into temporary workspace and having to totally scramble to get a new plan in place.
  • Even if the buildout is completed on time, issues arise with permitting, getting the internet and phone systems up and running and even getting the furniture installed. This issue is compounded if you are moving your existing furniture with you.
  1. Trying to do everything yourself
    1. This is one of those things that many people don’t realize the complexity of until they get in too deep (you don’t know what you don’t know)
    2. There is a reason that companies pay thousands of dollars to design firms for their expertise in knowing local codes and permitting processes, helping to pick carpeting, lighting, wall covering and other finishes. Plus they can help keep the project on budget and on time.
      1. These items take a lot of time and expertise that is often less expensive to just pay an expert to manage.
  2. Going with the low bids
    1. I think getting bids when moving on items like the build out, furniture and moving can be a good business decision. But in the end going with the low bid and not the vendor you are most comfortable with can be extremely costly in time and money.  There is nothing wrong with the low bid, but the cost needs to be weighed with the reputation/referrals of the firm.  Warehouse of Fixtures prides itself on providing value based solutions, but we don’t sell on price we sell on providing a great reasonably priced solution with spectacular service.  We have won lots of projects where we were not the cheapest options.
    2. One thing to remember is that often time low cost providers will use change orders to make up margin, or cut corners to try and make more money.
    3. Movers- Most movers carry insurance.  What they don’t tell you is that moving insurance is by the pound.  So if they destroy a 55” flat screen TV that cost $2000 and weighs 20 lbs, the insurance might cover $0.35 per pound, with a reimbursement of $7.00  This is an extreme example but something that you need to know.
    4. Contractors- Low cost contractors are famous for over promising and under delivering. They may be juggling 4-5 jobs at once with not enough people to do the work.  They also might not pull the proper permits for the space.  All of this can lead to delays and extreme headaches when managing a project.
    5. Furniture Vendors- Often times a low-cost vendor sells for less for a reason. They may not be great with service or follow up or may note have accounted for everything when pricing the job.
      1. A furniture order may contain every part needed to complete the job, including the nuts and bolts. It would be almost impossible for most customers to know what the parts are and how they are being used to complete the project.  Some companies will hold the customer accountable for any items that are left off order and charge the customer extra for items that are needed to complete the order.  There are infamous examples of this happening with cantilever supports, flat brackets to connect work surfaces and other parts.  We have a policy at Warehouse of Fixtures of Integrity: we provide what we promise.  If we made a specification error, we eat the costs.
      2. Job completion and responsiveness is often an issue with a low cost firm. They may have not built enough profit into the deal to be able to afford to make return trips to replace damaged pieces or repair warranty issues after the furniture is installed.  They also may be low in cost because there are only one or two people in the whole company, so returning phone calls from unhappy clients may not be their top priority.
  3. Not setting your expectations properly.
    1. I have worked on thousands of projects in the 13 years I have been in the industry and if I work on a project where everything goes 100% perfect I am always surprised. You are working with thousands of variables, most of them out of your direct control and some of them outside of the contractors control.  Things are going to go wrong, items will get damaged, items you order may arrive late. BE PREPARED.
    2. The people that expect that some things will go wrong end up doing very well during these moves. The people that expect everything to go perfectly will drive themselves, the staff and the vendors totally crazy.
    3. If things go wrong you need to develop a punch list with reasonable completion dates, hold back a portion of the payment and work with your vendors to make sure everything gets completed.


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