“Price vs. Price:” The Classic Result of “Who You Hire” for Your Commercial Move

Did you know the cost of an office move is typically less than 1% of the total company lease expense, “finish out” and relocation project cost? Whether you’re moving to another office in your existing building, to another building, or managing a “from-the-ground-up-design-and-build” project, the cost of moving is dwarfed by your other project needs.

Even so, the temptation is to focus only on price and not to consider price AND value. For some reason, this last financial “price vs. price” decision, less than 1% of your project, takes on a larger-than-life size.

Although your actual moving expense is small relative to the overall project, your decision to focus on both price and value can determine much of how your human resource enters its next chapter of business operations. The day after your office move will be the first day, the first impressions of your entire team. Office moves are always an opportunity to start fresh with your business, identify new customers, relaunch marketing campaigns or even rebrand itself. Think of the importance of this as being a positive welcome to everyone’s new business home.

Laying the groundwork – starting with selecting the right relocation partner — deserves your time and energy. This includes careful planning and attention to detail. Failure to make an investment in these activities can lead to all sorts of negative ramifications, the least of which is unnecessary stress.

Simply put: The office moving company to whom you are handing the responsibility of taking you out of business and putting you back into business had better be best-in-class.

You may have heard horror stories about relocations gone awry. For example, the company that failed to reserve the use of the freight elevators in its new building. On the day of the move, the elevators were constantly tied up because the janitors were using it for trash removal or the construction workers were hauling building materials to the top floor on a nonstop basis.

Perhaps your mover of choice was a poor coach about how to move safely and correctly. Did they provide training, instruction and materials for things as simple as the labels that need to be applied so movers know where to place the goods at their new location? During an office move, all issues cause big delays, delays that sometime result in extra charges that easily could have been avoided.

How Costs are Calculated

A commercial mover can provide quotes based on a variety of criteria. A quote usually takes into account:

While all of these costs may not apply to your unique move, many could apply. Make sure you have an understanding of each item being moved. Create a clear “what, who, where and when” list of your expectations. Give it to your office move bidder in writing, not just a hazy verbal list of expectations. Full-service “white glove” moves, may cost more but will streamline the moving process by managing all the packing, preparation, and unloading for you.

The Office Moving Company to whom you are handing the responsibility of taking you out of business and putting you back into business in a short period of time had better be best-in-class.

For most of us, we are reluctant to set a preliminary budget because it can be so complicated. However, it’s an important investment of your time and be sure you included everything. As painstaking as the task may seem, it is vital to clearly project where your money is going AND then verify it against actuals.

When should you start planning? The sooner the better. If you wait too long to hire an moving services professional, you could end up with unexpected charges for last minute requirements such as expedited shipping, odd schedule choices, delayed access to freight elevators, and redoing jobs that were rushed the first time.

Choose Carefully

In the commercial relocation industry there are typically two kinds of office moving companies: Those that provide quality turnkey, all-in-one services with W-2 employees and provide all services with company-owned equipment and vehicles.
Then there are those that provide a more uncertain service, the ones that rent everything, including people, and use third parties. In the third-party scenario, a facilitator often coordinates the project from a distance. Outside of the client’s view, he or she will develop a project scope for the client and then use that information to competitively bid independent contractors. Unfortunately, the company that ultimately provides the service is not a known entity and is not part of a well-defined and transparent working team.

The result? Less than optimal service. You end up with less than what you were expecting in terms of the workforce that shows up, the equipment and vehicles that are used, and a process that is just not what you were sold or what you expected. Regrettably, you typically find this out in the midst of your move, abandoned by the person you trusted when they sold you something very different than what is happening around you. You will experience a higher chance of inefficiencies and communication breakdowns during the process. And once the move starts, you become an observer, helpless and hopeless. It’s a setup for disappointment, with all eyes on you much differently than you had planned.

Companies that provide all-in-one service, including provision of a seasoned Office Moving Project Manager who will help you set a budget and guide you through the relocation, are dramatically more likely to provide you the service you deserve, to make you look good because there are no surprises. Hiring the right mover greatly boosts the chances you will move on time, on budget, and everybody will end up loving you for making the right decision.

Select an office moving company that is well equipped, experienced and comes highly recommended. Your property manager, GC, leasing agent/ broker can make great quality recommendations. By doing your homework, making the RIGHT decision, you will be able to identify, control and manage your budget and what it bought for you as the foundation of a successful office move.