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If you run a successful and growing business, it’s inevitable that the day is going to come when you find yourself in need of bigger premises. Whether you’re a small, family enterprise or a household name, multinational business, when the time comes, you’re going to want a reliable removal company offering outstanding value for money.
Planning Your Office Move
It is impossible to over-emphasise that office removals are best planned like a military operation. Everybody – from you and your staff to the team from the removal company – needs to know exactly what their role in the move is to be, and what should be happening when.
You can only achieve this level of organisation by planning in advance. For large or particularly complex office moves, that means beginning to think about your requirements months if not years ahead of time. All specialist office removals companies will be willing to offer initial advice for free, so talk to them as soon as you begin thinking about your move to make sure that you – and they – understand the process in full.
Which Moving Services Meet Your Needs?
Removal companies come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you choose a “man with a van” advertising in the yellow pages or an established international firm, you need to be sure that the moving services they offer meet the needs of your office.
So, what should you be looking for? As with any good business decision, this one is about achieving value for money. One element of this is, of course, considering the cost of removal companies themselves. You also, though, need to consider added costs; both in real ‘cash’ terms, and the less tangible items such as the length of time your office may be forced to offer a reduced service.
Office Removal Services
It’s tempting to think that one removal company is the same as any other, and look purely at the cost of removals when you get your removal company quotes. However, different companies will offer differing levels of service.
Some removal firms will pack up your entire office for you, and set it up again at your new location; perhaps even supplying the boxes, bubble wrap and parcel tape. Many cheap removals companies will expect your staff to do all the packing, wrapping, and perhaps even some of the lifting yourselves.
Challenging Locations For Removal Companies
If your office is in a challenging location, such as on the 24th floor of a tower block, with only one stairwell and a dodgy lift, have you mentioned this when looking for removal company quotes? If you haven’t, you might be in for a nasty surprise on the day of your move when the removal company tells you that they can’t do the job. Ensure that you make all removal services as simple as possible, by providing the removal company with as much detail as possible.
Cost Of Removals & Insurance
Any reputable moving company will have insurance; however, there are a few things to look out for:
1. Accidental damage – does the moving company’s insurance cover any accidental (or even negligent) damage caused to your company’s stock, records, or equipment during the move?
2. Excess – just as with car insurance, most commercial insurance policies include an amount that you must pay towards the value of any claim against the policy. It is vital to ensure that your business can afford to pay this in case you need to make a claim. You might also try to negotiate terms with the moving company to obtain a reduced insurance excess.
3. Total Value vs. Item Value – what is the total value covered by the insurance? Will it cover all the items that you want moving? If there is a maximum value per item – common in many insurance policies – check that you won’t be asking the moving company to handle anything worth more than that amount.
Occasionally, it can prove impossible to locate removal firms with insurance in place to meet the needs of your office. This is especially true for large office moves, or where valuable or high-end equipment is involved. If your office removal is in this category then it is worth talking to your own insurers to see what cover they can provide, or is already included in your current policy.
Another alternative is to discuss with your removal company whether you can purchase extra insurance cover through them for an additional fee. They may also be able to put you in touch with insurers and underwriters who specialise in these kinds of risks.
Time Is Money With Removal Companies
For most businesses, it’s likely that you will struggle to keep work going, or even have no option but to close-down altogether, during your office move. However much this applies to your office, you’ll want to make sure that the removal company you choose is able to carry out your removal in the shortest possible time, without cutting corners.
Things To Consider
- How many staff from the removal company will be working on your move. Your own staff may be able to assist, but that will take them away from their jobs. It is well worth ensuring that there will be enough removal company staff provided to carry out as much of the moving as they can.
- For large offices, will the removal company provide more than one vehicle? This can dramatically speed up your move, by ensuring that everything can travel in one journey, instead of one lorry making multiple trips.
Specialist Removal Services
In 2003, the UK Met Office moved their offices from Bracknell to Exeter. Lots of maps, laptops, thermometers, and wind vanes made the journey in standard removal company vans. However, the Met Office also needed to move their multi-million-pound super-computer over 150 miles from Berkshire to Devon.
The Met Office super-computer move spent years in the planning, and eventually took place courtesy of a specialist team from the Royal Air Force. A team whose day job is moving top secret nuclear weapons around the country!
Although most offices are unlikely to face problems on this scale, it’s worth considering when you’re planning your move what fragile, large, heavy, valuable, or otherwise especially difficult to move items you will need to take with you. Thinking about this as early in the process as possible when planning removal services will make sure that you can work with the removal companies to make getting these items to their new home as painless as possible.
Don’t Be Afraid To Negotiate
Specialist office removals companies are well used to receiving unusual requests and working within tight budgets, and their removal services should cater for this. If you need something that a company doesn’t normally offer, or if you’ve got your removal company quotes and don’t feel they are value for money, don’t be afraid to negotiate.
Removal companies are businesses just like yours. The best way to negotiate with them is to discuss your quotation with a senior manager. This person still works for the removal company and needs to consider their own bottom line, but they also need your business. You can use that to get a good deal.
Shopping around is important; see if you can get a discount from companies by letting them know how much cheaper their competitor’s quotation is. They will often give you a worthwhile deal just to keep your business.
Alternatively, you can negotiate for some added ‘extras’. Ask how many boxes, or rolls of packing tape and bubble wrap they will throw in for free, or whether they can offer free or discounted insurance deals, or temporary storage. Finding moving services which incorporate numerous extras is one of the best ways to save your company money when arranging office removals.
Finally, and most importantly, make sure that you obtain removal company quotes from a range of removal firms by using Cost Compare Limited. Ensure that those quotations include all the moving services you expect the company to carry out.