The 10 greatest dangers of a company relocation (and how to avoid them)

Case Study:
Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
October 19, 2016
Case Study:
TechnipFMC, Houston
October 21, 2016

Moving changes everything.

That’s why your company leadership chose relocation in the first place, of course; it’s a chance to increase efficiencies, to move the needle on productivity and customer relationships – even to improve employee culture.

Or, it might just be a nightmare.

Efforts at major organizational change are considered a failure about 70% of the time, according to one study published in the Harvard Business Review. Here are the pitfalls you’ll need to navigate during your company relocation to avoid becoming part of that statistic.

1. Failure of customer service.

The lofty goal of a great move should be to minimize its impact on your customers. To do that, you’ll need an external communications plan, and you’ll need to vet and verify internal systems to ensure your ability to respond to and serve customers doesn’t suffer in the days and weeks after relocation. 

2. Loss, damage or destruction of key equipment.

At Carter, we’ve moved every sort of specialized equipment you can imagine. But even if your assets aren’t highly specialized or literally irreplaceable, they’re still extremely valuable. Use the right experts to pack, transport and reinstall important gear – and vet those experts with a qualified consultant.

3. Loss, damage or destruction of customer assets.

If there’s anything worse than losing your company’s property, it’s losing what does not belong to you. Have a coordinated tracking system in place for the move, and you’ll be able to tell customers where their equipment is located at any moment – even in transit.

4. Voice and data not fully functional on Day One.

What happens if employees return the morning after relocation to downed servers, dead phones or non-functioning data connections? Stress rises while productivity and morale both drop – along with your company’s bottom line. Assemble a Migration Team to begin building a coordinated plan months before your move – and make sure an IT representative is an essential part of the team.

5. Records and files not accessible on Day One.

Most companies still rely on physical records for at least a portion of their operations. If your computers are working but your files are absent – or locked up with a missing key – you’re still not operating at your best. An expert-coordinated logistical plan is key to ensuring everything is in its right place when your doors re-open.

6. Failure to meet security requirements for digital and physical data throughout relocation.

Many records are sensitive – and the legal requirements for data security vary from industry to industry. Your move won’t get you a bye on security compliance. A relocation expert will know which rules apply to you, and how to keep and demonstrate compliance even during your transition.

7. Workflows not efficient on Day One.

No matter what you do or make, a new physical space means changes to your internal processes. You can re-open with lags and problems – but you can also re-open more efficient than ever. Challenge and validate your plan with experts in advance of moving day to turn this risk into an opportunity.

8. Production mistakes or accidents on Day One.

New processes also require new training – your employees may need to know everything from how their roles will function in a new environment to how to find the bathrooms on the first day. Build and implement a training plan before you move.

9. Employees feel uninformed, disempowered or disrespected.

Employees are your greatest asset – yet it’s too easy to overlook them in the rush to relocate physical assets. You’ll need a strong internal communications plan if you don’t want employee engagement to suffer in the months before and after relocation.

10. Unforeseen problems create unacceptable stress levels for the people managing the move.

And then there’s you! Planning and managing a move can be a difficult and thankless job – especially if it isn’t actually your job. At Carter, our goal is always to leave the actual moving-day coordination of your relocation to the experts who do move management for a living. During the nights and weekends of your company’s move, there’s only one place you belong: at home.

Most of the risks above stem from a single misconception: companies often think of moving as a change in business facilities. But that’s only half the story.

Relocation is a move of business operations – it means changes for people and process as well as a new place for physical assets. You’ll need a plan that covers every area – and the expertise to test and validate that plan before you move.

Like any investment, your relocation can result in losses – or in excellent returns for you and for your company’s future. If you’re ready to involve an expert in the process, Carter would relish the opportunity to be your investment advisor.