Business continuity is defined as the capability of an organization to continue the delivery of products or services at acceptable predefined levels during a disruptive incident or a disaster. While not a disaster, an office move can certainly be disruptive to the day to day operations of any business. As a business owner or executive in charge of your company’s office relocation, you will be concerned about how to ensure business continuity during this event. Here are a few tips that will help you achieve this objective.
Planning in Advance
Pre-planning, proper scheduling and the use of a professional moving company with extensive experience in office moves are the essential ingredients to a successful office move. Office moving is a complex endeavour that requires meticulous attention to every detail. A professional moving company will assign a project manager to your move. An individual will work with you from the pre-planning stage through to the final completion of the relocation. Your project manager will be responsible for directing the team of office moving specialists to ensure that the move is done on budget and on schedule, with as little disruption to your business as is possible.
When it comes to choosing the time of year for your move, take your business cycle into consideration. If there is a seasonal aspect to your business try to plan the office move during your slow season.
Keeping Information Accessible
Hopefully your company maintains customer data “in the cloud “ or on a virtual private network, so that it can be accessed remotely by personnel assigned to be available for calls or emails from customers during the physical move. Having a hosted phone system will also ensure that the lines of communication are still available to your customers during this transition period.
Another way to maintain business continuity is to make sure you contact your telecommunications and internet providers well in advance to schedule the installation of your services so that everything will be up and running on the first day of business at the new location. Change the recorded message on your phone system to advise anyone calling in that the office is in the process of being relocated and provide the name and number of assigned personnel to call in the event of an emergency. Also assign internal or contracted IT personnel to be available to install staff computers and to test the various systems prior to the arrival of the staff at the new location.
In order to minimize disruption to your business operations and to maintain business continuity for your customers it usually preferable to schedule the move to take place over a weekend. Leading up to the move can also be a critical time for your business. Employees can be a little less productive during this period if there are too many distractions during their regular working hours. If possible, arrange for the moving company to come in during the evening hours to do the advance packing and preparation.
Make Sure Employees are Covered
Since most companies expect their employees to pack their own personal items and the contents of their desk, set-up a schedule for this task. Make sure there is at least one person in each department assigned to handle phone calls from customers while the others are attending to their packing.
Notify Your Customers
Send out advance notice to your customers about the upcoming move and post information on the company’s website. Include the names and contact information for employees who will be available during the period when the office is being physically relocated.
Supervise Set Up
To ensure that the business is up and running as quickly as possible, assign specific personnel to be available over the weekend to assist or supervise the installation of office equipment and the unpacking of office supplies.
As you can see giving some advance thought to ensuring business continuity during your office move will make the process easier. Get the best advice on how to plan and execute a successful office relocation, contact the professionals at Premiere Van Lines today.