Preparing the Company for a Move to a New location

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Preparing the Company for a Move to a New locationStudies have shown that the act of moving a family to a new location is one of the most stressful situations we face in life. Can you imagine how stressful it is to move an entire company? All those families are sharing the stressful experience, to say nothing of all those small details that can go wrong. And all that stress on top of maintaining the daily operations can be enough to through the logic and potential business advantages out the window. However, company expansions and movements to new locations is as pervasive as ever.

Making a decision to move or expand to another location is usually based on several key factors such as business growth, a hike in rent and labor costs, operational costs, proximity to key customers, etc. However, just identifying the potential benefits of a move needs to be balanced against the potential problems and related costs of moving to a new location.

Inter-Company Connectivity and communications

If the move is an expansion, then it is usually a much easier proposition. Indeed, it may start with the relocation of a department such as sales or administration. In these cases, the most pressing concerns are how a move will disrupt processes, procedures, and communications. With today’s wide range of communications applications, the IT department needs to participate in selecting the best systems that will be easiest and most cost effective to integrate into the company’s existing IT and communications infrastructure.

Labor Turnover

There is always the risk that some key department staff may balk at making a physical move. Over the past decades, employees-particularly with growing families are more reluctant to make moves that can negatively impact the general family well-being. Companies should survey its key staff that will be needed in a new location before making any commitments. Indeed, some key staff may be able to do some off-site, remote digital work with only occasional commuting to meet the job requirements. However, if employees seem reluctant to move, then the new location should be examined for its labor pool and availability of local talent. Indeed, as finding qualified labor becomes more critical, perhaps more attention should be given to analyzing what existing key staff may require in terms of satisfying their family needs. One of the most booming regions in the nation-the Permian Basin of Texas-cannot attract employees because of the local school districts low ratings. As a result, labor costs are very high to attract employees to commute into work from other cities during the week and return home only on the weekends.

Local Competition and Local Customs

Local consumers and clients may have a strong sense of loyalty to local brands and certain local business practices. For this reason, it makes sense to investigate how business is done in the new locations as well as what factors promote success for the particular type of business. For example, a service business may be heavily dependent on personal relationships while product providers may be less so. Indeed, for many situations, it makes sense to recruit local talent with a strong resume of experience in the industry and region to help ease the subtleties of transition into a new location.

Facilities, processes, and safety

Depending on the type of industry and required facilities design, a move to a new location may not have an existing stock of facilities appropriate for the business activities. For example, manufacturing operations need to have the proper design floor space to not only facilitate production but also provide safety. Having proper storage facilities, utility infrastructure and special areas such as employee cafeteria, locker rooms, and meeting areas may require additional architectural and construction costs.

Moving to new facilities can also offer an opportunity to improve processes and safety. Before considering a move to new facilities, companies should examine their existing processes and look for ways that can improve efficiencies and safety through the design of new space requirements.

As climate change becomes more important (hopefully) businesses can help become good corporate citizens as well as design new energy efficient systems to help reduce emissions as well as costs.

Employee Ambassadors

Change can be a challenge those employees that are “forced” to move away from familiar surroundings, friends, and family. For others, change can be seen as an opportunity to have new experiences, make new friends and explore new areas. If at all possible, management and human resources should give thought to how well staff will react to change and if they can adopt a healthy attitude about making a move. In addition, consideration should be given to helping families make a move and transition into the local community. Indeed, a new company in the area needs goodwill ambassadors and employees can be some of the best. Managers and staff should be encouraged to join civic organizations and become active in the community.

In summary, there are so many considerations to be examined before making a company mover or expansion to a new location. It is easy to get bogged down in just the cost-benefit analysis and skip over those other factors that can have a significant impact on the success of a move into the new geographical territory.

Moving work groups create the “Moving Checklist.”

As with all complex activities, the more input from all areas of the company and rank and file should be ingested and analyzed. Setting up workgroups to focus on specific areas of the move makes sense. The goal of the workgroups is to produce a detailed “moving checklist” that can be used across the company as an action plan and coordination tool. In addition, there should also be a close parallel analysis of the estimated costs of each checklist item.

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