Corporate Relocation – Start Right End Right!

Business Relocating: Effective project management through effective planning.

Usually managing and decision making from a distance is ineffective, site management in a business relocation operation is no exception and must be done onsite and personal. The business relocation team must be on hand to make timely decisions and ensure planned benchmarks are met. Otherwise your smoothly planned business move or expansion may turn into a business disaster.

There are many critical ways for the physical relocation plans of a company to become enmeshed in many small delays and bad decisions that can finally result in a costly and potentially financially dangerous situation for the corporation. To keep this from occurring the first order of business in a relocation operation is to take a firm stand about the move and adopt a “get-it-done-right-on-time” attitude.

First, you have to develop a clear critical path of procedure and set agreed upon and realistic time objectives. Moreover, the next critical step is to select a goal oriented site relocation team. The team must be tough-minded, have the proper level of authority and responsibility, and be able to work in less than ideal conditions. They must be intimately familiar with the relocation plan and be prepared to “work” the plan. This team will have specific clearly defined functions concerning the relocation; such as:

1. Find, prepare and lease temporary work space;

2. Communicate and report on every aspect of the relocation, such as: met and missed deadlines, adjusting for unforeseen circumstances;

3. Develop a pool of qualified applicants;

4. After selecting employees, provide initial training; and,

5. Manage the construction and/or remodeling of the permanent facility.

Normally, the site relocation team will consist of three individuals. In a larger relocation, each team member will at various times have staff reporting to them. In a smaller relocation in lieu of having three members; you may hire part time, for example, a qualified construction superintendent to inspect the construction and/or remodeling part of the project.

The three members of the relocation team would normally have the following responsibilities.

Team Leader:

1. Coordinate, develop, and manage the activities of other team members;

2. Develop and establish clear communication between company officials, architects, general contractor and sub-contractors, security functions, legal, suppliers, and government officials;

3. Develops and sets up the remote office operations and procedures;

4. Sets up a comprehensive record keeping system; and

5. Plans, with the other team members, equipment needed and their delivery and setup.

Human Resource Team Member:

1. Researches the area labor market, determines competitive wage rates and depending upon corporate guidelines develops and secures approval for a wage and salary system for the new location;

2. Develops a HR budget for the ongoing function at the new location;

3. Recruits a pool of qualified applicants, interviews and hires individuals to fill anticipated vacant positions;

4. Schedules and conducts new employee orientations and conducts and supervises new employee training;

5. Maintains all required records and ensures they are in compliance with all government laws and procedures.

Construction Team Member:

1. Approves and reviews all construction change orders;

2. Ensure all procedures and materials comply with plans and specifications;

3. Verifies accuracy of all dimensions, levels, alignment, elevations, installations and layouts;

4. Closely observes all work in progress, ensures that all procedures are being followed and materials used conform to planned specifications; and

5. Approves each level of finished installations to ensure they conform to building standards and applicable building codes.

The relocation team must have a “get-it-done-right-on-time” attitude of meeting all problems head-on. The best way to present this philosophy is to make it clear at the beginning to all involved that the team speaks for the company and that the company is in charge. Too often, architects, engineers, and building contractors work under the assumption they are in charge–that it is their building until it is finished. They are your partners, but they shouldn’t forget that you pay the bills.

However, if you quietly allow the architectural firm, for example, alone to supervise the job, you will find that their idea of keeping the contractor honest is vastly different from what you expect. They may occasionally send out a junior member of the firm to meet with the construction superintendent. Often the construction superintendents intimidate these less experienced architects and then do as they please anyway. Flyttemand

A determined, firm and well thought out, “get-it-done-right-on-time” viewpoint does not require being obnoxious with people. It is simply a process of carefully exercising the power you have because you’re paying the bills. To make certain the construction and/or remodeling and everything else stays in line requires a plan, which in turn requires working the plan. With this approach you’ll stay out of the quicksand, work on the high ground and have a relocation that meets all the goals you set for the move.