Moving is always a pain in the rump, but it doesn’t have to be a horrific, expensive experience. The number one lament from someone who’s experienced a “bad” move is, “I didn’t know I needed to…” followed closely by “I completely forgot that…” In other words, it’s what you don’t do that makes the move a disaster. To make your move easy and effortless, here are the 5 most common mistakes you want to avoid:
Mistake #1 — Not Using A Checklist
This may seem like a no-brainer to those who manage projects, but project management may not be a forte of someone placed in charge of your move (like an office admin). Even those who use a list typically fail to make the list detailed enough. See page 2 of this newsletter for a free starter guide.
Mistake #2 — Trying To Save Money By Using Your Employees To Move Your Computer Network
Don’t ask your staff to disconnect, move and reconnect computers, phones and other devices just to save a few bucks. You’ll frustrate them and end up with phones ringing at the wrong extension, lost cables, and workstations that get dropped rendering them useless. You don’t want to let the movers do this job either; they may be great at moving furniture, but a network is a lot more sophisticated and sensitive. Be smart and hire an IT pro to pack and move your network. Doing so will help you avoid communication blackouts and extended downtime.
Mistake #3 — Not Hiring The RIGHT IT Firm To Move Your Network
While we’re on the topic, make sure you know what to look for when outsourcing the move. A few things to look for would include references from other clients, proof of insurance (get them to fax you a copy), a service level guarantee limiting the amount of time you are down, and a professional, organized approach to quoting the move.
A real pro will insist on visiting your current location as well as your new location to conduct a detailed site survey. NEVER hire anyone who wants to quote moving your network over the phone. Additionally, look for an IT company that will apply the charges for conducting your site survey against the total cost of the move if you choose them.
Mistake #4 — Not Giving Your Phone, Internet And Cable Vendors Enough Advance Warning
Eighty percent (80%) of unexpected communications blackouts and cost overruns on network moves are caused by failure to properly plan voice, data and electrical installation in advance. Just because the prior tenant had computers and telephones is no guarantee that the cabling is suitable for your phones and your computer network. Advance planning will help you avoid emergency rush fees or band aid fixes to make things work.
Internet and telephone connections require as much as six weeks advance notice to be installed, tested and ready the day you move in.
And if you are building a new office, don’t leave it up to the builder to decide how many power outlets, network and phone connections you will need. Remember, changes and additions after the walls are up are at your expense. With printers, scanners, faxes, and other technologies connecting directly to the network these days, the rule of thumb of one electrical outlet, one phone and one network connection per employee is woefully outdated. Consult your IT provider in the early planning stages to ensure you have what you need before the drywall goes up.
Mistake #5 — Poor Communication With Vendors And Employees Prior To, And During The Move
Failure to communicate changes before and during the move results in confusion, downtime and increased expense. Remember, your computers and phones will be unavailable for a period of time before, during and immediately after the move. A little planning can minimize the impact on your business.
- Give your employees, customers, and vendors the anticipated downtime schedule.
- Make a cell phone list of important phone numbers (like tech support contacts, the phone company, cable company, etc.) and give it to your employees. You may also want to provide vendors and customers with a list of employee cell phone numbers to use during the communication blackout that will take place during the move.
- Confirm, confirm, confirm! Call your vendors several times to make sure they have the move on their schedule and planned; don’t assume anything!
- Ask your IT provider to temporarily reroute important e-mail and phones to another location during the move, or set up a web portal to enable you to access e-mail from a laptop or home computer so you’re not completely disconnected.