The latest in our ongoing series of FM Briefings looks at relocation and moves management services. The introduction below sets out some of the issues facing any organisation planning change, as well as advice from the BAR on choosing a contractor. We've also provided some advice on preparing for and managing a move - drawn from the experience of an able practitioner. This provides a useful backdrop to the helpful information from service companies.
Whether you are moving a small group or the entire organisation, the process can be a demanding one. The secret lies in understanding the requirements, planning the detail well in advance, assembling the right team and managing with a clear set of goals.
Relocation – whatever the scale - can be one of the most challenging aspects of an FM's job. Each project comes with two fundamental objectives:
- To implement change effectively and efficiently in line with corporate strategy
- To support end users through the process by minimising distress and lost time.
Clearly, these goals are inter-related.
Experience consistently confirms the value of a few key principles:
1. Relocation is a team pursuit, not a spectator sport. The FM, project manager, space planner and other specialists should all be visible participants, along with the people actually moving.
2. There is no substitute for good communication. Sharing information about proposals, decisions and plans will head off many potential problems and greatly improve the efficiency of the whole move process.
3. Many hands do make light work – but only if they are the right hands. Mapping out the process in advance makes it clear where and when IT, engineering and other disciplines are required.
4. Putting these principles into practice before, during and after a move doesn’t guarantee success; but cutting corners on any one of them definitely opens the door to problems.
Selecting a contractor
A new Commercial Moving Standard – BS 8522 – now sets the benchmark for all aspects of a commercial moving operation and offers clients the confidence that they are in good hands throughout the process.
The British Association of Removers (BAR) represents the UK’s leading professional removal and storage companies. The Commercial Moving Group (CMG) is a functional group of BAR which includes removal companies specialising in commercial and office moves.
The CMG has, after three years’ work, developed the standard in conjunction with the British Standards Institution (BSi) and other interested groups, including professional FMs. The standard was formally approved in July 2009 and made a mandatory practice by CMG for all of its members.
BS 8522 covers three phases of work: initial contact, survey and quotation; the carrying out phase; and follow-up including quality measurement and remedying any shortcomings.
The standard requires a demonstrable and measurable level of compliance and achievement against each of these elements. Systems and procedures that are in place to provide evidence of these are audited and evaluated externally on an annual basis to ensure continued adherence and compliance.
What does this mean in practical terms to the facilities manager? In short, by ensuring that you always use a BAR CMG member, it means that your commercial move will always be conducted to the highest industry standards. BS 8522 has been developed for the benefit of the commercial moving sector. For your own benefit (and peace of mind), you should always choose a commercial remover with the BS 8522 Standard and ensure that all tender documents include this Standard as a minimum requirement.
BAR is the largest and oldest trade association in the removals sector, formed in 1900. It represents the UK’s leading domestic removals companies all of which are covered by the Office of Fair Trading approved BAR Code of Practice. All BAR members abide by the Code and are regularly inspected to ensure that their staff, vehicles, premises and facilities meet the required standards set out in the BAR Code of Practice.