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Planning down to the finest detail

WHEN an organisation’s in the midst of negotiating a new location, choosing an office fit-out and restructuring floor plans, the logistics of physically shifting from one location to another can get lost amid all the activity.

And while for smaller businesses this does not exact much heartache, for larger companies, which need to relocate thousands of square metres of office equipment and hundreds of people, and also need to carry over numerous service providers so as to stay online, it is a mammoth task.

Project manager Stewart Johnson from the Johnson Group WA recently managed the relocation of Homes Loans Limited from its QV1 and West Perth premises to 168 St Georges Terrace in the CBD. 

Relocating 170 people, 2500sq m of office paraphernalia, information technology servers, PABX systems and processor providers in the space of two days is no mean task.

Mr Johnson said his main role as project manager was to try and understand the technical aspects of each move and identify the sensitive points within the organisation that would be affected by the move.

In the case of Home Loans Limited, which receives about 3,500 calls a day, the option of diverting calls to a fill-in call centre provider was considered.

Mr Johnson formulated a program for the relocation of computers, phone outlets and office equipment,

Two floor plans were created – one for the current premises and one for the forthcoming premises – so that equipment could be placed in the correct location as well as to provide an audit trail of items.

Finally a back-to-business program was compiled to dictate the order in which services and equipment was brought back online.

Mr Johnson said planning was essential. Third-party providers such as Telstra and Internet providers had to be notified early about the relocation and back-up providers arranged if needed.

“You need to have an overall plan for the move, you can’t do it in individual components,” he said.

Wridgways – The Removalists State manager Rob Sims said access was one of the main factors determining the cost of removalist jobs.

For example, Central Park is a difficult building to move freight in and out of and QV1 can’t be accessed until after 11pm.

Mr Sims said that these constraints could push removalists’ costs up by 30 per cent.

Lifts and stairs are other important factors – how many, how large and accessibility issues – dictate the final figure in a removalist’s quote.

Mr Sims said it is important the customer was briefed on what was required of them.

“To be ready they need to have cleared out their stations and have put stickers on their equipment,” he said. “The more they can do and their staff can do, the cheaper it is.”

However, when it comes to staff actually moving equipment, that’s a no-go zone. Mr Sims said getting staff to lug computers and equipment was dicing with occupational health and safety legislation,

“It is not worth it, your insurer would cringe,” he said.

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