Relocations of staff or facilities can be precipitated by all manner of events; whether it is the upgrading of existing facilities, moving to new facilities or a strategic review and restructure of an organisation’s operations. In many cases this will result in a detailed and complex process being undertaken, often requiring delicate consultation with key stakeholders to ensure the final outcome sets the organisation up for the future.
Often the prospect of a relocation creates a unique opportunity to instigate change throughout all levels of an organisation which, under normal circumstances, may be difficult to implement. As a result, a simple relocation project groups into a major redevelopment program with multiple inter-related work streams that must be carefully coordinated.
APP understands that relocations are not necessarily a simple change of physical location, and that a relocation may also result in changes to business operations, technology and work environment. These changes may also have to be implemented within strict budget constraints and timeframes. APP also understands that they may have a profound effect on an organisation’s staff.
Management of all aspects of a relocation, whether it be the physical move, the financial impact, the risks, timing, technology, staff transitioning or business continuity is fundamental to its success.
APP is very experienced in the management of relocations and we assist our clients in navigating through these issues so that change is achieved with minimal disruption.
APP appreciates that the seeds of success of a relocation project are created from establishing the right strategy from the outset. Hence planning for a successful relocation commences as soon as the need for relocation or change is identified or a decision made. Additionally, achieving success does not stop with completion of the physical move. Ensuring staff and customers are supported post relocation and settled into their new environment is essential for minimising business disruption. APP provides relocation management experience across all phases of a relocation project; from identifying the business needs, developing the migration strategy and establishing the management framework right through to implementation of the relocations, supporting staff post relocation and undertaking post occupancy evaluation. By establishing the right working relationships with our clients, we can ensure a successful outcome.
With decades of relocation management experience covering corporate, health and commercial sectors, as well as our in-house project delivery and real estate services, APP is uniquely placed to provide a seamless service from building construction/fitout, relocation, lease finalisation and into post-occupancy support and evaluation. We offer the option of seconding our staff in our client’s offices during a project. This secondment can offer significant benefits during the original strategy definition and planning, and it is particularly relevant where clients prefer to have direct contact with management personnel and require input from multiple stakeholders. Put simply, we can fully integrate with our client’s team when desired.
APP work closely with internal staff throughout all phases of a relocation project; from the critical planning stages, to when the migration plans are being implemented and into post occupancy; to ensure that at every stage the transition is seamless and staff are made to feel welcome, supported and assured. This service extends to the personal touch of being available to answer staff queries and to direct them on resources available to them.
Various aspects of the relocation management services APP can offer are as follows:
Relocation strategy / logistics advisory
Successful relocation projects have a detailed strategy that takes into account all of a client’s objectives and key constraints. The strategy must lay out a clear and concise path to success. These constraints may be as diverse as the timing for availability of new facilities, exit and lease finalisation timeframes for existing facilities, technology issues including upgrades, staff training, product roll outs, client’s business commitments, financial year obligations, business transition/reorganisation issues and restrictions caused by external events (such as key trading periods).
APP has the in-house capability to develop a detailed relocation strategy that covers all aspects of the project, working closely with our clients to ensure that all issues and risks are known, understood and properly considered before the strategy is finalised. As a subset of this capability, APP can also provide an advisory service, working with our clients to analyse their business and identify key points of consideration for developing a relocation strategy.
Relocation program management
Adherence to project timelines and deadlines, and ensuring that all project team members are aligned and working cooperatively must occur for any relocation project to be completed with minimal impact. APP provides program management services for relocation projects, overseeing the various work streams involved (i.e. accommodation planning, relocation, technology, staff training, equipment procurement, building fitout, lease finalisation etc.) to ensure they achieve their deadlines and a single integrated solution is achieved. Our independence, pragmatism and broad experience means that we are not necessarily bound by what has been done before. As such, we can challenge existing practices and suggest adaptations of existing management systems to tailor solutions that meet a client’s unique needs.
Auditing / relocation listing development
Reliability in relocations is dictated by having a detailed and accurate knowledge of what is to be relocated, its current location, its intended destination, when it is to be relocated and its special requirements. This is irrespective of whether it relates to people, equipment, materials or technology. APP can provide auditing services to identify and record all staff and assets to be relocated. Using information extracted from existing client databases such as asset registers, payroll or staff listings as a base line, APP can develop detailed relocation listings for use on the project which will detail all relocation information for individual people, including such diverse information as security requirements, equipment serial numbers, WHS requirements, telephony information and server access requirements. As part of the relocations, APP verifies and corrects this information so that it represents a true and accurate record of the work undertaken. It can then be passed back to the client post relocation to update their databases.
APP has an in-house programming capability that is highly experienced in relocation works. We work with our clients to develop detailed development programs for relocation works that are all-encompassing, providing a complete picture of the overall process.
We are also proactive in tracking progress, upgrading the project status and its potential impacts so that issues are brought into focus and remedial action can be implemented prior to the escalation of issues which often causes a delay.
Relocation risk assessments and mitigation
All relocation projects carry elements of risk. APP believes that effective risk management constitutes more than identification of the risk; it must also be apportioned to whomever is best placed to manage the risk and have effective mitigation or management strategies implemented. APP’s extensive relocation management experience enables us to proactively identify and develop risk mitigation or management strategies. Working with our clients, we ensure risks are identified and mitigation strategies are implemented before they manifest into problems, and their progress is monitored on a regular basis to ensure the strategies are effective.
The size and scale of relocation projects means that many have to be completed in stages. The reasons for this are diverse. For example, a progressive structural reorganisation of a client’s business, sequential fitout and occupancy of a fully occupied facility or phased fitout completion of a new facility. APP is very experienced in the planning and execution of staged relocation works and when coupled with our fitout management experience, is uniquely placed to manage all aspects of a staged fitout/relocation project to provide a single point of accountability to our clients.
Some relocations have the potential to result in major emotional upheaval for staff and hence require careful, sensitive and frequent engagement of project stakeholders. We are well aware of the risks these situations can cause to a project and our empathetic approach ensures stakeholders are brought along for the journey, rather rather than having change thrust upon them. Working in close consultation with our clients, we develop a stakeholder management strategy and implement a consultation programme for any relocation project.
Post relocation support
Settling staff into their new work environment post relocation is a critical element in maintaining business continuity throughout a relocation. APP is able to develop and manage a post relocation support strategy, providing necessary support to staff in all key areas including wayfinding, technology, security, relocation attendance, facilities support, storage and WH support. Our target is to have all staff working again within three hours of arriving at their new location.
Lease finalisation / make-good
As part of our service offering, APP is able to manage the make-good of vacated facilities and finalisation of its lease on behalf of our clients. In conjunction with our in-house property services team, we can scope, procure and manage all works associated with the decommissioning of client infrastructure and the make-good obligations of the lease. We can also act as client representative on lease finalisation negotiations. Through close consultation with the relocation team, all lease finalisation works can be coordinated with the vacation of facilities, minimising down time and the risk of cost penalties due to the lease not being finalised prior to its expiry date.
Under the right circumstances, APP is able to subcontract key relocation service providers such as removalists, storage consultants, change management consultants and facility planners. This has the advantage to our clients of simplifying commercial arrangements by providing a single point of accountability for the entire relocation team.
Creating the right project team
Our project experience has consistently demonstrated that the creation of the appropriate project team is one the critical success factors in a project. Key issues to be considered in the selection of consultants in this early phase of the project initiation are:
- Suitability and culture of a design firm to the way in which the client does their business;
- Identification of key personnel who will act as the leader for their respective team or discipline and who have the right “fit” with the whole project team;
- Availability (both geographic and time) of the key personnel;
- Genuinely relevant experience in dealing with clients and projects of a similar nature.