If you’re part of a manufacturing organization, you know just how stressful industrial facility relocation can be. There are many reasons why a manufacturing company chooses to relocate; they need more space, they’re transitioning into making different products, they need to scale back their operations, etc.
Although relocating isn’t uncommon, the majority of companies underestimate the risks involved in the process, both operational and financial. After all, picking up shop and going elsewhere is a huge undertaking for a manufacturing company.
Let’s explore some of the most noteworthy risks of plan relocations and what you can do to avoid them.
Common Risks in Factory Relocation
Moving is always fraught with certain dangers for those who participate in it, and it does not matter whether you overcome long distances or not. Moving the plant involves certain risks that you should be aware of.
There’s no denying that manufacturers rely on various equipment and machinery to execute their tasks. Many of these machines are specific to the organization which means they’ll need to be transported between locations. As you can imagine, the moving and installation of manufacturing equipment require significant planning and safety considerations. From a logistical standpoint, this is the most complicated and challenging element to consider as some problems could occur:
- Damage or improper setups: This can happen during transit and result in production quality problems.
- The new layout is inefficient: Your new plant needs to support your productivity.
- Inadequate infrastructure to support your manufacturing goals and equipment.
Electronics & Servers
Factory relocations also mean you’ll need to move your electronics and servers. As nearly everything in today’s world revolves around technology, any lag in your operations could cost a significant amount of money. If you’re apprehensive about relocating your IT department to a new space, it’s completely normal and understandable.
To minimize your stress, you should take the necessary steps to prepare as much as you can for the transition. Talk with your IT department to get a better understanding of the essential operations for your business. Regarding data centers and servers, try to reduce downtime while saving as much data as possible.
Reduction in Number of Employees
Beyond moving your physical equipment during a facility relocation, you’ll also need to think about your employees. Of course, you’ll want to keep senior management in place during this transitional period. However, in many cases, manufacturing companies fail to look at their mid-management or those who know and understand the operations the best. Don’t forget to consider how this move will impact their processes or any relationships that they’ve established with vendors or contractors. It’s not uncommon for companies to experience a high turnover rate shortly after relocation as employees might not be able to overcome the change in operations.
Inventory Management Problems
Manufacturing relocation can result in issues with inventory management. Similar to the equipment issues that we mentioned above, when you move your inventory from one location to another, it can be challenging. Be sure that you have a good tracking system in place or you could potentially lose products.
How to Overcome the Industrial Moving Challenges
Even though planning a factory move seems daunting, there are things you can do to make the process easier and more streamlined.
Plan Your Timing Ahead
Like most things in life, the more you plan, the better the event will go. If possible, start preparing for your factory relocation months in advance so you and your team have plenty of time to prepare. Ideally, you’ll have schedules and timelines that are mapped out for every single task that needs to be accomplished. One common mistake is not accounting for the long lead times around certain tasks such as dealing with services and equipment. Outline which tasks are dependent on others for completion and use that as your starting point.
Planning means you’ll want to consider the timing of everything. Ideally, you won’t execute your move during the busy season to avoid downtime that could impact your business.
Instruct the Personnel
Not only do you have to prepare the equipment and machines to move from one location to another, but you’ll also want to ensure that your team is on the same page. This means you’ll keep your employees, suppliers, customers, and any other impacted group abreast of the move. For example, avoiding telling your employees until the last minute can significantly damage morale. Suppliers will also need to know ahead of time to coordinate their schedules and deliveries. Finally, customers and contractors should know what’s going on in case there are changes to payment or delivery.
Hire a Professional Manufacturing Moving Company
As you can imagine, overseeing so many parts involved in this moving process on your own can be challenging to say the least. This is especially true if you’ve never been involved in this type of factory relocation before. If possible, hiring a reputable and experienced moving company is the easiest and most efficient way to complete your move. By reaching out to a professional team, you can significantly reduce your stress and stay organized throughout the process.
At Alliance Moving & Storage, we know what it takes to successfully execute your manufacturing facility relocation. Our team is Chicago-based but proudly offers moves throughout the surrounding areas. For a friendly, hardworking, and experienced industrial moving company, there’s no better choice than our team! For additional information on how we can help or get a free quote, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team today!