Relocations, whether residential or commercial, are unpredictable by their very nature; it’s impossible to know exactly what a moving day is going to look like, nor to plan for every contingency.
With that said, it’s totally reasonable to expect your moving company to provide you with an estimate, giving you some ballpark expectations about what the process will look like, how long it will take, and how much it will cost.
Not All Estimates are Created Equal
It’s crucial to understand that estimating errors can have real consequences, leading to logistical nightmares, lost productivity, or simply an inflated budget. Equally crucial is understanding that not all estimates are created equal, particularly where commercial relocation is concerned. After all, moving a business is a totally different process from moving a home, and for many moving companies, corporate relocation is at most a secondary concern. As such, the bulk of movers out there simply don’t have experience providing estimates for commercial moves.
At Corovan, commercial relocation is our foremost priority. We have developed proven procedural steps to help us identify problems before they happen, meaning we can furnish our clients with robust and reliable estimates while ensuring the smoothest possible moving day experience. Consider just a few of the things that make Corovan different:
- We’ve been in business for more than 70 years.
- We move more than 300,000 office employees annually.
- We have developed standardized estimating technology.
- We track estimating accuracy, continually fine-tuning our efforts.
- Every estimate we provide undergoes a detailed operational review.
Simply put, most movers have no such safeguards in place, which places their corporate clients in greater peril.
The Real Cost of Estimate Errors
This matters a great deal, as estimating mistakes can result in significant problems for your business. For example, the results of an estimating error can include:
- Missed deadlines
- Unplanned downtime
- Damage to facilities and client assets
- Impaired ability to serve clients
- Cost overruns
What’s more, estimating mistakes typically don’t become evident until after the move has started. All too often, moving representatives create faulty or misleading estimates, while the company’s operational personnel lack the information and expertise needed to identify the problem before the move begins. The issues become apparent only after the relocation has begun, and by that point it’s impossible to do anything about it.
Properly Assessing Estimates
When it comes to sizing up commercial relocation estimates, there are a couple of general guidelines to keep in mind.
Understand the Background of the Estimator
First, make sure you do your due diligence about the relocation company providing the estimate. Some things to consider:
- Do they offer other services, including residential moves? Is commercial relocation their main focus, or a secondary business?
- Can they provide you with a high-level explanation of their estimating process?
- Does the company do anything to track and assess their estimates for accuracy?
Don’t simply assume that, just because someone has moving experience, that makes them a skilled and accurate estimator, especially with regard to more complicated corporate moves. Be prepared to ask specific questions about the estimate you’re provided (e.g., How many computers did you count? What path of travel will be used to access the building?).
Quantify and Compare Proposals
Additionally, make sure you collect multiple estimates and compare them quantitatively. Some data points to consider include:
- Amount of packing material
- Total person hours needed to complete the project
- Number of truckloads they estimated for the project
- Staffing for each day of the move
This process could help you identify a problem bid and give you peace of mind when selecting the best vendor for your corporate relocation.