Before embarking on a large-scale commercial relocation, it’s imperative to seek estimates from differing moving companies, comparing not just the pricing but the breadth of service. An accurate estimate is the first step in any moving project and estimating mistakes can have real-world consequences.
Moreover, it’s a mistake to assume that all moving companies have the necessary expertise handling commercial relocation projects. For most movers, commercial relocation is a secondary business, a way to pad out revenues during seasons when residential moves ebb. But commercial relocation involves a totally different process from residential moves, making it important to procure estimates from companies with actual commercial expertise.
Corovan has developed many procedural steps to identify problems before they happen, allowing us to provide our clients with accurate and reliable estimates. We’ve been in business for more than 70 years, and we move more than 300,000 office employees annually. We have a standardized estimating methodology which we track for accuracy, fine-tuning our approach as needed. Every estimate that we offer undergoes a meticulous operational review. Most movers have no such safeguards in place, which puts client projects at risk.
Estimating Mistakes Can Cause Major Problems
What makes estimating mistakes so risky, exactly? Simply put, imprecision in the estimating process can yield a host of problems for the client, including:
- Missed deadlines
- Unplanned downtime and lost productivity
- Physical damage to assets and facilities
- Cost overruns
Moreover, estimating mistakes may create challenges providing a consistent and routine service to the end user; in other words, companies that receive bad or misleading estimates may encounter obstacles that impede their ability to serve their clients or to provide a truly excellent product.
Estimating Problems Can Be Hard to Spot
An additional challenge is that estimating problems usually aren’t perceived until the move is underway. Moving representatives may create a faulty estimate, while the moving company’s operational personnel lack the information and expertise needed to identify the problem before the move begins.
It is not until the project starts that problems become apparent, and by that point it’s too late to find a swift or seamless resolution.
It’s Crucial to Know Your Estimator
So, what can companies do to avoid faulty, inaccurate, or misleading estimates? One important consideration is knowing the background of the estimator.
Some specific points to keep in mind:
- Do they handle other types of services, such as household moving? Remember that commercial relocation is often a secondary business, but you’ll want to find a company that makes it their foremost priority.
- Ask for a high-level explanation of their estimating process. What are some of the safeguards and quality control checks in place?
- Don’t assume that someone with actual moving experience is an accurate estimator. Even experienced movers often fail to have standardized estimating methodologies.
- Ask whether the company tracks their estimates for accuracy. This is an important way of ascertaining whether they hold themselves accountable for their estimates, and whether they seek continuous improvement to their estimating process.
- Ask them questions about the estimate, e.g., How many computers did you count? What path of travel will be used to access the building?
These nuts-and-bolts questions can be helpful in assessing the estimator’s thoughtfulness and intentionality.
Quantify and Compare Proposals
Finally, make sure you’re evaluating multiple proposals, not just accepting the first one that comes your way. In comparing different estimates, take stock of key data points, including:
- Amount of packing material
- Total person hours needed to complete 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.
Get an Estimate from Corovan
Ready to receive an estimate for your commercial relocation? Corovan is ready to deliver, drawing from decades of experience and a fine-tuned estimating process. Contact us at your convenience.