Moving computer and sensitive electronic equipment presents a special set of challenges. The following procedures will help safeguard your equipment from mechanical failure or damage during your office move. A smooth transition of your computer systems and local area network (LAN) between facilities will ensure continuity and prevent any data loss, as well as minimize your company’s downtime.
Many organizations use their relocation as an opportunity to upgrade or replace systems with new technology. In these cases, the existing equipment can be operated up to the time the new system has been installed and debugged, and is fully operational. The greater challenge occurs when a company is planning to move a system from the existing facility to the new one. Under this scenario, you will need to identify when to make the transition from one facility to the next. It’s ideal for this to occur during a weekend or overnight.
Qualify your technology mover
Depending on the sophistication of your network, your vendor or consultant may be comfortable with your mover relocating the equipment. In these cases, verify that your mover has experience in handling computer equipment and devices. More often, computers and peripherals should be moved by the vendor or consultant who will be restoring and debugging the system after the move.
Enlist your systems expert
Your in-house systems consultant, responsible for maintaining the computer and LAN systems, can be a big ally during your move. This person should be an integral part of the relocation and on-site or on call during the actual move. To prevent costly mistakes, bring this person into the process early, and keep them involved every step of the way.
Back up your data
The single most important aspect of moving a computer/LAN is to stabilize the system and back up all data before system shutdown. To be thorough, it is a good idea to minimize system input or changes for a short period of time before backing up. In addition, have all employees with PCs back up their own data.
If your company uses its computer system for order taking and cannot afford to shut down the system during business hours, plan to take orders manually. Then, input them later when the system is back in operation at the new facility. Before moving day, hold a brief training session with employees regarding the order taking process.
Lastly, consider developing a disaster plan or “worst case scenario”. Although it is unlikely the plan will ever be used, your disaster plan, if needed, could mean the difference between a minimal loss of productivity and a major disaster.
Label, Label, Label!
Keep track of all equipment cables, power cords, and phone wiring. Label cords accordingly and keep them with their specific piece of equipment. Something as simple as placing peripheral computer equipment (such as cables, keyboard, and mouse), in a bag and labeling (see below) the bag will eliminate headaches later when reinstalling the system.
Placement of equipment at your new facility will be identified by number, not by name. When coding the floor plan each person and each area being moved must be identified with a single room or area number. To identify placement location, placards with the proper room numbers should be affixed to the entrance of each individual area and/or room at the new facility.
Each piece of equipment must be individually tagged (i.e. case, monitor, keyboard, and cable must be tagged separately) with the employee’s assigned number.
Action Checklist for Moving Computers and Network Equipment
|Time Frame||Action Item Description|
|90 days||Determine whether any equipment needs to be upgraded.|
|90 days||If new equipment is required, make arrangements to interview vendors and begin the selection process.|
|90 days||Contact your computer equipment vendor to discuss relocation of system and network requirements.|
|90 days||Schedule your computer/LAN consultant to shut down and restore the computer system/LAN as soon as possible after the move.|
|1 Day||Back up all company data. Require employees using PCs to back up their own equipment.|
|4 Hours||Complete disconnection and labeling of all equipment which will be moved.|
Please Call Us If You Need Assistance
We hope that you find our suggestions helpful. If you have any questions regarding preparations for your move, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-800-439-4900.