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Rehousing? Organise the chaos through an inventory of the office

  • Accommodation Management

Mike Kaandorp is our workplace inventory specialist contact him via

inventory of the office

Soon I’m going to live with my girlfriend for the first time. We both leave our “old” house to live together in a new house. This means that we have to look critically at all our things: what moves into the new house, what do we throw away, and which furniture does earn a second life in a second-hand store? Lots of choices, and I already know one thing for sure: we are going to find things that we didn’t even know we had.

Consider making an inventory of the office

That is also understandable. Of course, in broad lines, we know what assets we have, but we never made a complete inventory list. And yet that is what needs to happen when you, as an organisation, are facing a major relocation. In addition, there can be numerous complicating factors in such a move:

  • The size: the larger your organisation, the greater the chance that there isn’t an overview of all furniture; a complication that increases even more if there are multiple locations.
  • Implementation of a new workplace concept: often a new workplace concept is introduced at the same time as a rehousing. The question is whether the furniture is suitable for the new concept.
  • The condition of the furniture: it is sometimes known how much furniture there is, but not in what condition it is. And that condition can have consequences for the choice of what to do with it.
  • Multiple organisations: sometimes a move is the result of a takeover or merger. In that case, an inventory of the office furniture should exist from both organisations. And both inventory lists must then be merged in order to make choices.

Prepare the move

When you rehouse, as a facility manager, a heavy task is to think about what to do with the furniture. In this case, you are facing important choices:

  • Does it fit in the new accommodation? If applicable – in the new workplace concept.
  • What impact does it have on the actual planning and logistics of the relocation in terms of numbers, estimated relocation time, size and volume?
  • Can we sell the furniture? And is there still residual value?
  • Can we reuse the assets? And is there still residual value?
  • Is the furniture ready for disposal?

To make these decisions, the facility manager must:

  • First, identify which furniture is present at their organisation,
  • Know what the condition of the furniture is.

Facility Manager Information System

You may also consider the functionality of a complete FMIS. As a facility manager, is it possible to register all your furniture in it? Sometimes that happens indeed, but in practice, it’s often not linked to the condition of the furniture. Let alone that it has been charted to what extent it is suitable for reuse. In short, the circularity. Measuremen therefore warmly welcomes initiatives such as an FMMaster, in which both data about the furniture item such as brand, age and year of purchase are registered so that it can possibly be reused.

An FMIS also has a disadvantage: they frequently do not take into account the inevitable shift in an organisation. New employees are starting, furniture is disappearing, and new furniture is being added. Because the demands on the workplace are changing. Even if the registration at the beginning (entry into a new office environment and/or implementation of FMIS) was in order, that is commonly not the case after a while. It simply appears that the reliability of an inventory of the office has a limited shelf life. The same reasoning also applies to a relocation manager that larger organisations sometimes have: they have a great deal of knowledge about the process to be followed in the event of a relocation, but are left empty-handed if the basic inventory is not in order.

The answer is an inventory of the office

Therefore, our advice is to make an annual inventory of the furniture including its condition, so you are able to thoroughly plan a move, prepare and make the right choices quickly.

Does this mean that you have to set up a completely new project before you can prepare a relocation? No! By investing in a good inventory, the move will be done in no time. And, of course, it takes more effort at the front, but it will pay you back twice as long as the move can be carried out within budget, on time and without stress or last-minute surprises.

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