How to relocate the world´s knowledge
The world’s knowledge is no small thing. Certainly not when it’s being moved together with an entire business school. Superb relocation logistics are needed to move over 1,000 cubic meters of items and materials, including 30,000 books, 1,000 meters of files, and 150 meters of shelving units.
A lot came together when the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management (FS) moved into its new campus in the North End of Frankfurt in the beginning of November. For the relocation experts from DACHSER & KOLB it meant packing up this entire body of knowledge and unpacking it again. “We accomplished the feat of moving the Frankfurt School without interrupting its operations. That was a major challenge,” explains Volker Bandorf, business relocation manager at DACHSER & KOLB. At its busiest moments, the relocation firm was 40 strong and assisted by three specially designed air suspension trucks.
Transporting items from Point A to Point B is only one side of the equation in such project logistics. DACHSER & KOLB was awarded the contract to relocate the internationally renowned business school way back at the start of the year. “We impressed the client by presenting a well-conceived and cost-effective project plan,” explains Hans-Joachim Centner, sales manager at DACHSER & KOLB in Frankfurt. Such a big move takes a lot of work. For instance, cataloging the items and creating relocation guidelines. “You could say it’s the heart of any move,” says Centner. Tasks include drafting a precise schedule for when to dismantle and assemble the filing cabinets and shelving units and where to place all the boxes. And one task that should not be overlooked is how to divide up responsibilities between client and contractor. After all, it has to be clearly understood what each employee needs to pack and when and where the experts from DACHSER & KOLB will step in. With the Frankfurt School, university employees only had to worry about their personal effects.
Securing the bits and bytes
Because knowledge is no longer confined to books at today’s universities, relocating IT operations is especially important in any commercial move. “We had to disassemble 500 workstations, uninstall computers, pack them into PC carts, and reassemble them in the new building. We dedicated twelve employees to this task alone, working a full two days and making sure the equipment was ready to operate,” says Bandorf. Sensitive HR and works council files also had to be safeguarded against unauthorized access.
Because knowledge is no longer confined to books at today’s universities, relocating IT operations is especially important in any commercial move.
And then there was the issue of security. Because the semester was already underway during the move, all DACHSER & KOLB employees had to be registered with the Frankfurt School. Special permits were needed to open automatic doors that require chip cards. Workers placed barriers and strips of tape wherever the furniture movers were transporting heavy boxes to prevent injury to university employees or students. “Whenever you move unwieldy items around in a building, there’s always the risk that someone will get hurt unless you take the necessary precautions,” explains the relocation manager.
No scratches or stains
Next to people, protecting the building is the next most important thing. So DACHSER & KOLB put protective film and fleece lining on the walls and floors. They hung protective curtains in the elevators to prevent scratches and stains.
The move in Frankfurt employed a rolling system from start to finish. At the source location a DACHSER & KOLB team packed up the items, and at the destination a second team unpacked them. A project manager in each location directed the team and coordinated trips made by the three trucks. An obvious precaution was to establish the loading and unloading zones and mark them with no-stopping signs.
All done! In the end, DACHSER & KOLB moved 2,300 boxes for the university, while turning almost 38,000 square meters of empty rooms into a fully furnished, fully functioning workspace. The company shipped 30,000 books from one library to the other and re-shelved them using to the same system in just two days. In fact, you could write a book about it.