Several friends of Walls & Ceilings have moved recently and it just made me curious why the relocation? Did they outgrow themselves? Was it to better serve their customer base? Was it because the new location was a more cost-effective facility? What were the advantages and disadvantages?

Flex-Ability Concepts has relocated to expanded quarters in Oklahoma City. Its new 90,000-square-foot facility includes manufacturing, distribution and administrative areas.

“The expansion provides much-needed plant space plus contributes to the efficiency of our sales and administrative staff,” said the company’s Marketing Manager Robert Widmer.

The new facility is located at 5500 W. Reno Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73127. Telephone numbers remain unchanged.

When pressed if now was the ideal time to relocate given a still undesirable economic climate, Widmer elaborates: “For us it was a business necessity-we didn’t move just for a better deal. However, while we were moving anyway, we believe the current economy enabled us to negotiate better terms.”

So what are the advantages and disadvantages that a manufacturer can experience during a move? Widmer said the advantages are the additional space and the ability to set up Flex-Ability’s offices and production facilities according to its current and expected future needs. The disadvantages are lost productivity (during the move; packing/unpacking, etc.)

“We found it a fair amount more complex than moving a family-more like moving three generations,” Widmer told W&C. “As you can well imagine, among the tasks needing to be completed are installing a new phone system and computer network; notifying vendors, customers and freight companies of the move; readdressing literature, business cards and letterhead; moving metal processing machinery is no small task.”

Well said. Bill Rogers, executive director of NPIJATF/OPCMIA Job Corps (also W&C blogger and columnist) also has recent experience relocating. Rogers explains the Operatives Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ International Association move was a total advantage. “We were able to reduce our rate by 22 percent and have a space built-out to our design specifications,” he said.

As he explains it, Washington D.C. metro commercial office property is close to a 30 percent vacancy rate and that property owners are more than eager to sign stable customers.

“Now is an excellent time to both lower rental costs and improve your facilities on the landlord’s dime,” Rogers said.

Rogers outlines the pros and cons of moving. The advantages may include of course lower cost, better and/or bigger faculties, set lower rates for up to seven years.

“Individually, it is as stressful as moving your home, but you also have the logistics of staff assignments during the transition: Can they perform their normal work? Can they help or hinder the moving process?” he told W&C.

The single largest benefit Rogers sees for the relocation is location. “We were able to move much closer to our main business partner, do it for 22 percent less cost and get a new custom designed facility.”

The National Plastering Industry’s Joint Apprenticeship Trust Fund’s (aka Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ Job Corps) new address is: 11720 Beltsville Dr., Suite 100, Beltsville, MD 20705. The fund’s new phone number is (301) 572-2600 and fax is (301) 572-2611.