SunPower, Inc. Business Relocation

Posted: February 21, 2017

Introduction

Business relocation is one of the most important and involving decision processes that a company has to make in the bid to increase its efficiency or reduce its operational costs. According to Ke & Wei, 2008, a business relocation is a decision made by a business organization to transfer or move its facilities from one physical location to another. Before making the decision to relocate, the management and the stakeholders must deliberate on the essence of relocating. This decision may be greatly influenced by four major factors; the customer base of the company, tax regulations and incentives that are in place in the new location, the work force issue, and lastly, the facilities and the size of the organization.

The decision to relocate must also be systematically performed by choosing the correct relocation service provider who will carry out the whole relocation process in the desired manner (Hultberg, 2011). Any business organization may find the process of relocation necessary, keeping in mind that their performance and efficiency will increase. In this way, the main interest of the management and the stakeholders is to increase profits. For the case of SunPower, Inc., the decision to relocate was arrived at after a series of meetings with the stakeholders and the managing board to deliberate on the location and the company to be hired to complete the relocation process. Therefore, this paper deal with the description of a relocation plan process.

Impacts on the Stakeholders

Given the urgency and the importance of the matter at hand, a meeting was held to deliberate on various issues and the impact of the relocation to New Mexico. Stakeholders who are involved in the governance and policy formulation for the company like auditors, government agents, tax representatives, and members representing the Trade Union were invited to discuss in details and the consequences of the relocation. Other stakeholders such as the creditors and business partners were also involved in the deliberation process. It was agreed that the current stakeholders would still retain their positions and will continue delivering their roles. Like they have always done, they will still provide finances and participate actively in every decision-making process of the company despite the relocation.

The stakeholders will not be left behind in the deliverance of their roles and services which involves overseeing the project initiation and implementation. They would still keep abreast with the project progress and participate in communication management about the various issues that arise from within the company. Much of the communication would be done through video conferencing between USA stakeholders and the management team in New Mexico after the relocation. If need be, they will occasionally travel to Mexico for meetings and project evaluation reporting.

Impact of the Movement

Moving the business to New Mexico would involve incurring relocation costs that were predicted to cause an increase of the operational cost in the first financial year of relocation. Some of the costs to be incurred during this course, were that of moving machines. The delicate machinery and equipment would require specialized movement procedures, for example, sophisticated packaging in readiness for shipping to the new location. Such items would include laptops and desktop computers, photocopier, and printing machines. For safe delivery of these items, there was a pressing need to hire special movers by paying dearly.

In addition to this, SunPower, Inc., will incur the cost of communicating to the different clients of their intention to relocate to a new place. It may involve sending letters, emails, or making calls. This communication, however, is in the interest of the customers, they do not help in the generation of income, hence costly (Hoffmann & Muller, 2009, pp. 239-247).

There is also a risk of incurring down time costs. Here, when the machines, equipment, and other tools for work are being packed, in transit and the process of installation in the new location, employees are faced with the problem of finishing their various tasks in time. It may lead to the delay in providing services and products to the customers. Also, the level of performance per day will significantly drop due to almost nil sale records for the days spent on relocating and setting up the equipment in the new offices. Moreover, the business clients and customers may not be able to access any services from the business company throughout the period before SunPower sets its operations and daily activities of production and service provision is officially commenced. There is also a possibility of losing some of the customers because they may find the new location very inconvenient for them. It was agreed that the money for the relocation process would be spent from the reserve account before any other finances were acquired for the purpose of the same.

Relocation Plan

In relocating, a perfect plan is the most important thing to ensure the success, smooth arrival, and the start of the normal operations of a business company. Experienced relocation officers with a rich professional background in this kind of business, are required to assist in the movement or relocation process. In the United States of America, the most reliable relocation company is the CapRelo which has offered this kind of services for many years. The destinations for company relocation that it has steered include Canada, Europe, and Mexico (Hultberg, 2011).

The plan will involve the diagnostic process to determine whether the relocation is necessary and to examine the level of urgency for acquiring the relocation services. Once this is verified, necessary adjustments need to be made so that the relocation process is kept in line with the mission and the vision statements of SunPower, Incorporation. Moreover, the relocation process must aim to achieve the relocation objectives of the company in a strategically planned manner. Secondly, there must be consistency in the relocation process with the relocation policy of the company. Curfew systems and ways to manage the costs incurred can be carefully examined to ensure that the process recognizes the management of cost by minimizing the relocation expenses.

In addition to that, the expectations of the relocation program must be met. For example, the employees must feel safer to work in the new environment. The employees will be more productive when working in a secure environment. The new workplace must be easily accessible through well connected roads and bus stations. The new location should also be equipped with medical centers to offer clinical services in case of extreme medical complications which the employees may suffer while they are working. The relocation plan must also focus on the possibility of team working between the relocation service providers and the Human Resources team leaders in ensuring that the process of relocating is carried out in the correct and timely manner. The relocation plan to be chosen must be a flexible one to enable a quick resumption of work by the employees to avoid delays on attending to the customers (Hultberg, 2011).

There also should be constant communication between the managers and the relocation team to ensure quick resolution of any issues arising as soon as possible. Communication is necessary to clarify on the issues that were unclear during the drafting of the relocation plan to further ensure that the vision of the management is followed by the relocating company. The service providers are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the relocation process is stress free for the employees to continue working in the same motivational level to realize more productivity in the business. A reliable relocation process will always ensure an immediate return to meaningful productivity by the company relocating.

Conclusion

A business relocation can affect the performance of the company both positively or negatively. Therefore, an extensive research and inquiry should be carried out on the possible consequences of undertaking the relocation process (Hoffmann & Muller, 2009, pp. 239-247). Procedures that will be followed by the relocating company will also influence the extent to which its employees will be retained in the same firm despite the change in location. If employee expectations are not met, then the employee retention may decrease steadily.

Other ways to ensure that the relocation plan is successful is to make certain that it is thoroughly prepared after the decision to relocate has been made. The company may require the services of relocation analysts to assist in the planning and implementation of the decision. Moving to a location with a wider customer base is beneficial to a company due to the high possibility of increasing the sales volume of its products and services. In the United States of America, relocation requires some form of vocational training in the activities for a period that does not exceed the twenty four months.

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