How to prepare for laboratory relocation

Laboratory relocation

Moving your laboratory or instruments is inevitable for many facilities, and can be a daunting task. Organization is key to a successful move, so we’ve put together a guide with some helpful tips to help make your relocation as smooth as possible.

Phase 1: planning

Extensive planning is crucial to the relocation process. Once you have confirmed the date of your move, you will need to inform certain organizations and services to make them aware that you are relocating. Be prepared to complete a site preparation checklist to detail your requirements ahead of your move. It should cover all the things you need to organize at your site before engineers attend to uninstall your instruments.

Ensure that all stakeholders are involved in the process – from lab champions and managers, to facilities managers and outside suppliers. It’s a good idea to create an action log to allocate responsibilities to key individuals and allow them to track progress and meeting target dates. Rushing could result in damage, so make sure that you allocate enough time to properly complete tasks associated with the move.

If you need some help ensuring that you’ve got everything planned, download our free relocation checklist

Phase 2: preparation

The documentation received during the planning stage relocation should be completed accurately before instruments are removed from your lab.

An inventory of all equipment, materials and instruments will be useful in tracking everything being moved. It should cover the initial planning and preparation stages, right through to reinstalling and configuration at the other end. Record model and serial numbers, as well as the number of computers you’re moving. It’s also helpful to provide contact details for the end users of equipment, should there be any complications.

You can save time and confusion on arrival at your new location by labeling all boxes to identify which instruments are packaged together. It will also help determine where they will need to be placed in the new facility.

Don’t move more than is necessary – use your relocation as an opportunity to dispose of outdated or broken equipment, supplies or materials.

This stage of the relocation is a good opportunity to ensure that your end destination is prepared for the equipment due to be moved. Do they have correct storage facilities for any equipment that isn’t required immediately? Are there power, gas and water supplies, and ventilation, for instruments? It is an important part of the relocation, so make sure that you allocate time to scoping out your new destination before moving.

Phase 3: uninstallation

Analytical instruments are delicate pieces of equipment that require expert attention to detail to ensure that they are properly decommissioned. Before your move, you must ensure that all large pieces of equipment are appropriately decontaminated and labeled as such. Be aware that some instruments may need to be serviced and packaged by the manufacturer before being moved.

Remember to give scientists and lab managers as much information as possible regarding the relocation. They need to be aware when their equipment will go offline and return online to plan their work around it. It’s also useful as they may be able to advise whether there is a requirement for a specific service.

If any of your equipment is going out of the country, you must ensure that you have the correct documentation to reduce downtime. Customs can be difficult, so make sure you’re aware of everything from commercial invoices, to power of attorney.

Phase 4: relocation

When the time finally comes to move to your new lab facility, you should find it relatively stress-free, thanks to your careful planning and preparation.

Protecting your instruments during the physical move is vital, so be careful when packaging products. Small items, such as cables, can be placed in small bags and boxed up together. Larger items should be carefully wrapped up in protective packaging to guard against damage. Don’t forget things like laptops, software discs and licenses, which are all items commonly left behind in laboratory moves.

Your relocation vendor will provide most of the physical moving but you may be required to oversee the transfer of the lab. Remember to tick off items on your inventory as and when they are loaded up for removal.

Phase 5: reinstallation and configuration

Returning your instruments to operation is perhaps the most daunting aspect of relocation. You should find that it is all taken care of and rapid reinstallation guaranteed if you choose the right move vendor.

Be aware that you may need to contact the same organizations and services you notified of your move to confirm the successful relocation of your facility. A survey for the new space may be required to meet with regulations.

Make your move with Agilent

Agilent CrossLab Relocation Service is the top choice for instrument relocations, whether you’re moving a single instrument, or an entire facility – across the hall or between continents. The services are tailored to your unique needs and cover all lab instruments, regardless of manufacturer.

Our aim is to help you re-establish laboratory operations in your new location quickly and efficiently, and services include:

  • Extensive site planning
  • Uninstallation of instruments
  • Packing, moving and shipping
  • Reinstallation, configuration and acceptance testing.

Optional services include: regulatory compliance, Preventive Maintenance and education of new staff.

Need help preparing for your next move? Visit to download our NEW tools to help make your move as smooth as possible.