The Intricacy of Move Management in Life Sciences – Minimizing Downtime

By Gary K. Pino, FMP, SFP

This blog is a three (3) part account on the Intricacy of Move Management in Life Sciences – Minimizing Downtime:

  1. Part Tribute
  2. Part Inspiration
  3. Part Execution of the Plan
  1. The Tribute:

To borrow an opening line from my favorite musical band, The Beatles, “It was twenty years ago, today …”  Actually, it was quite a while back that our Company connected with Rick Doran, who started People First Consultants, and launched a 20-year path in leadership training, executive coaching, and customer relationships. He published, The 12 Steps to Customer Trust in 2008, which fulfilled a lifelong ambition to have something submitted to the US Library of Congress. Rick passed away on October 21, 2021, surrounded by his loving family.

During our time with Rick’s consulting on enhancing and providing excellent Customer Service, he was a follower and teacher of Stephen R. Covey’s famous book entitled, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.   And this is where The Inspiration comes in …

  1. The Inspiration:

To me, the most inspirational section of Stephen R. Covey’s book is Habit #2, “Begin with the End in Mind”.  According to Covey, “Begin with the End in Mind means to begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination, and then continue by flexing your proactive muscles to make things happen.”; which simply translates to: think about how you would like something to turn out before you get started“It reaffirms who you are, puts your goals in focus, and moves your ideas into the real world.”

  1. Executing the Plan

For the past twenty (20) years at IDO Incorporated, I have been inspired to operate with Habit #2 in mind, and have successfully achieved positive results on all of my managed projects.  Having worked very closely with a large Fortune 500 Pharmaceutical Company, located in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, during my tenure at IDO, I learned early on that their ability to get their products through the pipeline and out to the market is paramount to their success, longevity and an integral way to stay ahead of their competition; while also fulfilling their Mission Statement, “We pursue pharmaceutical innovation, provide high-quality products and strive to deliver superior business results.”


Life Sciences related moves are intense, very time-consuming, and could be extremely costly. To combat these variables, establishing a comprehensive and detailed PLAN (with contingencies) ensures success in your goal of having a project turn out with a solid vision before you get started.

“Bringing a project in on time and under budget” is the goal of every Contractor.  When experiencing obstacles, interruptions, and general delays, these elements could result in lost income and operational disruptions, not to mention your Company’s image and reputation being on the line.  So, to help avoid and/or overcome those risks, MINIMIZING DOWNTIME is your next important project goal, which keeps worker productivity and TEAM stability at the forefront of the project, as well as keeps costs in check.

What are some of the key ingredients in Minimizing Downtime … just to name a few?

  • Closely align and collaborate with key Project Team Members so you may fully understand your customer’s business process, goals, and desired end results.
  • Meet with essential primary contacts to uncover and discover operational processes, “hot buttons” / priorities, aspirations, and potential paradigm shifts that need to be considered.
  • Co-develop comprehensive move strategies with customized/tailored Communication plans and styles.
  • Initiate an Integrated Workplace Delivery Team meeting and process with all of the other key contractors (i.e, Construction Manager, Building Manager, MEP Contractors, Designers, Movers, Specialized Move Groups, Equipment Vendors, Shops / Engineers, Radiation Safety Officers, Waste Management, Telecom, and IT personnel, etc., etc., etc.).
  • Establish Pre-Move Meetings to advise and engage the moving staff members on what to expect of their new surroundings. Upon construction completion, schedule tours of the new work areas so the staff members could envision their new workplace before arriving on Day 1.
  • In Real Estate, “Location, location, location” are the three (3) key ingredients to a successful home purchase. In Minimizing Downtime, the three (3) key ingredients are contingency planning (as mentioned above), providing effective communication, and delivering thorough documentation to all affected parties.
  • Since many Life Sciences operations are 24/7/365, we often discuss using a phased move-in approach so as to minimize downtime, rather than moving all staff members and equipment all at one time.
  • With the Covid 19 Pandemic wreaking havoc on our country from 2019 to the present, many companies have offered their staff members remote working capabilities. So that business may proceed as usual, and wherever possible, we endorse the idea of the staff members performing their duties by working from home to keep them productive and further minimize or eliminate downtime.
Written by Gary Pino