How To Handle A Complicated Facility Closure

From time to time, many large organizations are faced with the daunting challenge of facility closure. No matter the size and scale of a project, the team entrusted with closing a facility will face a multitude of concerns including the potential sale of millions of dollars in real estate, the redeployment or liquidation of equipment, the transportation and storage of sensitive records, and in the most difficult instances, dealing with a complicated hazardous waste cleanup.

Atlanta, Georgia, USA twilight rush hour.Some of the more complicated projects involve laboratories, hospitals, large factories and businesses that are immersed in bankruptcy proceedings.  These types of closures require maximum attention to ensure that your project is completed within a strict timeline and performed in a manner that limits potential liability. Often, these types of projects also involve the handling and disposal of hazardous materials.

Working with an experienced company may be required to handle the job effectively for a more complicated project.


Here are some things to consider:

First Steps


Once a closure is announced, there are a few important steps that need to be taken, including:

  • Formation of a closing team
  • Taking a complete inventory of the facility
  • Development of a comprehensive plan
  • Creation of a plan for redeployment or sale of assets
  • Establishment of a budget
  • Setting a timeline with an absolute deadline

In order to maximize the value of the capital equipment, an asset audit is important to determine the condition of all equipment and whether it would be better redeployed in some other part of the organization, or whether the company would be better served with a full liquidation.


Development of the Facility Closure Plan


The development of a comprehensive plan is an important step that will be the primary determining factor in the success of your project. A proper plan will establish a working budget for the marketing, redeployment and removal of assets, a facility cleanup plan that takes into account special requirements such as hazardous waste removal or sensitive document removal and storage, as well as setting a firm timeline for the project completion. 

When developing your plan, there are some basic questions that the closing team should be prepared to answer to determine an appropriate course of action including:

  • Is this a partial or full shutdown?
  • When must the facility be vacated?
  • What are the available in-house resources to assist in the closure?
  • What current legal or environmental issues are of concern?
  • How will any raw materials be managed?
  • How will assets be dealt with?
  • If liquidation is required, which assets will be sold and who will oversee the sale?
  • Are there hazardous materials that must be removed?
  • Are there sensitive records that require special handling?

By answering these questions and having a thorough understanding of the scale, special considerations and timeline of your project, you can develop a complete plan and determine the resources needed to execute.


Tips to Maximize ROI on Liquidated Assets


Redeployment or liquidation of assets is typically one of the most time-consuming aspects of any project.  Depending on your business type, there are some important considerations to maximize the return on investment (ROI) of any liquated assets.

If you are planning to sell a large number of assets, it may be prudent to hire an external company that specializes in equipment liquidation to help you to determine asset value, increase the number of potential buyers, oversee the previewing and marketing, and ultimately handle the sale.  

Working with an experienced secondary market expert to oversee a liquidation can increase your bottom line while ensuring a streamlined, hassle-free way of managing the process from start to finish.

Special preview periods are important so potential buyers can come to inspect the equipment you are liquidating.  It’s also important that quality images of your equipment are taken to provide to potential online buyers.

Don’t ignore international buyers. There is constant change in the quality, advancement and style within many industries and as organizations upgrade their systems and equipment many key pieces of the equipment may be obsolete in the United States. 

However, a lot of outdated equipment in America is in high demand on foreign soil. You’ll find it extremely advantageous to have access to international buyers interested in the equipment, a key question to ask potential vendors.


Hiring Vendors to Complete the Job


After a thorough analysis, your closure team may determine that an experienced vendor company is required to oversee the project.

When interviewing potential candidates there are several questions to ask of your potential partners including:

  • Have you performed this type of job before?
  • Have you worked with other agencies when doing facility closures?
  • Have you worked with legal representatives or attorneys in conjunction with a facility closure?
  • Can you handle a job with this type of scale?
  • Do you have experience working with sensitive documents and information?
  • If hazardous waste is involved, can they keep you in compliance with all federal and state regulations?

In order to achieve success with a complicated closure, give yourself time to develop a workable plan, establish a budget, inventory assets and to find buyers for your equipment in order to maximize the value.

Working with the right vendor(s) is important and may ultimately be the deciding factor for the success of your project. Make sure you do your due diligence and develop a well-thought-out plan.


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