Tough competition and pressure on margins force businesses to focus on internal efficiency. Side-by-side, the increasing trend of remote work has changed the dynamics of work. Effective work order management keeps overheads low and copes with emerging challenges. Here are the best practices to optimize work order management in the era of remote working.
Work order management involves many intricacies and real-time coordination among departments. Successful work execution depends on precise scheduling and factoring in eventualities.
A typical work order includes:
Codify the tasks and procedures associated with each job. Complete information actualizes an action plan. As a result, field agents get clarity to do the work with minimal time and effort.
Assign staff members to approve incoming work orders. Empower them to review the fields and seek clarity on incomplete information. This prevents bogging down the system with incomplete requests.
ReachOut’s powerful work order system captures all the relevant information seamlessly. Its custom forms simplify data entry, and the review and approval process plugs in the gaps upfront. With Reachout work order software, customer support agents can follow up with the customer for missing information.
Not all work orders are equal. Effective work order management requires prioritizing jobs based on various considerations.
Develop a rubric (a set of instructions or rules) to determine priority. As a rule of thumb, give the highest, immediate priority to resolve injury risk, asset damage, and impactful downtime. For instance, a pipe burst or a gas leak requires urgent attention. Prioritizing work orders allow field agents to push back routine servicing a day or two to attend to emergency priority jobs. Even otherwise, premium clients may warrant priority over a one-off customer.
ReachOut work order software allows setting priorities by reconciling operational and business needs. Schedulers may change the preference depending on the changed circumstances. Managers may approve or override the system, considering situational exigencies.
As obvious as it sounds, in-built compliance should be a part of work order management in every project. Unfortunately, field agents may bypass protocols or take shortcuts due to time constraints. Issuing orders and publishing policies will not ensure compliance fully.
Following practices will help ensure effective compliance in work order management:
ReachOut offers a simple yet powerful work order system. Its forms marketplace offers hundreds of readymade options to create customized work orders. Stylized forms transfer incumbent paper forms to digital mode without changing anything. Often, non-compliance is due to resistance to change.
Effective work order management goes hand-in-hand with effective inventory management. As effective work execution depends on the availability of parts and service equipment, inventory syncing is crucial.
ReachOut integrates work order management and inventory management. APIs integrate different enterprise systems and ensure the free flow of data. The integrated system does away with the need to check inventory records manually before starting a job. It also improves first-time fix rates, as dispatchers schedule jobs after ensuring the availability of the parts. Real-time notifications alert field agents, dispatchers, customers, and other stakeholders when a needed part is out-of-stock or becomes available.
Integration of the work order system with inventory becomes even more critical in the COVID-19 times, as the pandemic continues to disrupt supply chains globally.
Read more: Work Order Software Buyer Guide
Enterprise agility and competitiveness depend on the intelligent assignment of work orders. Devise a mechanism to assign the right work order to the right field agent. Complex jobs require skilled agents. High-value customers may need dedicated technicians. The dispatcher also has to consider overtime, leaves, off-days, and more. Assigning the nearest qualified agent to the work site reduces agent travel time and expenses.
ReachOut work order system offers a skills database to store the competencies of each field agent. The dispatcher may filter available agents based on their skills, experience, and competencies.
Ensure prompt and clear communication among stakeholders. Instantaneous notifications improve transparency and assure stakeholders.
Enable remote assistance. Expert technicians from a remote location may guide novice agents dispatched to the customer’s site. They may also help customers interested in self-service options. Such remote options become invaluable during emergencies and also during pandemic-induced stay-at-home orders.
ReachOut work order software keeps every stakeholder in the loop. Real-time push notifications offer field agents information on assigned work, client details, deadlines, and other details. Likewise, customers get information about designated field agents, status on the availability of spares, estimated time of arrival, deadline, and more. Thus, all stakeholders have ready access to information without overload. ReachOut’s integrated communication app enables robust and seamless communication between the field agent and the back-office or a senior technician.
Tracking work orders keeps everyone accountable. Field agents, customers, and managers see the status of every work order. Real-time dashboards showing open, upcoming, and completed work orders, agents assigned to each task, deadlines, and other important information make remote management easy.
ReachOut offers live tracking of field agents through GPS-enabled smartphone apps. Supervisors and customers may track the real-time movement of field agents and get accurate ETA. Service managers may monitor agent movement to track delays or intervene proactively in case of hold-ups. The automated system suggests the best route to reach the worksite.
How did ReachOut’s field service management software transform a backflow testing business in Idaho? Read the story here!
Processing, prioritizing, and tracking incoming work orders is overwhelming. Maintenance requests come from multiple sources, through multiple channels, with varying urgency. ReachOut eases the complicated and effort-intensive process of work order management. The streamlined work order system improves field agent productivity, reduces customer wait time, and boosts competitiveness. Want to learn more about ReachOut? Contact us.