Work order software allows enterprises to create and manage service requests, work orders, and other deliverables for maintenance tasks. While Field Service Management Systems also facilitate similar tasks, a work order software is focused on general scheduled maintenance and preventive maintenance of assets.
Several vendors offer ready-made off-the-shelf products, and several others offer highly customized options. Unless the enterprise has a very basic and generic requirement a basic off-the-shelf suite will provide, custom development is a better idea.
Here are the major considerations when buying or developing work order software.
A ticketed system, which assigns a unique number identifier to tasks at hand, brings order to chaos. Any decent work order suite worth its byte organizes and streamlines the ticket creation and processing. The suite prioritizes the order of tasks based on the tickets generated, categorizes various tasks based on priority, urgency, and other considerations, and close out tickets after the technician resolves the issue. The best systems offer role-based access to who can open and close tickets, ensuring accuracy and control over the process.
It is, however, not enough to simply have a ticketing system for the sake of it. It is equally important to have a well-defined set of categories, to allow users to choose the type of work requested. Categorization of the tasks increases the efficiency of the entire system manifold.
Good work order management suite also offers sophisticated yet simple dashboards, with a clean, neat UX to make the ticketing process more efficient and user-friendly. It pushes out a handy notification at each stage or milestone of the process, to keep clients and other stakeholders updated.
A major benefit of work order software is easy and robust reporting capabilities. Reports that make explicit the type and nature of predictive maintenance done on assets, the required maintenance schedules for each asset, the best preventive maintenance options, and more are basics in any work order management suite. Different vendors, however, offer different, and often proprietary reporting solutions. These tools vary depending on the client’s needs, size and industry.
The best reporting capabilities are flexible, allowing users to generate the type of reports they require, picking and choosing the various fields, and for different time frames. It also integrates deeply with the analytics suite, to spot and solve failures and maintenance issues, and generate reports out of real-time insights.
Strong reporting capabilities also facilitate regulatory compliance. The best work order management suites auto-populate forms and auto-generate reports, making the filing of compliance reports easy.
Related Reading: Check out tips to choose the best mobile field service software.
Efficient work order management requires sharing all the required and relevant information with the technician assigned to the task. Maintenance personnel could thus focus on the job at hand, rather than waste time searching for information.
Good work order software contains informational resources on assets, such as warranty information, a regulatory condition associated with the assets, financial information such as cost and depreciation data, and more. It converts the database into strong knowledge repositories, and allow users to find key information about a particular asset quickly.
A good work order software also documents the entire process, capturing and storing all information related to the process, to facilitate accurate record keeping and allow stakeholders to make informed decisions for systematic improvements. For instance, the system stores and flags positive feedback, allowing future technicians to repeat the same processor approach. Likewise, the record of an accident or injury could forewarn the technician about possible precautions to take, the next time.
The best work order management software goes far beyond being a passive recorder and scheduler of events. Rather, it aids the workforce by helping them set achievable goals and measures such goals by tracking progress. While the onus is on the management to make routine assessments and revisions of goals, the work order software becomes a valuable tool to achieve the same.
Predefined KPIs or customizable qualifiers allow mining valuable information from the stored data or feeding such information to general business intelligence systems, enabling the enterprise to make informed decisions. However, the onus is on the enterprise to choose KPIs that make the most sense, and harness real-time data to make detailed assessments regarding the performance
While the focus of a work order software is the workforce and the time spent on projects or specific tasks, a good work order software seamlessly integrates with the Field Service Management (FSM) suite, and the Computerized Maintenance Management systems (CMMS), to sync these talks with inventory management, scheduling and all other gamuts of field service operations.
Preempting breakdowns through preventive maintenance ensure longevity for assets, and also prevents costly downtime. In any case, it is easier and cheaper to maintain machinery and assets in small bits and pieces than replace the entire asset or opt for a major overhaul when the asset breaks down. A good work order software rises up to such requirements, streamlining workflows, reducing emergency maintenance situations, and providing orderly scheduling features for technicians and administrators alike. Empirical evidence suggests businesses deploying work order software enjoying a 20% reduction in equipment downtime and materials costs, among other benefits.