Work Order Management System: Guide, Tips and Setup
A work order management system is the collection of processes, steps and tools for managing maintenance work orders across a workplace, building, site, property portfolio or facility and often is reported by tenants, residents, customers, staff or from audits.
The work order starts with the maintenance request which might range from a cleaning task, electrical work or repair job and then will be logged and assigned to a preferred contractor to action. The work order management system will be the series of steps and processes that manage this journey starting with the logging of the work order through to assigning it to the preferred contractors to action and then managing quotes, authorised job tasks, progress updates, actions and finally closing the work order when all work is completed and the job is actioned.
Work Orders might be recurring in nature or just once off i.e. regular scheduled maintenance on plant and equipment or a one off issue reported by a tenant or staff member.
A Work Order Management System is important in the workplace for managing and preventing maintenance issues as it allows for the efficient tracking of all maintenance requests, both reactive and preventive. It is a system that can be used to ensure maintenance issues in the workplace or are other facility locations are addressed promptly and efficiently, as well as to identify any potential issues before they become an issue. It also provides an organized system of communication between maintenance staff, management, and other stakeholders, allowing for the timely resolution of any issues that may arise. With a Work Order Management System in place, businesses can save time and money by catching maintenance issues before they become more serious and expensive.
Commonly this process consists of:
- Work Request form
- Work Order Software
- Maintenance Management
- Preventative Maintenance
- Defect Management
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Work Order Management Steps
- Logging a Work Order
It all starts with logging a work order. This is where the job is reported that needs action. It might be a fault with plant and equipment that requires logging to identify what happened, when, how and the actions needed. Or it might be a minor issue like a flicking light or bins needing emptying. It could be a spill that requires cleaning or a door that is cracked that requires repair. Depending on the urgency of the task, a registry of work orders is logged and the facility or property manager will next assign a contractor in order of priority to action the work order.
- Assigning to a Contractor
In this part, the management assign the work order to a preferred contractor. This should be an inducted and fully compliant contractor who holds the correct valid licenses, tickets and insurances to do their work and has gone throught he appropriate checks such as a contractor prequalification
When they receive the work order, the contractor can provide updates on what actions they are undertaking, expected completion time, parts they are awaiting on or other progress updates.
Multiple contractors might be assigned a work order at the same time and have different stages of completion in relation to the work order.
If there are any high risk task involved, a permit to work
might also be required by the contractor and they may need to provide a JSA
or a Safe Work Method Statement
- Organise Quotes, Progress Updates, Job Close
In this stage, quotes are organised, often if the cost is above an approved ratio and this will have its own review and approve process. Progress updates could be provided by both contractors or management as job tasks are completed. When all progress updates are finalised, the job will be flagged as completed and ready to be closed. This is when it then moves to the closed work order registry.
Ongoing or Recurring Work Orders
This is where work orders will be scheduled often for recurring works such as scheduled maintenance on plant and equipment. In this process, the work order is automatically triggered and sent to the preferred contractor to action when the due date approaches.
Jobs might be weekly, fortnightly, monthly, 3 monthly or yearly as examples. This might be for things like certifications or audits, inspections or preventative maintenance on assets, plant and equipment and may include asset tracking
or be part of your overall maintenance plan
Using an Online Work Order Management System
With a work order management system, all these workflows can be automated, streamlined and systemised to ensure that actions are triggered, reminders and nudges sent and registries are real-time for what work order activity is going on across a site, project, property or building.
Enable your staff, customers, residents or other roles to access and submit work orders when maintenance requests arise and give them the access to view and see progress updates on previous work orders in order to avoid follow up questions.
Common areas you might include
A Work Order system will commonly be made up of:
1: A centralized place to access all the work order information and resources.
2: A calendar view of scheduled work orders that can be used to plan and manage resources.
3: Search/Filter Tools for the ability to quickly search and filter through work orders.
4: Notifications for upcoming work orders, changes in status, or any other custom alerts.
5: Reporting to generate detailed reports for individual work orders or for broader trends in the system.
6: Creating custom fields to capture additional information about work orders.
7: Assigning and managing resources, such as technicians and equipment, to work orders.
8: Ability to integrate with other systems, such as accounting, inventory, or customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
9: Ability to control who can view and update work orders.
The Work Order Process
For the work order process itself, you might see a workflow something similar to these steps:
- The work order is created
The first step in the process is for the maintenance department to create the work order. This involves gathering the necessary information about the task, such as the type of work that needs to be done, the estimated time for completion, and any special instructions or requirements.
- Contractor selection
After the work order is created, the maintenance department will select a suitable contractor for the task. This will involve researching potential contractors, determining their availability, and reviewing their qualifications.
- Contractor notification
The selected contractor will then be notified of the work order and all the details associated with it. The contractor can then decide whether or not to accept the job.
- Contractor acceptance
If the contractor accepts the job, they will sign the contract and provide any necessary documentation. At this point, the maintenance department will provide the contractor with any tools or materials that are needed for the job.
- Job completion
Once the job is completed, the contractor will submit any necessary paperwork and invoices to the maintenance department. The department will then review the work and make sure it meets all the requirements specified in the work order.
Ensuring only compliant and approved contractors receive Work Orders
It's important to have the tools and processes in place to ensure that only approved and compliant contractors receive a maintenance work order is to create a list of approved contractors and require them to provide proof of compliance with any relevant regulations before they are allowed to perform the work.
This list should be regularly updated to ensure that only the most qualified and compliant contractors are performing the maintenance work.
It is also important to ensure that any contractors hired to perform maintenance work are properly insured and bonded.
This can help to ensure that only compliant contractors are performing the work.
Recurring Work Orders
Another area of a work order system is a recurring maintenance work order where a work order is issued on a regularly scheduled basis to ensure that preventive maintenance is completed on a regular basis. This type of work order is typically used for equipment or machinery that requires frequent maintenance, such as HVAC systems, vehicles, or machinery. Recurring maintenance work orders are typically used to schedule regular maintenance tasks, such as oil changes, filter changes, or other routine maintenance activities.
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