Streamline Your Facility’s Work Order Process

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It’s challenging to achieve maintenance efficiency without proper work order management.

While pen and paper or whiteboards are easy to use, these systems are slow and clumsy and are often associated with increased downtimes and corrective maintenance costs.

You can’t always rely on spreadsheets either, as these are harder to customize to support unique workflow and automation.

As a facility manager, you’ll want to streamline your work order process and track all the data, from the maintenance request to task completion.

1.Know What Needs to Be Done

This step is first in a standard work order lifecycle—being aware of an issue that requires fixing as part of planned or unplanned maintenance.

With unplanned work, the problem on hand is sudden and often requires corrective rather than preventive intervention. 

Work orders are often unforeseeable and unplanned in many facilities. Once a problem has occurred, immediate remediation is usually necessary.

It’s different with planned maintenance as each work order is pre-scheduled for a specific date. Examples of this include routine inspections, periodic equipment maintenance, and scheduled spare part replacements.

Streamlining your processes lets you move to more planned work orders based on preventive maintenance.

As you’re spotting signs of trouble ahead of time, you can prevent escalation. This preemptive approach can help to minimize the frequency of emergencies that require unplanned intervention, such as equipment breakdowns.

2.Work Order is Submitted

Once you’ve become aware of a glitch that needs solving, next, you create and submit a work order.

How you do this impacts the efficiency and reliability of your facility’s equipment maintenance plan.

Typical approaches include:

  • Pen and the paper-This system requires no technical skills, and the initial investment is relatively low. As with any manual file system, this method is cumbersome and tracking individual records can be challenging.
  • Email-Emailing a work order is a significant upgrade to manual paperwork considering that it’s electronic and mobile-friendly. However, it isn’t an excellent record-keeping system as it lacks a built-in database or relevant automation tools. Email requires integration with other digital systems to support your entire work order lifecycle.
  • Online portal-A web-based solution may require a heavier investment than the other options, but it’s worth it. It provides real-time access to submitted work orders anytime and from anywhere.

A cloud-based system can be the best way to keep a solid record of all work orders and ensure they are visible and organized. It’ll enable you to track the status of work requests in real-time.

3.Decide Who Does the Task

It would help if you always had your maintenance teams handling tasks for which they’re qualified.

Many facilities assign work just based on who’s available, which often compromises the overall work quality.

To get things done efficiently, ensure to keep track of specialties on your team and assign maintenance/repair duties accordingly.

Keeping tabs on everyone’s schedule is equally crucial to avoid assigning tasks to unavailable technicians, delaying execution and completion.

Tracking this data helps you know how many team members you need with various skills based on the task. You can also extract insights into individual team member efforts and follow what each worker is doing in real-time.

4.Fix the Problem

At this stage, the assigned technician or team is aware of the problem specification. There could be multiple feasible solutions, some cheaper or less time-consuming but also not as effective.

Always go for the best possible solution as it will save you time and money in the long run. As you’re documenting your asset repair operations, you can use this data to schedule effective preventive maintenance.

5.Handle It Even Better Next Time

Implementing preventive maintenance is a great way to improve work order processes continually. Since it’s a proactive approach, it gives you considerable control over task scheduling with minimal emergency surprises.

Plus, the tons of data you capture throughout the work order lifecycle can power predictive maintenance to help avoid unplanned downtime. Traditional tools like spreadsheets, pen and paper, or email don’t offer the required efficiency levels. 

The best way to implement preventive maintenance and keep work orders flowing is to deploy work order organization software. The solution is cloud-based, so it fosters real-time collaboration on assignments while empowering technicians to resolve problems in the best way possible.

Streamlined Work Order Lifecycles

Efficient work order management helps to optimize operational continuity, especially for any asset-intensive organization.

It’s a vital part of effective preventive maintenance as it fosters accurate work prioritization, schedule compliance, and appropriate resource allocation to keep production systems up and running. By streamlining your work order processes, you simplify your facility management job.