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Field Service Management

Mastering Work Order Management: A Comprehensive Guide

Mastering Work Order Management: A Comprehensive Guide
Andrej Lovsin
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April 17, 2023

In the world of maintenance and repair, the work order is a critical document. It initiates, tracks, and completes the maintenance process, paving the way for effective and efficient operations. However, the manual handling of work order scan often be time-consuming and prone to errors. This guide aims to explore the concept, types, and management of work orders, and the role of modern scheduling software in streamlining this essential business process.

1. Decoding Work Order Management

Work order management is a critical process that organizes, executes, and documents maintenance tasks. While the process may appear simple, manual handling can be a breeding ground for errors.Hand-written work orders can be lost, and data entry in spreadsheets can be slow and inaccurate. The solution lies in embracing technology, specifically scheduling software such as a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS), to expedite and streamline this process. Effectively implemented, such software can reduce un expected equipment downtime and save costs.

1.1 The Life Cycle of a Work Order

A work order goes through a life cycle of six important stages:

·        Recognizing the Task: Determining what needs to be done to address a maintenance issue.

·        Creating the Work Order: Filling out are quest form to authorize the maintenance work.

·        Approving the Work Order: The maintenance management determines the legitimacy of the need.

·        Assigning Priority: Considering the urgency, backlog, and team availability, work orders are prioritized.

·        Execution: Approved and prioritized work orders are assigned to technicians for execution.

·        Documenting the Outcome: The results are documented in an accurate and timely fashion.

Once the task is accomplished and the services rendered, the work order can be closed.

2. Unveiling the Types of Work Orders

There are four main types of work orders,each serving a distinct purpose in the maintenance process.

2.1 Inspection Work Orders

These orders schedule a technician to inspect a specific asset. If an issue is discovered, a new work order is created to address it. The trigger for an inspection order depends on your maintenance strategy.

2.2 Preventive Maintenance Work Orders

These work orders schedule routine servicing for all equipment and assets. Scheduling software can be used to automate the scheduling of routine maintenancetasks.

2.3 Emergency Work Orders

These are created in response to sudden breakdowns that require immediate attention. Information about why the asset failed and what was done to restore it should be documented for future reference.

2.4 Corrective Maintenance Work Orders

These orders are issued to fix emerging faults before they escalate. The faults may be discovered during routine inspections or diagnosed by AI tools in a predictive maintenance approach.

3. Crafting Effective Maintenance Work Orders

A well-crafted work order is clear,detailed, and precise. It should accurately describe the problem and answer several key questions:

·        Which asset needs repair and where is it located?

·        What parts need to be replaced?

·        What tools will the maintenance crew need?

·        How many workers are required and what skills do they need?

·        What is the timeline for the job?

·        What are the cost implications?

·        Who requested and authorized the work?

By serving as a record-keeping function,work orders enable plant managers to track repair frequency and assess the success of their maintenance strategy.

4. Approaches to Work Order Management

Work order management can be either manual or automated. While manual methods are still effective for smaller organizations,a CMMS emerges as a reliable tool for managing work orders in larger setups.

4.1 Manual Approach

This approach uses pen, paper,spreadsheets, and whiteboards to manage work orders. It can work well for small organizations that handle a low volume of work orders.

4.2 Automated Approach

This involves using work order management or scheduling software to automatethe creation and documentation of work orders. It's a reliable system thatallows prioritization of work orders, automatic distribution to availabletechnicians, and instant updates of maintenance records.

To maintain control over work orders,enterprises should adopt a model suitable for managing large volumes of requests, rather than relying solely on a CMMS.

5. Embracing Technology for Work Order Management

Modern work order management solutions,like field service software or CMMS,offer a host of features that make the entire process more efficient anderror-free. These solutions facilitate real-time tracking of work orders,automated scheduling, and instant updates, providing a significant leap overtraditional, manual methods.

This guide aims to serve as a comprehensive resource for understanding the intricacies of work order management. By embracing technology and adopting the best practices, businesses can enhance their maintenance management, resulting in improved productivity, reduced costs, and increased operational efficiency.

Andrej Lovsin
I have been a software developer since I was 12 and I think this shaped my approach to solving problems. What I do first, is untangle them – and my favorite tool for that is a whiteboard. This is what I’m passing on to the company. I am proud that easy.bi develops intelligent SaaS solutions for businesses that help optimize business processes in a faster and more efficient way.
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