Work order software is an online system designed to help managers handle maintenance and repairs in a more efficient and organized manner. It’s mainly used to track and update maintenance requests submitted by tenants.
Why do managers use software?
Facilities managers can certainly track and assign work orders manually. But, that takes up a lot of time and resources. Using a cloud-based work order system is much more efficient. In fact, people who take advantage of automation say they are better organized and able to accomplish more with fewer resources.
How does it work?
At its simplest, work order management lets all parties (tenants, management and vendors) work collaboratively to solve a problem. All data and documents related to a job or repair are centralized, and real-time updates can be made in a matter of seconds.
In many cases, a tenant will submit a service request through the software platform. If the software has a mobile app available, service requests can be completed from a smartphone. Office Control is one such software option.
The manager or person in charge of overseeing work orders will ensure all the necessary information has been included, approve the service request, and launch a work order request. From there, the vendor will review the order and get started on the repair. Once complete, the manager can close the request and review analytics such as the time needed to complete the job, costs, and how many other projects were completed during the past month.
Types of work orders
The features you will need from your work order management software may be influenced by the types of work orders you usually process.
General work order
A general work order is any maintenance job that isn’t considered a preventive maintenance, inspection, emergency, or corrective maintenance task. General work orders include things like setting up new equipment, replacing a part, or removing old carpet.
A preventive maintenance work order is a scheduled, planned maintenance task performed on an asset or item. Preventive maintenance reduces the risk of printers, sinks, HVAC systems, elevators, etc. from failing unexpectedly. Preventive work orders will usually define resource requirements, instructions, checklists and notes. Preventive maintenance should be carried out on all items for which a failure would have serious consequences.
An inspection work order requires a maintenance technician to audit an item or asset based on a predetermined set of parameters. Inspections are usually performed at a specific time. If a problem is identified, then a new work order can be created right away.
An emergency work order is created when a sudden breakdown occurs and the asset needs to be repaired immediately. An emergency order would be submitted if there is a toilet that is leaking, or a window was broken in the middle of winter.
A corrective maintenance work order is made when a maintenance technician discovers a problem while in the process of doing a repair or inspection. Corrective maintenance is performed so that the equipment or system can be restored to its original condition. If it’s not urgent, the corrective maintenance work can be scheduled for later.
Types of work order systems
There is more than one option when it comes to work order management systems. Before investing in a solution, make sure to ask each company questions to ensure the product will serve your needs and requirements.
Simple work order software system
Simple work order systems are designed to simplify the process of assigning, tracking, and recording work orders. The tool allows for real-time tracking of all work orders through a centralized platform.
This option is ideal for facilities managers that only care for a few offices.
Computerized maintenance management system
Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) are better suited for large businesses, but that doesn’t mean managers who care for smaller companies can’t benefit from this option. CMMS are more comprehensive management systems that have repair and preventive maintenance features designed to manage all aspects of maintenance work.
Field management systems
Field management systems (FMS) pair well with companies that have field workers. Whether they are technicians, salespeople, etc., you can track them, assign tasks to them, and measure their performance. The systems also let staff send invoices to clients remotely.
There are multiple options out there, and the software you choose should directly reflect your needs and requirements. However, there are some popular features that most facilities managers would want to have in their arsenal.
Preventive maintenance schedule – This feature allows you to schedule planned repairs ahead of time. Take an hour or two to preschedule repairs for the year, and you’re done. This also helps ensure you comply with any maintenance requirements or laws.
Predictive maintenance – Predictive maintenance refers to the use of data-driven, proactive maintenance methods to keep equipment operating at its best. Predictive maintenance technologies include infrared and sound level measurements, vibration analysis, and thermal imaging. Wireless sensors would work collaboratively with the software. Based on the feedback, the manager can spot potential problems before they occur.
Mobile service requests – Tenants will truly appreciate having the option to submit service requests from their phones. If they notice while preparing coffee that the fridge is leaking, they can simply capture a photo of the issue, fill in the empty fields on the mobile app, and alert you of the issue through the system. The tenant can also see updates about the submission, including when the job is complete.
Work order requests – Standard work order requests capture all of the information that management and the vendor need to complete a job in as little time as possible. The form may allow for attachments such as photos or videos. This minimizes the need for the parties to send multiple emails to each other.
Task prioritization – Some systems allow tenants to indicate the urgency of the issue. This makes it easier for you to assess when the work needs to be completed by. Setting due dates also makes it easier for the vendor to understand how urgent an issue is.
Vendor management – Finding the vendor you need takes no time at all if you have a digital profile for each vendor. Add contact information, and any proof of certification you may require.
Asset management – Create custom barcodes for each asset. You can add identifying information, such as the owner, department or building, to each asset profile. Create new profiles from your smartphone. This feature is very helpful to managers who care for large buildings with several of the same assets.
Analytics – Data is becoming increasingly important to leaders and managers of all types. If your work order management software system can show you information about each repair, you can begin to better assess how long jobs should take and how much they should cost. Analytics help you make smart decisions and adjustments to your work order process.
Choosing a work order software program can be a bit overwhelming at first. However, conducting thorough research and asking questions will pay off in the long run. A user-friendly, feature-rich platform can reduce costs, increase productivity, and enhance tenant satisfaction.
Modern software solutions are available to organizations of all sizes, budgets, and industries. Regardless of the number of vendors and tenants you work with, work order software can scale as your client base grows.