How to Create the Best Work Order Process: Ensuring Maintenance Success
By Space Coast Daily // September 25, 2023
Most facility managers experience equipment and infrastructure maintenance challenges at some point, and addressing them proactively is essential.
You put in a work order request, and somehow, it gets lost, delayed, or improperly executed, leaving your operations paralyzed and your team scrambling.
According to a study by the International Data Corporation (IDC), companies implementing work order automation have reported up to a 30% reduction in maintenance costs. These savings can improve profits.
Creating a successful maintenance process is not just about adopting new technology. It requires a well-planned approach.
Key Steps for Designing the Optimal Work Order Process
Understanding Your Goals Clearly
A good work order process begins with knowing exactly what you want to achieve. Setting goals will help your team focus on the important tasks. Every decision made along the way should be guided by your goals, whether to fix equipment faster, to ensure workplace safety, or to increase the lifespan of equipment.
How to Submit Requests in a Simple, Uniform Way
A key part of a smooth work order process is making it easy for people to ask for what they need. Online forms or specific software can help with this. These tools let people clearly describe the problem and attach photos or videos. This makes planning and preparation easier for everyone involved.
Sorting and Ranking Requests
All requests for maintenance work aren’t equally urgent. Some need immediate attention, while others can wait. Sorting these requests into different categories helps you use your time and resources better. This can help you prioritize critical issues first.
Clear Steps for Approvals
A well-thought-out approval process is necessary to keep everyone accountable. it is crucial to establish a clear understanding of who has the authority to make decisions. This understanding helps in avoiding delays and ensures that the decision-making process is efficient and consistent with organizational policies.
Planning and Dividing Work Smartly
Assigning tasks efficiently needs careful planning. It’s vital to know the technicians’ availability and skills for each job. A central system can help match the best person for each task, ensuring that work is evenly distributed.
Keeping Everyone Informed
Good communication is essential for a successful work order process. Using tools like instant messaging or project management software keeps everyone on the same page. This way, team members can quickly share updates, clarify doubts, and exchange vital information with one another.
Doing the Work and Keeping Records
The execution phase is when all the planning turns into action. Technicians carry out the repairs or whatever work is needed. Documenting this in real time is extremely valuable. Notes on what was done, materials used, and any unexpected findings provide a complete record for future reference.
Review and Keep Improving
A work order process should constantly be evolving to meet new challenges. Regular reviews help identify what’s working and what’s not. By analyzing data like task completion time, resource utilization, and customer feedback, you can identify opportunities to continuously improve.
Ensuring Work Order Process Adoption
Teaching Users Through Training and Guides
Even the best work order process won’t work well if people don’t know how to use it. Easy-to-understand guides, how-to videos, and hands-on training sessions make sure everyone gets it. These resources should cover the process in detail and provide guidance on how to use any new tools or software that may be involved.
Showing the Real Benefits
People often question change, so it’s crucial to show how the new process will improve things. Focus on the good stuff: faster work, less waiting, and quicker problem-solving responses. Share real-life examples of how things improved after the new process was put in place. Such evidence can help people understand the worth of the changes being implemented.
Dealing Directly with Doubts and Challenges
People often resist new ways of doing things. But facing these hesitations directly can help get everyone on board. Talk to the people or teams who seem unsure.
It is essential to allow the team members to share and communicate their concerns and take the opportunity to resolve them as they come.
Leveraging Technology for an Enhanced Work Order Process
The maintenance industry trends are evolving rapidly and reshaping how organizations manage operations.
The Role of CMMS Tools
The way maintenance work is done is changing quickly, and a big part of that change is the use of CMMS tools. These aren’t just for storing data; they make tracking tasks, managing resources, and keeping records much smarter. Features like automatic alerts, planning for routine upkeep, and deep analysis of how well things are running all add value to how work orders are managed.
IoT: A New Way of Seeing Things
A new shift in maintenance work is happening because of the Internet of Things, or IoT. Devices connected to the internet constantly collect information on how machines and equipment are doing. After this data is gathered, advanced analytics comes into play. This turns raw data into useful tips on how to keep everything working smoothly. Maintenance teams can spot problems or strange behavior early on, which lets them fix things before they get worse and cost more to repair.
If a business wants its equipment to last long and operate well while keeping costs low, efficient maintenance is key. Central to this is a well-organized work order process. Turning to a comprehensive list of maintenance software becomes essential to establish the best work order process. By selecting and leveraging the right technology from this list, businesses can streamline their maintenance operations.