The best manufacturing companies are built on effective work order management. The system builds an infrastructure where every task is identified, scheduled, executed, and reviewed – all done with precision. But what does that look like in practice? 

This guide dives into the basics of work order management. It focuses on how a strategic approach can streamline workflows, cut costs, and boost productivity. With the right system in place, companies find a competitive advantage.

What is Work Order Management?

Work order management (WOM) is a systematic approach to organizing and controlling every aspect of maintenance tasks – from initiation to completion. It includes defining the work scope, scheduling, assigning tasks, executing work, and recording outcomes. 

WOM prioritizes tasks, optimizes resources, and executes maintenance activities. Streamlining these processes minimizes downtime, extends asset life, and helps companies maintain compliance with safety and industry standards. Implementing it significantly boosts productivity across all sectors of an organization.

The Process for Work Order Management

The work order management process is a comprehensive cycle that handles tasks from inception to analysis. The structured approach maintains operational integrity while maximizing asset performance. Here is what each stage looks like.

  1. Task Identification & Creation

The initial step is to recognize the need for maintenance or repair. This comes from routine inspections, automated alerts, or staff reports. Once identified, the specific details of the task – including its nature, location, and the resources required – are outlined. Assigning priority and due dates to these tasks means urgent issues get addressed without resource waste.

  2. Scheduling & Allocation

The next phase schedules work and allocates appropriate personnel and resources. This step requires a thorough understanding of each task’s requirements and the availability of resources. Then, that information determines realistic completion timelines and, when necessary, whether other departments or teams need to be coordinated.

  3. Task Dispatching & Communication

Once scheduled, tasks are dispatched to the assigned technicians or teams. Clear communication is important. Provide all the necessary tools, parts, and information to execute the task. Confirm the schedule and availability of the resources to streamline the process.

  4. Execution & Documentation

Now this is where the maintenance or repair work is physically carried out. It requires strict adherence to safety and quality standards to prevent accidents and ensure the work is done correctly. Document the process in detail, including any challenges encountered or changes made.

  5. Verification & Closure

Upon completion, the work is thoroughly inspected to verify that it meets the required standards and fully addresses the issue. The work order status is then updated to close, and feedback is gathered from both technicians and stakeholders. This feedback loop helps identify any areas that may require further attention.

  6. Review & Performance Analysis

The final stage is a comprehensive review of the process. This is where analysis happens to determine effectiveness. Evaluate how well tasks were identified, scheduled, and executed.

Was the desired outcome achieved? Use this to identify areas for improvement or optimization for future maintenance strategies. This post-mortem stage helps organizations uncover insights that drive better decision-making.A six-step graphic detailing the work order process, illustrating how to manage tasks from request to completion.

Benefits of Effective Work Order Management

The future will be built on automation, and the statistics back it up. For instance, businesses that utilize work order management software experience a 20% reduction in equipment downtime and material costs. That is just one of the many benefits of effective work order management.

  1. Simplifies Maintenance Workflows

At its core, effective work order management simplifies complex maintenance workflows. By centralizing task tracking and management, it creates a unified platform where all maintenance activities are visible and manageable from a single point of control. This centralization automates scheduling and dispatching. That not only reduces manual coordination but improves communication between teams.

  2. Reduce Costs

A tangible benefit is the impact on costs. Efficient resource allocation prevents over-expenditure while a proactive maintenance approach will lower the expenses associated with emergency repairs. By minimizing waste through improved planning and execution, organizations achieve a leaner, more cost-effective operation.

  3. Detailed Documentation

Work order management helps maintain comprehensive records of all activities. Detailed documentation allows for easy retrieval and analysis of historical data. This means teams can easily learn from past experiences. It also ensures compliance with regulatory standards by providing evidence of adherence to protocols and safety measures.

  4. Better Data-Driven Decision Making

Informed decisions are the best decisions. With work order management, organizations have access to actionable insights to drive data-driven decisions. The system highlights trends and patterns to encourage proactive planning. This information supports informed strategies built towards future improvements and optimizations. It is about solid data – not guesswork.

Best Practices for Work Order Management

To achieve the benefits of WOM, leaders must set their organizations up for success. Here are some useful strategies to get the most value out of these systems.

  1. Prioritize and Categorize Work Orders

A well-organized work order system starts with prioritization. By establishing a clear system based on urgency and importance, teams tackle the most important tasks. Categorizing work orders means efficient resource allocation. It is vital to regularly review and adjust these priorities to reflect changing demands and ensure continuous improvement in processes.

  2. Implement Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are the backbone of consistent work order execution. Developing and enforcing these guidelines ensures that every task is performed to a set standard. It promotes uniformity and quality across all maintenance activities. Train staff in these procedures to ensure uniformity and quality. Regularly update the SOPs with learnings and feedback to foster an environment of continuous improvement.

  3. Monitor and Evaluate Performance

Continuously monitor operations to elevate overall operations. Setting key performance indicators (KPIs) provides a measurable way to track the system’s efficiency and effectiveness. Conduct regular audits and reviews to identify areas that require attention or improvement. Use feedback and data analysis to refine strategies and find areas of improvement.

  4. Use Work Order Software

Work order software will significantly improve workflows. These solutions automate scheduling, tracking, and reporting. They drastically reduce manual effort while minimizing errors. With features such as real-time updates and communication, the software ensures that everyone involved is informed and aligned. It makes it much easier to manage tasks and respond to issues.

Process engineer gives a 5-star review, praising Maintenance Connection as a robust work order management platform.

Maintenance Connection: Best Work Order Software

Accruent’s Maintenance Connection is a leading Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS). It is a comprehensive platform designed to streamline maintenance operations, boost efficiency, and cut costs. The software excels in managing work orders from start to finish. 

Key features of Maintenance Connection include the following: 

  • Work Order Management: This core feature allows users to create, track, and manage work orders throughout their lifecycle, from initial request to completion and documentation. The system ensures that all maintenance activities are organized and executed. 
  • Preventive Maintenance Scheduling: Maintenance Connection schedules regular preventive maintenance tasks. This avoids unexpected equipment failures and extends asset life. The proactive approach means that assets remain in the best condition possible, reducing downtime and repair costs. 
  • Asset Management: The software provides detailed asset tracking and management capabilities. This includes insights into asset history, performance, and maintenance schedules. It helps organizations make informed decisions about asset utilization and investments.
  • Reporting Capabilities: With robust reporting tools, Maintenance Connection provides valuable analytics and insights. These reports help identify trends, optimize workflows, and justify maintenance expenses through data-driven decisions.

With these features, the CMMS software enhances overall work order efficiency. It simplifies workflows, automates tasks, and minimizes errors. Overall, it is a valuable strategic tool for elevating maintenance operations.

Automation is perfect for handling routine tasks, allowing your team to focus on what they do best: Innovate, create, and solve complex problems.
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Work Order Management Made Easy, Efficient, and Effective

There’s true transformative power for businesses that utilize Accruent’s Maintenance Connection. Experience firsthand how this CMMS can streamline operations, enhance efficiency, and reduce costs. Do not miss elevating your maintenance strategy – request a demo or reach out to the Accruent sales team today

Work Order Management FAQs

What are the 5 main functions of a work order?

The five main functions of a work order include identifying maintenance tasks, scheduling and allocating resources, dispatching tasks to personnel, executing and documenting the work, and verifying and closing the task upon completion. These steps ensure efficient and effective maintenance workflows.

What is a work order management system?

A work order management system is a digital tool designed to streamline the creation, assignment, tracking, and completion of maintenance tasks. It automates processes, enhances communication, and provides a centralized platform for managing maintenance operations. This ensures tasks are completed efficiently and effectively.

How do you organize your work order?

Organizing work orders involves prioritizing tasks based on urgency, categorizing them for easy tracking, and then assigning them to the appropriate personnel. Utilizing a work order management system can automate these steps. It ensures resources are allocated in a way that makes sense and tasks are scheduled logically. This minimizes downtime and disruptions.