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All of your questions about work orders answered

What is a work order? 

A work order is a task or request for service that can be scheduled and assigned to someone. One of the most popular departments that uses work orders is maintenance and operations. This team uses maintenance work orders to hear from those in their department or others, as well as people they serve, about what needs to be fixed to improve the working, living or learning environment, depending on the type of facility.  

Work order software can be utilized for a variety of types of facilities, including schools, colleges and universitieslocal governmentmanufacturing plantshospitalssenior living organizationsnonprofits, clubs and associations, and more. Popular work orders can range from lightbulb replacements to plumbing issues to HVAC maintenance and roof repairs. 

What is a work order system? 

Historically, many maintenance departments used paper work orders, sticky notes, phone calls or emails to keep up with work orders. But with the tools a modern cloud-based work order system (also known as a CMMS or computerized maintenance management system) offers, work orders can be entered, tracked, organized and completed all digitally, or even on a mobile device. A digital work order system can save time, money and even provide quick documentation for compliance, budgeting, capital planning and more.  

We’ve seen clients save 10 percent on operational costs and 15-20 percent time savings with a cloud-based work order system. 

How do you create a work order and who can create one? 

With a digital work order system, a work order can be created by anyone with a login or access to the online request form. After filling out the form, the work request will be routed into a queue within the system to be addressed by a specific technician or assigned to a technician by an administrator. 

What type of information can you include in a work order? 

There are usually a variety of work order templates that you can customize within work order software. 

Work orders often have fields to capture: 

  • Who submitted it? 

  • Where is the work needed? 

  • What are we doing? 

  • How critical is it? 

  • Are we working on something specific? 

  • Who is working on it? 

  • Why are we doing it? 

  • When did the request come in vs. when was it started vs. when was it finished? 

  • Is it done? If not, why? If so, what did we do? 

These details not only help the maintenance professional adequately address the issue, it addresses key questions of managing the department's workload and efficiently organizing your team’s workdays. 

As organizations become proficient at managing work, they often use their CMMS to address the business aspects of work orders like: 

  • How much time did each person spend on the work? 

  • Did we buy parts or rent equipment? From where, and for how much? 

  • Did we bring in contracted services to help complete the job? 

  • Is this part of a bigger project? 

  • How much was spent vs. what was budgeted? How much of that budget is left? 

The ultimate goal of tracking information in a work order is leveraging it to make decisions and to have insight to answer questions, such as: 

  • What types of issues appear the most? 

  • Where are we using the most resources? How much time and cost is involved? 

  • How much are we accomplishing vs. how much is falling through the cracks? 

  • If I need employees, what skills will help me solve issues found from the questions above? 

What does a work order app do? 

Many work order software providers offer a free mobile app to help users create and complete work orders in the field.  

 

An example of a mobile work order form in Dude Solutions Asset EssentialsTM 

Then, technicians can use a mobile app to see their assigned work on their mobile device, as well as add notes, images and details to a work order before completing. Some work order apps even have timers to help better approximate the time it takes to complete a work order and what specific tasks are involved. 

What is the cost of a work order system? 

Prices for work order systems vary and may be based on square footage, rooms or beds, residents, users or other factors. To learn more about Dude Solutions pricing, request a personalized quote to see the value of software for your organization.  

What is the best work order management tool? 

When choosing work order software, you must also consider the company or partner you will be working with. You should make sure they have a history of offering exceptional products and a strong support team. At Dude Solutions, we have 11,000+ clients using our CMMS, as well as a 97% client satisfaction rate. 

Check out our other Q&A post on CMMS, preventive maintenance and operations management software.

Interested in learning more?

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