How Facility Managers Can Keep Work Orders On Time and in Line

Office employees converse

Are your work orders piling up? Are you being pulled in what feels like a thousand different directions with the types of employee and maintenance requests coming in? If so, it may be time to change your system for managing these requests.

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Investing in an automated system will take these burdens off your plate and ensure these requests are processed on time and efficiently. This way, rather than spending your time trying to decide which requests matter most, you can process and complete work orders through a system that supports your efforts as facility manager.

Are you using an outdated work order system?

According to a Plant Engineering Maintenance Study, 39% of companies still use paper records for maintenance reports, while 52% use static spreadsheets. So, if you don’t have a work order management system (WOMS) set up, or if yours is running inefficiently, you’re not alone. When maintenance and employee requests are piling up, or even being missed because there isn’t a scheduling system, this means it’s time to invest.

Teach your employees to follow protocol

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If you’re still using printed work orders, or logging them into spreadsheets by hand, there’s a good chance that at some point, you will miss an important request. Rather than receiving messy, handwritten notes to your office, use a software that does it all for you. When you begin using new work order software, you can also implement protocols for how these work orders are accepted and processed. If the software requires a learning curve, host info sessions so that employees understand how to make a request. Also, clarify the process for prioritizing requests. A comprehensive request manager will organize all your work orders by urgency and can prioritize those related to safety over those related to daily functions.

Find an easy-to-use WOMS

For a WOMS to be effective, it needs to be easy to use for end-users on both the facility management side, as well as the employee side. The best work order software allows for new work orders to be easily created from both mobile and desktop devices with the simple drop of a pin on the location or item that needs maintenance. They then simply fill out a form, upload pictures if applicable and send it into the system. On the facilities management side, you can then update the status of requests as you get to them so that the status is readily accessible.

Turn reactive maintenance into predictive maintenance

Management consults work orders

The best WOMS track the types of work orders coming in, the amount of time they take, the frequency of the requests and the steps required to complete the order. Over time, the system will gather data about your organization. Advanced systems will include built-in reports that can assess this data and help FMs identify trends in facility issues, which will allow them to tune in to which areas need the most regular maintenance. In 2016, 36% of organizations performed more predictive maintenance than reactive maintenance. In 2018, the number rose to 44%, and by 2020 it’s expected the majority of organizations in the US will be performing predictive maintenance. By moving from reactive work orders to predictive maintenance, facility managers can save both time and money by being proactive. This also means that employees won’t have to spend their time filling out paperwork, and can focus on their jobs, instead of issues that continually occur.

Free Guide: Facility Management Trends

Before investing in any computerized request management software, it's crucial that you consider the extent of your needs. If you are overseeing several huge pieces of machinery, such as in an engineering warehouse, then you will likely have a need for a more complete asset management system, such as a CMMS. However, office setups typically require a different type of system, which is where office specific software like OfficeSpace can help.

Work orders are a necessary component of running most businesses. When a breakdown occurs, someone must be in charge of fixing equipment and managing the office. But don’t let this become a poorly managed burden. Find a comprehensive work order management system that works for you so that managing your work orders becomes the easiest part of your job.

If your work orders are out of control, give OfficeSpace’s Request Manager a try to keep them in line and on time.

Photo Credits: Shutterstock / LightField Studios, Shutterstock / Monkey Business Images, Shutterstock / mrmohock