Your Ultimate Guide to Work Order Management

Smooth, efficient work order processing is the cornerstone of successful fleet management. However, many businesses fail to devote significant attention to managing work orders. This can lead to lapses in recommended preventive maintenance on equipment. Costly compliance failures and sluggish supply chain operations can also occur. Fortunately, these barriers are easy to overcome by introducing technology and automation to your current equipment maintenance processes. Below is a look at the benefits of sound work order management and the best way to transform your current work order process.  

What Exactly Is Work Order Management?

Work order management consists of the processes used to ensure that maintenance tasks, inspections, and repairs are addressed. With an efficient management process, operations managers are able to extend the life of their equipment and achieve compliance goals more easily. Most importantly, the supply chain process flows smoothly and seamlessly because interruptions to productivity are minimized. 

What Are the Consequences of Poor Work Order Management?

Preparing work orders haphazardly or failing to process them at all can wreak havoc on your productivity and supply chain operations. Equipment and vehicles are more likely to experience problems and break down without proper preventative maintenance work order activity. And broken down equipment can lead to product defects and slowed production. Deliveries are more likely to be late due to defective equipment and vehicles. Even worse, your industry reputation could suffer and you could lose key customers.

What Are the Key Tasks That Work Orders Cover?

If you have never worked in an industry that involves transportation or capital equipment usage, you may ask yourself, “What Does Preventative Maintenance Accomplish”? Analyzing a company's work order history before and after introducing a preventative maintenance program provides a clear answer to this question. With a sound maintenance program, the total number of work orders should decline. The majority of the orders that are requested should focus on equipment servicing and annual inspections. Here are some of the top tasks that work orders should cover:  

1) Schedule Maintenance Reminders

Regular equipment maintenance reminders are the key to equipment longevity and sustained productivity. From fleet vehicles to warehouse forklifts, periodic maintenance can help ensure that your equipment performs according to manufacturer specifications. When properly maintained, vehicles and equipment are less likely to break down or malfunction during everyday use. 

2) Schedule Digital Inspections

Digital inspections enable vehicle operators to be more productive. They can be completed at virtually any location and at any time in a matter of minutes. Vehicle drivers do not have to waste time tracking down paper forms and pens, thereby reducing the number of delayed or forgotten inspections. Best of all, inspection results can be centralized and the introduction of an organized inspection process will delight compliance auditors. 

3) Fault Alerts

A fault alert is a type of maintenance trigger that notifies users that a piece of equipment is malfunctioning due to a defective or worn part. In some cases, the fault alert appears as an error message, though not all alerts feature accompanying information. Regardless of the type of alert received, it is important to address the situation immediately for safety and compliance reasons. In some cases, this may mean temporarily discontinuing use of the vehicle or piece of equipment. 

What Information Should You Always Remember to Include in a Work Order?

A work order is useless without certain key pieces of information. In order to quickly process a work order, a preventative maintenance technician needs to know who requested the work order, what requires attention, when the problem was diagnosed, where the equipment is located, and why the service is needed. Here is a quick summary of the items you need to remember to include in a work order:

  • Employee or department requesting the work order

  • Issue or presenting problem with the vehicle or equipment

  • Date and time of the work order request

  • Location of the vehicle or equipment

  • Priority or level of severity of the work order request

What Are the Top Benefits of Using Technology to Automate Work Order Tasks?

Until the 21st century, the overwhelming majority of work order tasks were completed using paper forms that were passed down the supply chain until a task was completed. The advent of digital work orders has transformed this process, reducing the number of forgotten, misplaced, or inaccurate work orders. Here are some of the top benefits of using technology to automate work order tasks:

1) Convenience

No longer do employees and equipment managers have to struggle to remember recommended servicing dates. They are able to receive convenient updates electronically and tend to servicing immediately.

2) Enhanced Work Flow

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Automation improves work flow and supply chain activity by creating a more seamless succession of events. Work order requests reach the intended recipients in lighting fast time and there are no delays due to lost or illegible paperwork.

3) Faster Turnaround Time

In today's competitive landscape, surpassing your competitors often means delivering products or services faster than they do. Automation is one of the best ways to expedite your operations and prepare orders more quickly.

4) Improved Customer Satisfaction

When vehicles and equipment are properly maintained, customers are the ultimate beneficiaries. Orders are prepared faster and with greater accuracy, and there are fewer delivery delays. And delighted customers are more likely to become repeat customers. 

What Is the Best Path to Sound Work Order Management?

As discussed above, a seamless work order management process offers a host of benefits ranging from increased convenience to maximized productivity. These goals are best achieved through robust equipment maintenance management software. Fortunately, your total solution is just a phone call or a few clicks away. The team of professionals with Whip Around are known worldwide for their high-quality, user-friendly preventative maintenance software. 

We invite you to contact us to discover how Whip Around's superb technology can boost your productivity and make everyday work life a breeze for employees. With longer lasting vehicles and equipment achieved through maintenance work orders, your company will also enjoy a higher profit margin and longer periods of uninterrupted productivity. We look forward to hearing from you!