5 Reasons Why Work Order Management is Essential for a Facilities Manager
There are no two ways about it; manual work order processes are ineffective, time-consuming, and leave too much room for error.
A smarter approach to work order management is to digitalise and automate processes where possible. This can be achieved through software solutions that provide a work order management module such as Computer-Aided Facility Management (CAFM).
Through the use of cloud-based technology and affordable SaaS (Software as a Solution) tools, CAFM is an ever-increasing popular choice for facility managers. And, with a majority of users seeing a return on their investment within six months through financial savings and extended asset life, it’s easy to see why.
Regardless of your industry or role in an organisation, having access to the right tools allows your facility work orders to become more effective and streamlined. In this article, you’ll discover 5 essential benefits that a facilities manager can gain by utilising a work order management system:
1. Easily monitoring all work orders in one system
Using paper-based formats and spreadsheets to log and organise your facility work orders can present all kinds of issues. In fact, an astonishing 90% of business spreadsheets contain errors.
For a manual approach like this to be considered accurate, facility managers would have to rely on inputting critical data themselves. Not only is this a time-consuming process, but there’s also no way of prioritising work orders.
An alternative automated process is to implement a form of facilities management software, which can revolutionise the way work orders are organised and managed. It also enables employees to input routine maintenance requests and tasks themselves through an online portal or by sending an email to a dedicated inbox. From there, a CAFM system automatically converts the information into a ticket.
This means that all work requests are captured in one centralised system, where facility managers can monitor them and maintenance teams can take the required steps to resolve each request.
Following this automated process, all employee concerns are received and resolved. Leading to a better working environment with increased morale and productivity among staff.
2. Automatically routing and prioritising work orders
Modern CAFM solutions use machine learning to identify the specific category each work order request relates to. For example, it can recognise whether the submission refers to an IT issue, a faulty
HVAC unit, a damaged light sensor or leaky plumbing.
The system then automatically routes the work order request to the right department or technician and prioritises it accordingly.
Some solutions are particularly intelligent and can even bump a work request up the list if it becomes increasingly urgent. This enables facility managers to potentially recognise whether the problem is widespread and if it is affecting multiple employees.
3. Scheduling maintenance and repairs
According to a study, 96% of global respondents experienced at least one IT outage in the past three years.
With automated work order management in place, you’re able to schedule preventive maintenance programs for all equipment and reduce the risk of major breakdowns or unplanned downtime.
This feature helps to keep your assets performing well at all times, which ultimately has a positive knock-on effect on your overall working environment.
Without the option to perform preventive maintenance, you’ll be working in a more reactive manner. But, reactive maintenance can be very costly, as it’s not always possible to get a reasonable quote when jobs need to be fixed urgently.
Detailed warranty information can also be stored in a CAFM tool, allowing you and other stakeholders, such as the building’s maintenance team, to access it when needed.
By checking warranty details and using the data to perform scheduled maintenance tasks, managers can avoid warranty leakage and also ensure equipment is replaced only when necessary.
4. Increasing work order visibility for technicians
Tracking maintenance activities and job progress is a core feature of any CAFM tool. In a facilities management system’s dashboard, you’ll find a complete list of work orders along with their status, the name of the person requesting the work, the technician’s name and the service location. This provides you with a holistic view of ongoing, scheduled and completed maintenance tasks.
This detailed history helps managers and departments to understand the true lifecycle cost of all facility-related assets and enables them to plan effectively for the future.
As well as this, a robust work order management system improves the lines of communication between facility managers and maintenance technicians. For both those on-site and those technicians out in the field.
Many software solutions also offer a mobile app for logging, tracking and editing work orders on the go. Effectively speeding up the communication process for everyone involved.
5. Being able to integrate with other systems
Realistically, a work order management tool is only effective if your system can integrate and sync with other important applications.
For example, you’ll need to cross-reference data from programs such as email, calendar, accounting and payment systems, and so on.
If, for example, you’re a landlord and you use property management software, integration would be crucial to enable your tenants to submit work orders directly.
How facilities management software can simplify your work orders
This article has covered some of the key benefits you can expect when implementing a smart work order management solution. To summarise, it ensures:
- No work request or task gets overlooked, leading to a more productive and comfortable working environment
- Work orders are automatically generated and assigned to the right department according to the urgency
- Proactive scheduling reduces the number of emergency repairs needed and the costs associated with them
- Greater visibility over maintenance jobs and improved communication with other departments
- Better efficiency through integration with essential business apps
A robust facilities management solution will allow you to do all of the above, and much more. Most CAFM tools also have asset management as a core feature. This allows you to log and track each piece of equipment in your building.
Other features you may come across include parts and supply management, proposal management, incident management and detailed analytics.
Learn more about CAFM solutions in our extensive buyer’s guide to facilities management software.