There are no two ways about it; manual work order management is ineffective, time-consuming, and leave too much room for error. A smarter approach to work order management is to digitalize and automate processes where possible. This can be achieved through software solutions such as Computer-Aided Facility Management (CAFM). Through the use of cloud-based systems 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 investment within six months through financial savings and asset lifecycle management, it’s easy to see why.
1. Monitor Work Orders From a Single Dashboard
Using manual processes such as spreadsheets to log and organise a facility’s work orders can present various 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 workflow 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 orders are captured in one centralised system, where facility managers and maintenance teams can take the required steps to resolve each order.
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 Prioritising Work Orders
Modern CAFM solutions use machine learning to identify the specific category each work order request relates to. For instance, a system 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, users are able to schedule preventive maintenance programs for all equipment and reduce the risk of major breakdowns or unplanned downtime.
This feature helps to keep assets operating at optimal performance, which ultimately has a positive knock-on effect on the overall working environment.
Without the option to perform preventive maintenance, facilities will have to take a more reactive approach. But reactive maintenance can be 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 users 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. Increase Visibility for Technicians
Tracking maintenance activities and job progress is a core feature of any CAFM tool. In a system’s dashboard, a user will 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 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. Allowing for easier communication between those on-site and those 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. Integrate With Other Systems
Realistically, a work order management tool is only effective if a system can integrate and sync with other applications.
For instance, users will 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 tenants to submit work orders directly.
Simplify Work Order Management with CAFM Software
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 facility managers to log and track each piece of equipment within a built environment.
Other key features include parts and supply management, proposal management, incident management, and detailed analytics.