Work Order Management

What is Work Order Management?

Work order management is the process of efficiently organizing and processing maintenance requests to minimize asset downtime.

Traditionally, maintenance teams relied on paper-based work orders, but modern companies have shifted towards Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) for more effective document management.

A work order typically includes essential details for maintenance managers and technicians to understand and execute tasks effectively.

These details encompass a comprehensive description of the issue, its location, priority level, requester’s contact information, assigned maintenance team member, approving manager, estimated completion date, estimated cost, required tools or parts, and a detailed description of the completed work.

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Types of Work Orders

Several types of work orders are commonly used in maintenance management:

  • Preventive Maintenance: This involves scheduled routine maintenance tasks performed on machinery and equipment to prevent deterioration or failure.
  • Inspection: Maintenance technicians conduct audits and inspections based on predefined parameters. If an issue is identified during an inspection, a new work order is created to address it.
  • Emergency: Users generate emergency work orders for unscheduled breakdowns that require immediate attention to avoid costly downtime.
  • Corrective Maintenance: Maintenance technicians create corrective maintenance work orders when they identify potential issues during routine inspections, resolving them before they become significant problems.

Benefits of Work Order Management

Efficient work order management offers several advantages:

  • Increased Organization: Work orders enhance organization by providing maintenance teams with a structured way to save, organize, and access digital copies, simplifying task understanding, prioritization, and tool selection.
  • Paperwork Elimination: Digital work order management reduces costs related to manual data entry, paper, and stationery, promoting a more eco-friendly and efficient process.
  • Inventory Control: Managing work orders facilitates inventory control, automatically updating inventory with each completed work order, reducing waste, and preventing inventory depletion.
  • Continuous Improvement: Work order systems store maintenance history data, allowing for trend analysis, real-time equipment performance monitoring, and the creation of preventive maintenance schedules, ultimately enhancing equipment quality and work efficiency.

The Work Order Management Process

The work order management process encompasses all stages of maintenance, starting from request to completion:

  • Task Identification: Identify maintenance tasks as either planned or unplanned, such as routine inspections or sudden breakdowns, and determine how to resolve them.
  • Work Order Creation: Create a work order request after identifying an issue, which is then submitted for review and processing.
  • Work Order Approval: Maintenance managers approve work orders to prevent duplication and ensure feasibility.
  • Work Order Prioritization: Evaluate work orders based on urgency, existing backlogs, and team availability, prioritizing time-sensitive tasks.
  • Work Order Distribution: Assign approved and prioritized work orders to the maintenance team based on their current workloads and capacity.
  • Work Order Execution and Completion: The maintenance team carries out the tasks, following safety protocols and guidelines to prevent future breakdowns.
  • Work Order Documentation: After completion, maintenance managers close the work order, documenting the entire process for future reference and audits.

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