Maintenance managers often have several assets to keep track of, and without software, this can be a daunting task. Work order management software helps them manage information about each piece of equipment, tool or vehicle in one central database, and manipulate those entries as corrective repairs or regular preventative maintenance is performed. This guide is intended to help buyers determine what features they need to manage maintenance most effectively. Here is what we’ll cover:
To understand what work order software does, it’s important to know what work orders are. A work order is simply an order, either delivered to a company from customers and clients or created internally, to perform some type of action. These orders can be entered directly into the system itself, or be submitted through client-facing forms on a website or mobile device. In the maintenance management sense, these generally refer to orders to perform maintenance or repairs on assets, vehicles, tools, equipment or facilities. Maintenance requests can be created in the following types:
Most modern maintenance management work order software solutions have features to help companies stay on top of preventative maintenance, so that assets are kept in peak performance condition and costly operational downtime is kept at a minimum. Work order software exists in several industry-specific CMMSs, such as fleet management, aircraft MRO and equipment maintenance.
For software related to work orders for field service organizations (rather than maintenance operations), please visit our field service work order guide.
With the number of software options available, buyers have a choice between "integrated suites," which contain all the common work order management applications, or cherry-picking the "best-of-breed" applications for each function. These systems will offer one or more of the following applications:
|Work order creation and modification||Captures from various sources, such as direct entry and Web-forms, and stores them in the system. From here, orders can be modified when maintenance and repairs are in process or completed.|
|Work order tracking||Tracks orders as they move through the system, from initial entry to completion of order. This process can help maintenance managers prioritize the most urgent tasks, by assigning levels of importance to assets and sending alerts when crucial equipment requires repairs. Many systems also include a calendar for scheduling regularly occurring maintenance.|
|Work order metrics and reporting||As orders are tracked in the system, the software can collect data on operational downtime, cost of repairs and materials, information about third-party maintenance companies and likely causes of the problem. Managers can then generate reports to gain a comprehensive view of maintenance costs and make informed decisions on streamlining operations.|
There are several optional modules available that add valuable functionality. Consider whether these options can assist your operations:
Website integration. The software can integrate Web forms into your website, so that clients, customers or employees can enter a work order from wherever they have access to the Internet.
Barcoding. Managers can tag each piece of equipment or asset with a one-of-a-kind barcode that, when scanned, instantly pulls relevant data about that item for review. This reduces the time it takes to search for an item in the database and helps better organize information.
Mobile access. For many maintenance managers, their assets are often miles away at another facility or rolling down the highway. Mobile access offers managers a convenient way to keep track of assets from their mobile device. A fleet truck driver, for example, could enter a request as soon as an issue arises, even if the vehicle breaks down on the road.
Work order software is a valuable investment for managers who want to streamline operations and save time hunting down information for assets. Some specific benefits include:
Reduced downtime. The combination of preventative maintenance and increased real-time data through mobile access helps reduce the time between a piece of equipment failing and getting it back online. A well-planned maintenance schedule can often prevent downtime altogether, keeping operations running smoothly without losing business.
Comprehensive repair history. Keeping track of repair history gives maintenance managers a long-term overview of repairs, so they can generate cost analyses and identify areas where costs could be reduced without impacting quality of services.
Like other software, these systems are priced either by monthly subscription for a Web-based or cloud version, or with a one-time upfront cost for a perpetual license.
|Subscription-based, “Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)" or Web-based||A monthly or annual fee, typically based on the number of users who access the system and/or the number of assets.||eMaint X3, MaintenanceEDGE, HippoFM|
|Perpetual license fee||A one-time, per-user or per-computer fee. Some products allow multiple users on a single license, while others require an additional license for each user. Updates, support and training may be a separate cost.||Maintenance Pro, ManagerPlus, collectiveFleet|
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