Give Your Team the Best Field Service Management Software
Do you seem to have more work orders than you can track? If you do, implementing a work order management system is a great way to bypass this problem.
A work order management system is a centralized platform with essential tools dedicated to efficiently tracking, assigning, and monitoring all work order information. They are a field manager and contractors’ allies, working to ensure that every operation within the field business can be adequately tracked and optimized.
Work order management systems are pivotal to smoothly running a field business’s tasks. They play critical roles in enhancing communication within the organization and improving the efficiency of attending to the work orders within the business.
This is because they act as a centralized location that not only provides an overview of every work order in the company but also makes it easier to process the large amounts of data in the numerous work orders.
Essentially, work order systems function with the primary objective of facilitating the seamless execution of pending tasks, maintenance services, or other service requests within a field business.
Whether you are a small field business or a team of field service professionals without the facilities to maintain large work orders and finding it difficult to track the hundreds of work orders received daily, integrating the work order software in your business is a great way to make your job easier.
In this article, we will delve into the significance of work order systems for field service professionals, explore the key features to look for when selecting the best software, and provide insights into their implementation to enhance field service operations.
Work order management systems are software solutions used to streamline the management of work orders within a field service business. They are central hubs for organizing, tracking, and optimizing service or task requests within a field business.
To understand what a work order management system is, it is first essential to understand what a work order is.
A work order is an instruction that details the information of a task. It is a document that managers or supervisors use to authorize workers to complete tasks.
For example, suppose a supervisor wants to request a maintenance task on an asset. In that case, they will create a work order detailing what asset needs the maintenance service, where the asset is located, when the job should be done, and who is performing it. This work order is an efficient way to offer task instructions while keeping track of the activities within the company.
The YouTube video below offers more insight into what work orders are and how they work:
While work orders make it easy to manage tasks, these work orders can also become useless without a system that efficiently manages their organization.
Individual work orders can be challenging enough to keep track of without appropriate digital help, making it crucial to employ an effective management system that enables you to quickly sort through, track, and generate status on hundreds of work orders at once — work order management systems.
Work order management systems serve several primary functions:
If you’re reading this, you probably already believe companies in your industry could make use of work order management systems. But you might be surprised by how many other industries depend on effective work order management, too…
Work order management software solutions can be used in a diverse environment, ranging from:
Essentially, many businesses that depend on field service operations can benefit from implementing work order management systems. With this technological solution, businesses across several industries can improve efficiency, increase customer satisfaction, and increase overall operational performance.
There are several vital features a work order management system should offer to make it truly useful for many businesses. These include:
A good work order management system should have tools that make it easy to find the most experienced and reliable field technician or contractor for a particular task on a work order. This simplifies matching tasks to the skilled personnel who can adequately execute the job.
The software should include a searchable contractor rooster or directory that has all the details of contractors who work with that field business, including their names, specialties, certifications, rates, skills, and insurance.
Benefit: With this directory embedded in the work order management software, it is easy to make an informed choice when pairing technicians to tasks, thereby improving resource allocation.
One advantage of work order management software is its ability to quickly and easily automate task scheduling. This is because the software possesses scheduling tools that allow managers to efficiently and effectively allocate tasks to the necessary field technicians.
Benefit: This automated scheduling capability makes it easier to prioritize tasks and expertly manage work order deadlines. Additionally, this scheduling feature ensures tasks are optimally distributed, reducing downtime, improving response times, and improving productivity.
Another key feature a work order management software should possess is the ability to monitor or track technicians’ performance using various vital metrics or KPIs. This is because the software makes it easier to manage tasks from the same place, combined with tracking abilities that monitor the status of all the work orders on the system.
As such, the software uses its reporting tools to generate insightful reports on work order performance, technician productivity, maintenance trends, and the success of the tasks performed.
Benefit: This provides access to business intelligence and data-driven insights that make it possible to identify possible areas of improvement and make future informed decisions.
Some work order management systems have inventory management features that make it easy to track and manage parts, tools, and materials necessary to perform tasks on work orders. This makes it easier to ensure that a field technician has access to the resources required to complete a task before the job even begins.
Benefit: The inventory management feature reduces the risks of service disruptions and carrying costs while increasing overall operational efficiency.
Some work order management systems have asset management features that help track and maintain essential equipment and assets. They make this possible by not only reporting the state of these assets but also making it easy to schedule preventative maintenance services when necessary.
Benefit: The ability to schedule preventive maintenance makes it easier to set preventive maintenance services when necessary and not wait for the asset to reach a critical condition. This plays a vital role in extending asset lifespan.
A good work order management software has a customizable dashboard that makes it easy to get insight into work order history, provider history, trends, and outliers.
Benefit: This makes it easier to keep track of the more critical elements unique to your field organization.
The customer portal feature means clients get access to their dashboard, where they can get a quick overview of details relating to their work orders. This access means clients can easily and quickly submit service requests, view the status of their orders, and provide feedback if they want.
Benefit: The customer portal feature increases customer satisfaction because it provides a more hands-on experience where they can track the progress of their orders to get regular updates. Additionally, this transparency increases overall service quality.
A good work order management software should easily and seamlessly integrate with other software systems, including CRM and accounting, for seamless data exchange. This not only automates the otherwise dreary process of passing information from one platform to another but also encourages a hitch-free exchange of important data across all systems.
Benefit: The integration eliminates repeated manual data entry, drastically reduces human error, encourages seamless information flow, streamlines all aspects of the field service operation, and ultimately increases productivity.
Don’t wait for field technicians to offer constant and consistent status updates. In any field business, consistent task status updates from all technicians lead to a jumble of information that will be challenging to keep track of.
Not to forget that many technicians sometimes fail to provide the necessary task updates. With work order management systems, field managers and supervisors get automated task alerts and notifications. This includes but is not limited to alerts about upcoming deadlines and changes in work order status.
Benefit: prompt notifications ensure that no task is overlooked.
Sound work order management systems are adapted to work on smartphones, too. This allows on-the-go access to word orders, making it easy to edit, reassign, and receive alerts outside the office.
Benefit: Mobile access is essential for field technicians who handle field tasks without computer access. This makes it easier to stay updated on the status of tasks and increases productivity while out of the office.
There are numerous benefits of implementing work order management systems in a field service business. These include:
Many field businesses still use a paper-based method of work order entry. This paper system requires arduous manual entries of all details that concern the work orders that come into the company daily.
The manual entry system is a time-consuming process that significantly increases administrative tasks and can create backlogs due to the untimely beginning of tasks, a problem usually caused when the work order doesn’t reach the appropriate technicians when it should.
A work order system saves this time by automating and digitizing the process of creating and communicating work orders within a field business. With this advantage, time wastage becomes a myth.
Work order management systems automate and standardize the data entry process in field businesses. This drastically reduces the risk of data error due to human entry, which is typically found in manual tasks that are repeated over time.
Thanks to this automation, it not only inputs data but also adequately assigns tasks to the right people, accurate data is recorded, and costly misinformation is reduced.
With a system that makes it easier to efficiently manage work orders from the creation stage to the end of their lifecycle, allocating resources becomes a simpler affair. These software solutions effectively match the right resources to the right task, depending on priority.
This not only has to do with matching the right technician with the right skills to the right task but also using inventory management features to ensure that suitable materials, such as spare parts, are dedicated to the right tasks.
With features such as a customer dashboard and mobile accessibility, customers enjoy real-time status updates on their orders and faster responses from field technicians. This increases customer satisfaction, a benefit fuelled by the transparency the work order management system offers.
Employing efficient work order management software can streamline communication between technicians, dispatchers, and customers. With real-time notifications, the software creates a channel that enables every technician to be always up-to-date on information.
Work order management systems prevent the total breakdown of assets by facilitating preventive maintenance schedules. These systems support preventative maintenance by scheduling regular inspections, which are often automated. For example, a manufacturing plant can reduce unplanned downtime by using the software to schedule routine maintenance.
With software that reports and analyzes trends in work orders, field businesses can make more data-driven decisions. Since the system identifies and collects valuable data from the various work orders on record, technicians can analyze these data and use it to make informed decisions in the future.
Choosing the right work order management system for your business is like shopping for clothes. You want to ensure that it is functional and the right fit and will last you a long time, or at least as long as necessary.
There are several types of work order management software, all with varying functions and features. Before making a choice, it is essential to research to ensure the system you choose has all the right parts for your business.
Some factors you should keep in mind when making a choice include:
For many businesses, the primary goal of operation is to grow. However, as businesses grow, their needs and responsibilities, especially regarding the operation and execution of work orders, increase, too. As such, many companies find themselves stuck with work order management software that becomes useless in the future because it cannot handle their newly increased tasks.
When choosing a work order management software, it is essential to select software that can grow with your business. Ensure the software can handle increasing demands and volume of work over time. This ensures that as your business expands, you can continue to work with a familiar software option instead of having to switch platforms.
The system you choose should be easy to understand and adapt. Choose software that requires minimal training and technical know-how, as this saves training costs and ensures every technician can learn the ropes quickly and without any problem.
Consider how well and quickly your work order management software can be integrated with existing software systems like your accounting and customer relationship management (CRM) software. This will ensure you choose a work order management software that encourages seamless transfer or exchange of data between all your existing systems, thereby promoting operational efficiency.
Research the market for software whose manufacturer offers reliable customer support. This ensures you get professional advice from the source when you are in a bind, especially while setting up your system. For the best option, especially for complex or not-so-easy-to-use work order management software, select a vendor that offers free training on properly utilizing their software.
As previously stated, you want a software option that can be used on mobile phones to facilitate on-the-go access. This ensures no employee misses any information, boosting employee engagement and operational efficiency.
Many work order management software options function on a subscription-type pricing plan that may come with hidden costs. It is essential to choose software whose price you can maintain in the long run. Set yourself a budget you can afford and take this into account when researching the best software for your field business.
Ensure that the software option you choose offers robust reporting and analytical features. This makes it possible to use your collection of work orders to generate meaningful insights whose analysis will yield information that will be important in future decision-making processes.
Now that you know what features or factors to look for in a work order management software, it is important to evaluate your options. Evaluating work order management systems is a crucial part of finding the right software for your business.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you assess your options by considering your organizational needs and business objectives.
Your business needs will not matter if you don’t have the right software to meet them. Start by listing your specific long-term and short-term objectives, especially those you need work order management software to complete. This will help you know what pain points you must address and the best software to manage them.
Research the different software options that fall within the scope of your business needs and objectives. During your research, consider recommendations and reviews.
When creating a shortlist of the software options you want, contact the vendors and request a trial access or demo. This provides invaluable hands-on experience that is important for your quest to find the best software option.
Ask lots of questions to ensure that the software you choose ticks all your boxes.
Some questions to ask yourself (and/or the software provider) include:
After taking the top options on a test run, compare and contrast their benefits and shortcomings. Create a comparison matrix or scorecard based on how well they meet your criteria.
Consider the total cost of ownership and compare it to the ROI of benefits the software offers.
Reach out to the references that the software vendor provides. Communicate with them and ask about their experiences with the system, especially to receive foresight on any challenges they might have encountered. Use the evaluation results to make an informed decision.
In many cases, choosing a befitting software option requires sacrificing one or more criteria. However, when it comes to choosing a work order software option that meets all your requirements, Workyard can provide the critical functionality a field service business like yours depends on:
Artificial intelligence is elevating average business operations and Workyard harnesses this groundbreaking technology. Workyard utilizes AI-powered scheduling to make sure the right technician with the right skills is matched with the right job. This maximizes operational efficiency, ensuring every job ishanfled by the right expert.
Workyard is a full-option software solution as it not only offers dispatching solutions but also robust features tailored to improve customer satisfaction. With these CRM features, Workyard enables seamless and real-time interactions with your clients.
Who needs hours of manual calculations when Workyard offers costing software with real-time data to create quick and easy customer invoices? Close the payment gap and say goodbye to the challenges that come with manually handing your payroll.
With these novel features, Workyard offers a one-stop solution for all things task management and execution.
Work order management systems are a transformative solution in any field of business. However, to fully maximize this solution and reap the benefits, it is important to utilize and optimize it to its full potential.
As with any technological solution, it is not strange to encounter friction when implementing work order systems for the first time. Some common challenges you may encounter include:
While these challenges may be problematic at first, executing the implementation the right way will defeat them. Some ways to fully implement work order management systems include:
Managing work orders manually is a hectic process that leads to challenges such as missed appointments, miscommunication, and unhappy customers. However, work order management systems solve these problems by providing an easy way to manage all work orders from a centralized solution. This offers a simplified way to ensure all production processes in any field business are efficient, streamlined, and seamless.
When it comes to choosing a work order management software, or the best field service management software, it is essential to choose an option that possesses necessary features ranging from contractor selection to integration capabilities. Taking time to evaluate the software options available will make it easier to choose a software option that aligns with your needs.
Of the many software solutions, one option that stands out in this regard is Workyard.
Workyard offers a user-friendly interface, comprehensive features, and seamless integration capabilities making it an ideal choice for streamlining work order management. With its unprecedented dispatch and task management features, Workyard will take your business to the next level of efficiency.
Are you ready to experience this efficiency in your field business?
Sign up for a free trial of Workyard’s field service management software today!
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Camunda “The State of Process Automation” Accessed October 25th, 2023
WorkMarket “WorkMarket 2020 In (Sight) Report” Accessed October 25th, 2023
Zapier “Zapier report: The 2021 State of Business Automation” Accessed October 25th, 2023
Forbes “How Much Is Intelligent Automation Saving You?” Accessed October 25th, 2023
McKinsey “Driving Impact At Scale From Automation and AI” Accessed October 25th, 2023
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