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What is a Work Order? 6 steps to create it

What is a work order? It is a document that provides the information necessary to perform a maintenance intervention.

Work orders (WO) are the key elements of all maintenance operations. They allow to schedule any maintenance or repair operation, track progress and ensure the proper functioning of the company.

If you are in charge of facility management processes, work orders are indispensable in your work and you need to find the best way to manage them.For this reason, I recommend that you try the demo version of a facility management software capable of automatically generating a work order and digitizing all the workflow connected to it.

But does managing a work order actually mean? In this article, we will explore all the main features and find out in detail how to generate a good work order.

What is a maintenance work order?

A maintenance work order is a formal document written with the purpose of specifying the execution of a certain maintenance work, addressed to a member or a work team.

They are a valid support tool for everyone, from maintenance managers to technicians, because they allow you to organize, prioritize, track and complete all the key activities.

Types of Work Orders

There are different types of maintenance work orders:

  1. general work order;
  2. preventive maintenance work order;
  3. inspection work order;
  4. emergency work order;
  5. corrective maintenance work order.

A work order often originates from work requests, used by staff to inform technicians of any maintenance work to be carried out. They will be examined by a manager who will analyse the problem, identify the priority and then plan and assign any activities to be carried out.

We can use a progressive scheme to standardize all the necessary steps.

Flowchart of a typical maintenance Work Order

Flowchart of a typical maintenance Work Order

Work order workflow: 6 essential steps to follow

Depending on the characteristics of the company and the customers’ needs, there are several ways to create a work order. To perform your work as efficiently as possible along with acquire, share and use work orders, you will need the 6 steps below:

  1. identify the activity: understanding in detail the problem and the work required allows you to have greater awareness of the actions to be carried out;
  2. prioritisation: depending on the importance of the work, it is important to organise and plan individual activities;
  3. consider the necessary resources: estimate tools, equipment, materials;
  4. detail all the specifications: provide the most important information such as the contacts of the reference users, the job description, the times and deadlines;
  5. assign the work order: identify the most suitable maintenance technician to carry out that work;
  6. collect and retain all documentation: all work orders must always be available and easily searchable. Therefore, digital work orders are important to replace paper documents, which are difficult to organize and maintain.

What should a work order contain?

A work order should include information related to:

  • type of assignment;
  • the date on which it was created and sent;
  • job location;
  • description of the assignment;
  • definition of the problem;
  • the person or body who authorised the work;
  • who has requested the job;
  • technician or group of technicians who must complete the work;
  • mode of completion;
  • safety procedures to follow during the performance of the work;
  • times when to complete it.

It is useful to attach:

  • equipment maintenance timelines;
  • manuals;
  • technical data sheets;
  • notes and observations.

Tools to effectively manage a work order

To manage a work order accurately and efficiently, it will certainly be useful to use a facility management software that facilitates technicians and facility managers in all maintenance activities.

This allows you to:

  • manage all maintenance work orders in a centralised system to keep track of all activities carried out;
  • timely and scrupulous planning of maintenance activities;
  • reduce paper documentation;
  • reduce programming costs;
  • have immediate access to all the information you need.

For all these reasons, my advice is to immediately try a facility management software and to test in person all its potential!