The outlook is reportedly improving for facility managers, maintenance managers, or those involved with property management and others. Today, organizations in the facilities management industry generate roughly $1.2 trillion; however, the compound annual growth rate should exceed 4%.
Data suggests increases in business decisions regarding standard operating procedures and the best practices regarding the use of digital tools. Management team staff members need access to a powerful tool that will make any complex process simpler.
Often, the ultimate goal is to have a software system that offers real-time data collection and notifications of critical information. With simple clicks on a mobile device, users can complete tasks, schedule service requests, check inventories, and access historical data.
A field technician equipped with a mobile phone can interact with maintenance teams across multiple facilities and share key information. A mobile app limits the need for phone calls and allows immediate data collection regarding parts availability and related information.
Computerized maintenance management systems represent vital business assets for a company to have the ability to integrate maintenance operations. A mobile work order software program is particularly critical for a maintenance work contractor or small business maintenance care companies.
Industry-Specific Software for Business
Large and small businesses alike understand how software systems can save money, track progress, and allow instant access to accurate information. Benefits include expediting maintenance requests, reducing travel time, and making it simpler to track work requests.
Many options gain approval from customers by allowing service providers to respond to maintenance task requests on time. With web-based applications, customers appreciate having easy access to a central location such as a website where they simply log in.
Developers of these solutions increasingly create software that represents a total customer, employee, data, and asset management solution. Going a step further, industry-specific software solutions are now more prevalent in most major vertical markets.
Some industry-specific applications cover broad segments such as customers in the realm of finance, education, healthcare, or agriculture. The most attractive applications serve a more narrowly defined niche such as subsets of the aforementioned segments.
For example, those geared specifically for credit unions, online technical schools, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and maintenance departments in specific industries. In such highly specialized or emerging markets, a well-designed software solution may provide an organization with a dynamic advantage over the competition.
In many cases, an organization will initially develop an industry-specific software application based on its internal needs. As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention.
What is a Work Order
Most businesses that operate in any service-based capacity typically complete work orders. While the work order process might vary, they are essentially a work request–such as maintenance work orders directed to maintenance staff
The work order system represents a formal request that services are needed. For example, A work order request might instruct the service staff to promptly address a leak or other water problem.
As with most forms of business communication today, the work order management process is increasingly completed using technology. The work order information was traditionally communicated in some written form or document.
A work order management system is now commonly a module or component of a more comprehensive maintenance management software system. Here, the best work order software might not be a “standalone” application, but a module within a package of digital tools.
The Basic Work Order Process
In most organizations, the work order process involves a series or set of logical phases such as follows:
Defining the task: The initial step involves defining the service need, i.e., spill, leak, or malfunction.
- Order creation: Here, the worker order information is properly specified with details including location, timing, etc.
- Formal approval: In many organizations, a maintenance manager, operations supervisor, or another individual provides written confirmation of approval.
- Transmittal of the order: The work order is forwarded to the appropriate recipient, which might specify an emergency designation.
- Performance of the order: The service professional assesses the issue and performs the needed work.
- Review and closure: The work order is transitioned to some final status of completion and might be reviewed by appropriate parties.
Key Elements of a Work Order
Most service providers have some format or set of information that is generally contained within a work order. The individual requesting or creating the order must indicate the current date and the date for completion, if applicable.
In more urgent or otherwise time-sensitive situations, the date might simply be ASAP or similar. The location where the maintenance will be performed must also be specified along with a detailed summary.
Often, the work order request will indicate that the problem is unknown and requires testing or troubleshooting. From this point forward, the technician will further document all relative activity.
Common details might include the maintenance or repair assessment, any supplies or parts needed, and other details. Generating a subsequent purchase order might be needed for procuring supplies, which is also a common module in comprehensive applications.
Generally, each work order is assigned a unique job number or order ID number. Any purchase orders or other activity related to an order must reference the job or ID number for many purposes.
Types of Work Orders
Several types of work orders exist; however, they serve the same purpose of communicating information for business purposes. Having a set or formalized process allows for uniformity and tends to reduce errors.
Work orders are often categorized according to the nature of the work request.
Reactive Work Orders
The term “reactive” work order implies that service or maintenance is necessary for response to an identified problem. Also called a corrective maintenance order, a reactive work order might (or might not) be an emergency.
For example, a building tenant reports that a locking mechanism on an entryway door is faulty. A reactive work order doesn’t necessarily mean that the specific nature of the problem is known–it still requires assessment.
Many types of equipment and systems today have status monitoring devices or sensors that regularly (actively) may detect problems. This real-time status monitoring occurs passively; however, the system will typically create active notifications when problems are detected.
The type of work order that is the result of sensory detection is often referred to as condition-based maintenance (CbM). However, a CbM is still categorized as a form of reactive response that translates to a reactive work order.
Facilities Management Magazine explains that condition-based monitoring allows for both real-time detection and significant cost savings. Machines, equipment, or capital assets might be monitored for detecting excessive vibration or heat, fluid levels, and more.
Any problems or abnormalities can be transmitted through a gateway platform, network, or other modes. Condition-based maintenance is closely linked with predictive maintenance activity.
Preventative Maintenance Work Orders
A preventative maintenance work order represents more of a reminder that something needs routine service or inspection. Manufacturers of tools, machines, or equipment often devise a specific preventative maintenance schedule and encourage compliance.
Many manufacturers will deny eligibility for warranty claims when their specified preventative maintenance schedule is ignored. A preventative order is not an unexpected event and typically will be scheduled for an appropriate time for maximum efficiency.
Some preventative maintenance schedules might consist of activities necessary on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. Ignoring or neglecting proper preventative maintenance is among the leading causes of reactive work orders.
When preventative maintenance best practices are neglected, some types of equipment may operate improperly and create significant potential safety concerns. Properly executed preventative maintenance programs may prevent costly accidents and injuries in many cases.
Predictive Maintenance Work Orders
Predictive maintenance involves monitoring the status of an asset and is neither reactive nor preventative in nature. In most cases, predictive maintenance involves using sensors for detection such as the aforementioned conditioned-based maintenance concept.
Types of Work Order Management Software Systems
With the advancements in technology, work order software capabilities exist, predominately for internal maintenance issues. However, we will elaborate on the most common types of work order management systems and the possible advantages.
Work order management technology is another example of how digital tools enhance efficiency among internal and external teams or parties. For example, eliminating much of the possible overlap or duplication of tasks that might occur among individuals within the same department.
These types of technology may streamline communications between separate external entities such as relationships involving service staff and suppliers. Here, opportunities for human error between two entities are significantly reduced.
Simple Work Order Software Systems
A “simple” work order software system is essentially any means of achieving a maintenance objective using some central, standardized process. Small businesses that operate as service providers are among the most likely users of a simple system.
With the widespread adoption of high-speed connectivity, the demand for “simple” systems will continue declining and transition to cloud-based applications. Even small service providers with a limited budget find they can innovate and adopt the latest software with reasonable affordability.
Computerized Maintenance Management System: CMMS Software
A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is typically scaled for accommodating a larger business and storing data in centralized locations. A CMMS is usually robust and encompasses various aspects of the service and maintenance processes.
A CMMS system is expected to have some value-added capabilities such as preventative maintenance, which might be included or add-ons. These systems are commonly deployed in industries such as manufacturing, construction, utilities, and others.
A CMMS always includes a powerful database that can organize, categorize, and disseminate information. Database Trends and Applications, an industry publication, recently summarized the development of database technology as coinciding with cloud computing advancements.
Fortunately, the large transition to electronic data storage throughout most industries is well-supported by the infrastructure. For example, high-speed and high-capacity internet service and the creation of ample space for storage of vast quantities of data.
The work order management component or module should generate orders electronically and allow for seamlessly integrating supplies and equipment.
Users might have individual log-in identification numbers or sometimes be designated for a department. Other likely benefits include calculating downtime, tracking costs, and many various reporting capabilities.
Field Management Systems: FSM
Field service management (FSM) technology allows for managing workers that perform off-site tasks and fits well with today’s mobile capabilities. Traditionally, service technicians or others in the field would be making many phone calls and other manual tasks.
Some of those best-suited FSM systems have field technicians or outside salespeople that can maintain real-time access. In addition to work orders, FSM is used for checking inventory, generating invoices or purchase orders, shipment tracking, and more.
Having FSM access ensures a field technician has the proper supplies, materials, and tools before reaching the job site. A technician also has quick access to critical information regarding equipment specifications, past service history, and warranty claims status.
Enterprise Asset Management: EAM Software
An enterprise asset management (EAM) software system refers to a structure containing various applications. An EAM allows for asset tracking, such as types of equipment, buildings, and vehicles, and has a long-term focus.
All preventative, predictive, and reactive maintenance activities are managed using an EAM. Individual assets, such as those needing routine maintenance, are tracked from purchase to disposal.
Some of the key objectives include:
- Limited costly downtime for service and/or repairs
- Maximizing the useful service life of machines, equipment, and other tools
- Lowering overall operational costs
- Most systems contain features pertaining to safety, environmental compliance, etc.
- Offers substantial analytical and reporting capabilities
- Typically offer functionality involving labor, scheduling, and human resources (HR)
Powerful, Cloud-Based Software for Automating Commercial Facility Maintenance Activity
Ranyan is a dynamic, software solution for providers operating in the realm of janitorial, property maintenance, and engineering services. Companies that implement Ranyan experience amazing results that transform their operation into an organized, automated, and efficient model.
Having now developed into a very comprehensive system, the user experience remains surprisingly straightforward. Your clients will appreciate the ease and convenience of using the digital client portal for communicating with you.
As a cloud-based system, processes involving work orders, managing employees, and scheduling activities across multiple job sites occur in real-time. Ranyan also transitions you to paperless workflows that eliminate redundancy and allows management to easily view the status of operations.
Contact us today to schedule a demo. We look forward to speaking with you.