What is work order software and how does it help?
Rob Turner

For lots of businesses, work orders keep the cogs of commerce turning, and they are an established means of ensuring duties get fulfilled in a timely manner.

This time-honored approach used to rely on physical documentation, but today modern software solutions have evolved to take the place of the traditional approach.

If you are new to the concept of using work order software, read on for the lowdown on what it is and how it can aid your organization.

Understanding the basics

So what is a work order exactly? In short, it is a physical or digital document on which details of a particular task are outlined.

This can include the nature of the job at hand, the steps involved, who is responsible for fulfilling the work and what is expected of them, as well as the ideal deadline for completion.

While work orders vary from industry to industry, they are most often associated with maintenance duties. For example, in asset-intensive businesses, this can mean issuing instructions for checking and repairing machinery as part of a production line, or on a construction site.

Appreciating the role of software

As you might expect, work order software steps in to catalyze the process of creating, issuing and tracking work orders within an organization.

Aside from the obvious convenience of being able to send out work orders digitally without the need to rely on the encumbrance of a paper form, software can also assist businesses of all sizes by automating key parts of the process.

For example, if you want to quickly orchestrate a schedule for the work which needs to be completed in a given day or week, the software can do the heavy lifting, giving priority to the duties which are most important.

Likewise when work orders have been closed and filed away, you can also then use the software to analyze the outcome and determine whether or not it was satisfactory, or if there is room for improvement.

Over time, work order software should lead to more efficient maintenance scheduling, and less unplanned downtime.

Contemplating the benefits

So far we have touched on a few of the perks that work order software affords asset-intensive businesses. But if you are still on the fence about whether or not adoption makes sense, there are other advantages to factor into your calculations.

Most importantly, a well organized approach to work orders which is achievable through modern software solutions will help you hit uptime targets and ensure that you are able to proactively maintain key assets over time.

Even if downtime does occur, work order software will allow you to respond rapidly and recover your operational abilities in less time, which means less money wasted while equipment is out of action.

Scheduling solutions also enable you to make sure that maintenance work is plotted out in a way that does not create undue disruption in its own right. Whether you want to have fixed deadlines for work, or operate based on triggering events to initiate work orders, the software lets you do this.

Escaping the limitations of paper documentation is also appealing. While physical work orders can go missing, get destroyed or become eligible for a whole host of reasons, digital equivalents are robust, reliable, flexible and easily analyzable.

Obviously it would be unwise to assume that making the leap to work order software will instantly solve all of your maintenance issues. However, if your business is asset-intensive and you are struggling to improve efficiency and lower costs, this could be an impactful leap to take.