As any facilities manager knows, scheduling, monitoring, invoicing, and filing work orders is one of the primary job responsibilities. Unfortunately, this process can be unnecessarily time-consuming, stressful, and costly. To improve the management of the service request process, facilities managers should utilize work order management software.
Work order management software allows FMs to plan maintenance and be proactive across locations, increase efficiency, and reduce spend. This kind of software can be fairly broad, so to weed through the numerous options out there for platform providers, ensure you focus on features that optimize work order processes. In this post, we’ll take a look at five features that FMs must have in order to improve their work order management.
1. Contractor Selection Tools
Contractors that are experienced, in compliance, and professional are necessary for timely and high-quality service completion. Work order management software can include an easily searchable contractor directory that provides contractor names, specialties, compliance statuses, rates, certifications, and insurance (types and amounts) to help you find the best possible service providers in the shortest amount of time. The ability to find the right person for the right job not only increases efficiency, but also helps to establish strong relationships with contractors.
2. Automated Scheduling Capabilities
Work order management software needs to include automated scheduling to ensure that equipment is kept in operational order, that you are not wasting time duplicating service requests, and that you can successfully implement preventive maintenance programs. These programs reduce the cost of lost productivity, minimize the frequency of expensive repairs, keep assets in optimal working condition, and support brand uptime.
This software should also allow you to authorize not-to-exceed (NTE) levels to keep spend in check and set pricing controls for contractors.
3. Ability to Monitor Work
Monitoring contractor performance is an essential feature in that it ensures repair and maintenance is being performed properly, efficiently, and cost-effectively. The right software allows FMs to view contractor performance across key metrics during all phases of the life cycle, though objective, quantitative-based contractor scorecards or report cards. FM software can also monitor contractor on-site arrival and departure via mobile GPS check-in and check-out apps, capture photographs and videos of worked-on assets, and provide alerts if contractors are lagging.
Ideally, work order management software should also integrate with contractor software so that service providers can generate service requests while onsite for pre-approved types of work. This takes the role of scheduling and approving minor repair and maintenance off of the FMs hands.
4. Payment Processing
Software should track invoices throughout the entire work order life cycle— from order creation to invoice submission, approval, and payment. With visibility into every step of the invoice process, FMs can monitor spend and efficiency.
Additionally, this software should integrate with your established financial technology so that the accounts payable department can approve and pay invoices virtually. This saves on administrative and processing costs, enables quick contractor payments, reduces human error, and keeps the facilities management and accounting departments in sync with one another.
5. Analytics & Business Intelligence
Analytics are another important as they deliver impactful predictive views based on past financial and operational data. Look for software that presents data in easy-to-use dashboards that can be specified by trade, category, location, and contractor.
With facilities-focused analytics and business intelligence, you can find answers to business-critical questions quickly and make data-backed decisions (e.g. asset repair/replace) about how to save money and improve efficiency.
Work order management software not only improves the ways FMs manage service requests, but it also benefits contractors by providing easy access to open and pending work orders, invoice statuses, and feedback on work performed. Contractors appreciate when a business is clear about their needs and prioritizes communication, helping to form positive, long-standing relationships between service providers and business organizations.
Don’t leave your facilities managers to manage the work order life cycle on their own. Learn more about work order management software’s features, capabilities, and benefits.