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Getting the Work Done With Work Order Management

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If you’ve ever been an employee in a big company or a large organization, you’ve likely heard the term “work order.” This could be mindless bureaucracy or incredible power. Let’s dig in.

What is a work order? It’s basically a form that’s designed to characterize a task to be done. If you need a wall painted, you fill out a work order. If you need some furniture moved, you fill out a work order. Usually we think of work orders as internal activities, but they are something done on behalf of customers. A work order is an order to do work. That’s all it is.

Work Order

© Flickr user feryswheel

You don’t need anything fancy to create a work order management system other than a structure work order system (like a form) and a place to keep them (like a file cabinet or a shared drive.) It can be as low-tech as a photocopied forms stuck on a bulletin board, or as advanced as a web-based system with multiple levels of authentication, complex approval processes, and multi-step entry systems.

Our friends over at SalesForce have put together an infographic that discusses the upsides of a work order management system. Take a look:

How a Work Order Management System Can Help Your Company


Let’s review each of these benefits in turn.

Close Cases Faster

If you have a structured system to collect work order information and a consistent place to find work orders, it makes perfect sense that you’re going to get the work done more quickly. This is because you don’t have to second guess the process, but also because other people can help out. If there’s one work order management system, anyone can jump in and help complete work orders.

Provide Smarter Self-Service

One of the areas that businesses often fail to recognize are the efficiency gains provided by self-service. Fast food restaurants have taught us to bus our own tables. Grocery stores expect us to pick up our own carts and return them to the corral. And e-commerce sites ask us to go through the trouble of entering in our credit card number.

All of this reduces the amount of work that the business has to do, and those savings can be passed onto the customer.

Personalize Customer Care

One of the most essential parts of a work order system is the field which has the customer contact details. This allows you to cross reference with your customer relationship management system so that you know who you are helping.

If you don’t have a work order management system, you may not know who made the request. And if you treat every customer the same without individual recognition, you may lose those customers in the future.

Deliver Support Everywhere

These days, customers aren’t just going to call your 1-800 number for assistance. They may send a tweet, text their sales rep, use the chat feature on your website, or visit Facebook. All of these contact methods need to funnel to a common location. That’s why it is so important to have a unified location to track all of the details of a work order. Otherwise, everyone will be managing each contact individually, which is chaos.

Typing on Keyboard

© Flickr user Adikos

How does your company provide order to its various departments so that they coordinate effectively and efficiently? If you haven’t thought of it, then it might be important for you to figure out a work order management system. It can help you financially, from reduced equipment downtime to improved productivity. And it doesn’t take that long for that type of system to to pay for itself.

Whatever your system, try to get your work orders organized. Otherwise, everyone will be helping to solve problems in their own way with no collaboration. That’s no way to run a business.

If you need help, reach out to the experts at AccelaWork. We’d love to help you build a work order management system, or improve the one you already have.

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Robby Slaughter
Robby Slaughter is a workflow and productivity expert. He is a nationally known speaker on topics related to personal productivity, corporate efficiency and employee engagement. Robby is the founder of AccelaWork, a company which provides speakers and consultants to a wide variety of organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, regional non-profits, small businesses and individual entrepreneurs. Robby has written numerous articles for national magazines and has over one hundred published pieces. He is also the author of several books, including Failure: The Secret to Success. He has also been interviewed by international news outlets including the Wall Street Journal. Robby’s newest book is The Battle For Your Email Inbox.
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