facility manager reviews work orders
By Brian Prendergast

Work order software drives streamlined facilities management

In the fast-paced world of facilities management (FM) where dozens, even hundreds of work orders are open at any given time, inefficient, legacy processes and workflows simply don’t cut it anymore. Facility managers, whipsawed by escalating work order volumes and persistent understaffing, depend on work order software to bring order to the daily chaos of maintenance operations.

This blog post explores how modern facilities management relies on work order software to streamline processes, save time and money, increase team efficiency, and achieve higher returns from corporate investments in assets, equipment, and real estate.

Work order software for streamlined workflows

Work order software, like a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), offers automation features that accelerate the completion of repetitive tasks. From dispatching work orders and automatically setting not-to-exceed (NTEs) limits to verifying certificates of insurance and warranty coverage, a robust CMMS streamlines many daily FM processes. By automating workflows, facility managers capitalize on the power of work order software while reallocating resources for strategic initiatives and higher-priority work, thereby improving FM efficiency.

How to boost work order productivity

One metric of FM productivity is the number of work orders completed within a specific time period. That’s a challenging metric given the ongoing generational shift in FM labor. According to the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA), 50% of the FM workforce is expected retire between 2019 and 2026—not surprising in an industry where the median age of a facility manager is almost 50 years old. The paucity of new recruits to the industry portends chronic understaffing through the end of this decade.

Per JLLT’s “State of Facilities Management 2023” report, understaffed FM teams will have to rely on software for gains in productivity to keep up with escalating work order volumes. Software automation will be key. By automating routine tasks and accelerating work order processes, FM teams can complete work orders more quickly. Modern work order software empowers facility managers to accomplish more with limited resources, leading to significant increases in productivity.

How streamlined workflows boost facilities management ROI

One of the primary benefits of work order software is its ability to save time and money by streamlining manual processes. Shifting away from spreadsheets and paper-based workflows enables facility managers to eliminate human errors, like accidental double payments, and reduce administrative overhead. With automation handling time-consuming tasks, like setting NTE thresholds and creating invoices, the savings in time and resources can be substantial, enabling FM teams to generate a positive ROI for their operations.

How technology makes work order software even smarter

Professional work order software integrates seamlessly with innovative technologies, like asset tagging and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors. Leveraging these technologies enables facility managers to use real-time data for faster and better decisions. Asset tagging allows for easy tracking and management of equipment. In the grocery industry, for example, a facility manager could use a smart phone app to scan a bar code on an aging refrigerated display case and make a decision on the spot to either repair or replace the asset based on a just few key data points.

IoT sensors provide real-time data on asset performance and condition. After spotting an anomaly, like out-of-range equipment temperatures, a sensor can notify a CMMS, which automatically creates and dispatches a work order. Technology makes predictive maintenance—once thought to be a distant possibility—a present reality. Sensors are capable of monitoring plumbing and equipment leaks, air quality, room occupancy, energy use, and environmental compliance.

When real-time data drives business decisions

A CMMS integrated with analytics and business intelligence generates essential data for difficult repair-vs-replace decisions. By collecting and analyzing historical repair data, facility managers can identify trends and patterns to optimize asset performance and make informed decisions about equipment maintenance and replacement strategies. Work order software, when combined with analytics, empowers facility managers to optimize their maintenance operations, reducing costs and improving overall efficiency.

Streamline your FM operations with work order software

Work order software has become the cornerstone of modern facilities management, revolutionizing the way FM teams manage daily workflows and processes. By automating repetitive tasks, boosting productivity, and integrating with innovative technologies, work order software streamlines operations, saves time and money, and drives higher returns on investment. With the ever-increasing demands on FM teams, leveraging work order software is no longer an option but a necessity to thrive in today’s dynamic facilities management landscape.