Every mechanic is familiar with the time-honoured and traditional paper Work Order. It was once developed to keep track of exactly what work you did and which materials you used for a particular job. Although paper Work Orders are anything but a perfect solution, there was no real alternative for a long time.
However, the digitisation of society and the emergence of modern workflow software has changed that situation. In this blog we will tell you why Digital Work Orders and the right workflow software can make the work of your field staff easier and take your service to a much higher level. Use it to your advantage!
The disadvantages of paper Work Orders
Paper Work Orders: many technicians have a love-hate relationship with them. Although they give you insight into the jobs that have been done and the materials used, they also have many disadvantages.
- Paper Work Orders do not allow you to release dashboards and analyses on data. As a result, there is no insight into, for example, which installations or products often break down.
- Work Orders are often completed in the field at short notice, which means they are often illegible for colleagues who have to look at them at a later stage.
- Storing Work Orders is a time-consuming task. Moreover, thick folders with old Work Orders take up a lot of office or warehouse space.
- Processing paper Work Orders costs a lot of time. A customer of ours, for example, had a complete department with ‘voucher processors’. This resulted in a long lead time from completed Work Orders to a final payment (the invoicing and payment phase). As a result, you also have to deal more often with customers who do not pay or pay late. After all, it is doubtful whether you remember that mechanic X replaced part Y six months ago…
- You use a lot of paper, as you write a separate Work Order for each job. Not very cost-effective and not great for the environment either…
- Working with Paper Work Orders is not a scalable process.
- Paper Work Orders can get lost. Think of half-filled and crumpled Work Orders lying around in vans or your mechanics’ overalls. An incomplete list of Work Orders can also lead to incomplete invoices.
The solution: Digital Work Orders
Fortunately, the solution to the above problems is within reach: digitising your field service management by using good workflow software and the Digital Work Order.
How does it work? From now on, a Work Order is no longer a piece of paper that the mechanic carries with him and fills in manually on the spot, but is generated digitally within a minute and sent to the mechanic’s smartphone or tablet. The mechanic can then immediately see where he should be and what he should be doing. Moreover, the mechanic can see all Digital Work Orders of that week at a glance.
The benefits of Digital Work Orders
Using Digital Work Orders, good workflow software and a good Work Order app has many advantages, both for individual mechanics and for your organisation as a whole. We list the most important benefits for you.
1. Efficient workflows through good workflow management
A good workflow ensures that a process, service or business process is carried out in a standardised, structured and systematic manner. Every employee involved knows the status and progress of a job or project. It is clear who is responsible for which sub-tasks, so that people do not work at cross purposes and do not duplicate their work.
This becomes difficult if you have to retrieve every piece of information from separate systems or read off paper Work Orders that every field employee fills out in a slightly different way. With a Work Order app, you create a universal standard for all your Work Orders and all the employees involved always have access to the same information. Because everything is automated and your employees all use the same software, every employee automatically has his administration in order and everyone works systematically in the same way.
There are various ways of creating efficient workflows with workflow management. Here are a few examples:
- Using drop-down lists instead of free-fill text fields ensures that mechanics fill in work orders in a uniform way. This is easy for the mechanic himself, but certainly also for the office staff who process the vouchers.
- The status of a Digital Work Order or service request can be viewed by all parties involved. You determine the statuses yourself and adjust them quickly and easily. This way, you create more insight into where a receipt stands in the process.
- You automate processes or rules that are always the same. Does a mechanic, for example, tick something that is covered by the standard warranty? Then automatically set the invoice price to 0 euro. That saves the office staff valuable time.
2. Everyone is always up-to-date with digital Work Orders
A Work Order app and digital planning tool ensure that everyone is always up-to-date on the status of a job or project. Does an employee get a new task or a mechanic a new job? Or is there a change in the activities, such as a boiler check that suddenly turns out to be a repair? Then you can immediately change this digitally, so that other people within the organisation are also immediately informed of the changed planning.
3. All important information in one place
All necessary information, such as the problem description, service history, contract and installation manuals, come together in one central environment. After the work is done, the digital Work Orders are automatically processed and invoiced. The app also keeps track of material use and working time.
4. Easy retrieval of completed projects
By working with workflow software and Work Order apps, it becomes easy to find information about completed work and projects in your administration. You no longer have to dig through a stack of thick binders full of paper Work Orders. The entire administration is digital and centralised and can be searched easily and quickly. This way, it is always clear who is responsible for a job or project.
5. Paper vs. digital Work Orders: saving space
Cupboards full of folders with paper Work Orders take up a lot of space. By opting for digital Work Orders, you create a lot more space. Moreover, you don’t have to be afraid that your entire archive will go up in flames if a fire breaks out in your business premises. By using Digital Work Orders and storing them in several places (back-ups), you know that your administration is always safe.
6. Real-time information and planning
The combination of the Digital Work Order, planning tool and workflow software gives you the opportunity to distribute information about schedules, jobs, activities and changes in real time. Office workers no longer have to constantly call or append with field staff, but can communicate all information in real time.
Make the most of digital workflows and Work Orders with FieldBuddy
FieldBuddy is a complete solution for digitising the field service. You can easily create a Work Order within one minute and then easily schedule it via FieldBuddy’s user-friendly and clear dispatch panel. The Work Order will automatically be sent to the mechanic’s smartphone via the FieldBuddy Swift app. At a glance you can see where and at what time the mechanic is scheduled. You can also add photos of a job. These will then also appear in the work overview.
Using the FieldBuddy Swift app, the mechanic can also immediately arrange invoicing (including digital signing off). The app also gives technicians an immediate overview of the necessary information, such as the problem description, service history and installation instructions. Thanks to the FieldBuddy Swift, even the most complex workflows of service companies will become much simpler. The process, from the moment that engineers receive Work Orders to the moment that the Work Orders end up in the back end, is clear and fast. In addition, there is quick access to phone functions such as maps, the calendar, the contact list and e-mail.
With FieldBuddy you also reap the benefits of dashboards and analyses. Does a particular product or system break down often, for example? Or is there a problem that recurs frequently with a particular type of installation? With FieldBuddy, you can report all relevant data at a minute’s notice and visualise your processes accurately.
FieldBuddy differs from other solutions for workflow management for field staff in a number of ways.
- Many companies that use standard solutions such as OutSmart run up against limits when they have to step outside certain frameworks. With FieldBuddy the sky is the limit. Everything is configurable. Does your company deviate from the standard? We can arrange and set up our solution according to your wishes and needs.
- Losing Work Orders costs you a lot of money. On average, the loss of only 2 work sources costs you as much as the purchase and use of FieldBuddy.
- We are a real specialist in the field of field services and have been active in this market for years.
Would you like to know more about the FieldBuddy app and see for yourself how working with Digital Work Orders saves you a lot of time and money? Then we would like to get to know you. Call us at +31(0)20-2611100, send an email to [email protected] or fill in the contact form on our website. You can also request a demo to get acquainted with all the features of our solution.
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