By Rich Adams, Regional Account Director TabWare EAM
Do you write Work Orders or do you have a Work Order System?
In meetings and conversations about Maintenance Operations over
the years, the subject always seems to revolve around subject of the Work
Order. Whether it is in the implementation or sales process, it is always
interesting in how customers consider the value of a Work Order and its
importance in their organizations.
Whenever these discussions occur, my first comment is always a
piece of wisdom that I learned from experience I’ve gained over these years:
“There is no intrinsic value in a Work Order; it is what is done with the
information contained on the Work Order that adds the value.”
What is the significance of this insight? Many customers become
overly focused on the writing and distributing of Work Orders, and the reality is that the information is
disregarded. The Work Order, completed manually or electronically, may as well
be shoved in a box, and the technician hopes that no one asks him to retrieve
that Work Order at a later date.
For a Work Order system to provide value back to an
organization, whether the system, produces work orders electronically or manually, it must be based
on a defined process, with standard data collection that can be aggregated to
make better operational decisions and observations. Some high level questions
and observations that the system should answer or enable are listed below:
the PMs we execute today continue?
we modify our Work Procedures?
need to buy or replace equipment?
have the right parts and materials to complete my Work Procedures?
getting better over the last measurable period?
Asset Availability getting better as a result of this process?
Take a step back and ask yourself, are we just writing Work
Orders, or we providing a value added process to Operations?