Using Work Orders to Provide Value to Enterprise Asset Management
September 18, 2017
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:
- Should the PMs we execute today continue?
- Should we modify our work procedures?
- Do we need to buy or replace equipment?
- Do I have the right parts and materials to complete my work procedures?
- Are we getting better over the last measurable period?
- Is 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?