What is a Work Order?

Work Orders

A work order is an authorisation of maintenance, repair or operations work to be completed. Work orders can be manually generated through a work request submitted by a staff member, client or tenant, or automatically generated through a Preventive Maintenance (PM) schedule.

What is the purpose of generating a work order?

  • Offer an explanation of the problem, repair or installation
  • Schedule resources and tools needed for maintenance
  • Provide technicians with detailed instructions on the work to be performed
  • Document the labour, materials and resources used to complete the work
  • Track all maintenance and repair work that has been performed on each asset

What are work orders comprised of?

  • Who is requesting the work
  • Who is authorising the work
  • Who will perform the labour
  • What the task at hand is
  • When the work needs to be completed by
  • Where the work needs to be performed
  • How to complete the tasks, with necessary parts listed

Paper work orders have been prevalent in the maintenance world since the first maintenance teams were established. In today’s fast-paced maintenance world, as organisations grow and their reach expands, managing paper-based work orders can become inefficient and environmentally unfriendly.

Computerised Maintenance Management Systems such as eMaint CMMS help organisations put an end to the phone calls, post-it notes and missing paperwork, and embrace the power of cloud-based, online software.

Using Your CMMS to Manage Work Orders

Work orders are the heart of a maintenance programme, and utilising the work order software tools within a CMMS helps organisations stay up-to-date on labour, projects and resources in the current queue. The work management tools enable an organisation to take control of work backlog and upcoming work, make constant improvements, boost labour productivity and remain compliant.

Work order process within a CMMS

Creates work request to report an issue

Work order approver process within a CMMS

Approves request & assigns work order

Work order technician process within a CMMS

Performs work & closes work order

Work Request Management

Work cannot always be planned ahead of time. For corrective work or customer appeals, work requests are submitted. Maintenance managers can tailor workflow processes for request submission, approval, rejection, and completion to the specific needs of their organisation. Identifying a workflow process ensures:

  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are adhered to by all users
  • Work goes through an approval process
  • Areas of responsibility and expectations are clear for users
  • Periodic process auditing is performed
  • Valid data is being entered into a CMMS
  • Efficient communication flow
Work order requests in eMaint CMMS

With eMaint, organisations have the option to choose between three work request submission options:

    1. Work requestors are given an eMaint user login that allows them to submit requests and view the history and statistics of their requests
    2. Work requestors send an email to a designated email address that gets converted into an eMaint work request
    3. Work requestors submit requests to eMaint through a customised web form that is embedded (on a company’s web page or intranet)

With the work request tools in a CMMS, the human error associated with phone or face-to-face requests is no longer an issue. Organisations can send requestors automated email alerts when a work request is approved or rejected, and then an automated email alert with a satisfaction survey once work has been completed.

With modern mobile CMMS solutions, requestors can submit work requests anytime, anywhere from their mobile device, including pictures of equipment needing repair.

Work Order Management

With the technological advancements of today, comprehensive CMMS software makes it easy to work the way you want to work with tools that enable organisations to increase on-time work completion, improve workflow efficiency, keep track of project due dates and more.

Managing work orders in eMaint CMMS
  • Work Order Assignment - Using features such as eMaint’s maintenance scheduling tools, maintenance planners and schedulers can directly assign work orders to staff, contractors or vendors on a specific day, time or location. Assigned and unassigned work orders can also be viewed on a calendar display, and work can easily be reassigned when necessary.
  • Scheduling Calendar - View a calendar by day, week or month with all labour resources and open work orders, or adjust calendar views and filter work by employee, work order type (such as Preventive Maintenance Schedules) or whatever information is most critical to your organisation. Organisations can also utilise the PM Projection feature to plan upcoming work and ensure parts, labour and tools are available.
  • Reports & Dashboards - Leverage Reports & Dashboards to stay in-the-know of work orders categorised by type, technician, department, and any other user-definable field.
  • Mobile Maintenance - Using mobile CMMS maintenance services such as eMaint’s MX Mobile, you can access real-time data and perform functions throughout your facility and on the road, including submitting and approving work requests, signing and closing out work orders and more.


Major overhaul and renovation projects can be a headache, but the management process doesn’t need to be. With eMaint’s project management tools, organisations can easily create projects and assign and track work orders from project inception to completion.

With Gantt Charts, users can view all work orders within a single project based on dates to help create a visual understanding of work competition rates compared to the project end date.

Using Gantt Charts to view work orders

Benefits of Work Order Management Software

Organisations across all industries have experienced impressive benefits by utilising the work order management tools within eMaint CMMS solution.

MidFirst Bank Improves Work Order Process & Gains Visibility into Backlog with eMaint CMMS

MidFirst Bank is one of the biggest privately-owned banks in the United States. Prior to implementing eMaint CMMS, MidFirst Bank had no formal PM or work management programme in place, making maintenance tracking and reporting impossible.

During implementation, MidFirst Bank personalised eMaint to automatically route work orders to the appropriate technician and/or subcontractor based on category. Benefits of eMaint CMMS include:

  • Gained visibility into completed work
  • Increase efficiency through customise work order management process
  • Reduced the number of maintenance calls by implementing a PM process
  • Go mobile and paperless through online work order forms and barcoding
Whispering Woods Resort Improves Responsiveness to Guest Requests using eMaint

Whispering Woods Resort is a 74-unit vacation ownership resort located on 10 acres in Welches, Oregon. The Whispering Woods team needed a way to manage requests from guests and resort staff, and keep track of backlogs.

Over 50 work orders are produced each week and allocated across 12 different charge codes. eMaint is also a management tool used to track work performed and time to complete the work so productivity can be measured. Whisper Woods Resort experienced:

  • 20% improvement in productivity and response time to requests
  • Ability to keep up with expanding maintenance and housekeeping needs
  • Reports show maintenance backlog and upcoming work to be performed
  • Maintenance expenses are allocated to the appropriate cost centre for budget tracking
  • Periodic status and expense reports produced for each association and board members
Pure Fishing Goes Paperless by Utilising the Mobile Interface of eMaint CMMS

A leading global provider of fishing tackle, lures, rods and reels, Pure Fishing operates in 19 countries with a workforce conversant in 28 languages. The company searched for a CMMS solution to more efficiently manage the building, equipment and grounds.

Once eMaint was implemented, the company purchased Apple iPhones and iPod Touches for each of their mobile users, and customised the mobile interface to match their vision of simplicity and efficiency. Pure Fishing saw:

  • Ability to use the eMaint software on mobile devices of all sizes and tailor the interface to their match their entry requirements
  • Real-time web-based access that provides an efficient method for managing work and spotting trends
  • Improved communication between the maintenance team due to the ability to access their mobile CMMS from anywhere at any time
  • Ability to complete tasks on mobile devices to support a paperless work environment
  • Barcode scanners on their mobile devices for increased productivity

To learn more about how to fully utilise a CMMS as the central nervous system of your maintenance management processes, watch our webinar, “Getting the Most Out of Your CMMS.”

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