Work orders keep different maintenance and reliability professionals on task in different ways. They hold maintenance workers accountable for tracking the progress of their work and documenting important details of the repairs carried out on important assets; they help to keep everyone on schedule; and they also help more senior team members monitor the performance of their maintenance processes and ensure that their organization’s resources (whether that be in the form of labour, spare parts, or other expenses) do not fall victim to over expenditure. However, work orders are only capable of keeping everybody on task in these ways if they are documented carefully and diligently and if the quality of the work order data is meaningful.

How can work orders become inaccurate or incomplete?

Unfortunately, documenting the maintenance process may not be as important to some maintenance workers as completing the maintenance job itself. While this may make sense when these workers are performing a long list of tasks under a tight deadline, unfortunately this also means that workers may take some shortcuts at the expense of accurate data. For instance, to finish up the work order quickly, a worker may put down a random failure code that does not truly indicate what issues the asset had. In order to appear busy, a worker may report a longer number of labour hours than the job actually took, or they may add more parts to the work order than what was actually needed. The equipment that is the subject of the work order itself may misrepresent what was actually worked on because finding the specific unit lower on the asset-hierarchy was too challenging and time consuming, so a work order was created for something higher in the asset-hierarchy instead. Whatever the case may be, such instances of poorly recorded information make it incredibly difficult to get any meaningful information from these inaccurate and incomplete work orders.

Bridging the information gap

With so many ways that work order data can become compromised, asset-intensive businesses may struggle to analyze how their work orders are being impacted by human error and hone in on areas of the most needed improvement. A solution that can break down your work orders in front of you and make it easy to visualize some of the most common kinds of maintenance and the problems within them can help significantly improve the quality of your inaccurate or incomplete work orders, and by extension, the productivity of your maintenance workers. If you’d like to learn more about how work order analysis can help improve the maintenance at your business, click on one of our resources below, or book a demo with us to chat with an expert!

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