Work orders are an effective way of managing and measuring how time is spent in a plant. They play a role in prioritizing maintenance tasks, scheduling when they should happen, and estimating and documenting how long a task should take. If you work in the maintenance and reliability field or in asset-management, you’ll know that wrench time is a precious thing: typically, less than half of a maintenance worker’s day is spent with a tool in hand carrying out the job that they are trained to do. Instead, a great deal of time is spent searching for information, parts, or travelling to and from work locations. By playing such a central role in time management, ineffective work orders can really affect how productively wrench time is spent by workers.
The relationship between poor quality work orders and productive wrench time
Effective work orders can help optimize wrench time and streamline the maintenance process, but ineffective work orders can do the opposite. For instance, if a worker enters an inaccurate number for the amount of time it took them to complete a work order, then estimating how long that task or similar tasks will take in the future becomes skewed. This has a domino effect that harms how well new work orders can be scheduled, because the estimate for how long a work order may take has been affected by the inaccurate documentation of maintenance workers. More time may be scheduled for the task than needed, or in some scenarios perhaps not enough time may be scheduled instead.
Similarly, poorly organized preventive maintenance tasks may mean that work orders are being scheduled for low priority or irrelevant tasks. This may also mean that certain pieces of equipment are over-maintained because work orders are based off outdated or poorly chosen preventive maintenance intervals. The little wrench time that workers have in a day is then wasted on these tasks that have little to no value to operations when it could be spent on more pressing or productive work.
Why keep wasting time?
Knowing how to optimize wrench time through effective work orders starts with analyzing your existing work orders to determine some common issues and the best ways to tackle them. However, in an EAM system with thousands and thousands of work orders, knowing where to begin is challenging. A simple to use solution that lays all of your work order data out in front of you could make a huge difference in how you understand your work orders and your wrench time and help you commit to some goals for optimizing them. To start understanding your work orders better, try reading one of our resources below, or book at demo with us to see how the NRX Work Order Analysis can help you regain your wrench time!
How to Simplify Your Plant Maintenance- 5 Steps to Improving Your SAP Work Order Quality
Some Common Causes of Inaccurate Work Order Data
What's Behind a Work Order?
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