How to Manage Field Service Work Orders Without Spreadsheets

If your work involves any field service, you’ll hear the term ‘work orders’ regularly. Work orders arise every time the organization accepts a request or task from a client. It is a communication tool and progress in operations depends on it. 

Work orders have existed since the birth of enterprise. Yet we can still improve how we manage them. Most organizations started with paper and progressed to using spreadsheet templates for their work order management. Spreadsheets, however, are no longer the industry standard.

Processing, prioritizing, and managing field service work orders needs a lot of patience and effort. It involves dealing with orders from meetings, emails, and phone calls. But despite the presence of more efficient and cost-efficient tools, companies have a difficult time embracing the new demands.  

Suboptimal field service work order management methods, such as spreadsheets, tend to cost organizations significantly in the long run. That’s why making changes to more effective models is worth the investment. 

Sustainability, improved customer service, and productivity are possible with unique field service work order systems. Actionable performance data can be maintained for each task to guarantee organizational efficiency. What are the superior alternatives?


Mobile Technology and Field Service Management Technology

Embracing mobile technology in field service work order management offers more consistency, efficiency, and flexibility compared to other traditional communication tools. Based on Pew Research, at least 87% of employees use their tablets or smartphones for work-related activities. With industry or firm-specific mobile management software, organizations and individuals can streamline management of work orders. 

Field service management software aids dispatchers to communicate with technicians in real-time. Each can access documents and their assigned work orders remotely with mobile apps. Supervisors can communicate crucial details with their technicians who are on-site.

Supervisors and field managers can organize, assign, and send work orders to the employees anytime and anywhere. The approach eliminates human error and increases the prompt completion of the assigned tasks. 


Field service work orders on MSI's Service Pro field technician on tablet


Automated Invoicing and Accounts Receivables Management

A crucial functionality field service work order management systems bring is integration with finance department functions. They eliminate the need for paperwork to pass from the field service team to the back-office for onward invoicing. 

Billing clients in real time shortens the overall cash-cycle, thus improving overall liquidity and working capital position. 


Field Service Asset Management Software    

While spreadsheets seem like a reasonable solution, we already know the winner. Firms that acknowledge the importance of cost-effective initiatives focus on maintenance strategies. With spreadsheets, individuals can log work orders, use filters to manipulate data, and highlight upcoming work schedules.

Nonetheless, technicians and managers have to depend on emails, calendars, manuals, and schematics to get the job done. Although spreadsheets add value to the process, they have obvious limitations. 

On the other hand, asset management software for field service businesses is a one-stop location for all organizational needs. It allows all the entities involved to track the status of operations and the costs of work done in one comprehensive structure.

Studies show that approximately 88% of spreadsheets have errors caused by human influence or data merges from different databases. Field service asset management software can be customized to meet business needs. This can be achieved by integrating assets, data, inventory, work assignments, and personnel in one location.   

Data input in one system allows for direct manipulation of information in the management of the work orders. It promotes seamless evaluation of operational, economic, and technical aspects within the business unit. 

Users are bound to benefit from the system’s ability to generate graphical reporting for decision-making purposes. Field service asset management software offers unique opportunities for field service companies to reduce their costs, improve productivity, and maximize return on investment.  


Field service work orders with inventory on mobile MSI's Service Pro


Field Service Scheduling Management Models

Would you rather use a tool designed specifically to handle projects or a spreadsheet? A scheduling management tool has task features that will allow managers, technicians, and supervisors to monitor the progress of the project from initiation to completion. Changes, adjustments, and inclusions can be indicated to ensure communication is enhanced among all the entities involved in the process. 

Unlike conventional spreadsheets, field scheduling software offers an opportunity to collaborate. A scheduling tool is about getting things done promptly and in a secure location without any constraints.

Team members can upload information, store project details, and document any issues encountered in the assignment of work orders. It is one location where all members have access to the same information and are on the same page about each assigned order. 


MSI Data’s Work Order Management Solution

MSI Data believes good work order management software should be intuitive and easy to use. Service Pro is their premier work order management solution. It is a culmination of years of experience serving clients spanning more than a dozen industries.

If you would like to learn more about MSI Data’s field service management solutions, you can book a demo now.