Streamlining Success: The Complete Guide to Work Order Request Management

Published on:
April 3, 2024
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Are you finding it hard to keep track of all the maintenance management work or any other type of operation that is being carried out at your organization? A well-designed work order request system can help you achieve these.

Businesses these days as a combination of software and people, rather than a physical workplace. However, many businesses still require stationary locations, with numerous pieces of machinery and hardware that require constant inspection and maintenance.

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If your organization relies on physical technology, you know how unplanned downtime and equipment malfunctions can cost you time and money. Maintaining your equipment mitigates risk even if all it requires is regular care such as oil changes, inspection, or other preventative remedies. With no care, you put your equipment or merchandise in great danger because of unplanned downtime. 

A corrective maintenance system will consist of some form or way for your company to organize your corrective maintenance needs. How do you keep your equipment running smoothly? Work orders. Your company's list of work orders can be a great way to know what physical inventory you own and keep production flowing and on a tight timeline. 

Accurate records of workplace hazards must be maintained under OSHA regulations in the United States to protect employees’ safety and well-being.  To proactively address possible hazards, prioritize corrective actions, and satisfy OSHA requirements, hazard identification and reporting must be integrated into work order management systems to keep an ongoing record of safety measures taken.

If you’re wondering something along the lines of: how do I create, track, and maintain work orders? Work order management, you have come to the right place. 

In this post, you'll be getting a complete overview of what is work order request, alongside a bunch of other aspects that add to the overall performance optimization for teams, accountability and business scalability.

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What is a Work-Order Request?

At its core, a work order is a formal request that captures the critical details of any maintenance, inspection, repair, janitorial, cleaning, disinfection, or other proactive or reactive action that drives workplace safety, compliance, and continued usefulness. 

The work order request process identifies, documents, and communicates issues that warrant the generation of a work order to fix. The work order request system must be consistent and thorough for communication to be clear and expectations to be met as well as for tracking and your records over time.

Work Order Request has historically been handled using a pen and paper process with a clipboard and sometimes on the dispatcher’s or radio’s staff thus the reason for a well-defined process, which should be closely, if not exactly, followed by each staff member.

It truly facilitates and acts as a guiding compass for each staff member in the complex processes that they need to perform to close out this deadline-oriented task. 

The overall goal of each work order request is correct and timely communication of distinct and meaningful information to perform the appropriate action.

The software tools such as CMMS that are now available are truly the breakthrough that will simplify the process of a work order request and take the resolution of an issue from what could have been days to minutes, this will have a direct impact on asset lives and therefore the overall bottom line of the systems.

Types of Work Order Requests

  • Preventive Maintenance Based Work Orders - Normal routine work that is scheduled to keep a building or physical plant operating, and up to the standards that the organization demands.
  • Inspections & Audit Related Work Orders- When a maintenance technician needs to see the full condition of the machine, then an Inspection work request form template is created.
  • Emergency Work Order Requests - Emergencies happen no matter how careful your team is—sometimes things break. This is when you’d use an Emergency work order. Not only to track the repair but to also analyze it to prevent it from happening in the future.
  • Corrective Maintenance  - Work order requests falling under this category are deployed to when maintenance processes need to be executed to remedy a machine failure, asset management issue, or anything related to on site equipment etc.
  • Safety Related Work Orders - These work order requests comprised of these is that having discussing how the action was unsafe
  • General Work Orders - General - This category is just about any maintenance that doesn’t fit in the other categories. General work orders can range from new equipment set up or a piece of equipment that needs to be removed.

Why Work Order Request System is Important?

  1. Centralized Work Flow

In a work order request system, all requests are centralized in a single location, making it much easier to manage and keep track of the status of each order and to gain overall visibility into work in progress.

  1. Historical Data and Reporting

Work order request system allows storing the historical data that helps the organizations to generate the reports and to derive the trends of tasks, and work orders over the period.

This helps to make a decision based on the critical data points and also helps to optimize the maintenance schedules to plan for future needs.

  1. Automation and Efficiency

When a request is uploaded the automated work order system helps to streamline the entire process from request submission to completion of task. This removes hands from performing the tasks or actions manually which reduces the errors and also the overall time to perform the task.

  1. Cost Management

With cost reduction as a standard business practice, 86 percent of global respondents say their company is likely to undertake cost reduction measures in the next 24 months.

Organizations can better manage costs for maintenance and operations by keeping track of work orders.

They will be able to monitor expenses such as labor, materials, and equipment usage.

  1. Tracking performance 

The tracking system can provide accountability by keeping track of who filed the work, who should complete the work, and when the work should be finished.

Accountability also helps to monitor the progress and hold individuals or a team responsible for their responsibilities.

What Should a Work Order Request Include?

Depending on your work order and the software that you are utilizing to create one, as noted, the components of the work order request form may be different or appear different but most software generally stays around the same. 

  • Work Order Description: what is the work order about? Is it a mechanical failure, is it a maintenance-related issue, is it a scheduled inspection audit .

The description needs to have a summary of the problem (as you should also back that up below) and if possible, a hint as to what caused it.

  • Work Order Assignee: A single person or a group of technicians who are going to work on the work order.
  • Location: The site where the work order is to be performed. The CMMS may further segment locations by the facility sublevels, e.g. hotel rooms, floors, zones, etc.

Description of Work Completed: Provide a brief description of the steps taken to complete the work order. 

  • Description of Work Not Completed: Mention If the work was unable to be completed by the team, or if the work was unable to be completed by a frontline technician, and why was it not.
  • Quality Checklists: Quality checklists are used to verify that the work installed abides by industry standards, compliance, and regulatory requirements. They are used to produce quality installations. This checklist can include the steps to verify that all tasks on the work order have been completed properly. 
  • Sign Off: Make sure someone does a third-party review of the work and signs off that the work is done. It is a method to increase work order close-out.

Different types of work order requests may have additional features like

  • Work Order Priority (task priority levels): These are used by managers to prioritize which tasks are the most urgent to be completed. Different work types can have different levels of priority to enable escalation if required, depending on the nature of that work.
  • Work Order Assigned Date: When was the work order created and assigned?
  • Expected Completion Date: When is the task scheduled to be turned over for a final fail pass check from supervisors, or concerned Managers?
  • Documents: Many work order request systems require photographic evidence of completion. Being able to take photographs and upload them to the CMMS for managers to review, makes it very convenient for technicians to back up their claims that the Task was completed.
How to Transform a Work Order Request with Effective Management

Creating and Utilizing a Work Request Form Template 

  • Create a standardized work request form template with consistent fields and formatting. This will ensure that all of the necessary information is captured every time. 
  • Make a digital version that allows for online submission. This makes it easier to track, automate, and store work order requests.
  •  Make the work request form template easily accessible to all relevant personnel. This may consist of having a shared drive, an intranet, or an integrated work order management system.
  • Train employees and requestors on how to use the template 
  • Use version control to help with the changes or improvements to the template.
  • Confirm all users are using the latest version of the work request form template 
  • Establish a feedback mechanism to enable your potential users to share their experiences with you in using the Template, which will include identification of what worked well and what you could do to make the Template better. 
  • Review the template periodically to ensure that it still meets the organization's needs and any changes in workflow.

Best Practices For Managing Work Order Requests

How to Transform a Work Order Request with Effective Management

Clear Submission Process

Make it easy and convenient for tenants to complete and submit work order requests. One way to do this is to provide digital work request forms or the ability to submit through online portals.


Having a standard format and information required on all work orders will help to process the work orders efficiently. Every work request will have the same forms and will have all of the required information needed to complete the task. 

Task Prioritization 

The difficulty of managing and prioritizing time is a challenge that 98.2% of people admit to. Implement a work order request system to categorize all of the work orders based on importance and how quickly they need to be completed. This will allow all of the emergency work requests to be completed promptly and the employees will be able to be more efficient in what they will be doing each day.

Automated Workflow

Automatic declarations, action assignments, and updates can be used in the Work order request form to automate the above process. These types of automation will bring less dependency on manual interventions, to avoid delays and increase workflow efficiency.

Centralized Management System

Implement a Centralized System where work orders can be managed: A centralized system for work order management will help staff track, monitor, and report the status.

Communication protocols

Communications protocols should be implemented with concerned stakeholders to notify the work order status. Regular updates will give a clear picture of the work order stage and reduce the conflict.

Resource Allocation

Allocate effectively the right resources based on the nature of work orders and the priority. This includes allocating the right workforce, tools, and materials for each request.

Preventive Maintenance Planning

Implement preventive maintenance planning so the number of reactive Orders that are produced are reduced, e.g., routine regular maintenance helps identify any problems early on and rectify them, so it does not escalate into a major problem.

Training and Guidelines

Set down guidelines for requestors in work order request forms, to make sure that they give all the relevant information about their request.

Challenges in Managing Work Order Requests 

Overwhelming Volume:

One of the biggest challenges to managing a work order request system is an overwhelming number of work orders. Whether it’s a large volume of requests heading into an operational environment or a sudden spike, overflow can cause delays, oversights, and a potential backlog.

Incomplete or Inaccurate Information

An inadequate work order submitted can have an impact on having the work order resolved effectively and efficiently. 

Communicate the requirements to the requester, also turning this into similar to an error-proofing process you could implement data validation checks built in the digital form before accepting the work order, establish an effective channel of communication to ask clarifying questions, or a standard set of frequently asked questions (FAQ) that were used to clarify incomplete work orders.

Resource Constraints

Limited resources can affect getting the work order completed quickly. 

Optimize the resource allocation based on If is possible to, outsource non-core activities to take the strain off of the organization. Invest in analyzer technology to move from preventative mode to reactive even at the front line.

Breakdowns in communication

Inadequate communication can lead to misunderstandings and extended response times.

Implementing a solid communication protocol. Making use of our IT Department to better improve our communication with outside vendors. Provide regular updates to all parties with a stake in the work being performed.

Limited visibility

Without visibility of the status of work order forms, it is hard to maintain accountability.

Implementing a centralized management system that is updated in real-time. Being able to see the status of a work order, allows the users to be aware of each status level, which will help better hold everyone with a stake in the order responsible for his or her part in the transaction.

Technology Integration Issues

Integration issues between different systems cause data inconsistencies and delays

Ensure integrations are always functioning properly and as seamlessly as possible, and resolve any anomalies or issues in system uses.

The Bottom Line 

work order request form should clearly define the problem and resolution for it to be useful to maintenance and other departments.

If the person entering the request cannot write down the problem and solution clearly and concisely, this will result in wasted time for both parties involved. We have covered the importance of standardization between locations and how to utilize a work request form template to further streamline the process.

With Xenia, you can easily monitor, track, and improve your workflow to ensure that your company runs smoothly and effectively. The app is meant to be accessible from anywhere, offering a user-friendly solution that meets the dynamic demands of modern enterprises. Take your work order management to the next level with Xenia

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