How Digital Work Orders Impact Your Key Business Outcomes

By Brian Sugarman on August 7, 2021
Tags: Business Operations

field technician works on an ipad for repair maintenance service

Is your company still using paper sheets to manage work orders? The drawbacks of using paper forms are often hidden, making it difficult to understand the true impact of paper forms on a business. Typically, as your business grows, the paper problem becomes more difficult to manage. Here are some of the top concerns:

  • Rising direct costs of paper usage
  • Manual workflows and time-consuming data entry
  • Missing or inaccurate data that leads to rework
  • Lack of insights into operations
  • Hard to scale your business efficiently

By switching to digital work orders, your business can alleviate these data challenges. This article covers how digital work orders enable better data insights and ultimately how they can save your business time and money.

 

Top 3 Ways Digital Work Orders Can Impact Your Business

There are many reasons to switch from traditional paper forms over to digital work orders and software to help manage your business operations in the field. Let’s look at the top three ways going digital will help your growing business to scale more efficiently. 

 

#1. Streamline processes for the field and the office

Companies with large field teams often rely on paper forms, but eventually find this process to be difficult to manage. Take for example Centurion Transport based in Australia, who found that their work orders could sometimes take a week or more to return from the field and process in the office. As a transportation and logistics company, the paperwork was difficult to manage, reporting errors were common, and long turnaround times for paperwork made it difficult to scale. After implementing digital work orders and other forms, Centurion realized a total cost savings of $100k annually by focusing on software to help them streamline and automate their business processes.

Digital work order management software is designed to connect the field and the office. Tools can be used to dispatch workers in the field and share information seamlessly back to the office. Since mobile forms are used to collect and share information from the work order, everything is managed centrally in the cloud. Improving workflows and eliminating paper can have a profound impact on the business. Taking it one step further, companies can also start to leverage automation to integrate work orders into their payroll and invoicing systems. Since work orders are managed using cloud-based tools, they can easily connect to the other cloud-based tools your business uses to manage its operations. 

 

#2. Standardize how data is collected

Data is a valuable asset, but it’s easy for businesses to miss out on the opportunity to use data in meaningful ways. Paper forms are not ideal for data collection because they are hard to control what data is submitted from the field. If data on paper forms is missing or illegible, it can require rework to fix the problem or there is key information that’s unknown.

Digital work orders bring consistency and standardization for data collection in the field and for the office. Teams generating work orders from the office have standardized digital templates to be used for specific work order requests. Teams performing the work and documenting the work orders in the field will have mobile forms that can require certain information and types of data to be submitted. For example, they may have the ability to choose from a pre-set drop down list of options or they may be required to format data as a number rather than text. All of this leads to better data collection practices that can make the work order data useful when it needs to be reported on. 

The key outcome is better reporting and analytics for your business in real-time. Consistent data is better for reporting purposes and standard KPIs ensures you are collecting the right information from the field. In the case of work orders, this may help you to understand common challenges and problems that are happening with your teams, so you can take the appropriate response to help overcome these obstacles. Are there delays happening and where? What is causing down time? Where do we need additional resources in the field? All of these types of analysis become much easier when you have consistent and standard data available at your fingertips for reporting.

 

#3. Create a better customer experience

With more competition and options for customers to choose from, it’s become more important than ever to provide a best in class customer experience, no matter how big or small your company may be. 

Customers expect the service experience to be effortless for them. So if your field service teams are interacting directly with the customer to complete work orders, it’s important to have a digital experience that streamlines the process for everyone involved. This could mean providing digital signatures for the customer to sign off, a digitized report with detailed explanation of work performed, and clear documentation on any next steps or scheduled work orders in the future.

Providing transparent documentation and an effortless experience for customers by leveraging simple digital technology for work orders can help to bring more satisfied customers and more revenue to your business. 

Ready to see a work order management system in action? Reach out to the team at GoCanvas to learn more about our mobile platform for managing work orders and digitizing your core business processes.