The Evolution of Work Orders and Maintenance Management

By GoCanvas Team on October 16, 2023

Remember the days of navigating unfamiliar roads with a paper map or a printout from Mapquest? It got the job done but was cumbersome, easy to take a wrong turn, and downright inefficient at times. Now, we have GPS—smart, fast, and far less error-prone. In the same way, it’s time to ask why so many businesses still rely on manual work orders and maintenance schedules when digital field operations and inspection platforms offer a ‘GPS-like’ upgrade. 

If the answer is “because that’s how we’ve always done it,” it’s high time we consider a tech upgrade for work tasks. Sticking to old methods can slow down projects, create room for errors, and make everything harder to manage—even if you think it’s fast enough for your business. So, let’s dig into why digitizing your process for work orders and maintenance is the update you didn’t know you needed.

The traditional approach: Manual work and communication

Manual work orders have been the go-to method for organizing maintenance tasks and scheduling work for years. You know the drill: someone jots down the details on a piece of paper, hands it off to the next person, and so on until it reaches the correct person (hopefully!) It’s simple, but let’s be real—it’s also outdated.

The issues with this approach are many. First off, it’s inefficient. Passing around physical documents is time-consuming, and papers can get lost under the passenger seat of your truck or damaged on a job site. You’re also relying on everyone to be where they need to be to keep things moving, and that’s not always a guarantee.

Then there’s human error. Mistakes in a written work order can range from poor handwriting to incorrect details, and these errors can cause larger problems down the line. Even if the paper makes it to the right person, there’s a chance they might misinterpret what’s written.

Communication is often stuck in the past. With manual methods, important information often ends up buried in a filing cabinet, outdated and forgotten. This lack of accessibility makes it hard to keep everyone in the loop and stalls the entire operation.  

The whole process can only move as quickly as the slowest person in the chain of communication. Even if your crew did the job well, you still need to get paid on time. And if someone didn’t correctly capture or hand over important details for the invoice, you’re losing days (if not weeks) waiting to get paid.

The modern solution: field operations and inspection platforms and their benefits 

Jumping from paper to digital for work orders is like going from a flip phone to a smartphone. You wonder how you ever managed without it. Field operations and inspection platforms offer four solid benefits when managing work orders and maintenance management:  

  • Efficient allocation of resources 
  • Minimize human error
  • Enhanced communication and collaboration 
  • Faster response times

Efficient allocation of resources

Field operations and inspection platforms make resource allocation easy. Instead of manually sorting through spreadsheets or paper notes to match tasks with available staff and equipment, the software does it for you. It considers real-time variables like worker availability, equipment status, and location. The workflows and automation save you time and ensure the right people and the right tools are matched with the right job. Ultimately, this means fewer idle hands and less wasted time, leading to a more efficient operation overall.

Minimized human error 

Digitizing the work order process also reduces human errors. Instead of scribbled notes and lost forms, everything’s digital and organized. There are no more guessing games or missing info. Automated systems keep track of tasks, schedules, and resources. They can even flag inconsistencies before they become problems. The result is fewer slip-ups, less wasted time, and more reliable work. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

Enhanced communication and collaboration 

Field operations and inspection solutions boost communication and teamwork in managing work orders and maintenance requests. Everything’s in one place, accessible to all team members. No more chasing down emails or hunting for paper forms. When a task changes or gets completed, the system updates in real-time. Team members get instant notifications, keeping everyone on the same page. It speeds up decision-making and makes sure everyone knows what’s going on. Bottom line: less confusion, more collaboration.

Faster response time

Digital, field operations and inspection platforms supercharge response times in work orders and maintenance. Gone are the days of sifting through paperwork or waiting for approvals. Automated workflows immediately alert the right people when a new work order occurs, or changes happen. They can even prioritize tasks so the urgent stuff gets done first. This speed-up means problems get fixed faster, keeping downtime to a minimum. It’s like having your own pit crew for maintenance tasks.

Why the shift to digital work orders is necessary

The shift to field operations and inspection management solutions and automation in work orders isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s becoming a must. Why? The business landscape is more competitive than ever. Companies that stick to old ways risk falling behind—both functionally and reputationally. Automation isn’t just about tech; it’s a strategy to stay agile and efficient. It’s about running a modern business that’s capable of scaling and working with the big players.

Field operations and inspection management platforms help businesses adapt to market changes, customer demands, and even global crises like pandemics. Plus, workforce members, potential business partners, and customers increasingly expect digital solutions. So, this shift isn’t just necessary—it’s inevitable for staying ahead.

GoCanvas Makes The Shift Easy

Switching to a streamlined field operations and inspection platform for work orders and maintenance management doesn’t have to be a headache. GoCanvas makes it easy. First off, say goodbye to manual paperwork and data entry. Changing this alone can free up to 40% of the time spent on administrative work. Plus, GoCanvas offers an easy-to-use platform that streamlines the process of creating, assigning, and tracking work orders. That means your field techs can focus more on the work that pays. If you want to keep tabs on how things are going, GoCanvas gives you real-time insights into work orders and maintenance tasks. Managers can spot issues early and chat with field techs without missing a beat. Ready to make the shift? Book a free GoCanvas demo and kickstart your site management transformation.