Each business that takes orders from customers needs to have a work order tracking system. Implementing this type of system helps to ensure that the work is completed and that nothing falls through the cracks. The best tips for work order tracking is to map out the entire work order process from beginning to end, put systems in place to handle each of the steps in the process, and to assign individuals the responsibility for each step of the work order tracking process and system. Finally, the business needs to choose if a manual work order tracking system or a software program is a better option.
In order to use a work order tracking system, the owner of the business and the employees need to spend time mapping out each step in the process. For example, if a window installation company receives a phone call from a client to schedule an estimate appointment and then the receptionist assigns this to one of the representatives in the calendar system, then these are the first two steps in the order tracking system. Each step, no matter how small, should be sketched out as part of the work order tracking system.
Once each of the steps is known, it can be decided how each step should be handled. Some businesses choose a software system that links with its website so that customers can schedule their own appointments. The system automatically assigns the work order to the representative. When the representative goes out to complete the job, he or she uses a handheld device to log in the progress of the work and the server of the business is updated that the work is complete and the invoice is generated and mailed to the client.
Whether the system is automated or manual, individuals need to be assigned to be responsible for each step of the work order process. Even a system that is completely automated has problems and mistakes are made. Someone should be assigned to periodically check on the progress of the system — be it daily, weekly, once a month or quarterly.
Work order systems should also continuously be evaluated for ways to tweak it to make it faster and more effective. After an evaluation, it may be determined that a step can be eliminated or that a step needs to be added to the work order tracking system to improve it and make it the best it can be.