At the heart of massive operational networks – the unassuming Service Order!
Service orders, a.k.a work orders, are an integral part of business operations. They help define, articulate and document the nature and status of the thousands of tasks that are part of day-to-day routines worldwide. You’ll see them in every kind of enterprise, from the massive oil drilling facilities in the middle of the ocean to the more familiar telecom, hospitals, hotels, and automotive workshops that end consumers access and avail services.
What exactly is a service order, and why is it so crucial in operations?
A service order is also sometimes called a work order. It is simply a document that outlines a service task to be undertaken and completed by a service staff member in an organization. It typically has information, including what the task at hand is. For example, service orders could be servicing an asset, inspecting a piece of infrastructure, conducting a repair job, or conducting an internal audit. You will find a lot of details, including the task initiator, task requestor, an approver, task performer (Fieldworker assigned to complete it), the precise location of the asset to be serviced, details about issues or malfunctions, and the date and time details of the planned task, etc.
The Service Order as a task Blueprint
A service order often includes not just the “what,” “who,” and “when” of a task, but also the “how.” It could take the form of a set of instructions, a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), or a checklist to be run through by the service technician to validate that the task completion according to desired specs. Upon task completion, the fieldworker updates the task status completion status, repairs done, parts changed, material and tools used, time of completion, and even a signature from the customer to confirm that he has executed the task 100%. If there are gaps, the service order will allow for documenting the issues, actions needed, next steps, or if specific escalations are required to resolve an issue.
The field service order context
So, what’s different about field service orders? By the very nature of the field service-based industries, the tasks often involve distributed assets in far-flung places, remote locations, often hazardous zones, and even places considered barely accessible. It poses additional challenges like health concerns, safety issues, and the need for absolute compliance on industry-specific protocols. These elements have a bearing on the details captured in the service order and the workflow involved in integrating the work order into the rest of the organization’s processes.
A thousand Service Orders!
When tremendous field data is getting collected across multiple assets, the collective data can yield vital information about the operational DNA of the company. Managed poorly, it can be an enormous liability and a cause of concern even to top management. However, leveraged well, it can deliver the insights needed to re-engineer processes, evaluate operational performance parameters, and plan improvements in efficiency, cost, asset uptime, and enable synergies across teams.
Service orders become central to the workflow of an organization’s more extensive, more complex processes. They can apprise decisions for customized workflows, exception handling, and emergency tasks when needed. In addition, they can help operational managers look at productivity metrics and make informed decisions through the absolute oversight this data provides.
Enough said. The service order’s role at the heart of operational efficiency is amply clear. That’s why organizations that design, collect, consolidate, and analyze field data effectively stand to gain not just improved efficiency but a potential competitive edge.
Fielda’s custom field service order and workflow
Fielda’s help organizations build, customize and manage field service orders with simplicity and ease. Workflows can be designed and customized around them and integrate data into existing databases and systems for a seamless view of operations. In addition, our expertise in the business has helped us refine our technology based on the needs, complexities, and constraints of service technicians across industry verticals. Talk to us to find out how we have helped dozens of clients effectively manage field data collection from service orders up through the entire set of workflows.