Paper Work Order Systems - Why manual paper work
order systems fail.
The Way It Has Always Been Done:
Paper work orders have served their purpose since the
dawn of service businesses. Basic components of a paper work order include
a customers name, address, phone numbers, and a description of the problem or
service to be performed. The paper work order is then placed in some sort
of filing system until it is scheduled or given to a service technician.
Once the technician has completed the work, the paper work order is filled out
and turned back in to the office. Usually, the work order is then reviewed
and turned in to accounting for invoicing. Once the work order has been
invoiced and any payments applied, it is attached to the invoice and filed away
(among years of filing cabinets). An invoice or statement is then
generated and mailed to the customer. This is a good system, but it has
- Too many points of contact.
The paper work order touches the person who took the call, the dispatcher and
scheduler, the service technician, then back to the dispatcher, and finally
the accounting or billing department. (Too many points
of contact, too much opportunity to lose the work order, too many
opportunities for error)
- Double and triple entry of the
same information. (The work order is first
written on a work order form, then if you are using some sort of computerized
system the information is entered, next it is given to a field technician
usually by a phone call. The field technician is then re-writing the
information on his service ticket. Once the work is completed, the field
technician is writing down what work was done and any parts used. The
work order is then turned back in to the office, where it is most likely being
re-entered into some sort of computer record, and finally the work order is
turned over to accounting. The accounting or billing department then has
to re-enter all of the information, look up part numbers, contact the service
technician regarding any discrepancies, until finally the work order comes to
rest in the filing cabinet.)
- Where is the location of the job?
Most businesses have two ways of handling this.
Some service companies will let the office person look up the address and give
the directions to the service technician. While other service companies
will let the service technician look up the address on a map to find out where
the job is located. (Too much time is wasted either by
the office person, usually the dispatcher, or by the field technician.
Some companies will even print out a map on a separate piece of paper and give
it to the service technician.)
- Additional problems include:
How Work Order Software Works ...
- No readily accessible customer history. (someone has to physically
dig through the filing cabinet)
- No backup of information. (What if the field technician forgets to
turn in the work order?)
- Paper, paper, and more paper. (How many filing cabinets, or boxes,
of information do you have?)
- Handwriting. (Believe it or not, reading someone else's
handwriting can be a daunting task.)
- You get the point. (The list goes on and on.)