Property owners will always have the requirement to manage and maintain their real estate, equipment, and spare parts inventory assets. Those assets can be at different locations within the same country or spread across different countries. Work order management is the proven process used to capture the details of completed activities needed to maintain those assets. This requires those entities to implement a formal work order management process to ensure the proper and timely processing of scheduled and non-scheduled work orders needed to maintain their real estate and equipment assets.
In the previous article titled “The Need for Property Owner to Have A Real-Time Single Version of the Truth of the Particulars and Status of All Assets they Own and/or Control”, we have detailed how the PMWeb Asset Management module will be used to capture the details of all assets owned and/or controlled by the property owner. In this article, the PMWeb Work Order module will be used to create, track, and complete all work orders including capturing details on the work order scope of work, needed labor resources, parts, miscellaneous costs, condition tracking, and all needed documentation. In addition to using the PMWeb work order module to create work orders, PMWeb allows generating work orders from each real estate and equipment asset module, from the components and subcomponents of each equipment asset, and work requests.
Creating the Work Order
Work order management begins with the creation of work orders. It can be defined as an order for maintenance services to be performed, either received as a work request from someone from within the property owner or as a recurring scheduled job to maintain equipment, buildings, grounds, or vehicles. For a facility manager, these work orders come in the form of anything from a request for a lighting change to a major roof repair.
PMWeb work order module allows creating and capturing all needed details for each work order including the work order number, title, category, progress status, detailed scope of work, name, and contact details for the individual for whom the work order needs to be coordinated, WBS level if it is used, GIS location of the work order, work order bar code and the real estate and/or equipment assets associated with the work order. Additional user-defined fields can be also created and added under the specification tab as well as additional text notes can be added under the notes tab.
PMWeb allows the creation of predefined checklists for the tasks that need to be performed for each type of work order. The content of checklists represents the property owner’s knowledge in maintaining those real estate and equipment assets and what needs to be performed for each type of work order. The checklist can be also viewed as an audit checklist to ensure that all needed tasks have been completed. The checklist tab will be used to drag and drop the relevant checklist items for the created work order. The checklist will include details of the tasks to be performed, category, needed resources skills, and notes. Of course, there is always the option to add the checklist items directly for the work order.
In addition, the PMWeb work order module allows capturing details on the past service reading that the linked asset or any of its components or subcomponents had. This will be used to capture the details of the previous asset reading like hours used and current reading to determine the current usage, services performed, condition, condition data, and notes.
PMWeb work order module also allows adding the cost estimate to perform the work order. There are different options to create the cost estimate which include adding predefined work items from the PMWeb cost database, adding resources, labor, and non-labor, from the PMWeb resources directory for which each has a unit rate, adding estimate details directly without using PMWeb cost database, paste from MS Excel or add an estimate from a predefined cost assembly. Cost assemblies represent the knowledge that the property owners have acquired and developed in maintaining their real estate and equipment assets for which there is a clear understanding of the associated costs and level of effort needed to execute the work order.
The estimated cost will provide the property owner with an overall estimate that can be used when budgeting the execution of those work orders. In addition, PMWeb enables the property owner to assign the needed resources, labor and non-labor, and material needed for the work order. The resources will be selected from PMWeb resources repository modules. The material can be either selected from the PMWeb cost database used in the cost estimate or selected from the material and spare part inventory. The total cost tab will summarize the cost of those resources and materials assigned to the work order.
Similar to all other PMWeb modules, the attachment tab for the work order module will be used to attach all supportive documents needed for the work order. Those could include pictures of the assets, specifications, drawings, catalogs, and BIM models among others. PMWeb allows selecting documents that are either in PDF and Picture file format as the file images to be displayed on the work order module. In addition, the attachment tab will be used to link other PMWeb records like work permits, gate passes, and meeting minutes among others, and imported MS Outlook emails to the work order.
To formalize the creation and approval of work orders, PMWeb allows assigning a workflow for the work order module to detail the needed steps to be performed and their sequence. Similar to all other workflows created in PMWeb, the workflow could include authority approval levels to ensure that the work order is reviewed and approved by authorized individuals. For ad-hoc communication of the work order, the PMWeb notification option can be used to email the work order to other individuals whether they were PMWeb users or not.
Work Order Mobile Accessibility
Being a zero footprint application, PMWeb allows accessing the work order module from any browser including those of mobile smart devices like example rugged iPad and Android devices. This will provide the users with all PMWeb Work Order screens and functions detailed above. Accessing PMWeb from a smartphone device allows the user to take pictures and videos associated with the work order and attach them. In addition, the “Speech to Text” option allows completing text fields by talking to the smartphone device.
In addition, PMWeb mobile app allows accessing the work order module but with the information being limited to the work order details, resources, and materials assigned to the work order and attached documents and records. PMWeb mobile app allows working offline for which the data needs to be synchronized with the PMWeb main database when online connectivity is available again.
In addition to the work order module, PMWeb mobile app also include modules for the list of real estate and equipment assets, companies, and work requests issued to generate work orders.
Setting Recurring Scheduled Work Orders
Using the same PMWeb work order module, the property owner can create recurring scheduled work orders. This requires creating the first work order to capture all needed details for the work order as detailed above and changing the work order status to approved. Using the preventive tab, the user needs to select the frequency of the preventive work order which could be once, daily, weekly, monthly, or at selected intervals. This will be followed by the time on when the work order is to be performed, which day of the week, and when this will end. When all those values are given, the user will select the generate work orders command to have all these preventive work orders automatically generated and listed as Linked Work Orders. This will enable the property owner to execute those work orders on their planned dates.
Work Orders Dispatch Board
PMWeb allows the creation of an unlimited number of dispatch boards for which they will include the details of resources needed to execute the work orders. The dispatch board timeline display can be per day, per week, and per month. To populate the dashboard with work orders, the user needs to drag and drop open work orders into the selected date if the display was weekly or monthly or by time in case the dispatch board timeline display was per day.
Tracking Work Orders
If the location field in a work order was populated with the location of the work order, then the property owner can visualize all work orders created for all real estate and equipment assets at any real estate location captured and managed in PMWeb. This list of work orders enables the user to drill down to the selected work order and view the complete details of this specific work order.
Work Requests by End Users
As detailed above, PMWeb allows creating work orders directly from the work order module as well as generating work orders from real estate or equipment assets as well as from equipment components or subcomponents. In addition, PMWeb allows generating work orders from work requests which are usually submitted by the assets end users who have access to PMWeb. In addition, work requests can be initiated from PMWeb mobile app.
Monitoring, Evaluating and Reporting the Status of Work Orders
With PMWeb report writer, the property owner can generate different reports to monitor, evaluate and report on the status of work orders as well as the captured details in those work orders. For example, the property owner can generate a report that will provide details of the real estate asset along with the status of work orders created on this real estate and equipment assets that are located within the real estate asset.
About the Author
Bassam Samman, PMP, PSP, EVP, GPM is a Senior Project Management Consultant with more than 35-year service record providing project management and controls services to over 100 projects with a total value of over US $5 Billion. Those projects included Commercial, Residential, Education, and Healthcare Buildings and Infrastructure, Entertainment and Shopping Malls, Oil and Gas Plants and Refineries, Telecommunication, and Information Technology projects. He is thoroughly experienced in complete project management including project management control systems, computerized project control software, claims analysis/prevention, risk analysis/management (contingency planning), design, supervision, training, and business development.
Bassam is a frequent speaker on topics relating to Project Management, Strategic Project Management, and Project Management Personal Skills. Over the past 35 years, he has lectured at more than 350 events and courses at different locations in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and South America. He has written more than 250 articles on project management and project management information systems that were featured in international and regional magazines and newspapers. He is a co-founder of the Project Management Institute- Arabian Gulf Chapter (PMI-AGC) and has served on its board of directors for more than 6 years. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute (PMI), a certified Planning and Scheduling Professional (PSP), an Earned Value Professional (EVP) from the American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE), and a Green Project Management (GPM).
Bassam holds a Master’s in Engineering Administration (Construction Management) with Faculty Commendation, from George Washington University, Washington, D.C., USA, Bachelor in Civil Engineering – from Kuwait University, Kuwait, and has attended many executive management programs at Harvard Business School, Boston, USA, and London Business School, London, UK.