April 23, 2022MAINTENANCE
The 5 Best Manufacturing Work Order Software Programs
In this article, we’ll highlight five of the best work order software programs for manufacturers. Our selections are based on third-party review site findings, speed to implementation, and software capabilities necessary for PM program success.
Before the Industrial Revolution, most manufactured products were made completely by hand. A single craftsperson created each part using knives, files, and other hand tools.
Workers made “cut-and-try” changes to parts until they fit together to form final products. Fast forward to the early 1900s, when Henry Ford managed to increase automobile production by eight to one—from 12.5 man-hours to 1.5 hours—by using sophisticated assembly lines.
Today, manufacturers worldwide still depend on complex machinery to meet production goals. Whether an organization is making automobiles, refrigerators, or stereos, one thing remains the same: equipment reliability is crucial to staying in business.
Choosing Manufacturing Work Order Software
The Aberdeen Group reported the average cost of downtime across all businesses was a whopping $260,000 per hour in 2016. The best way to reduce downtime? Execute a strategic preventive maintenance (PM) program on critical pieces of equipment.
The right software can help streamline maintenance operations, optimize workflows, and reduce unnecessary expenses. Alternatively, the wrong manufacturing work order software can frustrate maintenance technicians, increase team miscommunication, and become a sunk cost due to lack of usability.
With so many different work order software programs available for manufacturers, determining the best fit can be challenging. A quick Google search yields thousands of results, and dozens of providers, all claiming to meet your needs.
The key to whittling down initial results is to, first, eliminate any manufacturing work order software program that is not cloud-based. Vintage work order software is built on-premise and is, thus, more expensive to implement and slower to receive usability updates.
Conversely, modern, cloud-based software is built on remote servers. The building process lends itself to scalability, affordability, and routine updates. Using this one filter will eliminate the majority of your options right out of the gate! With that said, here are our top cloud-based recommendations.
The 5 Best Manufacturing Work Order Software Programs
MaintainX is quite possibly the most user-friendly AND robust manufacturing work order software in the marketplace right now.
Uniquely, our founders designed and developed the software as a true-native mobile app from day one. Alternatively, the majority of other mobile manufacturing work order software providers programmed their mobile apps as modified versions of desktop software. In nerd terminology, these are called hybrid apps.
What does this mean in plain language? It means MaintainX is faster, more reliable, and more user-friendly than average mobile work order software. Typically, hybrid apps perform a bit slower than their native counterparts.
MaintainX mobile users enjoy convenient on/off toggles, nested settings, and other streamlined design features that deliver an uncluttered user experience.
Other Reasons Manufacturers Love MaintainX
MaintainX includes the traditional features you would expect from manufacturing work order software—recurring scheduling, inventory/parts management, asset cataloging, meter-based triggers—along with a couple of others you might not expect.
MaintainX is the world’s first work order software platform with team messaging. If your team constantly finds itself losing track of project details, the program’s instant messaging and work order commenting capabilities are worth checking out.
Another stand-out feature is MaintainX’s persisted storage method to house data offline. This advanced method ensures any changes made won’t get lost in crashes or reboots. Finally, MaintainX plays well with others! The software’s API feature integrates ERP solutions documents (e.g., bill of materials, routing plans) for convenient workflows.
Click here for more information about advanced features like meter-based maintenance, offline mode, and REST API.
Potential Drawbacks: Notably, MaintainX doesn’t include integrated GPS tracking for fleets.
Founded in 2008, Fiix work order software has longevity on its side. Longtime Fiix users often say they feel comfortable planning, tracking, and optimizing maintenance plans with the platform. company to provide a reliable way to plan, track, and optimize maintenance plans.
The full-stack work order software packs a powerful punch, allowing organizations to automate work order creation, streamline maintenance activities, track inventory, and catalog asset information—all in one place.
Fiix includes work order software features that are important to manufacturers, including a centralized work request portal (for users to create and track maintenance requests), printable QR code generation, and electronic signature verification.
Click here for a detailed list of plan features.
Potential Drawbacks: According to some Capterra reviews, Fiix’s mobile app isn’t as seamless as the desktop version. Additionally, the software no longer supports multiple language settings.
This manufacturing work order software provider might be the oldest on our list. Founded in 1986, eMaint has been around for a long time! As such, the company has established itself as a top work order software for the manufacturing, food processing, oil and gas, utilities, and education industries.
eMaint enables facilities to streamline work requests and work orders, optimize PM programs, track tangible assets, and integrate predictive maintenance (PdM) technologies if desired. Like others on our list, eMaint can automatically generate PMs based on time and/or usage metrics.
Potential Drawbacks: As reported by BetterBuys, many customers find the interface difficult to pick up. Despite the company’s learning seminars, reviewers said they would have preferred to spend more time implementing the system.
4. Limble Manufacturing Work Order Software
Not only does Limble have a good reputation for PM management, but the company also receives praise for its robust PdM functionality. Through Limble’s mobile app, users can view, open, and log assigned work orders in real time.
The software allows technicians to notify management of equipment issues via work order commenting. As with several of its competitors, workers can upload photos directly into digital work orders to provide management with enhanced details of work completed.
Additionally, management can pull detailed maintenance logs for specific dates, run advanced reports on cost/time history for specific assets, and automate parts tracking. The provider consistently receives high marks for usability, robustness, and customer support.
Potential Drawback: As reported by Better Buys, Limble still has limited functionality with some relevant third-party software providers. Additionally, users reported the occasional bug. Furthermore, if offline mode is a priority, take a closer look under Limble’s hood. The last time we checked, the provider uses an in-memory (RAM) storage method to save pending changes offline. Though adequate for most situations, it’s not completely foolproof.
Finally, UpKeep is a user-friendly work order software platform fashioned with mobile versatility in mind. Users can easily access the platform from iOS, Android, or tablet devices while working in the field.
Founded in 2014, UpKeep has quickly accumulated numerous positive reviews from users, especially when it comes to usability, capabilities, and customer support.
UpKeep offers most of the same capabilities as the previously mentioned providers. In short, the manufacturing work order software provides everything you need to streamline maintenance operations, manage critical assets, and execute PdM/PM programs.
Potential Drawback: UpKeep’s developers didn’t design its mobile version as a pure “native app.” It’s a web/mobile hybrid. This means it might not be the fastest option available.
Choosing the Best Manufacturing Work Order Software
Selecting the best work order software for your manufacturing organization can be daunting. There are so many options available in the marketplace!
When sourcing for work order software, factors to consider include your maintenance needs and objectives, available budget, and software capabilities.
With that in mind, we invite you to try MaintaiinX. Not only is our manufacturing work order software specifically designed for mobile, but it includes everything you need to:
- Manage inventory control
- Oversee asset data collection
- Create intuitive checklists
- Upload equipment photographs in real-time
- Cross-reference data for cost savings opportunities
- Instant message individual technicians and teams via mobile