Work Order Management Software Myths That Are No Longer True

June 14, 2020 in Maintenance Blog Posts



Work Order Management Software Myths That Are No Longer True
Table of Contents

Are you still using paper checklists?

We don’t blame you. 

Every day we speak with operational managers facing a similar dilemma: Should we invest our limited resources in work order management software or continue using an analog system that allows important details to fail through the cracks? 

Of course, work request software is nothing new. The basic underlying technology has been widely available since vendors moved from Microsoft Access-based applications to browser-based systems in the early 2000s. The best work order software programs include capabilities for detailed asset tracking, recurring scheduling, service requests, work order requests, and resource management. 

Conduct a quick Internet search, and you will find dozens of Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS), all promising benefits like decreased downtime, increased productivity, and greater customer satisfaction. Essentially, it just makes work easier! However, a large segment of maintenance teams has yet to make the switch. According to the Plant Engineering 2016 Maintenance Study, 39 percent of organizations use paperwork orders, and 52 percent use spreadsheets.  

While there are many reasons for choosing not to automate with CMMS solutions, the four most common ones simply aren’t true—anymore. In this article, we’ll review how the latest SaaS (Software as a Service) and mobile work order providers are flipping traditional maintenance work order software on its head: 

The 4 Most Common Myths of Work Order Management Software

1. CMMS Is Expensive 

For decades, work order management software was only available to enterprise companies with large bank accounts. Securing a software license for an on-premise system could cost anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. 

That’s because providers traveled to facilities to build customized software programs installed on in-house servers. Each project required significant time to complete since programs had to be built from the ground up. Additionally, organizing on-premise upgrades required substantial client interaction that increased ownership costs. 

In recent years, that all changed with mobile apps built on cloud-based infrastructures. Providers now develop single software programs that can be “shared” by an indefinite number of users in their respective locations. Pooling physical hardware in this manner allows software providers to pass on immense savings to their customers. As a result, work order management software is now within reach for organizations of all sizes. Additionally, multi-tenant platforms can scale as companies grow without reduced performance. 

Pricing plans range from small monthly subscription fees based on user numbers to more sizable monthly subscription plans. Epect to spend anywhere from $10 per user for basic plans to $150 per user for premium plans. Some mobile app providers, like MaintainX, even offer freemium plans that include unlimited work order creation, unlimited asset management, unlimited locations, and unlimited team chat.

2. Maintenance Management Software Is Hard to Learn

Every day, we speak with technicians and managers who have downloaded our freemium maintenance app. We want to understand what led them to try MaintainX, and we want to assist them in navigating it—free of charge.  

Oftentimes, users with basic work order needs don’t have any questions; they begin creating preventive maintenance checklists immediately upon downloading the app with no problems. Alternatively, folks with more complex needs usually appreciate personalized assistance. Regardless, nearly everyone can be up and running with the software within two hours. It’s why we get reviews like this:

If you have ever attempted to implement a preventive maintenance program with a traditional Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS), you know just how time-consuming the adoption process can be. Most work order management software programs require several hours of paid training, a few hours of personal experimentation, and significant effort to memorize complex digital workflows. 

Even then, managers still struggle to get the entire team on board. As reported by Reliable Plant, as many as 80 percent of CMMS adoption programs fail because of cumbersome user experiences. So, why are most old-school software programs lacking in ease of use? 

Put simply, they were developed before the evolution of modern design, smartphone apps, and tablets. With so little competition in the marketplace, CMMS providers weren’t incentivized to heavily innovate according to user feedback, until recently. Expect CMMS platforms to become increasingly user-friendly as providers over the next several years.

3. CMMS Isn’t Compatible With Paper Checklists

Another common assumption is that maintenance teams must choose between CMMS or paper checklists. Understandably, many field service management leaders are hesitant to switch field technicians from the familiarity of paper work orders. 

However, it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Modern software programs allow users to export procedures as PDF files available for print. That means team members can continue fulfilling work orders the old-fashioned way until they are comfortable with the new system.

preventive maintenance checklist

Another common assumption is that maintenance teams must choose between CMMS or paper checklists. Understandably, many managers are hesitant to switch technicians from the familiarity of paper work orders. 

However, it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Modern software programs allow users to export procedures as PDF files available for print. That means team members can continue fulfilling work orders the old-fashioned way until they are comfortable with the new system. 

4. Inputting Asset Data Is Time-Consuming 

Finally, effective preventive maintenance programs are dependent upon maintaining updated equipment records. Assets should be organized within a single database by location, serial number, parts serviced, etc. 

Most large organizations track metrics/KPIs, manage maintenance requests, oversee inventory management, and organize work order processes with the help of spreadsheets. Alternatively, the majority of small businesses can’t even find the time to set sail.

Managers who fall into the former category may feel overwhelmed at the prospect of inputting dozens of columns and rows of data into a new CMMS in between managing maintenance schedules. However, the best work order management systems boast easy import features that transfer data on your behalf. With MaintainX, the process takes about 30 seconds!

Maintenance Management Software Made Easy

Modern preventative maintenance solutions are leaps and bounds ahead of their early predecessors. New technology has catalyzed affordable monthly subscription plans, mobile-friendly user interfaces, and real-time work order tracking features. 

Not only does MaintainX streamline these tasks, but it’s also the world’s first CMMS software solution designed with team chat functionality. Team members can now troubleshoot work requests in real-time by texting comments, uploading photographs, and downloading equipment manuals from the convenience of their mobile devices. They can also change the status of their assigned maintenance tasks from their personal smartphones, allowing maintenance managers to keep tabs on progress. 

Are you ready to ditch paper checklists, streamline workflows, enhance accountability, and decrease downtime? Experience the simplicity of maintenance department automation with MaintainX! It’s available on both iOs and Android. 


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