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A field service manager’s guide to mastering work orders on Field Nation

April 19, 2024


Successful field service management is heavily reliant on providing clear, detailed, and effective communication. For managers navigating the complexities of on-site field service projects, the challenge often lies in bridging the gap between planning and execution. This challenge becomes particularly pronounced when it comes to crafting work orders that are not just instructions but roadmaps to success for your technicians.

Crafting the perfect work order

A work order is not merely a task list; it’s the blueprint of your project’s success, the first step in ensuring a smooth on-site experience and a successful project outcome. To achieve this, every work order should be clear, detailed, and tailored to set up your technicians for success. Here’s how:

1. Write a clear and precise title

The work order title is the first thing your technicians will see, and it sets the tone for their understanding of the project. A clear, straightforward title like “SCO Pin Pad Install & Software Upgrade” immediately conveys the scope of work, allowing technicians to align their skills and expectations accordingly. Avoid vagueness or internal jargon that could confuse or mislead, such as “Service WO#750092 GA.” Instead, opt for titles that succinctly describe the task, ensuring no essential detail is overlooked.

2. Organize with clients and projects in mind

A well-organized work order system benefits everyone involved. By associating each work order with a specific client and project, you not only keep your operations streamlined but also enable easier tracking and analysis of information. This organization aids in the quick retrieval of work orders and facilitates detailed reporting, providing valuable insights into project outcomes and performance metrics.

3. Detail the Service Description

The heart of any work order is its service description. This section should outline every step of the process in detail, from start to finish. Utilize bullet points, numbered lists, and headers to make information easily digestible, especially since many technicians will access these orders on mobile devices. Remember, the goal is to leave no room for ambiguity—every requirement, from tools and materials to specific procedures, should be clearly stated.

Consider dividing your instructions into pre-work, on-site, and post-work categories to provide a comprehensive overview. For example, specifying that the job includes “Install 8 Cat6 runs” and “Mount Coverage Units to Drop Ceiling” with a verb-noun structure makes the tasks clear and actionable, helping you align with the most suitable provider for the work.

4. Specify requirements and expectations

A successful work order doesn’t stop at what needs to be done; it extends to how it should be done and what is needed to accomplish it. This includes:

  • Project duration & required experience: Clearly outline the schedule and any specific skills or certifications required.
  • Tools, equipment, and materials: List everything the technician will need to bring, as well as the materials that will be provided onsite.
  • Dress code and safety gear: Ensure site regulation compliance by clearly defining the appropriate attire necessary to complete the job and any required safety equipment.
  • Required deliverables: Detail the outcomes and documentation expected at the completion of the project.

5. Utilize a list of tasks to guide execution

A key way to prevent any missed steps is simply restating required tasks in a list format. Tasks within your work order should mirror the steps outlined in your service description, acting as a checklist for your technician to ensure nothing is missed. Implementing a task-based structure not only guides the technician through each phase of the project but also provides a mechanism for real-time updates and tracking completions. Adding notifications for task completions can further enhance communication and improve project management efficiency.

Platform pro tip: Work Order Tasks, a standard platform feature across any Field Nation plan, bring repeatable clarity and efficiency to every step of the work order creation process.

Tasks can help dispatchers outline essential steps and required deliverables, such as photos and signatures, directly within the work order. This can help facilitate a seamless, end-to-end process that is meticulously recorded for review. The Field Nation platform automatically includes four default tasks (start time, check in, check out, and close-out notes) to every work order. Beyond these default tasks, managers can also add custom tasks that mirror the detailed scope-of-work and help guide providers through any required steps.

The Task feature in the Field Nation platform not only simplifies the creation and management of work orders, but also enhances the overall clarity and accountability throughout the project.

The art of communication: empowering your technicians

Creating clear and descriptive work orders is an essential part of establishing effective communication between you and the independent technicians on Field Nation. By adhering to these best practices, you create a communication framework that empowers selected technicians with the direction and necessary information they need to excel with the project. 

Embrace the impact of clear communication and set your projects up for success! Start implementing these best practices and build an on-demand work force equipped with the skills and qualifications you’re looking for.

Have any questions about improving your communication and work order process on Field Nation? Contact us today!


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