Work order ticketing manages the request for service. Asset management stores information that’s important for the repair. Inventory management makes sure the necessary parts are available. These three types of management software are intricately connected, yet several organizations use separate solutions, or worse disparate spreadsheets. Combining these tools into one creates a whole much bigger than the sum of its parts.
Here are ten significant benefits to having one integrated solution for work order ticketing, inventory management and asset management software.
1 - streamlined workflows
Combining management systems reduces the need to switch between different spreadsheets, software or even platforms. Technicians can see all the information they need within one system, from the details of the work order itself, to the availability of necessary parts, to manuals and warranties and even historic notes on configuration. Asset records and inventory counts are updated as work is completed. Such streamlined workflows significantly boost efficiency.
2 - error reduction
Manually entering data into multiple places creates a slew of opportunities for error. Data can be typed or even copied incorrectly, things can get pasted into the wrong fields, and one spreadsheet may be updated but not another. If you’re cross-referencing lists and requests by sight and hand, it’s easy to overlook and miss important items altogether. With an integrated system, these processes become automated through synchronized fields and records, ensuring accuracy and reducing the chances of oversight.
3 - optimized inventory levels
By understanding the frequency and nature of work orders, and cross-referencing this with inventory usage, organizations can maintain optimal inventory levels. Overstocking or understocking can be avoided, which saves costs and ensures that resources are available and used efficiently. Expired perishables can be easily pulled from circulation, keeping your teams adequately prepared.
4 - optimized use of labor
Shop labor can be overstaffed or understaffed when you have limited supporting software. Work order management software helps identify the right amount of staff based on historic demand. Inventory management software makes sure crews aren’t idle and due to unavailable parts. Asset management software provides information on each asset, including who worked on it previously and what parts were used. You can see the overlap here. Having work orders combined with asset and inventory management makes sure all the right pieces—people, parts, and information—come together efficiently and effectively.
5 - increased accountability
It may seem easy to tell which department or person draws on your resources most, but a lot of accountability issues require integrated data to understand. Maybe you have a feeling your second shift blows through repair tools quicker than your first, yet they seem less productive. Maybe it’s not that a certain battery is often faulty, it just never works when Jerry installs it. Perhaps you see incorrect data input in asset and inventory records; complete change histories would show it's always Kelly. Most problems are easy to fix when you can point to the source of the issue.
6 - shared alerts + notifications
Good management software includes automated alerts to keep teams informed and make sure things don’t fall through the cracks. Work order software should alert when a request has been submitted, received, and fulfilled. Asset management software should alert when a piece of equipment is due for service or left on loan. Inventory management should alert when parts are low so deadlines aren’t missed. Having multiple alert systems can lead to confusion and contradictions, with users ignoring or even blocking notifications. One centralized system lets alerts do as they are intended -- increase efficiencies rather than decrease them.
7 - enhanced reporting + forecasting
For evidence-based answers to complex questions, you need interactive data that can be viewed in different ways. A comprehensive holistic view answers big picture questions like overall staffing, facility and budget needs. More granular insight is needed to see what can be adjusted for operational efficiency. For this, you need to be able to filter to different subsets, such as a parts history for a certain type of equipment, or an inventory order list and cost per tech, or a report of which locations needed the most water damage repair. Then, being able to generate visual reports demonstrating these insights helps get buy-in for changes to be made.
8 - cost savings
Extra costs are incurred every minute an asset is down unexpectedly, every time a rush order is placed because a part isn’t in stock, every time a piece of equipment is rented because the one in-house isn’t ready. Replacing lost or mismanaged assets can cost tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, in addition to time and resources spent onboarding replacement pieces. Inefficient workflows add costly labor hours. An integrated system reduces the need for expensive stop gap actions, plugging covert and unexpected budgetary leaks.
9 - scalability + adaptability
As organizations grow, the complexities of managing assets, work orders, and inventory grow with it. Technology is advancing across the board, which means assets themselves are becoming more complex, resulting in new or changed details to track and manage with each innovation. The ability to make ongoing adjustments to one software solution instead of several is increasingly important as organizations and technologies evolve.
10 - improved field performance (+ morale!)
We're ending on the most obvious but very important point. Your equipment is expected to be able to deliver your organization’s promise. When it doesn’t, it hurts your team, customers, and community. Short supplies and equipment downtimes lead to disappointing failures in the field. Unpredictable gear causes at best hesitancy and delay, and at worst injury or even death. Having assets reliably up and running is vital for your organization’s success, regardless of its mission, goals or industry. An integrated work order, inventory and asset management system helps keep assets healthy and people happy.
The best way to optimize anything is to combine overlapping areas and reduce redundancies—this includes software functions. Integrating your work order ticketing, asset, and inventory management software into one cohesive solution is an extremely valuable place to start.
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Updated September 29, 2023, 5:00 pm