Ryan Strait, Vice President of Products at Fortress, and Shaina Newman, Fortress' Product Owner, are leading the way in digital transformation and research development. They recently shared their expertise and best practices for effective work order management. During their presentation, they demonstrated how Fortress has integrated automation in the maintenance request process to provide optimal efficiency for both staff and residents.
Best Practices for an Efficient Work Order Management Process
Assuming that a property has a work order system in place, it can be shown that more than 90 minutes spent on managing every work order could be automated. Additionally, lack of task completion or inefficient maintenance standards are one of the leading reasons that tenants choose not to renew leases. Therefore, it is increasingly important to ensure that renewals and maintenance items don’t slip through the cracks by establishing an organized work order management system:
Establish your process for residents to submit service requests
As a property manager, it is important to establish a streamlined process for residents to submit service requests. This involves evaluating the current state of your system, including how residents are currently submitting requests and how these requests are being tracked. It is also crucial to establish a system for communicating the status of requests and categorizing them according to a level of urgency. Additionally, maintaining a resolution timeline is important to ensure that all requests are addressed in a timely manner, and that residents are kept informed when the process is complete.
Understanding you obligation as a property manager
As a property manager, you have an obligation to ensure that your units are habitable for tenants. This involves communicating to residents how to submit work orders and emergency requests, as well as what constitutes an emergency.
Plan for regular seasonal maintenance
To prevent last-minute or emergency requests from interfering with preventative maintenance, it is imperative you plan for seasonal maintenance ahead of time (including setting up a schedule for preparations such as pool and HVAC system maintenance). By optimizing your budget and tackling preventative maintenance, you can save time and resources in the long run.
Develop relationships with local professionals and contractors
Developing relationships with local professionals and contractors can help ensure that seasonal preparations are completed on time and without disruption.
Set goals and metrics for you work order process
Setting goals and metrics is invaluable, as it allows you to track trends and patterns and predict preventative maintenance needs. It also helps to hold vendors accountable for completing work in a timely manner and better allocate budgets for future maintenance needs. By tracking work order statistics such as days to complete work orders and the percentage of completed maintenance work orders, you can better understand the efficiency of your process and make improvements where necessary.
Portfolio Level Work Order Tracking, Analysis and Automation
An effective way to enhance operational efficiency and streamline maintenance processes is to establish a centralized screen that displays an overview of all work orders across all properties on a single screen. This consolidated view provides a powerful tool for portfolio management, allowing for a comprehensive review, follow-up inquiries, re-prioritization, technician assignment, and easy distribution of surveys. The centralized view empowers a single individual to monitor and manage all work order activities with ease, regardless of the number of properties involved.
In a regional context, this tool offers an added advantage, allowing quick review and identification of problematic property sites. This enables the rearrangement of crews to address pending issues promptly and effectively. Creating benchmarks for work order completion time and quantity offers a standard for assessing performance, identifying sites that are struggling, and determining areas for improvement. The use of benchmarking also enables tracking of individual technician performance, including the number of maintenance requests resolved and the efficiency with which they are resolved. Such information can be used for promotional purposes, including identifying and rewarding top-performing technicians.
Impact of Mobile Apps and Automation on Managing Work Orders
Numerous studies suggest that using mobile apps for work orders lead to an overall more positive work order experience and outcome. Such benefits to businesses and tenants include:
Benefits to the business
- Increased efficiency of field technicians
- Reduction in operational costs (including fuel and mileage, elimination of paper and ink, and storage fees)
- Productivity boosts
- Increased resident satisfaction by offering a process that fits their needs in a modern way
- Improved communication with on-site teams including real-time updates and photo evidence
Benefits to the resident
- Ability to easily read digital technician notes
- Faster completion of requests
- Real-time updates and communication
- Digital trail of receipt
- Increased resident satisfaction
Fortress has masterfully streamlined the work order process, completely automating several of the mundane manual back-and-forth tasks, greatly reducing human touch points, and increasing overall efficiency by 70%.
Visit the link to watch the entire webinar including a work order demo to see how efficient maintenance management can be with Fortress.
Fortress Property Management Software was built by veteran property managers to automate property management with a remarkably easy to use interface, real-time insights and best-in-class customer support. Learn more about Fortress from the articles below:
- Fortress: Built by Property Managers, for Property Managers
- How Property Managers Save an Hour or More Each Day With Fortress
- Fortress: Real-time Insights, Not Stale Reports
- GlobeSt.com Names Kerri Davis a Women of Influence
- How Can Fortress Help Manage Your Affordable Housing Units?
Or schedule a demo with our team below and see Fortress in action: