Does Your Company Need Custom Work Order Forms?
Last Updated September 20, 2021 · Custom Software
Work orders are key to production in manufacturing facilities and in service industries. An average work order outlines a product or task that your team needs to complete. They can be for either internal or external use depending on the business. Ultimately, the work order is used to document progress and track information. It’s not unusual for a business to need custom work order forms. Today, we’re going to cover how you can make your own work order forms to help your business function better.
First, before we get to the custom part, let’s talk a bit more about work orders themselves. Your average work order includes customer information, instructions for your employee, date and time details, location specifics like an address, and more. This is a whole lot of important information to cram on into one form. Work orders either come from sales orders, in a production environment or directly from a customer call like with repair services.
When Standard Work Order Forms Aren’t Enough
For some businesses, regular work order forms will suffice. There are instances, of course, when basic work order forms lack all of the pieces you need. A lot of the existing software out there that generates work orders is purposefully generic. The concept behind a lot of off-the-shelf software is to meet as many needs as possible for the most potential customers. Unfortunately, this leaves unique companies with equally unique needs out.
It’s pretty common, in these instances, for businesses to just make do with what they have. Maybe they ignore entire sections of the work orders they use. Or, even worse, it’s possible they simply use existing pieces of their forms for entirely different purposes. For example, maybe your work order form asks for a customer address when you don’t need that information at all. So, instead, you use that space on the form for something totally unrelated. This just leads inevitably to confusion and mistakes.
If your company has reached the point where you aren’t getting 100% use out of your work order forms then it is time to consider alternatives. Fortunately, switching to custom work order forms isn’t as complicated as it may sound.
How to Create Printable Custom Work Order Forms
Typically, when someone begins investigating how to create their own custom work order forms, Excel or Microsoft Word is the first place they go. The idea is that you can very simply make your own form template and just re-use it over and over again. If your business is very simple, and you aren’t concerned with storing data in the long term, this is an ok solution to get started.
You can find templates online to get you started. These templates will typically be very, very generic. The idea is that a free template has enough details to apply to as many businesses as possible. It’s really no different than the approach software companies take, as we mentioned above. Unfortunately, in the real world, not every business is the same. If you are comfortable enough in Excel or Word you can get around this by making your own changes. Not everyone is that skilled though so you might have to just settle for what the template offers and make due.
Are Printable Work Order Forms Even Worth It?
In the long run, making your own paper forms can create more headaches than they solve. You’re running a business and not a design company, right? Making useable, practical, and functional forms seems easy but it’s actually quite difficult. This is a job best left for people with design sensibilities. Poorly designed forms, built by amateurs, often get ignored or misused. This defeats their whole purpose in the long run.
Finally, the obvious downside to paperwork is a lack of control. Information goes missing when there is only one paper copy around. The rest of your business (invoicing, accounting, etc.) can’t continue without the paper copy. The whole setup is old-fashioned.
Converting Your Business to Digital Work Order Forms
For some businesses, generic work order forms won’t cut it. Many manufacturing facilities and service-focused companies have very specific needs. When you try and use generic digital systems or paperwork forms, it becomes cumbersome to fit them into your operations. Custom work order forms, built specifically for your use, are the best way to improve many parts of your business.
This is our bread and butter. We’ve been building custom software for business for over a decade now. Our specialty is making software systems for businesses in unique industries with unique needs. And, more often than not, that includes handling issues like work orders. A digital custom work order form means you get exactly the kind of form you want, designed best for your workers, that is simple to use.
Digital work order forms can be retrieved and updated on phones, tablets, or a standard desktop computer. Your employees can update their job progress and you can be informed in real-time. Mistakes and corrections can be made quickly and easily. On top of all of that, legibility is no longer an issue because you are no longer relying on someone using pen and paper to fill out their work orders. This cuts down on errors and mistakes further down the line in your processes.
Another advantage of going digital is that you also easily collect all of your information in one place. Once that data is gathered you can begin to generate all sorts of useful information and reports. It’s common for our clients to want extra layers on top of their custom work order forms: reporting, invoice generation, inventory control, and more. Once you begin to digitize parts of your process the rest of your business is wide open for improvement.
Interested in Creating Custom Work Order Forms for Your Business?
At Link Software, we have been building custom software solutions for many years. We have created systems that generate all sorts of day-to-day forms including work orders. If off-the-shelf software, or hard copy paperwork, is no longer working for your company then let us help you. We can create custom work order forms that will precisely meet your business needs. Contact us for more information.