Work order avoidance is the process of preventing costs associated with work orders by actively troubleshooting maintenance requests. When done correctly, work order avoidance eliminates expenses associated with work orders such as trip charges, service charges and more. This not only avoids waste for your business, but can also increase your resident satisfaction.

For example, if a resident calls in and reports that their A/C is not working properly, some businesses may be tempted to immediately dispatch a work order. By asking a few troubleshooting questions, you may come to find that the fix is simple and one that the resident can do on their own such as a switch that needs to be flipped. In this case, you not only save the time and cost of a work order for this easy fix, but you also solve your resident’s problem faster. By avoiding unnecessary work orders you can substantially lower your facilities maintenance costs.

Read on to learn why work order avoidance is an integral part of any facilities maintenance program and see how you can implement it into your current program.

1. Increased Time

Your time, and your employees’ time, is valuable. Why spend it dispatching work orders for small maintenance requests that can be solved quickly and easily? Work order avoidance decreases the time spent on these minor requests, which frees up your technicians for more major work orders and helps residents avoid the hassle of scheduling. This way you and your employees can spend your time and resources on bigger, more important business initiatives.

2. Improved Experience

Turnover has a high cost in the residential industry, and work order avoidance can help you decrease your turnover rate by improving your residents’ experience. By promptly responding to your residents’ requests and helping them solve their issues through work order avoidance, you can drive down maintenance costs while giving your residents the efficient service they want. By using this approach in the example above, not only do you save money, but your resident has working A/C faster, giving them a better experience. If the scenario had a different ending (putting in a work order, dealing with scheduling conflicts, waiting on the technician, and sweating in their apartment while they wait for their A/C to be fixed), they may be more likely to consider different living arrangements near the end of their lease. Work order avoidance can increase tenant retention, which benefits your bottom line.

3. Decreased Costs

Not only can work order avoidance give you more time and increased resident satisfaction, but it can also give you a larger budget for your future business plans by decreasing your overall facility management costs. In fact, SMS Assist found that 11% or more of work orders can be resolved when callers are walked through questions in attempt to fix problems before a work order is dispatched.

How to Make Work Order Avoidance Part of Your Property Management Plan

Now that you know all the benefits of work order avoidance, it’s time to make it a part of your company’s everyday facility maintenance program. Start by consulting industry experts and leaders to develop troubleshooting procedures and questions to ask when a caller needs help. You may even consider providing your tenants with resources for troubleshooting, such as a guide on how to keep pipes safe during freezing weather, how to switch the breaker in their apartment, or how to fix a clogged drain. By having these resources, residents may be able to solve the problem themselves and avoid calling in the issue altogether.

Overall, work order avoidance can play a critical role in your facilities maintenance program by saving you time, money, and improving your turnover rate. Start optimizing your facilities maintenance today by implementing a work order avoidance program, and start seeing improvements across your organization.

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