Rethinking Work Requests to Save Time

A facilites manager in a blue pattered shirt relaxes back in his chair, putting his hands behind his head

In facilities management, work requests make the world go 'round. Whether dealing with incoming requests from facility users, or processing planned maintenance works, work orders likely consume a majority of a facilities team’s time.

Playing such an important role, it’s important to review the work request process semi-regularly. Looking at how work requests are submitted, processed, and actioned can help to uncover efficiencies, and find better ways of collaborating with the broader business.

These are some of the changes our clients have made that have helped them save time, money, and energy when it comes to incoming work requests.

Introduce a one-door policy

If your team deals with large numbers of incoming work requests, the first step is to look at how work requests are received.

Generally, the more channels that facility users can use to submit work requests, the harder they are to keep track of. As visibility over incoming work requests becomes increasingly clouded, more time is lost trying to organise, find and follow up on requests.

By streamlining incoming work requests into one channel, you can dramatically improve the visibility over the work coming in.

Leveraging a dedicated facilities management platform is a great way to streamline incoming work requests to one platform. Not only reducing the risk that requests will be lost to flooded individual inboxes, but easily collating all received work requests so the team can see them at a glance.

The one door policy is the first step in streamlining the work request process. Once this crucial step is undertaken, it creates the opportunity for further efficiencies that will save even more time. For example, by ensuring all requests are coming in the same way, it is easier to report on workloads and team output.

Empower users with templates

With facility users not necessarily engaging with the process of submitting a request regularly, it’s not uncommon to receive requests devoid of key details.

This can either result in the facilities team having to go out an inspect relevant assets, or engaging in back and forth to obtain the missing details. This follow up process can result in jobs taking a disproportionately long time to resolve.

If the requester had known what details would be required, this problem would be significantly reduced.

By creating templates for requests in your facilities management solution, you can empower users to submit more complete requests. This saves requesters time and frustration, by making it clear what information will be required from them, and where it should go.

Allowing users to simply snap a photo on their smartphone and fill in a simple form creates a frictionless experience on both sides of the equation.

From the perspective of the team, this speeds up the process from job request, to job completion. With less time spent on the back and forth or otherwise trying to obtain key details, you can reduce average time to completion, improving a key performance metric for the team.

Automate updates to requesters

Once a work request is submitted, requesters will be asking things like “did they get my request? Will it be worked on? What is the status of my job?”. It is natural that they’ll be invested in the progress of their request, however, for the facilities team, these questions can take up more time than they should.

In the absence of automation, request acknowledgement and status updates are a manual process. For teams working with high volumes of incoming requests, providing these simple communications can end up taking hours and distracting from other tasks.

By leveraging automations within your facilities management software, these tasks can take seconds, rather than hours.  

Automatic request acknowledgements help put requesters minds at ease, giving them confidence their request has gone to the right place. Within your facilities management platform, you will also be able to automate status updates to send to requesters when their job is progressed.

These automations are easy to set up, and can save your team hours that would otherwise be committed to crafting and sending emails.