Say Goodbye to Endless Emails

A middle aged facilities manager inspects the screen of an open laptop

Faced with an endless slew of emails daily, some days can feel like they’ve been entirely consumed by the “ping” of another message demanding our attention.

In facilities management, emails can tend to take up a bigger portion of the day than we’d like.

Fortunately, by streamlining processes, and leveraging some simple software solutions, facilities managers can save hours that would otherwise be spent on email. In this blog, we’ve looked at how streamlining the work order processes can reduce the time spent on email.

The work order process

Incoming work requests represent a huge portion of the day for facilities management teams. From broken chairs and flickering lights to office swaps and furniture re-arranging, incoming requests certainly keep FM teams busy.

When facility users submit work requests, they’re invested in the progress of that request, and will want status updates of various frequencies. For facilities teams, this presents a challenge in terms of managing expectations efficiently. Each request or follow up sent, is another email or phone call demanding attention.  

Within the facilities team, emails pose challenges with managing incoming requests, delegating work, and managing contractors.

With such a high volume of email-centric tasks daily, it’s easy to become overwhelmed.

By centralising work orders into a single, dedicated FM platform, the process can be streamlined. This in turn, creates the opportunity to automate many communications, and improve relationships with requesters.  

Instead of receiving requests via email or phone call with the request, writing an email to acknowledge its receipt and then creating and emailing out the job, the entire process is handled in seconds.

Work order acknowledgement

When facility users submit a request, it’s good practice to provide them with verification that the request has been received, and will be actioned. These acknowledgements are critical to improving the perception of the level of support provided by the facilities team.

Within a dedicated FM platform, these automatic request acknowledgements are easy to create. Requests are submitted directly into the platform, and so request acknowledgement is immediate, putting the requester’s mind at ease.

Work order updates

Some stakeholders might expect their job to be done straight away or within a specific timeframe. However, each request has to fit in with numerous other requests and activities related to planned maintenance and compliance obligations.

The back and forth of emails following up work requests can be frustrating on both sides of the equation.

Effective communication is critical in these situations to build constructive working relationships with the broader business. However, taking the time to determine the correct frequency for each stakeholder, and then crafting individual replies can consume valuable hours.

In dedicated facilities management software, this problem can be eliminated, with requesters able to check on the status of their job at any time. Alternatively, take it a step further and set up automatic email updates to send as the job progresses.

Keep all relevant parties informed every step of the way, without spending any time on email.

Work order distribution

Receiving work orders via email, only to forward them on to team members, takes up more time than it should, and increases the risk of error.

It is incredibly easy for requests to get lost in flooded inboxes. Each request that is missed, can trigger a series of follow up emails, and can be a source of frustration.

Improve visibility for your team and stakeholders, and reduce time spend delegating by using dedicated facilities management software like FMI Works. Tracking jobs via a dashboard means it takes minutes to look at each team members workload, and assign incoming requests.

The whole team can see requests, and the requester is satisfied that their request is being actioned. The job is already in the system, ready to be assigned, eliminating the need to double handle the information.

Planned work notifications

When planned work is approaching, ensure trades know what needs to happen, and when, in advance.

A maintenance plan can be created where work orders are scheduled and created automatically, sent to relevant trades when needed. Reduce the risk of planned maintenance being neglected because an important communication was forgotten about, never received, or lost in an inbox.