A Work Order is usually a contract between two parties, a contractor and a client. It can be used in a large number of varied settings. In a highly vertical industry, a sales order may convert automatically to a Work Order, to assist in procurement, manufacturing, and supply chain management.
If you are in the service, maintenance industries, or are involved in general contracting, a Work Order like this can be a primary contract. It serves to define the work to be performed, deadlines, compensation, and materials used. It includes an estimate for the overall costs and terms for how much the estimate may vary.
You’ll need to do all of the proper research and homework first, but this template will give you a head-start and a good framework.
This Work Order Template has been optimized to be useful in the maximum number of situations possible.
In the service and maintenance industry, such as in large organizations, the Work Order is used internally. This can be between one department and another, or from members to a collective group, such as from residents of a high rise condo building to the HOA, or Home Owner’s Association maintenance department. It can also be used as a tool for students or faculty to request highly defined types of work from the RA (Residential Assistant) in dormitories, or to the Maintenance Advisor to a building.
On the maintenance side of things, you need to maximize efficiency as much as possible, so reusing the same maintenance contract is probably the best option for you. This Work Order template functions as that maintenance contract. The structure lets clients know exactly what materials and time resources will go into the project. Since it’s form-fillable, you can fill it electronically as a PDF, and then sign it, and send it to your clients. Using these electronic methods, the time to negotiate is significantly reduced, and you can even have automated requests which apply to specific tasks already pre-defined, ready to go.
This template allows you to define the smallest components of the work and include components that deal with the variation of the contract price and timing, the amount of raw material used, price assumed and quantity, the labor quantity and qualifications required. The maximum amount of definition is what allows scalability and re-use while protecting the liabilities of contractors involved and clients, regardless of what work the contract is applied to.
It’s important to note, however, that this work order form shouldn’t be appended with many different tasks. It’s always best to use it for a specific task, especially one that is commonly applied within your organization. Break down large tasks or projects into subtasks until the list of materials, resources, time, personnel, and definition of the tasks can generally fit onto a couple of sheets of paper or less. This way, when one subtask changes, it doesn’t require adjustments for the entire project, and instead only requires one re-issuing or amendment of the single work order form. This Work Order form includes a section for dependencies, so if it is a child of another document or a parent of another document, it will be clear right from within the Work Order front page.
In the IT Industry, work orders are highly structured documents that can be re-used for common types of operations. For this reason, they are highly scalable. They are commonly used to deploy common tools like servers, desktop computers, or email environments, for new users or guests. They can even be useful for developers who need to outsource code assignments to other groups or sub-organizations.
Whenever there are two separate parties that need to organize work between themselves, a Work Order is useful. Work Orders are very commonly used for RMA processes. (Return Merchandise Authorization). During this process, often times a customer may need to obtain expensive repairs for a physical device like a computer, instrument, or custom apparatus. When the contracted company receives goods, they may fill out a formal estimate, which will contain a Work Order.
When a client signs a work order, they authorize the contractor to perform the work as described within the work order. The variation in the work that may be performed is usually very well defined, to avoid disputes or issues with payment. For example, the cost totals and possibly subtotals should be defined with a “+/-” variation, expressed in a percentage, or in absolute terms. If the costs should vary significantly, work orders commonly state that the work will not continue, without further approval from the client.
The process of making a work order can be standardized within an organization, and can lead to great efficiency benefits. As an electrician, plumber, or general contractor, for example, you can re-use this form over and over, and save valuable time, while still making sure that each requirement is fulfilled.
In a dispute situation, a work order is a primary document that says exactly how much materials were allowed to be consumed for a specific task, or during a specific period. If the work order says that there was a limitation on fuel, lumber, or labor of a specific type for the contract, and this limit was exceeded, a standard procedure of notification to the relevant parties and subsequent approval should have been followed. If this approval process was not followed, the liability for cost overruns is clear, and the other parties are protected from these costs.
Whether you are a client party, a contractor, student and faculty, or you work in a large organization, a work order form should be one of the primary forms used in day-to-day operations. It is almost always better to have a signed, legal document, which describes even small amounts of work to be done than to not have such a document. It’s so easy today to implement as well, with electronic forms being just as valid as paper forms, and electronic signature automation decentralizing processes and allowing even small organizations to remove limits on scalability.
Try the Work Order form today and see how easy it is to protect the clients, contractors, supply chain, inventory, and projects in your organization. It’s generalized as much as possible to fit a wide variety of use cases, while still including specific language which protects the contracting and work-performing parties from losses and liability.