If you run an organization that implements technical projects regularly, you need to be familiar with a work order. This will make your maintenance projects, or fresh project implementation process an easy one.

Work orders give detailed instructions to service professionals regarding projects that need to be implemented. That way, they can make proper plans for the implementation of the project. 

For instance, a rental company will need to regularly create work orders for maintenance professionals to service tenants’ issues. The company may also need to create a work order for repairs or renovations after a tenant packs out of an apartment.

What is a Work Order? 

A work order is a formal document containing written instructions to a service professional or company about a task or project that needs to be done. It may also be created as a follow-up or audit of a task that has been completed in the past. Work orders can also be given within an organization.

For instance, an organization may have a service and maintenance department that handles technical issues and project implementations.

A real estate company that buys, sells and rent out properties on a large scale is likely to have in-house service professionals because of the frequent repairs implemented by the company. In this case, the work orders will be sent internally.


Types of Work Order 

Inspection Work Order

This is the process of checking the condition of tools or equipment and determining what is required to service them. Alternatively called maintenance inspection, it helps to ensure that equipment is working correctly, prevent downtime, and identify minor issues before they turn into something big.

A work order is usually sent to the maintenance inspector before this inspection is carried out. If you own a plant or manufacturing company, then you should have a maintenance inspection work order template for your business.

Preventive Maintenance Work Order 

A preventive maintenance work order is sent to service professionals to carry out preventive measures on the assets (machines, property, tools, etc.) of a company. The purpose of preventive maintenance is to increase asset lifetime by preventing excess depreciation and impairment or untimely breakdown.

This process includes adjustments, lubrication, cleaning, and parts replacements. 

Emergency Work Order 

An emergency work order is usually created when people, assets, or any important thing is under immediate threat. This order is usually to be completed immediately it is sent.

In most cases, having routine inspection and maintenance will prevent emergency cases.

Safety Work Order

A safety work order involves protecting laborers, inspectors, and other personnel from harm or injury. A safety work order is sent to implement safety measures against accidents that may occur during work. Some of the requests made in a safety work order include; repair of facilities to prevent hurting people, use of non-slippery tiles to prevent trips and falls, or chemical cleanups to avoid exposure to hazardous materials.

Electrical Work Order

 An electrical work order is sent to electrical engineers or companies that provide electrical wiring services to carrying out electricity-related projects. This includes the repair of the current apparatus, new installations, wiring, lighting, etc.

They may be required to perform any of the other types of tasks listed above.

Special Project 

A special project work order is sent for any project that may not include any of the work order types highlighted above. Unlike others, it is not a form of maintenance. Rather, it involves the implementation of something new which may include the installation of new assets, new technology, modernized operations, etc.

What is a Work Order Process?

Before the availability of online forms and enterprise resource planning software, the traditional way of giving a work order was through phone calls. However, phone calls do not define a legal agreement, which is why creating work order templates that can be sent either online or offline is commonly used today.

There are, however, different processes involved in creating a work order which may vary depending on the industry or organization. The processes involved in creating internal and external work orders are also slightly different from each other.

Before a work order can be sent to a service provider, some things need to be done. These things are part of the work order process.

Here is the general work order process:

  • Problem Identification

The problem identification phase is where the company identifies the need for work to be done. If the work that needs to be done is scheduled maintenance, the work may be identified through a scheduled notification alert.

In some other cases, it may be detected by an individual who is in charge of the asset in question.

  • Request For Quotation (RFQ)

After identifying that work needs to be done, what follows is a request for quotation. A request for quotation is sent to service providers who will implement the project or work.

Prospective clients may send an RFQ to multiple service providers at a time to compare their prices and service and choose which is best for the project implementation. 

  • Quotation

Service providers will send a quotation to prospective clients who makes a request. The quotation will include a description of the service they will be rendering to these clients and the price of acquiring this service.

It will be prepared along with a client’s request or project that needs to be implemented. If accepted, a work order will follow.

  • Work Order

A work order is sent by a prospective client to a service provider for the implementation of a project. It is usually sent as an acceptance of the quotation sent by a service provider. Some of the things included in a work order are; work descriptions, cost estimates, execution date, location information, etc.

  • Implementation

This is the process of getting the work done. The service providers implement the project after receiving the work order.

If the payment is to be made on an hourly basis, it is important to record the time spent executing the project.

  • Invoice

Once the work is done, and has been approved by the client, an invoice is sent by the service provider. The invoice is a document similar to the quotation but only sent after the implementation of a project.

Some organizations use the same template for a quotation and an invoice, with the difference being the heading of the document.

  • Payment

After receiving the invoices payment is made by the client to the service provider. This payment made through the process the method specified in the invoice or agreed upon by both parties. This payment may be done immediately or at a later date as stated in the agreement contract.

Consider the work order example below, from a real estate management company. 

  1. A tenant discovers a leakage in the water pipe in his apartment and needs it fixed. He or she calls the real estate company in charge of the apartment for help with fixing the leakage.
  2. The real estate company will log in the client request and work towards the tenant’s request. If the company has in-house technicians who can fix the damage, a work order will be sent to a technician to fix it immediately.

However, if they don’t, a request for quotation may be sent to a service provider who can fix the leakage. If the real estate company is satisfied with the quotation, a work order will be sent to the service provider.

  1. The technician from the real estate company goes to the tenant’s apartment to fix the issue. Once the work is completed, the tenant will inspect it, and report whether it is satisfactory or not.
  2. Once a satisfactory message is sent to the real estate company, the service provider may send an invoice to the company and get paid.

It is important to note that this case may only be relatable when the tenant pays a reparation fee along with the rental fee. If the tenant does not, an invoice will be sent to the tenant to pay for the reparation project done.


Online Form Templates Needed to Start a Work Order

Purchase Request Form Template

Once a work order is sent to an employee technician, a list of equipment or resources needed to complete the work will be created. The availability of the things I’m this list is what will determine whether a purchase will be made or not. If there is a need to purchase new items, a purchase request will be sent to the purchasing or accounting unit for funds to make these purchases.

This purchase request form template by Formplus will assist you in collecting information about goods and services needed to be purchased by different departments in your organization. 

Maintenance Request Form Template

A maintenance request form is a type of work order sent when there is a need to perform maintenance checks. With a maintenance request form template, you can make it easy for your tenants to create maintenance requests.

Transcript Request Form Template

A transcript request form can be used by graduates and undergraduates of an academic institution to request for their transcript. This request is usually made so that the school can process their transcript and send to them.

Florist Order Form Template

Running a flower shop? This florist order form will make it easy for your clients to send in their orders. Clients may and a work order to have flowers brought in and have them used to decorate their homes. 

General Request Form Template

Prospective clients can use the general request form to request for repairs, routine maintenance, project implementation, etc. This request form template can be created by service providers to make it easy for clients to send in their work orders.

Why Use Formplus for Work Orders 

  • Workflows & Approval

With workflows and approval, you can create a workflow for your team according to seniority or duty for specific projects. This workflow can also be used to manage effective communication inside the organization.

For example, a technician may send a purchase request form to the accounting department to fulfil a work order. The accountant may notice an omission in the form and send it back to the technician with comments to make corrections.

After making corrections, the form will be sent back to the accountant for approval and disbursement of funds.

  • Data Storage

Each work order sent by clients are stored safely in the Formplus cloud storage. You don’t have to deal with issues like missing files, preventing you from completing a client’s work order.

If there are discrepancies, you can always access the client’s work order to make confirmation.

  • Customization

Don’t just create basic work order templates. Create templates that visualize your brand using your fonts and colours.

  • Analytics

The Formplus analytics feature helps you gather useful insights from your work order form that will help your business. Have access to information like the number of form views, viewer’s location, devices, and abandonment rate.

That way, you can determine how many people are interested in your service, and also discover why some of them don’t end up sending you work orders.

  • Integration

Easily collaborate with team members and keep your information up to date with Formplus Google Sheets integration. Automatically update spreadsheets with data submitted through your forms without exporting or downloading data.

  • Assign Roles

You can assign roles to team members by giving either full or limited access to members to view and edit some files or folders. This will make collaboration easy among team members and allow them to work simultaneously on projects.

Uses of Work Orders  

  • Problem Explanation

Work orders explain the project that needs to be implemented. It gives the service provider detailed information about the work.

With the document, service providers can also check to confirm other details about the project in case they forget.

  • Project Schedule

It helps to create a schedule for how the project will be implemented, resources needed and the payment plan for the project. This schedule is what will be followed by the service company or technical professional assigned to the task.

  • Provide Instructions

Service providers or technicians are provided with detailed instructions on the kind of work that needs to be performed.

  • Documentation

A work order can be used for proper documentation of the labour, materials and resources used to complete the work. In case a reference needs to be made to past works during activity reports, they can easily be accessed by checking the work orders.

  • Activity Tracking

This can be very useful when doing follow-up checks on repairs or routine maintenance. You can easily predict the causes of asset damage in the future.

For example, a machine may have an emergency breakdown even though routine checks are done on the machine monthly. By checking the work order, one can easily track the kind of maintenance that has been done so far and probably discover that the oil has not been changed in 6 months.


How Do You Write a Work Order

Your work order letter should be simple, straightforward, and contain all the relevant information. For starters, group the information into four segments; contact information, the work details, problems, and assignees

Ensure you explain in detail what the requirements for the job are. Include priority levels, the job location, availability, etc.

What Should Be on a Work Order

Here are some important items you should definitely add to your work order letter;

1. Company name

2. Company address

3. Work Order Number:

4. Work order title:

5. Work order description

6. Priority level

7. Work location

8. Workers name

9. Name of sender

Difference Between a Work Order and Purchase Order

Although very similar, the difference between a work order and a purchase is rooted in their function. They have different functions in the business setting and is therefore used in separate situations.

A work order is a document usually sent by clients to service providers requesting that service be offered to them. The document includes include the client requesting the work, management authorization, the technician completing the work, and the deadline for completing the work.

Purchase order, on the other hand, is a document usually sent by buyers to suppliers or vendors for the purchase of some goods. This document issued to initiate a purchasing relationship between a buyer and a supplier, and may specify items like quantity, delivery schedule, and payment terms.

Unlike work orders, purchase orders are sent to an external vendor. It is not usually done on behalf of a client, like in the case of a real estate company sending work orders on behalf of tenants.

However, they can also be scheduled like maintenance repairs are done for creating work orders. An example is an annual equipment replacement purchase order from a service company.


Work orders were traditionally created using papers and word of mouth. To ease the process of creating work orders and simplifying the whole business process, Computerized Maintenance Management Softwares (CMMS) was created.

This software automates and streamlines the whole work order process. A cheaper alternative to the traditional method is the online work order form templates created by Formplus.

Formplus creates ready to use work order templates that can be customized, shareable, and made easily accessible to prospective clients. It factors in the dynamic nature of the organization and allows for easy collaboration among team members.

  • busayo.longe
  • on 12 min read


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