What's the difference between a maintenance work request and a work order?

work request is submitted by your staff or customers to request that work be performed on an asset.

work order, on the other hand, is an authorization from your maintenance planner to perform maintenance tasks. When work requests are submitted and approved, work orders are created.

From work request to work order

When a work request is submitted, management (often a maintenance planner) determines whether to approve them. Some of the considerations that may come up when approving requests include:

  • Current budget
  • Asset criticality
  • Existing maintenance plans for the asset
  • Age of the asset
  • Severity of the issue being reported

If it would make sense to perform the requested work, then a work order is created. On the other hand, if performing work on that asset wouldn’t be advisable after considering the above issues, the request may be rejected.

This process allows you to control what work you perform in your facility. If every work request were to be completed, you’d spend a lot of time on unnecessary tasks. By handling request and orders separately, you can focus on your priorities.

Fulfilling work orders

Now, once a work request is approved, a work order is created. Work orders outline:

  • The work to be done
  • The name of the requesting party
  • Location
  • Due date
  • The party who will complete the order
  • Necessary parts, documents, and so on

At this point, the requested work has become mandatory—someone’s supposed to do it, and if they don’t, it will be reflected in your records.

Tracking work orders and work requests

As you complete work orders, you’ll want to track them. Doing so is key to improving reliability at your facility since it gives you insight into the following metrics:

The easiest way to manage your work orders and track these metrics is with a CMMS. Currently, about 53% of facilities use computerized systems to handle their maintenance, and they streamline work order management significantly.

Want to keep reading?

Good choice. Here are some similar articles!

Schedule Compliance | What Is Schedule Compliance?

Schedule compliance is a maintenance metric that measures the percentage of time that scheduled work orders are completed in time.

Work Order Management Software Explained

Work order management software is a database for work orders, facilities requests, and action plans.

How to Transition from Paper Work Orders to a CMMS

If your facility currently uses paper work orders, transitioning over to a CMMS can save time and money, while also helping you improve reliability.


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