Thursday, 20 October 2011

Using work orders to manage production

Users often come to OfficeBooks looking for a way to better manage their inventory.  This is a common challenge for new businesses.  You can track inventory on a spreadsheet, but once you start using that inventory (to build your products), keeping your spreadsheet up to date can be a real challenge.

Work orders are useful for several reasons.  In a manufacturing environment, they are a tool that provides workers with a clearly defined task (Build 10 of product X, for example).   From a management perspective, work orders also provide you with a means to track and review planned, in progress, and completed production. 

Once a manufacturing work order is completed in OfficeBooks, the process of closing the work order automatically adjusts your inventory levels for your products and the sub components used to build it.

In a service environment, work orders are typically used in a different way.  Work orders (also known as service orders, repair orders, or maintenance orders) are issued for discrete tasks such as changing light bulbs or recurring tasks such as preventative maintenance on machinery.   The work order system within OfficeBooks was designed with manufacturing in mind, so some work is required on our part to offer better support for service work orders.  It's on our to do list and we will get it done. 

If there are specific things you would like to see from the work order system, we welcome your input.  Just drop us a line at

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