A work request is a formal document (digital or paper) that describes maintenance work that needs completed.
The maintenance department is home to workers that are skilled in the upkeep of facilities, grounds, equipment, vehicles, and other assets. They are the caretakers of property and, as a result, support a variety of customer needs. These needs can quickly add onto regular, scheduled work such as routine cleaning and preventive maintenance. In order to manage and validate all tasks, maintenance must operate with a clear workflow.
A work request is the identification of work needed, issued by the customer to the maintenance department.
The key elements to a work request include (but are not limited to):
The more detailed a work request, the better. Detailed work requests help maintenance supervisors and managers turn a work request into a work order faster.
Work requests can be classified in several ways depending on the type of industry, size of business, and size of maintenance team. Some different types of maintenance requests are listed below.
The production manager of a fictional company, Food Packer ABC, submits a work request to their maintenance team with the following details:
In this example, the production manager is under pressure to get the company’s new packing line up and running within one week. The work request is submitted to maintenance with the goal of getting it converted to a work order. Certain parameters are included in the details and those need to be considered by maintenance before moving to the next step of the workflow.
The work request allows the maintenance department to ask the following questions:
In this scenario, the type of request can be considered a non-routine request, as it is a special project. That said, it is likely that the work request will be converted into a work order and the rest of the steps in the workflow will follow.
Instead of everything being turned into a work order, work requests serve as a “regulator” between desired work and assigned work. Everything must pass through a filter, whether that’s the supervisor, manager, or someone else. It improves prioritization and organization.
In our example with Food Packer ABC, the specific benefit to maintenance is that the expectations are made clear in the details section of the work order. These come in the form of the reason for the urgency, desired completion timeline, and allocated budget. If all parameters can be met, the assigned maintenance person will approve the work request and convert it to a work order. If not all parameters can be met, then the assigned maintenance person will have to communicate what is achievable with the requestor.