Note: This article was updated in March 2023 to reflect new features and strategies to help our clients better streamline their maintenance process.
Solving maintenance issues in the community is a vital part of your daily work as a manager or board member, but it can often be time-consuming too. Your work involves noting down requests from residents, reaching out to your vendors or in-house maintenance team, and scheduling work, all the while keeping residents updated.
Work order platforms, like Pilera, can help you streamline your maintenance process and offload many time-consuming tasks. Integrated work order and vendor management solutions reduce paperwork and inbound calls to the office, give your team real-time information, and help to reduce liability.
In this blog article, we will share 6 tips to help you reduce workload in your maintenance process through Pilera. By offloading many routine tasks, you can reclaim time to focus on more important projects.
In our latest client satisfaction study, our clients regained anywhere between $5K – $35K per employee per year in time savings, depending on the size of their company. Read on to discover tips to save your team time.
1) Encourage residents to submit maintenance requests
Answering phone calls about maintenance issues can take up a lot of time in your day. Giving your residents an easy, convenient way to submit maintenance requests can save time for your team. In Pilera, your residents can add a description and photo to their maintenance request. It eliminates a lot of back-and-forth communication and your team can start the maintenance work more quickly. As your team progresses through the work order, you can keep residents updated with comments in the portal and automatic email notifications. This eliminates the need for residents to call your office for an update.
2) Provide residents with instructions before they submit a ticket
Continuous back-and-forth communication about a resident’s work order can cause delays. Another way to save time is through ticket alerts in Pilera. Ticket alerts are instructions that you can add to the top of a work order submission. For example, many communities use this alert to provide instructions to submit a work order or inform residents to call the maintenance hotline for emergencies. This feature reduces your workload because it allows for more complete and accurate submissions.
3) Create work orders in bulk – New in 2023!
When you need to create multiple work order tickets at the same time, the new bulk ticket creation can be a time-saver! You can now power through your work faster and save time by creating tickets in bulk. There are two ways you can do this:
- You can use the “Duplicate” option if you have similar tickets you need to create at the same time. When using this feature, our system automatically populates the description, assignee, and other settings from your previous work order and you can adjust them if needed. For example, you can leverage this feature if you have a similar type of tickets that you need to create for different units/residents.
- Alternatively, you can save and create another ticket. This option enables you to create a new ticket after you’ve finished creating the current ticket.
4) Better communication with staff and vendors
Communication is vital to the success of your maintenance efforts. When you communicate effectively with other staff members and vendors, you can complete work on time and improve response times to residents. In our study, some of the biggest hurdles were communication-related. Back-and-forth emails with residents and staff made it difficult to find information. Furthermore, many managers would individually contact each vendor to let them know about work orders that needed to be completed.
There are 4 powerful features in Pilera that help your team improve communication internally, and with vendors and residents.
- Ticket assignment – You can assign work orders to other staff and vendors, so everyone knows who is responsible for what.
- Comments – Managers can communicate with each other directly on the work order as it progresses. All of the communications, along with status and assignment changes, are stored in Pilera with our audit-tracking feature. That way, no outdated information is passed around and you know what was done.
- Email notifications – Keep everyone informed on the work order as it progresses. When you update a work order, you can choose who gets notified.
- Email Reply Tracking (NEW in 2023) – When vendors reply to your work order email in Pilera, their response will automatically be tracked in the Message Center! With this new feature, you no longer need to search through long email chains to find out what a vendor said to you!
5) Create ticket comments for common responses
If you have common responses that you send to residents or other staff members, the ticket comment feature will save you time. These are common responses you can create for your staff to add as ticket updates. It saves your team time from repeating the same information across all your communities.
Here are a few common examples:
- Inform residents if a work order they submitted is not the responsibility of the association.
- Let other managers know that you’re still waiting for a response from the vendor.
- Let residents know that their work order has been approved, waiting on a part, or that the work order has been completed.
6) Distribute workload effectively with reports
When your team receives so many work order requests, they may start to feel overwhelmed. It’s important to evenly distribute the workload so you can help them perform their best.
Business analytics reports in Pilera help you to manage your employees’ workload more efficiently. It gives you a breakdown of all open and closed tickets by community and employee. These reports help you make decisions such as whether you need additional staff to handle a community or which employees have too many tasks.
Pilera also sends out a weekly automated report on new work orders and old work orders that aren’t complete. Through this report, your team can stay organized and avoid tasks from being forgotten.
In a fast-paced workplace like community management, it’s important to find creative ways to save your team time. Offloading tasks to technology platforms, no matter how big or small can give you hours back in your day. Through Pilera’s maintenance platform, you can organize work orders, improve communication, reduce response times, and ultimately, bring more efficiency to your team.
Connect with us
Already a Pilera user and want to learn more about our maintenance platform? Write to us at [email protected].