Service Orders in maintenance: Complete Guide

You must have heard the term Service Order in the industrial environment at some point in your life, right? But do you know how they work? 

Service Orders (OS) in maintenance are nothing more than a document that formalizes the work done by a team. 

This resource is fundamental in order to organize the business processes, ensuring better results for both the company and its employees.

It is therefore important to understand how they work and how they can influence the maintenance sector – and this is exactly what we will explain in this comprehensive guide. Enjoy!

What is a Service Order?

It is through the Service Order that there is a formalization of the work provided by the maintenance team. In this document a request is made to check the inspection of some part, component or equipment. 

It records detailed information about the task to be performed, the materials, the tools, the people responsible, and the equipment that will be used to do the work. 

Imagine a hypothetical situation where a pillow blocks’ plain bearing needs to be replaced. In this case, you can create a Service Order outlining the problem, the price of the repair, the priority, and the most suitable technician for the activity. All this stated objectively in a single document.

A Service Order is considered an indispensable guide for the proper functioning of the maintenance sector, as well as a historical record of occurrences, so it is important that it’s filled out correctly.  

Check out our complete guide to Maintenance Planning and Control

When they are filled out manually, they end up stuck between sectors or due to a large accumulation of papers. This type of delay impacts both the industry’s production and its management, due to the loss of information and of the SO itself. 

Imagine the following scenario: at the beginning of the week, the technician takes his printed Service Orders, performs the work, and takes his notes in a global way, without details about the activity, equipment or component.

When finished, the technician returns the sheets to the planner so that these activities are fed into some ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) or spreadsheet, for an evaluation of what has been done.  

But imagine all this in a large team, where it is necessary to keep track of what maintenance procedure is next and make sure it is performed on time. 

The planner will need to follow this whole process. Aside from knowing which machines will need inspection, he will also need to distribute SO’s to the team and ensure the sustainability of the production operation in the plant.  

The managers, on the other hand, need to ensure the availability of the equipment. In order to do this, detailed information is needed in the Service Orders, so that they help the workers in the best decision making and in the conduction of the sector. 

The SO to be performed needs to be scheduled by the maintenance worker or supervisor and often synchronized with the production team’s downtime. 

Everything you need to know about Maintenance Planning and Control (MPC)

For this reason, it is fundamental that the SO is well structured, with detailed information about the service to be carried out, which components are necessary to be checked, and the material to be used. 

What does a paper Service Order look like?

The great purpose of a Service Order is to guide the work, both in relation to the manager’s expectations and to what is expected of the team involved. With the help of this resource it is possible to control productivity, labor, and materials used in the provision of a task.

Knowing this, it is understood that the Service Order works as a request and an authorization by the responsible professional for the company to perform the task it needs. 

There are several types of Service Orders in maintenance, which can vary significantly according to the segment in which they are being directed. However, there are some standards to be followed that, together, configure a kind of “SO model”. They are as follows:

  • Request (collaborator) data;
  • Date of issue;
  • Document number (to distinguish each Service Order and simplify organization) – e.g. BC#32408;
  • Values (unit and total) and costs;
  • Signatures with job specification (of the applicant, the executor, and the occupational safety technician);
  • Detailed description of the processes with all the information to be performed;
  • Information on the equipment, labor, and procedures recommended to be used in the service;
  • Term of responsibility (defining the obligations of each party involved);
  • Service Order Review (field to keep the SO always up to date);
  • Operational risk (it is crucial that managers know these risks and seek to minimize them);
  • Personal protective equipment required to perform the work;
  • Preventive measures (according to work safety regulations);
  • Capabilities and skills that are required to perform each task.
Service Order

Service Order Automation

In the traditional way, paper Service Orders can be forgotten, generate an accumulation of delays, among other problems. Because of this, an alternative that arises is their automation, so they guarantee not only a simplification of the process, but also better results for the company. 

Nowadays, there are softwares and platforms that provide the service of automating SO, such as TRACTIAN’s CMMS, TracOS™.

In this tool there is a combination of online monitoring and asset management. This way, it’s possible to centralize processes, create, access and track Service Orders digitally. 

Find out the differences between Offline and Online Predictive Maintenance

This ensures not only more agility and productivity in the industry, but also improves management, budget control, response time between sectors, and reduces production interruptions.

With CMMS TracOS™, a work order can be automatically created when the asset is close to hitting 20,000 hours, i.e. close to the time of replacement.  

Service Order

By using the TRACTIAN software, erasures, paper piles, and the possibility of losing important information are left behind. The entire process of work order automation is simple and intuitive.

With it you can understand the right time to exchange parts and components. In addition, it is possible to follow the progress of the SO by reading a QR Code from an asset registered in the system.  

Qr code in progress

Want to learn more about automated Service Orders and the TRACTIAN platform? Schedule a demonstration and ask one of our experts all your questions.


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About the author:

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Lucas Dombroysk

FIAP Administrator graduated , with more than a decade of experience in the metalworking industry. Sales Account Executive at TRACTIAN and an expert in optimizing processes through technology.

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