Maximo Work Order System | What Is It And How Is It Done?

5 Min Read

Table of contents

    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    In contemporary times, maintenance work, and even entire maintenance management systems, are usually supported by sophisticated computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) software and Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software.

    A well-known example of EAM software which is widely used is ‘IBM Maximo’. EAM software like IBM Maximo is an essential resource for modern companies to help manage maintenance operations for either an individual asset or group of assets. An organization that is supported by CMMS or EAM can see a reduction in costs and an increase in the efficiency of its assets (due to properly-timed maintenance). One feature of Maximo is the ability tocreate ‘work orders’, which underpin and manage maintenance efforts as we shall now see.

    What Are Work Orders?

    Before discussing work orders, it is important to first discuss another important component of maintenance: job plans. In the realm of maintenance, job plans form the backbone of maintenance operations – they contain information on the labor required/estimated labor hours, materials, tools, and other services required. Job plans are formulated and applied once a work order has been received. When job plans are applied to work orders, they become apart of the work planning schedule.

    Work orders, simply put, are a task (or series of tasks) which are either generated within an organization, or are an assignment/request from someone else (an external customer). Concerning maintenance operations, work orders are formal requests for work to begin. Work orders will usually contain information about who is responsible for the execution of the task, when the execution of this task must begin and end, and the locations of the entities which will require work.

    However, work orders are more than just a maintenance task assignment; work orders also serve as a vital record of previous maintenance operations. When combined with CMMS and EAM software, work orders form a core component of the entire maintenance management system. Thus, with the help of EAM and CMMS software, any new work order which is generated will contain the maintenance history of the relevant asset. Of course, this work order record of previous maintenance tasks is essential for both the current work order and any new work order created in the future. Additionally, the work order record is also essential if maintenance work has to be performed on assets which are in different locations.

    Besides providing the maintenance history for an asset, work orders also enable a company to track several aspects of a maintenance operation. Work order tracking includes the following items: the type of labor being performed, which materials are being used, which tools are required/are currently being used, and the overall status of the work order; work order tracking also allows maintenance teams to assign priority rating to individual tasks within the work order.

    Now, different work orders can be generated according to the type of maintenance work which needs to be carried out. Let’s discuss these individual work orders in turn.

    A general work order is generated for any maintenance task that is not classified as either preventive maintenance or corrective maintenance. Thus, a general work order can include tasks such as putting up new equipment, or taking away old equipment.

    Preventive maintenance work orders are among the most important that a company can create. The goal of preventive maintenance is to ensure that an asset (or group of assets) do not deteriorate over time. In many instances,preventive maintenance saves a company absorbent costs in the long-run because: preventive maintenance is an excellent strategy to reduce downtime, and costs are saved by having to not replace an asset on account of regular up-keep. Thus, any preventive maintenance taskwill focus on preserving and extending an assets life span.

    An inspection work order can be requested after a set amount of time has elapsed. Inspections will be the responsibility of the maintenance technician. Following these inspections, a technician can create work orders should maintenance work be required.

    An emergency work order is generated in the event of unexpected asset breakdown. Of course, the breakdown must be fixed as soon as possible. Upon completion of the required maintenance work , the technician will submit an update on the work order with relevant details, including why the emergency work order had to be created in the first place and how the breakdown was fixed. As mentioned previously, this additional information added to the work order will be used for future maintenance operations.

    Finally, corrective maintenance work orders are carried out if a technician discovers any issues during the execution of a general work order, preventive maintenance work order, or emergency work order. Corrective maintenance is characterized by a technician discovering a problem with an asset before it leads to a breakdown; thus, it is possible to submit a plan for corrective maintenance (which is different to both preventive and emergency maintenance). During corrective maintenance work orders, the technician will identify the issue with an asset and correct it. Upon completion of the task, the technician can update the work order with this additional information.

    So far, we have discussed what type of work orders most EAM and CMMS software are capable of producing. Now, we can discuss how the IBM work order system works in particular.

    How Does the IBM Work Order System Work?

    Customer Work Orders

    The IBM work order system is capable of associating work orders with a particular customer. This customer-work order association is especially helpful for maintenance work as the work order will contain information pertaining to the needs of the customer – for example, the type of assets requiring maintenance and the location of these assets. This is particularly useful if maintenance work has to be completed in more than one location. With this information about asset type and location on hand, it is easier to create a job plan. Regarding which users have access to the work order, this is left to the discretion of the customer.

    Price Schedules

    Once a customer is associated with a work order, it is possible to create a price schedule in the work order application. A price schedule will calculate the total cost of the work order. These costs will include: labor, tools, materials, and any other service transactions.

    Response Plans

    As part of maintenance management, it is possible to assign response plans to similar work orders over time. As a new work order assignment is created, an organization can match the conditions of the work order with an already formulated response plan, which ultimately saves time and allows for repeatable actions. Response plans will typically contain information about the customer and assign priority to certain tasks. Important to note here is that job plans for a work order will not be replaced by a response plan.

    Cost Transactions and Estimation

    IBM Maximo’s work order system also enables an organization to provide cost transactions and estimations to their clients once a work request or service request has been received. When a request has been logged, the costs for the job can be estimated (again, these costs will include labor, materials, and any other service charges). Upon receipt of the cost estimation, the customer will determine if work can begin on the service request.

    Price Quotes

    Maximo’s work order system is also capable of formulating price quotes to bill a customer before work begins. Price quotes are used to provide quotes on billing, service charges, and quoted prices to the customer or clients. This is slightly different to price scheduling; in fact, price quotes are only applicable if the work order allows. If the work order does not allow price quotes, scheduling prices are used instead.

    Objectives of Maximo Work Order System

    Generate Service Request

    While work orders are usually generated in the work order tracking application, service requests are handled via the ‘Service Requests’ application. When clients/customers create a service request, they are responsible for including which assets will require servicing as well as their locations. After this service request has been received, service desk agents determine what actions are to follow (such as requesting more data to be provided or delegating the task to the appropriate person). Once an ‘owner’ of the service request is decided on, it will become their responsibility to complete and manage all tickets associated with the request. Similar to work orders for customers, the customer also determines which parties (such as users, groups, or vendors) will have access to the service request and work order.

    Job Plans

    We mentioned earlier that job plans form a critical stage of the maintenance planning process. Specifically, job planning in Maximo will consist of estimates for the following: labor time and the sort of labor needed (it is also worth noting that the work order can also specify if specialist labor is required), the materials needed, the tools required, when the task must begin and be completed by, and any other services’ transactions relating to the request.

    Create Work Schedule

    When a work order has been received, creating a job plan and work schedule to execute the order follows. IBM’s work order system also helps to manage a work schedule because the details about the maintenance task will be available for the appropriate users and vendors; this includes the site location, when maintenance work will begin and end by, the labor required, and the materials and tools needed.

    Monitor Work Progress And Regular Follow Up

    With the IBM’s work order system, monitoring the overall status of a current maintenance project has never been easier. Should the maintenance project not be proceeding according to plan, it is possible to quickly react to this by updating the work order. It was mentioned earlier that creating a new work order automatically presents a record of previous maintenance work. Not only is this resource useful for performing regular follow up tasks, a work order record is essential for preventive maintenance and to ensure future services are performed at the correct time.

    Preventive Maintenance

    Completing preventive maintenance tasks is made easy with Maximo! Preventive maintenance, as discussed earlier, consists of maintenance services being carried out to extend the lifespan of an asset before it suffers an unexpected breakdown. Performing preventive maintenance is made easier with IBM’s work order tracking application. There are a few reasons for this – firstly, when creating a new work order, data about previous maintenance services will be included. This will include site location, the tools needed, and when maintenance was last performed. Essentially, this enables creating new work orders quickly and efficiently for either an organization or customer. When completing preventive maintenance tasks, the technician will schedule a future maintenance inspection.

    How To Create A Work Order In Maximo?

    Creating a work order in Maximo is a simple procedure! The first step in creating a work order is to specify whether the work request is for maintenance or for a breakdown (this must be entered into the description field). Following this, the following values must be specified: in the ‘site field’, the model number of the resource or asset must be entered; in the ‘asset field’, the serial number of the same asset must be entered; and finally, in the ‘service address’, the location (or locations) of the assets must be entered.

    Now, if a maintenance work order has been requested, the following values must be additionally specified: the scheduled start timestamp, and the actual start timestamp. Finally, should you be creating a work order for a breakdown, the only values which need to be additionally specified is the breakdown timestamp in the ‘Reported Date’ field.


    IBM Maximo’s work order system is a crucial component of effective Enterprise Asset Management (EAM). Its features streamline maintenance operations, from initial service requests through completion and follow-up. Key benefits of the system include:

    • Optimized asset management: Detailed work orders with historical data promote efficient preventive and corrective maintenance, maximizing asset lifespans and reducing downtime.

    • Customer service enhancement: Customer-specific work orders, price schedules, and quotes enable tailored services and transparent billing.

    • Process efficiency: Job plans, work schedules, and progress monitoring tools within work orders help keep maintenance projects on track.

    Companies that invest in comprehensive EAM solutions like IBM Maximo and effectively utilize their work order systems can experience significant gains in operational efficiency and cost reduction.
    Navigating through IBM Maximo Work Order System? Get in touch with Banetti. Banetti, a trusted Maximo consulting partner, helps enterprise companies seamlessly implement IBM Maximo. Embrace the power of Maximo, partner with Banetti, and embark on a journey towards unparalleled facilities management excellence.

    Learn more.

    Scroll to Top