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Creating and Managing Work Orders

This article will help you understand the need and the importance of the work orders module.
R
Rashmi Kashyap
6 Jul, 2020 - Updated 9 months ago

Introduction to Work Orders

The work to be performed on a customer asset, or a service to be completed as per customer’s request are considered as Work Orders.

In Vtiger CRM, you can use the Work Orders module to create and manage work orders and add service appointments.

Moving forward in this article, you will understand how to create a work order and how the Work Orders integrate with Cases, Service Contracts, and other modules.

Benefits

Work Orders empowers your field services team to, 

  • create appointments for your onsite services

  • manage implementation and repairs

  • perform maintenance

  • track the time spent on each service

Feature Availability and Limits

Sales Starter

Sales Professional

Sales Enterprise

One Professional

One Enterprise

Feature Availability

Work Orders

-

-

-

-

Taxes and Discount Availability

Group Taxes

-

-

-

-

Individual Taxes

-

-

-

-

Group Discount

-

-

-

-

Individual Discount

-

-

-

-

Use Cases

  1. Preventive maintenance services

Maintenance services are scheduled on a periodic basis to prevent the failure of a product. Schedules are planned based on time or usage, and resource planning is done based on a maintenance schedule. Preventive maintenance services are usually linked to a service contract where the terms of service and rates are agreed upon.

Examples - Water purifier maintenance, Appliances service, Lawn services, Car services, Hardware services, Server maintenance services, Software services, etc.

 

Note: A service can be either remote or onsite service. Remote maintenance services are usually related to software services.

To learn more about creating a planned maintenance Work Order, click here.

  1. On-demand product services

On-demand support services include breakdown maintenance to fix an issue with a product or custom services provided by the service provider.

Examples - Laptop repair, A/C repair, installation services, etc.

To learn more about creating an on-demand service request, click here.
 

Note: Work Orders are not appropriate for jobs or projects that have multiple tasks. In such cases, you should use the Projects, Project Milestones, or the Tasks module in Vtiger CRM.

Relationship with Other Modules

  • With Cases

A work order is usually created from a case or a service contract. You can associate a work order with offsite or onsite service based on the industry or the type of service. 

For example, the Operations team provides IT services offsite, whereas a field service agent conducts repair services onsite.

To know more about Cases, click here.

  • With Timelogs

Agents can log time on the assigned work order using a timer with a start and stop function. A Work Order captures necessary details for an agent to complete a job.  When a Work Order is linked to timelogs, it is easy to monitor the time spent by the agent to finish the job.

  • With Service Appointments

Jobs that need to be performed at the customer site can be scheduled using Service Appointments.

Agents can track their daily agenda through Service Appointments and use navigation buttons to reach customer location: Check-in and Check-out actions on the appointment record help in monitoring the time spent on the job. On completion of work, the agent signs off and generates the invoice from the Work Order.

To know more about Service Appointments, click here.

Note: Creating a service appointment means creating an event related to a work order.

 
  • With Service Contracts

Service contracts can create Work Orders. A service contract is a support agreement between the service provider and the customer. It will contain the warranty period, SLA, and other details. The created work order will inherit all these details. The agent must create a timelog for the time he spends on work orders linked to a service contract.

  • With Assets

If a Work Order is created from a service contract, the Asset linked to the Service Contract gets linked to the Work Order by default. All the details present in the Asset and the Service Contract get linked to the Work Order. Assets are nothing but the products owned by the customer. 

To know more about Assets, click here.

  • With Invoices

A Work Order can be created from an invoice. It simply means that the work to be done in that work order is charged. After an agent completes his work, it will be invoiced and billed to the customer.

To know more about Invoices, click here.

List View in Work Orders

By default, the List View is the screen that is visible when you click the Work Orders module. This view sorts and lists all work orders based on the last modified work order.

  • Columns in List View

The columns that are visible by default in the List View are :

  • Subject - Displays the name of the work order.

  • Status - Displays the current status of the work order.

  • Priority - Displays the priority set for the work order. It can be Urgent, High, or Low.

  • Contact Name - Displays the name of the contact linked to the work order.

  • Total - Displays the charge that the customer has to pay for availing the work order.

  • List actions

You can perform quick actions such as Edit, Delete, Export, Comment, etc. on the work order’s records in the List View.

To learn more about List View actions in Vtiger CRM, click here.

Ways to view a Work Order

  • Summary View

Summary View is the view that appears when you click a particular record from the List View. Summary View displays a collection of all key information for the selected record.

Summary View displays data in different sections for easy viewing. 

Each section allows you a particular functionality.

  • Summary View actions

    • Follow: You can follow a work order record to get updates on all the activities performed on that record.

    • Tags: You can add tag names to a record to identify the record easily.

    • Reminder: You can set a reminder to follow up on the work order.

    • Print: You can print a work order or save it as a PDF for future references.

    • Duplicate: You can duplicate a current record and have all the details reflected in a new record.

    • Delete: You can delete a record by clicking this button.

  • Work Order document

    The generated work order, along with the template, is displayed here.

  • Do button

    When you click on the Do button on the right-hand top corner of the Summary View, you will see the following:

    • Reach out now -You can get in touch with the contact via Email, Call, or SMS.

    • Reach out later - You can schedule an email, event, or task with a contact.

    • Add or Create - You can add or create other modules related to a work order.

    • Share - You can share the work order as a link or as an attachment.

  • Widgets

    • One View - All the modules related to the work order are displayed here. 

    • Activity-All the activities made on the work order are displayed here. Here you can add comments related to the work order, and also, by enabling the Updates toggle in the Filters button, you can see the recent updates on the record.

    • Tasks - All the tasks related to the work order are displayed here. You can also do a new task from here by clicking the + button.

    • Service Appointments - All the onsite meetings and services related to the work order are displayed here. You can also create a new service appointment from here by clicking the + button.

    • Analytics -You can view all the metrics related to the work order in the form of charts, mini-lists, etc. You can also create new ones here.

    • Timelogs - You can keep track of the time spent on a work order here. To create a new time log, click the + button.

    • Documents - You can create a new document or add an existing document to the work order. All the related document details are displayed here.

    • Sales Ops - You can view the invoices linked to the work order or create a new invoice.

    • Settings - You can change the template of the work order here.​​​​

  • Deep Dive View

You can view and edit all the information about the work order record by clicking the Deep Dive button in the Summary View of the record.

Important Fields in Work Orders 

Field name

Description

Subject

Mandatory field
Displays the title of the work order.

Status

Mandatory field
Displays the status of the work order. You can select from the following:

  • New: It is a newly created work order.

  • Assigned: It is assigned to a field service agent.

  • In Progress: The field service agent is working on this work order.

  • On Hold: The work order has been paused momentarily, waiting for a response from the customer.

  • Completed: The work order is completed.

  • Cancelled: The work order is finished.

Organization Name

Displays the organization to which the work order is associated with.

Contact name

Displays the name of the contact related to the work order.

Assigned To

Mandatory field
Displays the user or the group to whom the work order is assigned.



 

Note

  1. Completed, Canceled, and On hold are closed states. If they are reopened, the Work Order status will change to New.

  2. If a Work Order is created from a case, then fields like Contact Name, Organization Name, etc., will be derived from the case to the work order. 

Other fields in Work Orders

  • Work Order basic information:

    • Priority - Displays the priority of the work order. This field contains three options to choose from:

      • Low

      • High

      • Urgent

    • Case - Displays the parent case.

    • Service Contract - Displays a  particular service contract record. (This field can be derived from Cases, if applicable.)

    • Asset - Displays the product associated with the selected service contract.

    • Work order description - Displays the other details related to the work order. (This can be the same as Cases summary, if applicable.)

  • Work Order Service Details:

The field values are derived from the case if the work order is generated from a case.

  • Service type - Displays the type of service that must be carried out. This field contains four options to choose from:

    • Scheduled Maintenance 

    • Service Request 

    • Incident 

    • Implementation

  • Service location - Displays the location where the service has to be done. This field has two options to choose from.

    • Remote 

    • Onsite 

  • Client location - Displays the customer’s address.

  • Scheduled Start date time - Displays the tentative date when work must start.

  • Planned duration - Displays the time duration of the work.

  • Invoiced - Displays whether an invoice has been created and charged to the customer for the work done.

  • Item Details:

    • Products (Parts) - Displays the products to which the agent can add any part replacement cost as a part of Work order fulfillment.

    • Services (Labor) - Displays the list of services included in the work order. The value depends on the type of service. If it is derived from a case, the service selected is included in the line item.

  • Terms & Conditions:

Displays the terms and conditions.

Creating a Work Order

You can create a work order from its List View or from cases that are in progress:

  1. From Work Orders’ List View 

You can use the +Add Work Order button to create a work order.

Follow these steps to create a work order:

  1. Click the Menu icon.

  2. Go to the Inventory tab. 

  3. Select the Work Orders module.

  4. Click the +Add Work Order button.

  5. Fill in all the necessary details.

  6. Click Save.

  1. From Cases

You can create a work order from a case using the Do button. This option provides a way to add a work order either by creating from scratch or by duplicating one of the recently created work orders.
Follow these steps to add a work order from Do button in cases:

  1. Click the Menu icon.

  2. Go to the Support tab.

  3. Select the Cases module.

  4. Open a case.

  5. In the Summary View, click the Do button on the right top corner of the screen.

  6. Click Add or Create button.

  7. Click on Work Orders.

  8. Enter the necessary details.

  9. Click Save.

This newly created work order would be linked to the case. It is visible in the Sales Ops widget in the Summary View of the record.

Note:

  1. Work Orders can also be created from Service Contracts and Assets.

  2. All the work orders created can be automated to get approved by the manager. To learn how to create an approval, click here.

  1. For planned maintenance request 

A planned maintenance work order is nothing but a scheduled appointment. Here is the process flow for planned maintenance work order:

  1. A work order is created from the service contract with Service type as Scheduled Maintenance

  2. The location is set to Onsite or Remote based on the location of the service.

  3. When a service is completed, the number of service requests pending for the customer is reduced. 

  4. Any part replaced to fulfill the service request is billed as the part (product) cost as per the price book.

  5. Any additional service performed during the service request is billed as the service cost (labor) as per the price book.

 

Note: Service appointments can be generated from a service contract and scheduled based on the terms of service. Here work orders are not included.

  1. For on-demand service request

Vtiger process flow for on-demand service requests:

  1. A case is created to register the request with Service type as Service Request

  2. A work order is initiated from the case and dispatched to fulfill the service request and linked to service. 

  3. The location is set to Onsite or Remote based on the location of the service.

  4. The service (labor) is billed according to service cost defined in the price book.

  5. Any additional service performed during the service request is billed at the service cost as per the price book.

Adding Line Items to a Work Order

You can add new Line Item records for a new product or service, or you can add a new section in the existing work order by editing the Item Details block.
Each line item in a work order represents the work to be completed and the products that are needed or replaced to finish the job.

  • How to add a new Product or Service

    Follow the steps mentioned below to add line items to a record:

    • Click the Menu icon.

    • Go to the Inventory tab.

    • Select the Work Orders module.

    • Click +Add Work Order and 

    • Fill the necessary details.

    • Click Save.

    • Open a recently created work order.

    • Click Edit.

    • Go to the Item Details block.

    • Click Add row.

    • Select the Product or Service.

You can add any product or service of your choice to the work order and define the taxes. Refer to the Work Orders Configuration section in this document to understand Tax management, Price books, etc.

  • How to add a new Section

    Follow the steps mentioned below to add line items to a record:

  1. Click the Menu icon.

  2. Go to the Inventory tab.

  3. Select the Work Orders module.

  4. Select a work order. 

  5. Click the Deep Dive button.

  6. Go to the Item Details block.

  7. Click Add Section.

Did you Know?

Vtiger has smart search functionality. You can pull up a particular product by entering the first three characters of the product name in the Type to search bar or by clicking the product button. You can then select the product from the list of all available products.

Work Order Configuration

You can configure fields like Taxes, Tax regions, Shipping Charges (if any), and Terms and Conditions from the Settings > Inventory Management section. 

Note: Only those with the Admin role can configure these fields.

Refer to the Tax Management article to learn how to set up taxes and other configurations. 

  1. Tax regions: You can set up taxes based on a region. Regions are set up in the Tax Settings screen.

  2. Currency: It is the same as the currency defined in a deal. Work order line item currency is the same as record level currency by default. If the currency is changed from the Configure button, it will reflect on all the line items.

  1. Tax mode:

  1. Group Taxes: If there are multiple products or services in the inventory, group taxes help in populating tax rates according to specific tax calculations.

  1. Individual Taxes: You can enable this option while creating a work order. You can apply taxes for individual items in a work order by clicking the Configure button in the work order. 

 

Note: The default Tax mode is set based on the option set in the Tax Management page by the administrator. This can be overridden on a Work Order level from the Work Order Configuration pop up.

 
  1. Price Books: Price Books allows you to define different prices for your products and services. Prices of these items can vary anytime, depending on the customers and their needs. 

There are two ways in which you can add a price book to the line items in a work order:

  1. You can add a price book that will apply to all the line items by clicking the Configure button and selecting the price book.

  2. You can add different prices for individual line items by clicking the Price Book icon.

When a Price Book is selected or changed, the system updates the unit price for all line items based on only one of the selected Price Book, i.e., either the group price or the individual price.

To know more about Price Books, click here.

  1. Discounts

You can apply two types of discounts on the line items in a work order:

  1. Group Discounts: Similar to Group Taxes, Group Discounts are applied to products or services at the work order level.

  1. Individual Discounts: Contrary to group discounts, Vtiger CRM provides you the option of applying discounts on an individual item based on its List Price. 

  1. Shipping Charges: Shipping Charges is the additional amount charged by the company’s sales team for shipping the product to the customer.

  1. Adjustments: This option allows you to round off the total amount to the next value or the previous value based on the decimal number.

 

Note: You can customize and add or remove fields by going to Settings > Module Layouts and Fields.

Logging Time for a Service

Field service agents can log time to track the number of hours spent on a particular client.

Here are a few situations for which time can be logged:

  1. Log time for a Case

An agent can start or stop a timer to log the time spent on a case. The total time spent on a case can be used for invoicing the service related to the case.

  1. Log time for a Work Order

An agent can start or stop a timer to log the time spent on a work order. You can use the total time spent while invoicing the service related to the work order.

  1. Log time for a Service Appointment

An agent can check-in once he reaches the work location and starts the work. On completion of the work, he can check-out and add a service completion note. Time spent on the service is added as a time log entry related to the work order and appended to the total time spent on the work order.
 

Note: You cannot start a timer on a closed work order record but, you can link an existing timelog record to a closed record.

  

Actions Possible on a Work Order

You can perform the following actions on or from a work order:

  • Creating a service appointment

You can create a service appointment from work orders for onsite services and meetings.

Follow these steps to create a service appointment:

  1. Click the Menu icon.

  2. Go to the Inventory tab.

  3. Select the Work Orders module.

  4. Select a work order record.

  5. Click the Service Appointments widget on the side panel.

  6. Click the + icon.

  7. Fill in all the mandatory fields.

  8. Click Save to schedule the appointment.

    • Click Save and Continue to enter other information.

  • Sharing a work order 

You can share a work order with a customer by sending a link to the work order or by sending the work order itself as an attachment.

  1. As a link

    Follow these steps to share the work order as a link:

    1. Click the Menu icon.

    2. Go to the Inventory tab.

    3. Select the Work Orders module.

    4. Select a work order record.

    5. Click the Do button in the Summary View.

    6. Select Share.

    7. Select Share as link.

    8. A mail compose window opens with the work order link.

    9. Enter the recipient's details and click Send.

  2. As an attachment

  Follow these steps to share the work order as an attachment:
  1. Click the Menu icon.

  2. Go to the Inventory tab.

  3. Select the Work Orders module.

  4. Select a work order record.

  5. Click the Do button in the Summary View.

  6. Select Share.

  7. Select Share as attachment.

  8. A mail compose window opens with the work order attachment.

  9. Enter the recipient's details and click Send.

 
  • Generating related documents

    1. Adding documents

Use Vtiger’s Documents module to solve the problems of organizing and sharing! It acts as a repository for all the documents that you create or those shared with you by your customers or sales team.  

Follow these steps to add a document:

  1. Click the Menu icon.

  2. Go to the Inventory tab.

  3. Select the Work Orders module.

  4. Open a work order record.

  5. Click the Do button in the Summary View.

  6. Click the Add or Create button.

  7. Select Documents.

  8. Here, you see three options on your screen:

    1. Select Documents

      1. If you want to add an existing document, select this option.

      2. Hover over a record in the list of all existing documents to display the radio buttons.

      3. Click the radio button on the left side of the record to select a record.

      4. Click the Add Selected button present below the list.

    2. Create Documents

      1. If you want to add a new document, select this option.

      2. Fill all the necessary details.

      3. Click Save.

    3. Upload Documents

      1. If you want to upload a new document, select this option.

      2. Fill in all the fields.

      3. Click Upload.

The linked document will be seen in the Documents widget in the Summary View of the work order record.

To know more about documents, click here.

  1. Generating a timelog

Follow these steps to generate a work order:

  1. Click the Menu icon.

  2. Go to the Inventory tab.

  3. Select the Work Orders module.

  4. Open a work order record.

  5. Click the Do button in the Summary View.

  6. Select Add or Create.

  7. Select Timelogs.

  8. Fill in all the necessary details.

  9. Click Save to create the timelog.

    • Click Save and Continue to add more information.

The newly created timelog will be linked to the work order.

  1. Generating an invoice

An invoice is a non-negotiable itemized statement issued for the products or services rendered to the customer.

Follow these steps to generate an invoice:

  1. Click the Menu icon.

  2. Go to the Inventory tab.

  3. Select the Work Orders module.

  4. Open a work order record.

  5. Click the Do button in the Summary View.

  6. Click the Add or Create button.

  7. Click Invoices.

  8. Enter all the necessary details.

  9. Click Save to create the invoice.

This newly created invoice will be linked to the work order.

  1. Generate an esign document

Follow these steps to generate an Esign Document:

  1. Click the Menu icon.

  2. Go to the Inventory tab.

  3. Select the Work Orders module.

  4. Click the Do button in the Summary View.

  5. Select Add or Create.

  6. Select  Esign Documents.

  7. Fill in all the necessary details.

  8. Click Save to create the esign document.

    • Click Save and Continue to add more information.

The esign document will be created and linked to the work order.

  • Export

Exporting is a process of saving the work order as a PDF in the local machine or sending the work order link as a PDF via email.

Follow these steps to export a work order:

  1. Click the Menu icon.

  2. Go to the Inventory tab.

  3. Select the Work Orders module.

  4. In the List View, hover over any work order record to display the radio button on the left side.

  5. Click the radio button.

  6. Click the Export button.

  7. Select any one of the following options:

    1. Export Selected Records - This option will export only the selected records.

    2. Export data in current page - This option will export the records on the current page.

    3. Export all data - This option will export all the data in all the pages of the Work Orders module.

The exported record will be saved on your local system. 

  • Print

    Printing is a process of obtaining the work order as a hard copy.

Follow these steps to print a work order:

  1. Click the Menu icon.

  2. Go to the Inventory tab.

  3. Select the Work Orders module.

  4. Open a work order record.

  5. Click the More button.

  6. Click the Print button.

  7. You can perform any of the below options:

    • Edit & Export - You can edit the work order and export it to your local system.

    • Email with PDF - You can email the work order record as a PDF to the contact.

    • Print - You can print the work order and keep a hard copy.

    • Save as PDF - You can save the work order as a PDF on your local system.

When you try to print a work order, you can see that the work order has been presented in a certain template. Vtiger CRM offers a set of templates to select if the default template is not according to your liking.

How to change the template of the work order? 

There are two ways to change the template of a work order, from the Print Work Order screen and from the Settings widget.

  1. Print Work Order screen

Follow these steps to change the template of a work order from the Print Work Order screen:

This is a temporary change and will last only until the work order is printed.

  1. Click the Menu icon.

  2. Go to the Inventory tab.

  3. Select the Work Orders module.

  4. Open a work order record.

  5. Click the More button.

  6. Click the Print button.

  7. Select the template you want from the list of all templates.

  8. You can perform any of the below options:

    1. Edit & Export - You can edit the work order and export it to your local system.

    2. Email with PDF - You can email the work order record as a PDF to the contact.

    3. Print - You can print the work order and keep a hard copy.

    4. Save as PDF - You can save the work order as a PDF on your local system.

  1. Settings widget

Follow these steps to change the template of the work order from the Settings widget:

This is a permanent change and will be applied to the work order immediately.

  1. Click the Menu icon.

  2. Go to the Inventory tab.

  3. Select the Work Orders module.

  4. Open a work order record.

  5. Go to the Settings Widget.

  6. Click the Template applied drop-down.

  7. Select the template of your choice.

The template will be applied to the work order instantly.

One View

One View widget is a one-stop destination to view all important modules related to work orders.

One View widget in the Work Orders module will show the following details:

  • Related Company details - Parent company’s details are shown in this widget.

  • Related Contact details  - Parent contact’s details

  • Related Cases - Related Cases details from which the work order is created

  • Related Assets - Related Asset details generated from the work order

  • Related Invoices - Related Invoices

  • Related Service Appointments - Related Service appointments generated for the work order

  • Related Documents - Documents related to the work order

  • Related Esign - Related Esign Documents generated by the work order

To learn more about One View, click here.

Creating Reports

The following reports can be created using Timelogs, Cases, Work Orders, Invoices, and Service appointments modules.

  • Time logged by Case

  • Time logged by Time period

  • Time logged by Work order

  • Cases related to Service Contract

  • Work orders related to Service Contract

  • Agent service visits report

  • Agent service calendar

  • Invoices due by Work order

To know more about Reports, click here.

Limitations

  • If a Work order is related to a Case, the used units of a service contract are updated when a Case is closed and not when a work order is closed. The admin has to find a way through workflows to achieve the same on completion of a work order.

  • Only one case can be invoiced at a time. Multiple cases are not available for invoicing.

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