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Work order assistant

Risk factor: Abnormal delay

How common is this problem?

Abnormal delay was reported in 30% of work orders flagged by the work order insights report.

Why did this happen?

The most common reasons a work order may have started later than usual include:

  • Unavailable parts or supplies: The parts or supplies required to complete the work order were not in stock and the work order couldn’t be started until they were available.
  • Unidentified problem or missing instructions: The full scale of the work was not properly represented in the work order or crucial details about the work were not included in the work order.
  • A conflicting maintenance project: An emergency work order may have diverted resources and technicians from this work.
  • A scheduling conflict with production: The work order couldn’t be started because production was running on a machine that couldn’t be serviced while active.
  • The wrong person/people were assigned to the job: The person or people assigned to the work order did not have the right skills or certifications to complete the work order or were not available to start the job because of illness, vacation, or another absence. This may have occurred because the wrong maintenance type was selected.

How worried should I be?

The severity of this issue depends on the piece of equipment. If the work order is for critical equipment, the danger is quite high. If that equipment breaks down because it didn’t get maintenance or if production is delayed, it could cost quite a bit. If the equipment isn’t critical, it’s still a problem, but it’s not as serious. The biggest danger is if the work order is upstream of a bigger project. If other work relies on this job, it could push everything back and cause backlog.

How can I fix it?

These are some common strategies you can use to reduce the risk associated with this work order and others like it:

Bolster your inventory management: Ensure the bill of materials associated with this work order is properly filled out and minimum quantities for critical spares are set up so you can be notified when quantities are low. Fiix Foresight’s parts forecaster may also help your team forecast the parts it’ll need for upcoming work so you can make sure you have everything you need.

Learn about Fiix Foresight’s parts forecaster

Fine-tune the instructions in the work order: Review your work order description, failure codes, and task list to ensure they are clear and inclusive of all crucial information. Attach photos, manuals, SOPs, or any other digital documentation to the work order so technicians are confident and equipped to start and complete the job.

Learn how to create tasks and attach files to tasks in Fiix

Assess user groups, assignments, and maintenance types: Align maintenance types with the right user groups and users so technicians with skills and credentials matching the job can be automatically assigned to the work order.

Learn how to create custom maintenance types in Fiix

Review timelines for the work order: Look at the suggested completion and the date completed fields to understanding if this is the appropriate amount of time for the type of maintenance flagged in the work order.

How have Fiix customers solved this issue?


A Fiix customer was finding that its preventive maintenance work orders were consistently delayed, leading to a large and disruptive maintenance backlog.


The work order insights report identified a group of work orders that were the major source of the delays. On further inspection, additional maintenance was being added to these work orders without approval from the maintenance manager. While these extra tasks were correcting faults with the asset, it was causing delays in other areas of the facility.


The maintenance manager was able to identify the assets and work orders causing the delays and modified the way work was prioritized so the maintenance team could get back on track.

Pro tip

It can be helpful to tie two or three specific maintenance types to high priority status. You can then put those maintenance types on your Fiix dashboard and have constant visibility into the work orders associated with it. If those jobs are delayed, you can see it right away and take measures to figure out why, and what to do about it.

Additional resources

Interested in learning more about preventing delays? Check out these additional resources or give us a shout: