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Work order assistant

Risk factor: Abnormal failure

How common is this problem?

The frequency of abnormal failure ranges widely from one organization to the next. Most report this issue in less than 5% of flagged work orders or over 50% of flagged work orders.

Why did this happen?

Here a few areas of your work process to look at when a work order indicates an early failure on a machine:

  • A follow-up task was missed: An issue with the asset was found during an inspection, but a follow-up task was either not created or not completed.
  • A faulty part was used during a repair: A part that was replaced on a piece of equipment was defective or degraded before it was supposed to.
  • Inspection or repair tasks were missed or done incorrectly: Technicians may have been provided with insufficient resources and tools to complete the work order correctly. That may include unclear task lists, misidentified failure codes, wrongly assigned technicians, and too few technicians assigned to the work order.
  • Scheduled maintenance was missed: A scheduled maintenance work order was missed prior to the failure.
  • Production was modified: Production on a machine was higher than normal. The machine may have been started incorrectly or is running different materials than normal.

How worried should I be?

Because this alert will likely be raised after an asset breaks down, the immediate danger is quite low. However, the long-term danger could be quite high. If the root cause of this issue isn’t addressed, it could lead to all sorts of trouble down the line, like more frequent breakdowns, improper inventory purchasing, extra labor costs, safety risks, bad data, and more.

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:

Investigate your parts and relationships with vendors: Audit your parts and supplies to make sure other spares aren’t defective. If they are, follow up with your vendor to find a solution.

Add more detail to your task lists: Because unclear instructions often lead to missing a critical task, it’s important to review your task list on this work order and fill in any gaps.

Learn how to build labor tasks in Fiix

Attach asset histories and referral documents to work orders: Adding detailed notes on past issues and solutions, along with manuals, diagrams, photos, and other resources will equip technicians with the information needed for the job.

Learn how to view work order histories and documents on mobile in Fiix

Review your user groups and triggers: Make sure work orders are tagged with the right maintenance types and that these work orders are being assigned to the right user groups.

Learn how to create custom maintenance types in Fiix

Mark critical work as a priority and add to your dashboard: Work that impacts the health of critical equipment will be front and center so it never falls off your radar again.

Learn how to do this in Fiix

Build stronger processes for follow-up work: Make sure that any failed inspections are triggering high-priority follow-up actions and alerting the correct people. It’s important that a concise list of clear failure codes are set up for this to be successful.

Learn how to configure nested failure codes in Fiix

How have Fiix customers solved this issue?


A Fiix customer was having difficulty standardizing processes across multiple sites. The work order insights report revealed that this was causing downtime from missed work and rework.


New teams had not adopted the standard maintenance processes that had proven effective, leading to asset failures.


The company was able to easily find the work orders and teams that were struggling the most. Processes were updated to fit the workflows of those teams. Those teams were also given extra tools and support to help them complete work with fewer obstacles.

Pro tip

Follow the KISS method — keep it super simple. Don't make your maintenance types too complicated. Keep track of all your maintenance types and work associated with them by using reports and your dashboard. Schedule regular reports to your inbox so you are proactively looking at the data and flagging issues.

Additional resources

Interested in learning more about improving your processes to prevent failures? Check out these additional resources or give us a shout: