BlueFolder Blog

Five Things to Look For in a Work Order App

May 19, 2022

When your field service business is humming along, you’ll rarely see techs in the office – they’re out completing jobs. But they still need to access work order information and update status as they go. A mobile work order app can make this process convenient and efficient. A work order app presents all the information for service tasks on a mobile phone or tablet. Employees access instructions, customer history, and equipment details on their devices. When done, they enter notes and status directly into the system for immediate update.  

But not all work order apps are equal. It’s important to find one that meets the needs of your business and your techs. To find the right solution for you, look for these 5 essential features: 


1 – A Dashboard Offers a High-Level View 

Mobile apps with a dashboard help technicians plan their days, stick with a schedule, and prioritize work. A good dashboard organizes tasks by status and urgency so users can make a quick assessment about how to manage their time. They can drill down into any task for relevant information, such as attachments, notes, instructions, driving directions, and other job-related details. They should also be able to view or link to a calendar for appointments. 


2 – On-Site Work Order Updates Increase Productivity and Consistency 

An effective mobile work order app should help users make updates on site. With simple editing features, techs can change the work order status as soon as they’re done. Plus, they can add labor hours and expenses immediately.  

Without on-site work order updates, you have to call techs for progress reports or wait until they’re in the office. The more time that lapses between job completion and work order updates, the more likely someone will forget an expense or misremember the hours spent on a job, which could lead to billing mistakes and lost profits.  

When techs make updates promptly with a work order app, management and customers follow status in real time. And accounting can kick off the billing cycle as soon as a job is done, which speeds cash flow.  


3 – Attaching Photos and Videos Enhances the Work Record and Drives Additional Business 

Work orders and associated notes are important documents for your business. The more information they capture about each job, the better story they tell for your customers, internal audits, and business planning. Photos and videos often tell the story better than any notes or status tags can.  

Even before mobile apps were available, techs would often take photos or videos of their work for customer review. Pictures are also useful for recording the condition of equipment or identifying other issues that may lead to follow-on proposals for additional work.  

A good mobile app makes it easy to take and attach a photo or video with just a few clicks and set it for public or private view, depending on whether customers need to see it. With easy uploading, techs are more likely to snap pics, adding important details to work records that you and customers will appreciate.  


4 – Signature Capture Speeds Cash Flow 

There’s no better time and place to get customer approval than on site just as a job is completed. A good mobile app with signature capture enables on-location digital approvals; customers can “write” their signatures directly into the app. Your team no longer has to spend time trading emails for customer approval and waiting days or weeks until you can start the billing cycle.  


5 – Work Order Apps Optimized for Mobile Usability Have the Best ROI 

Mobile apps need to pack a lot of functionality into a small screen. There’s no keyboard for easy typing, and web forms designed for computers don’t always translate well to mobile. Any good work order app should be optimized for mobile usability. If it isn’t, techs will find it a pain to use and revert back to paper or spreadsheets; your business won’t realize the benefits of your investment. 

For the best usability, the app should use a simple, clean design displaying only relevant information to the task. You shouldn’t see any space wasted on useless details or graphics. Because mobile apps are used in many environments, they should be easy to read in bright daylight or dim areas, and you should see a clear contrast between text and background colors. 

The flow of interaction should follow a logical progression with relevant menu options on each screen and an easy way to back track. Commonly used tasks should be optimized so techs can finish them in just a few clicks. Tasks that involve uploads or downloads, such as attaching photos, should show status icons so users can tell if the action is in progress or completed. And if there’s an error, the app should help users get back on track with informative error messages. 


Finding the Right Work Order App Makes a Difference 

It may take a little time to find an app that checks all the boxes, but the effort is worth it. Well-designed solutions pay off better in the end. If the interface is easy to navigate, for example, techs will learn it faster and use it more. When your team is using the app regularly, your process is more consistent, you keep customers and managers updated in real time, and the billing process starts earlier, easing cash flow. 

Customers love the results from a good work order app. They get status updates faster, view photos of the finished work, and receive timely, accurate invoices. The transparency builds trust and helps grow your business. 

These days, almost everyone carries a cell phone wherever they go. Why not take advantage of the devices to help your business run smoother and drive margin? Choosing the right work order app will get you there. 


BlueFolder’s Work Order Mobile App Fits the Bill 

BlueFolder understands that a field service management (FSM) system provides the most value when technicians, management, accountants, and customers can all use it effortlessly. So we’ve designed an FSM software that’s incredibly easy to use. And our mobile app is no different.  

Technicians in the field benefit from a simple and efficient interface, the ability to upload photos and videos, and signature capture. Your team can update work order status, labor hours, expenses, and notes with a few clicks. The BlueFolder work order app puts the power of FSM in your techs’ hands, boosting business efficiency and maximizing billable hours.  

Want to see what a well-designed mobile app can do for your business? Take it for a test drive today.