Editing Work Orders

This help file applies to an out-of-date version of MainBoss.
The most recent version of MainBoss is MainBoss 4.2.2.
For the latest version of this help file can be found here.

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You create or modify work orders using the work order editor. The usual way to open the editor is to click New Work Order or Edit in the View section of Work Orders.

The work order editor window contains the following:

Details section: Shows basic information for the work order.

Number: A code identifying this work order. No two work orders may have the same code.

Number Format [only appears when editing defaults]: Specifies the format to be used when numbering new work orders. The default is WO {0:D8}. This means that the numbering format consists of the letters WO followed by a space and then eight decimal digits.

The 0 before the : is necessary. The number after the D is the minimum number of decimal digits in the resulting number. As an example, suppose you want to include the year in your work orders numbers. If you set "Number Format" to WO 2007-{0:D6}, you'll get numbers like WO 2007-000001. You can also put text after the closing }; for example, you could write WO {0:D6}-2007 to get numbers like WO 000001-2007.

For more on number formats, see Number Formats.

We recommend that you use enough digits in your numbers to ensure that there is always a leading zero.

Number Sequence [only appears when editing defaults]: Specifies the number to used the next time you create a new work order. For example, if you set this to 1000, the next work order you create will be given the number 1000.

If you include the year in "Number Format", you should change the format at the beginning of each year and reset "Number Sequence" to 1.

Subject: A brief description of what the associated work involves.

Current: Read-only fields indicating the work order's current status.

Effective Date: The date/time that the work order entered its current state.

State: Whether the work order is Draft (recently created), Open (ready to go), Void (cancelled), or Closed (marked as complete). A new work order's "State" is blank until the first time the work order is saved.

Status: A user-defined status code for this work order. Typically, a code means that the work order requires someone's attention. For more on work order status codes, see Work Order Status Codes.

PM Generation Batch: A read-only field which is blank unless this work order was generated as a planned maintenance work order. If the work order was generated for planned maintenance, "PM Generation Batch" shows information about the dates when the work order was generated. For more information, see Planned Maintenance.

Requestor: The person who originally requested the work. If this work order was derived from a work request, the requestor will be taken from the original request.

Requestors cannot be named in a work order until they have an entry in the Requestors table. For more about this table, see Requestors.

Once you specify a requestor, this line will display the person's phone number and email address (as recorded in the Contacts table).

Unit: The unit where the work is needed. For more on units, see Units.

Work Start Date: When a work order is first created, this may be filled in with the date/time when the job is expected to begin.

If a job doesn't actually begin on the specified date, it may be useful to leave "Work Start Date" as it is. Later on, this can let you determine the difference between the planned start date and the actual one; such information can help you detect any systematic problems with your scheduling processes.

Work End Date: When a work order is first created, this may be filled in with the date/time when the job is expected to be finished.

If a job doesn't actually end on the specified date, it may be useful to leave "Work End Date" as it is. Later on, this can let you determine the difference between the planned end date and the actual one; such information can help you detect any systematic problems with your job-length estimation processes.

Duration: The length of the job, measured in days.

Note: If you fill in "Work Start Date" and "Work End Date", MainBoss automatically calculates the "Duration" and fills in the value (rounded to the nearest whole number of days). Similarly, if you fill in "Work Start Date" and "Duration", MainBoss automatically calculates the "Work End Date".

Work Category: A code classifying the nature of the work required. For more on work categories, see Work Categories.

Use Access Code from Unit: If you checkmark this box, MainBoss will fill in "Access Code" with the unit's default access code. Otherwise, you can set "Access Code" manually.

Access Code: An access code indicating any restrictions on access to the unit. For more on access codes, see Access Codes.

Priority: A code indicating the priority of this job. Note that work orders and work requests have separate priority codes. A good rule of thumb is to leave Priority blank unless there's a good reason for assigning a specific priority. For more on work order priorities, see Work Order Priorities.

Work orders with explicit priorities are considered more urgent than ones where the priority field is blank. Therefore, if you sort your work orders by priority, those with no explicit priority will come last.

Use Expense Model from Unit: If you checkmark this box, MainBoss will fill in "Expense Model" with the unit's default expense model. Otherwise, you can set "Expense Model" manually.

Expense Model: The expense model to be used for this work order. For more on expense models, see Expense Models.

Note: You can change a work order's expense model as long as the work order is in the Draft stage. However, this may introduce problems with existing demands. For example, suppose that when you change the expense model, a demand has an expense category that was in the previous expense model but not in the new one. You will not be able to actualize that demand, since its expense category is not valid in the new model.

Project: The project (if any) that this work is associated with. For more, see Projects.

Description: Describes the required work in as much detail as necessary. Work descriptions may be simple ("Find out why room is too hot") or they may be more detailed, perhaps giving check-lists of things to do or step-by-step instructions.

Comments: Any comments you wish to record in connection with this work order.

Downtime: The amount of downtime caused by the problem.

Close Code: Different organizations use the closing code for different purposes. One common purpose is to specify the overall cause of the problem, e.g. normal wear and tear, operator error, accidental breakage, etc. This makes it possible to organize your work orders and their costs according to cause; not only does this give you a picture of the sources of maintenance trouble, it may help you allocate resources more effectively to reduce future difficulties. For more on closing codes, see Closing Codes.

Select for Printing: If this box is checkmarked, the work order will be marked Select for Printing. This makes it simpler to print work orders after they have been generated. For more on the use of Select for Printing, see Select Print Flags.

Assignments section: Lists people who have been assigned to this work order. For more information on assignments, see Assignments.

New Work Order Assignment: Opens a window where you can assign someone to this work order. For more details, see Assigning Someone to a Work Order.

Edit: This drop-down button offers several possible actions:

Edit: Opens an editor window to let you edit the selected record.

View: Opens an editor window where you can examine the selected record.

View Assignee: Opens the currently selected assignee record (if any). For more on work order assignee records, see Work Order Assignees.

Delete: Deletes the selected assignment from the list.

Search: Lets you search through the list of records for a particular record. For more information, see Searching for a Particular Record. The Search button has an accompanying drop-down list containing the following:

Find Next: Uses the same search condition(s) as your most recent search and finds the next record in the table that matches the condition(s). If the search reaches the end of the table without finding a matching record, it goes to the start of the table and continues the search.

Find Previous: Same as Find Next except that it goes backward in the table. If the search reaches the start of the table without finding a matching record, it goes to the end of the table and continues the search.

Refresh: Updates the list to reflect any recent changes.

Service Contracts section: Lists any service contracts associated with the specified unit. Double-clicking an entry in this list opens a record showing the details of the service contract. For more on service contracts, see Service Contracts.

View: Opens an editor window where you can examine the selected record.

Search: Lets you search through the list of records for a particular record. For more information, see Searching for a Particular Record. The Search button has an accompanying drop-down list containing the following:

Find Next: Uses the same search condition(s) as your most recent search and finds the next record in the table that matches the condition(s). If the search reaches the end of the table without finding a matching record, it goes to the start of the table and continues the search.

Find Previous: Same as Find Next except that it goes backward in the table. If the search reaches the start of the table without finding a matching record, it goes to the end of the table and continues the search.

Refresh: Updates the list to reflect any recent changes.

Resources section: Lists labor and materials associated with this job. These can be either demands, receipts, or actual resource usages.

A demand is recorded in advance of the work. For labor, a demand specifies one or more workers who have been assigned to the job and the time each worker is expected to be needed. For materials, a demand states that specified items should be reserved for use on this job. (For more about demands, see Resources.

A receipt records when you've purchased materials during the course of a job. For example, if you purchase items with petty cash in order to make a repair, you should record the expenditure with a receipt on the work order.

Actual resource usages are recorded after the job is done. They state the labor and materials that were actually used in the work, as opposed to the preliminary estimates.

Labor expenses are either inside and outside. Inside labor is performed by your own personnel, while outside labor is performed by outside contractors.

Note: If you make a mistake when actualizing a demand, you correct the mistake by selecting the demand, then clicking the Edit button. In the resulting demand window, use the Correct button in the Actuals section.

Total: Read-only fields giving a running total of demand records and actual records. These totals sum up information from the Items, Inside, Outside and Miscellaneous Expenses subsections.

Items subsection: Lists demands and actual uses of materials.

New Demand Item: Opens a new window where you can reserve materials before the job begins. For more information, see Demand Item.

Actualize: Opens a new window where you can create an actual resource usage entry from an existing demand entry. You should click the demand first, then click Actualize. Typically, actual resource usage records are created as work is completed (when actual resource usage is known). For more about actual item usages, see Actual Item.

Edit: Lets you edit an existing demand in the list.

View: Lets you view an entry in the list (without changing any information in the entry).

View Storage Assignment: Opens the storeroom assignment record associated with the currently selected entry. While you cannot make changes in the storeroom assignment itself, you can use the record's Item Activity section to perform inventory operations such as transferring items to or from the storeroom, and receiving items into the storeroom. For example, if you buy materials for this work order, you can use View Storage Assignment to open a storage assignment record for those materials, then go to the record's Item Activity section and use Receive or Receive (with PO) to record the materials you bought.

For more on storage assignment records, see Storeroom Assignments.

Delete: Deletes the record that's currently selected. You cannot delete demands if they've already been actualized (in whole or in part).

Search: Searches for a particular record.

Refresh: Updates the list to reflect any recent changes.

Inside subsection: Lists demands and actual uses of inside labor.

New Demand Hourly Inside: Opens a window where you can assign your own personnel to this job; expenses will be paid on an hourly basis. For more, see Demand Hourly Inside.

New Demand Per Job Inside: Opens a window where you can assign your own personnel to this job; expenses will be paid on a per job basis. For more, see Demand Per Job Inside.

Actualize: Opens a new window where you can create an actual labor usage entry from an existing demand entry. You should click the demand first, then click Actualize. Typically, actual labor usage records are created as work is completed (when actual labor usage is known). For more about actual inside labor usages, see Actual Hourly Inside and Actual Per Job Inside.

Edit: Lets you edit an existing demand in the list.

View: Lets you view an entry in the list (without changing any information in the entry).

Delete: Deletes the demand that's currently selected. You cannot delete demands that have already been actualized (in whole or in part).

Search: Searches for a particular record.

Refresh: Updates the list to reflect any recent changes.

Outside subsection: Lists demands and actual uses of outside contractors.

New Demand Hourly Outside: Opens a window where you can assign outside contractors to this job; expenses will be paid on an hourly basis. For more, see Demand Hourly Outside.

New Demand Per Job Outside: Opens a window where you can assign outside contractors to this job; expenses will be paid on a per job basis. For more, see Demand Per Job Outside.

New PO Line: Is enabled when an hourly outside or per job outside demand is selected in the list of demands. Clicking New PO Line adds a line for the selected demand in a purchase order associated with the current work order.

For example, suppose you want to hire an outside plumber for a job. First, create a demand for the plumber's services (e.g. an hourly outside demand). Then select this demand and click New PO Line. The resulting window asks you to specify a purchase order; you can either select one that's already associated with this work order, or you can create a new one.

Actualize: Opens a new window where you can create an actual labor usage entry from an existing demand.

If a demand has a purchase order line associated with it, click the purchase order line and then click Actualize. Otherwise, click the demand and then click Actualize.

Typically, actual labor usage records are created after a job is completed (when actual labor usage is known). For more about actual outside labor usages, see Actual Hourly Outside or Actual Per Job Outside (if there is no associated purchase order entry) and Actual Hourly Outside (with PO) or Actual Per Job Outside (with PO) (if there is an associated purchase order entry).

Edit: Lets you edit an existing demand in the list.

View: Lets you view an entry in the list (without changing any information in the entry).

Delete: Deletes the demand that's currently selected. You cannot delete demands that have already been actualized (in whole or in part).

Search: Searches for a particular record.

Refresh: Updates the list to reflect any recent changes.

Miscellaneous Expenses subsection: Lists miscellaneous costs to be added to the work order.

New Demand Miscellaneous Cost: Opens a window where you can associated a miscellaneous cost with this job. For more, see Demand Miscellaneous.

Actualize: Opens a new window where you can record the actual cost of an existing miscellaneous demand. You should click the demand first, then click Actualize. For more about actual miscellaneous costs, see Actual Miscellaneous.

Edit: Lets you edit an existing demand in the list.

View: Lets you view an entry in the list (without changing any information in the entry).

Delete: Deletes the demand that's currently selected. You cannot delete demands that have already been actualized (in whole or in part).

Search: Searches for a particular record.

Refresh: Updates the list to reflect any recent changes.

Temporary Storage section: Lets you associate temporary storage locations with this work order. Temporary storage may be used to hold some or all of the work order's materials. This allows for situations where spare parts and other materials are transferred from their usual storerooms to some more convenient place so they'll be accessible for use on a work order. When you're working on a unit, the best temporary storage location is often the unit itself, indicating that items have been transferred to the unit's location.

New Temporary Storage: Associates a temporary storage location with this work order. For more, see Temporary Storage Locations.

New Temporary Storage Assignment: Specifies an item that should be placed in a temporary storage location. Note that you must specify the temporary storage location (using New Temporary Storage) before you can assign items to that location. For more on temporary storage assignments, see Temporary Storage Assignments.

New Demand Item: Is enabled when you select an entry for an item in the list above the New Demand Item button. Clicking this button immediately opens a window where you can create a demand for the selected item. This is exactly like clicking New Demand Item in the Resources section of the record; you can just save a little time and effort because you've already specified which item you want to demand.

Edit: Opens a window where you can correct the selected entry (either a temporary storage location or a temporary storage assignment).

View: Opens a window where you can look at the selected entry (but not change it).

Delete: Deletes the entry that's currently selected. You cannot delete entries that are still in use; in particular, you can't delete an entry for a temporary storage location if there are temporary storage assignments for that location. Delete the temporary storage assignments first, then delete the temporary storage location.

Search: Searches for a particular record.

Refresh: Updates the list to reflect any recent changes.

Meters section: Provides information about any meters associated with the unit covered by the work order. It also lets workers record any meter readings taken during the course of this job. For more about meters, see Meters.

New Work Order Meter Reading: Opens a window where you can create a new meter reading associated with this unit. The new record is initialized with default values or blanks. For more, see Work Order Meter Readings.

View: Opens a window displaying the selected meter record.

Restore: Restores a deleted record.

Delete: Deletes the selected meter record.

Search: Searches for a particular record.

Refresh: Updates the list to reflect any recent changes.

Purchase Orders section: Lets you associate one or more purchase orders with this job. For example, you might create a purchase order to cover the cost of outside labor expenses if the work will be done by an outside contractor.

New Work Order Purchase Order: Opens a window where you can specify an existing purchase order that you wish to associate with this work order. For more, see Associating Work Orders with Purchase Orders.

Edit: This drop-down button offers several possible actions:

Edit: Opens an editor window to let you edit the selected record.

View: Opens an editor window where you can examine the selected record.

Delete: Deletes the selected record.

Search: Searches the list for a particular record.

Refresh: Updates the list to reflect recent changes.

Chargebacks section: Lets you specify that some or all of the costs of this work order will be charged to some other party (called the billable requestor). For example, property management companies may charge tenants some portion of the costs involved in certain types of jobs. For more about chargebacks, see Chargebacks.

New Chargeback: Opens a window to let you create a new chargeback record. Fields in the new record are initialized to default values or blanks.

Edit: This drop-down button offers several possible actions:

Edit: Opens an editor window to let you edit the selected record.

View: Opens an editor window where you can examine the selected record.

Search: Searches the list for a particular chargeback record.

Refresh: Updates the list to reflect recent changes.

Requests section: Shows any requests associated with this work order. For more about requests, see Requests.

Some work orders may have no associated requests, while the rest usually only have one request. However, it's possible for a single work order to address multiple requests; for example, several people might submit complaints about the same problem. To indicate that a request is related to an existing work order, use the Link Work Orders button in the Requests viewer.

New Requested Work Order: Adds a new request to the list.

Edit: This drop-down button offers several possible actions:

Edit: Opens an editor window to let you edit the selected record.

View: Opens an editor window where you can examine the selected record.

Delete: Deletes the selected request from the list.

Search: Searches the list for a particular record.

Refresh: Updates the list to reflect any recent changes.

State History section: Lists the states that this work order has been in and the date/times when it entered each state. For more about work order state history records, see Editing Work Order State History Records.

Effective Date: This column shows the effective date/time when the work order entered the associated state. Effective date can be set manually by clicking the associated Edit button.

State: This column shows the states through which the work order has passed.

Status: This column shows the status codes through which the work order has passed.

Comments: This column shows the comments associated with each state history record.

Edit: This drop-down button offers several possible actions:

Edit: Opens an editor window to let you edit the selected record.

View: Opens an editor window where you can examine the selected record.

Search: Opens a window to search for a particular record.

Refresh: Updates the list to reflect any recent changes.

Printed Form section [only appears when editing defaults]: Specifies information that will be used when printing work orders.

Additional Labor/Material Lines: A number. MainBoss will add this number of blank lines after the labor/material line items. For example, if you specify the number 6, MainBoss will add six blank lines after the labor/material line items, leaving space for people to write in any useful information (e.g. the actual time the job took, and any materials that were used but not specified in the original demands).

Additional Information: Zero or more lines of text that should appear at the end of the work order. For example, you might use this to indicate where an authorization signature goes, as well as other standard information.

Print: Opens a window for printing this work order. You can use this window to specify default option settings for printing single work orders.

Save: Saves the work order. The editor window stays open in case you want to make more changes to the same record.

Print & Close: Closes the work order editor window and immediately prints the current work order. When MainBoss prints the work order, it will use any default option settings that you've specified using the Print window (above).

Save & New: Saves the work order and sets up the window for you to create a new work order. Fields in the new work order will be blank or set to default values.

Save & Close: Saves the current work order and closes the editor window.

State change actions: A drop-down button which offers a list of actions that can be used to change the state of the work order. The current state of the work order determines which actions are enabled; it also determines which action is displayed as the label for the button. The available options are:

Open: Changes a draft work order into an open one. Opening a work order suggests that the work order contains all the information you need before starting the job and is ready to be issued to workers.

Open Work Order (With Comment): Same as Open, except that MainBoss will also open a window where you can record a comment about what you're doing.

Close Work Order: Changes an open work order into a closed one. Closing a work order suggests that the job is finished and you have recorded all relevant information about the work.

Close Work Order (With Comment): Same as Close Work Order, except that MainBoss will also open a window where you can record a comment about what you're doing.

Reopen: Changes a closed work order back into an open one. You might do this if you need to correct some information on the work order. MainBoss opens a window where you may record a comment explaining why you're reopening the work order.

Suspend: Changes an open work order into a draft one. You might do this if you find that you need to make significant changes to the work order. MainBoss opens a window where you may record a comment explaining why you're suspending the work order.

Void: Changes a draft work order into a void one. This means canceling the job. MainBoss opens a window where you may record a comment explaining why you're canceling the work order.

Re-Draft: Changes a void work order into a draft one. This means reactivating a canceled job. MainBoss opens a window where you may record a comment explaining why you're reactivating the work order.

If you have specified the appropriate request transition options, closing a work order automatically closes each linked request, provided that each request only has one linked work order. For more on this option, see Specifying Request State Transitions.

Cancel: Closes the window without saving any changes you've made to the record since the last time you saved. When you Save the record, the Cancel button changes to Close, indicating that you can safely close the window without losing any changes.

Close: Closes the window. This button only appears after you've saved changes with Save or before you've entered any data at all. Otherwise, the button is labeled Cancel.

Add Work Order Comment: Adds a comment to the selected work order. The comment is recorded in a state history record. For more, see Editing Work Order State History Records.

For more on work orders, see Work Orders. For more on viewing work orders, see Viewing Work Orders. For more on printing work orders, see Printing Work Orders. For more on editors in general, see Using Editors.

See Also:

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