Understanding the Work Order Process
You can get to this part of the system by clicking on the POS link in the blue Admin Toolbar and then clicking on the Work Orders link below. NOTE: The Repairs module is an older version of the Work Orders module and has more limited functionality. It will be phased out in the near future, but any Repairs you create will also be listed in the Work Orders module, and will not be deleted when we phase out Repairs. NOTE: For more comprehensive information about working with this part of the system, such as how to properly set up your Work Orders and how to use our Reporting for your service-based work, please click here.
Creating the Estimate
After opening the Work Orders module, click on the New Work Order button and the New Work Order panel will open on the side. Please note that in cases where you are doing service work on an item, it is important to enter accurate information on the Make, Model, and Serial Number. These fields are optional, however, if you are doing purely service work. Here is what you need to know about working up an Estimate in the Rain Work Orders module:
- Customer - The only required field is the Customer name field (in green), so if you just need to quickly create one you'll flesh out later, just enter the name. You can either search for a customer that's already saved in the system or click the + button to create a new customer. Once the customer name is in place, you can click the Magnifying Glass button to view past work orders by that customer.
- Cell Phone - You can enter a Cell Phone number for the customer for your reference, or if you will be using our text messaging service.
- Text Notifications - We offer the add-on service of text messaging, so if the customer has a cell phone number entered, and if we have configured your messaging, you can click Send Text Notifications to ON and the system can send notifications directly to the customer's cell phone. NOTE: This is an add-on service to your monthly service package, and you can find out more about pricing by clicking here and looking at the Optional Add-Ons section near the bottom.
- Technician - You can manage your Technicians from the main Work Orders module page, or when you click the Select button in the New Work Order screen, you can either click the name of a previously created technician, or you can enter a new Technician Name to add a new tech. After you've entered a new name, click Save to permanently add them to your list. NOTE: From the main screen of Work Orders (POS > Work Orders) you can click Manage Techs and delete Tech names as needed.
- Notes - There are two areas for entering miscellaneous notes for the work order; Internal Notes are just for your use, the customer will not see them, and they do not print on the ticket or receipt. Even so, it is advised to make sure you always use customer-friendly language in the Internal Notes area, just in case someone peeks at your screen. The Customer Notes field is where you can enter specific notes for the customer about the work order and/or about how to take care of their item, and these notes do print out on both the initial work order ticket and on the receipt.
- Accessories - It is important to log on the initial estimate the Accessories Included by the customer, so there is no question on what they dropped off with you initially. This information prints out on the initial ticket. Click the Select button to open the Accessories panel and check boxes for any accessories already in your list, or click the New Accessory button to create a new one. Once all appropriate accessories have been selected, click the green Select button to add them to the work order.
- Repairs Needed - Click Select to open the Select Repairs Needed panel and you'll see a list of your currently available Services. Check the box for all that apply. You can also click New Repair to create a new one, and you can add your price on Parts and Labor for whenever you typically provide that service. Click Save to add the new Service to your active list, then click the green Select button at the bottom to add all selected services to the Work Order Estimate.
Our system keeps a running list of all Services you provide. You will want to get all of your services in place by going to Products > Services and creating them in there, where you can enter your cost for the service as well as your selling price. For services you charge for by the hour, we recommend entering the cost and price for one hour when you create the Service. Then when you add it to an estimate, if you think it might only need fifteen minutes, you can enter a quantity of .25 and the system will show the quarter hour price for that service. You can add new Services through this New Work Order screen if needed, but you aren't able to enter your cost when you do it from there, so be sure to go back in through Products > Services and update the service so that your reports will be showing accurate profit margins.
- Target Date - Click the date link to open the Target Date window and click on the date you estimate you'll have the service work done for the customer. Click the green Save button once you're done.
- Estimate - Your Labor and Parts fields for the Estimate will already be populated with whatever amounts your Repairs Needed brought into the Work Order. You can manually add to or reduce those amounts, as needed, with the goal of giving the customer the most accurate estimate possible at this point.
- Deposit - If you take Deposits up front on service work that you do, the Work Orders module can facilitate this. Put in the amount for the Deposit, and then click the green Make Deposit button at the bottom. The Customer information and the Deposit line item will load into the Register automatically where you can take the deposit payment, and the system will track the rest of whatever is owed throughout the progress of the Work Order. You will then want to go back to the Work order (under POS > Work Orders), open it, enter whatever notes might be appropriate, and click the Print Ticket button to print out the work order ticket for the customer.
If you are not taking a Deposit, the green button at the bottom will allow you to Save the Estimate and will automatically open the work order so you can print out the ticket.
At this point, the Customer has dropped off the item with you, you have received it in writing and given them a ticket with the information from your Estimate on the work you'll be doing.
IMPORTANT - One final step you may want to take is to click the Print Barcode button at the bottom of the Work Order. This will give you a way to track the item and quickly look it up, and will help you to keep from confusing it with similar items.
Progressing the Work Order Through Completion
When you first open your newly set up Work Order, the module will show you that it is in a Received status. The Status of the Work Order is how you can visually track where it is in the process. You can find your drop-list of the different statuses at the top of the Work Order. Here are the different statuses you can set in the Status Drop List:
Received - You have given the customer their Estimate and work order ticket and have officially received the order for work as well as whatever item(s) you might be working on. You have not yet begun any actual work.
In Process - You have started the work and it is ongoing.
In Process - Pending Approval - You are working on the order as you can, but you are waiting for approval from the customer on something more that is needed for the work order that will add to its price.
In Process - Waiting for Parts - You are working on the order as you can, but you are waiting for parts you have ordered to arrive.
Ready for Pickup - When you set this status, if the Customer info includes an email address and/or a cell phone number, the system will offer to notify the customer that the work order is complete.
Completed - If you have already taken full payment and the customer has picked up the item, setting this status completes the work order and takes it out of the active list of work orders on the main Work Order module page.
- Notes and Texts - You can enter or edit Customer Notes (again, notes that print out for the customer on their service ticket) and Internal Notes (notes just for your technician, they do not print out on the ticket). If you have our optional text messaging service, you can manually send texts as needed if you have entered a cell phone number for the customer.
- Add Materials and Services - These functions are where you actually build the work order items you will charge the customer for when the work is complete. Click the Add Materials button to add any product you have in the system as a part used in the work order; you can search by product ID number (UPC, SKU, Manufacturer Number) or title. The search will come up in a side panel and you can also click the New Material button to create a new product as needed.
The Add Services button allows you to add any service-work items you have created so far under the Products > Services area to the work order. The search pops up in a side panel and will also allow you to create new services as needed by clicking the New Service button.
- Estimate - This is your original estimate you created at the beginning of the process. It is just for reference, but you can adjust items in the estimate by clicking on their links. The amounts you see in this estimate are NOT what determines how much the customer gets charged! You will build the chargeable items by adding Materials and Services to the work order, as described above.
- Print Barcode - We recommend using the Print Barcode button to print out a label you can keep for the item so it doesn't get confused with similar items in your work area. You can print out multiple labels if you also have accessories that came with the item.
- Print Ticket - You will want to print out a service ticket for the customer when you initially create the work order Estimate and receive the item(s), and you can do that by clicking the Print Ticket button. If anything about the order changes or needs to be added, you will want to print an updated copy of the ticket for the customer. The tickets print nicely on receipt paper; if you print to a larger format, the barcode may not be able to be scanned.
- Ready for Pickup / Add to Register - You will have a Ready for Pickup button unless you have already set that Status in the work order status drop-list at the top. When you first go to the Ready for Pickup status, you are offered the ability to email the customer notification. If you are set up to use our optional text messaging service, you can also send a text message to notify the customer. If the customer is ready, you can add the work order to the register right then, otherwise, the work order is saved and the button now reads Add to Register. Adding the work order to the register will show line items for every material part and service in the order as well as the item that was being worked on.
Once the work order has been sent to the Register, the customer is automatically loaded and you'll see all the line items for the order, as pictured below. You can apply discounts and use any payment methods needed in the normal way.
Another thing the system will automatically account for is the deposit, which will be removed from the total at this point, and will be itemized on the receipt just like the other parts of the work order, as pictured below in the final receipt: