The construction industry is home to extremely high failure rates and very low profit margins. Any unnecessary risk should be avoided. One highly effective way to help decrease that risk is to get everything in writing. This includes work orders.
Look, we get it — life is easier without paperwork. But when it comes to construction work, everything should be put into writing, whether you’re working with a trusted partner or with a subcontractor you’ve never even met.
Read on for a discussion of work orders as well as a link to download a free word order template.
Put Work Orders in Writing
In most situations, a simple document will suffice! A 1-page doc that is clear and succinct can go a long way to set realistic expectations on the job.
For contractors issuing a work order — why not put it to writing? What drawback could there be to creating a clear relationship with that sub or supplier? Without pen put to paper, that sub might do their work to different specs or disagree on the timeframe allowed for the work provided. Worse yet – they might disagree about the price.
You could put all of that information on lock-down from day 1! Unless you’re doing something shady – like taking advantage of other parties or hiding information from your customer – operating with a written contract just makes sense.
For parties that will be receiving a work order, here’s something to consider: Is your customer in charge of releasing payments? Or do they have to request or invoice payment from some higher tier on the project — like the prime contractor, the owner, or the lender?
Often, someone else will be writing the checks. Then, that money will be passed down the chain. In those situations, having a paper trail showing what you’re owed, who promised to pay you, and when it all went down is invaluable! Having a tried and true customer is great, and managing relationships is absolutely mandatory in this industry. But by putting a work order in writing (and keeping it really simple), you can enjoy that relationship while also knowing you’re set up for success.
Work Order Template – Free Download
Screaming “Put it in writing!” is fine and dandy, but the last thing any contractor, sub, or supplier needs is another pile of paperwork to manage. We agree – documentation should be simple.
That’s why we’ve put together this simple work order template – so that the pros of having it in writing won’t be outweighed by the cons of handling more paperwork.