Keys to Better Field Service Management for Manufacturers

field service management

Let’s say that your company manufactured, delivered, and installed a custom-designed product for a customer. While installation sets the stage for product quality and dependability, follow-up service is essential to maintain product performance and customer loyalty. This is when it’s critical to focus on your company’s after-delivery responsibilities as a manufacturer – field service management.

Read on to learn more about the importance of field service management and how Frontier ERP can help streamline your processes.

Understanding Field Service Management

For custom manufacturers, field service management involves coordinating, managing, and optimizing various activities related to servicing your products at a customer’s location. It can also provide your company with vital insights for potential product improvements.

Companies often rely on outside sources for field service or depend on their dealer network. However, many custom manufacturers have in-house technicians and engineers that service their products.

Field service management includes:

  1. Scheduling and Dispatching: Assigning a skilled technician near the customer location to ensure timely service delivery.
  2. Work Order Management: Creating, managing, and tracking work orders for field service tasks. This includes detailing the task list, required parts and materials, service history, and customer information.
  3. Inventory Management: Managing appropriate levels of spare parts and accessories for field service tasks.
  4. Technician Enablement: Technicians require access to service documentation, customer history, and troubleshooting guides, to perform their tasks efficiently in the field.
  5. Customer Communication: Keeping customers informed about service appointment status is crucial for ensuring customer satisfaction.
  6. Performance Analytics: Collecting data on key performance indicators (KPIs) is also important. These include response and resolution time, first-time fix rate, and customer satisfaction.

Developing a detailed field service strategy with actionable goals and objectives is also important for manufacturers for future operation optimization.

Field Service Examples for Custom Manufacturers

Field service takes on different forms based on the product, location, or company. As noted earlier, many manufacturers work with a dealer network or external service company for their field service management. However, some cases specifically require a company engineer or trained technician.

Some custom-manufactured product examples requiring field service include:

ETO: Industrial machinery, large power units, or vault doors are all examples of engineer-to-order (ETO) products. Many of these require regular maintenance to ensure proper operation and remove the risk of downtime and/or warranty compliance. In most cases, service must be performed by a certified technician or engineer.

Metal Fabrication: The outer housings of washing machines and industrial skywalks are both manufactured via metal fabrication. Sheet metal may rust on the warrantied washer because of a plumbing leak or a poorly applied coating. The steel skywalk may become weak in one area because of weight restriction noncompliance. Whether warrantied or not, they both require a field technician to repair the issue.

Windows: Custom windows have become popular over the years with unique curves and angles. Should the frame or glass become damaged, repair or replacement by a trained technician is needed because of the unique design. Service may be provided directly from the manufacturer or an authorized dealer according to location.

Furniture: Contract-grade furniture in high-traffic areas is prone to damage over time. Some examples include office partitions, permanent retail shelving, and waiting room furniture. Warranties for custom contract-grade furniture often cover damage like rips, dents, and deep scratches. Service techs are typically dispatched to the customer site if the damage can be fixed.

Manufacturer’s Role in Field Service

As the product manufacturer, you play a vital role in field service. Your company is responsible for proper product installation, maintenance, and service in the field even if you outsource service. Here are some key aspects of a manufacturer’s field service role:


Installation is crucial in field service management as it sets the foundation for the product’s performance and reliability. Proper installation improves product performance and lifespan, decreasing the likelihood of future service calls and repairs. For products like industrial equipment, correct installation is essential for the safety of users and technicians who may interact with it.

Quality Assurance

Implement quality assurance processes to ensure that your products meet quality standards and perform reliably in the field. This includes conducting product testing, monitoring performance metrics, and collecting feedback from customers to continuously improve product quality and reliability.

Warranty and Service Agreements

Provide warranty and service agreements that outline the terms and conditions of service, including coverage for repairs and maintenance. You should honor these agreements by providing timely service and support to customers. This contributes significantly to better customer relationships.

Technical & Customer Service

field service management technician

Frontier ERP provides the tools your company needs for effective field service management.

Technical and customer service are essential components of field service management, contributing to relationship building, issue resolution, and feedback collection.

As the product manufacturer, you are responsible for providing training and documentation for field service technicians. This ensures that they have the necessary knowledge and skills to install, maintain, and repair your products effectively.

Provide exemplary technical support to customers and service techs in the field. This helps them troubleshoot issues and provide guidance on proper product usage and maintenance. Support can be provided through phone support, online resources, or on-site assistance when necessary.

Effective customer service builds trust and loyalty with customers, encouraging repeat business and positive referrals. It also enables prompt resolution of customer concerns, minimizing dissatisfaction and preserving your reputation as a manufacturer. Furthermore, customer service interactions provide valuable feedback that informs product improvements and service enhancements.

Service & Repair

Service and repair are critical components of field service management as they ensure the reliability and functionality of products. Timely and effective service ensures that products remain reliable and operational, minimizing downtime for customers and maximizing their satisfaction.

Providing excellent service and repair experiences can enhance customer loyalty and retention. Efficient service and repair processes also help control costs associated with warranty claims, replacement parts, and technician labor.


Excellent field service management requires proper inventory management. Your company should maintain an inventory of spare parts and accessories needed for field service tasks. That way technicians have the necessary components to complete repairs promptly. If the right parts are available when needed, repairs can be completed correctly the first time. This minimizes downtime and customer frustration.


Custom manufacturers improve their service by analyzing data, identifying areas for improvement, and implementing new technology. These efforts aim to streamline operations and ensure customer satisfaction.

Recordkeeping is a fundamental aspect of field service management as it provides a history of service and maintenance activities. Accurate recordkeeping helps technicians diagnose problems and track trends over time, leading to more effective troubleshooting and repair processes. Furthermore, recordkeeping ensures compliance with regulatory requirements, warranty obligations, and service agreements, helping manufacturers avoid penalties and maintain customer trust.

Analyzing service records and performance metrics also helps identify areas for field service improvement. Optimizing field service operations for efficiency and effectiveness makes it an integral part of overall field service management strategies.

Frontier ERP for Better Field Service

Frontier ERP software offers many benefits for ETO and make-to-order manufacturers for efficient operations, including field service management. Our Service Manager module provides you with the ability to streamline and centralize field service management of all pre-measure, installation, and repair claim service requirements. Seamless integration to existing Frontier ERP functionality ensures the flexibility to book, schedule, plan, track, and record the completion of all related service activities.

Additional Frontier ERP benefits include:

1. Integrated Data Management: Frontier ERP combines real-time data from areas such as sales, inventory, finance, production, and customer service into one data source. This integration provides field service teams with access to updated customer, product, inventory, and service contract data.

2. Streamlined Processes: Frontier automates and streamlines field service processes such as work order management, scheduling, dispatching, and invoicing. This automation saves time, reduces manual tasks, minimizes human errors, and speeds up service delivery, resulting in improved productivity and customer satisfaction.

3. Product Data & Configurations: Field technicians have real-time access to all product and component details for service and replacement with Frontier ERP. Frontier includes our foundational product data and configuration management system. Since all available data from our built-in CPQ software’s parametric product configurator is stored and associated with the original order, it eliminates any risk of errors when ordering replacement parts.

4. Inventory Management: The inventory management module integrates with service and work orders. This ensures that technicians have access to the right parts at the right time, reduces downtime, and improves first-time fix rates.

5. Service Contract Management: Manage service contracts, warranties, and service-level agreements with Frontier ERP. This includes tracking contract terms, service entitlements, billing rates, and renewal dates. Through automated processes, Frontier ensures that service agreements are followed for increased customer satisfaction.

6. Analytics and Reporting: Frontier ERP includes robust analytics and reporting features for field service management. You can track key performance indicators (KPIs) like response time, first-time fix rate, and customer satisfaction. By analyzing these metrics, you can identify trends and make data-driven decisions to optimize field service operations.


Delivering a quality product to your customers is just the beginning. Field service management ensures that your products continue to perform at their best long after they’ve left your facility. From installation to ongoing maintenance and repair, effective field service management leads to customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Managing field service is about more than just fixing things when they break. It’s about proactive engagement, streamlined processes, and leveraging insights for continuous improvement. The keys to better field service management lie in integrated solutions like Frontier ERP and our integrated Service Manager module. By embracing these tools and strategies, you can not only meet but exceed customer expectations.

Remember, your job doesn’t end at delivery—it’s only just begun.

To learn more about how Frontier Service Manager can streamline your field service management, contact us today!

Share this Article: