Epicor for ManufacturingField Service Management for Manufacturers


As Bob Dylan once sang to the sweet harmony of his guitar, the times they are a-changin’. While we don’t have a guitar, nor a beautiful voice, one thing is certain: times are changing and it’s time you change with them.

When it comes to manufacturing, the process can be a long one. The different stages of orders, production, delivery, inspection, installation, etc. can be in itself a task to manage. Many systems are available to keep up with the different processes, but what about your technicians off-site?

Scheduling, tracking, and organizing installations are somewhat a juggling act without the proper tools in place. An ERP can help with the foundation, but when it comes to providing a satisfactory service to your customers, a field service management system must be in place.

Engineers manufacturing plant

What is a
field service management software?

Manufacturing parts management

A manufacturing execution system (MES) handles your production workshop and an ERP software keeps all your core foundations running smoothly, which leaves us with a system to streamline all your operations that occur off site.

Whether it’s consultants, sales, repair and maintenance, customer support, installations, or inspections, all these field services need to be managed. And believe us when we say, a company that doesn’t have a system in place to manage all these tasks is on a downward spiral.

Field service management (FSM) software is designed for organizations in the manufacturing industry – but not exclusively – to help with organizing, scheduling, employee assignments, route planning, resource allocation, and specific instructions for off-site technicians and field workers.

The software provides real-time updates on productivity, task completion, itineraries, and support for all types of situations that might occur on the job.

For companies who provide installation, equipment maintenance, repairs, on-site services for clients and technical expertise, an FSM system will optimize employees’ positions, availability and skills for each specific job.

Take a health care manufacturer, for example, who produces specialized medical machinery for hospitals. They’ll most likely have technicians in place to repair and maintain the equipment should there ever be a breakdown or problem.

Without an advanced system in place, you’re left managing the ins and outs of each field worker manually, which is bound to leave many errors and duplicates. Just like a company needs precision on the workshop floor, the same thought process should be for the human-side of operations.

How manufacturers
can benefit from FSM

It has been proved time and time again that an ERP, like Epicor Kinetic, improves the core processes of manufacturing companies. Thanks to automation there is increased productivity and full control over raw materials and supply chain.

While all is good at the actual company site, organizations must never forget about their field service operations. Especially since most manufacturers have technicians that often work at different job sites.

A field service management solution will simplify life not only off-site technicians, but for the company as well. Let’s take a look.

Epicor Kinetic Software

Better performance across the board

Over the past few years, news of digital transformation among businesses has grown exponentially. Those who don’t hop on the technology boat are destined to sink.

As companies adopt new technologies to match their services, they can provide a much higher level of service to customers as well as recruit employees who prefer to work with advanced software over manual paperwork.

In the digital age, clients and employees alike don’t have time to go through grueling administrative paperwork. This type of outdated solution prevents clients from receiving technical assistance exactly when they need it, while employees end up spending their day manually entering their hours and figuring out job site requirements.

An FSM system promotes streamlined scheduling processes, better training offerings for staff, and access to client data on the spot. Whereas clients will feel good knowing a company has put in effort and care when their order and demands are answered exactly the way they intended to be.

Complete visualization on company operations

In regards to field service workers, first things first. Having an optimized overview of where your technician is going, what their skills are, what tools they require, and how long the travel time will take strategically enhances your workforce with efficiency.

Not to mention, you can budget accordingly once you know all this information and avoid unnecessary expenses.

As most of us know, finance is a crucial aspect of any business and when you’re providing a service that relies on client payments, having an updated system is honestly the only way.

When a technician goes to a site, an FSM system will easily allow them to fill out the information within the system and send an invoice at the drop of a hat. Instead of a 3-5 week waiting period for payments, clients can send over an invoice within an hour of the completed service. Talk about better cash flow!

Money aside, having a bird’s eye view of all other operations leads to better decision-making based on a thorough understanding of key performance indicators. Activities, commitments, service times, repair times, and hourly rates can all be viewed on a dashboard to provide clients and your technical team with the best possible knowledge and service.

Full security and safety

No matter what you use technology for, security and safety - whether for data or people - is always at the forefront. For field technicians, this is even more important as they are often sent to areas that can be dangerous or require special precautions.

Certain FSM systems provide mobile apps where technicians can access checklists of safety rules, equipment and security measures before starting a job.

On the other end of the spectrum is data protection. More often than not, companies have sensitive information regarding their clients and it is important that this data isn’t misplaced. This is a top reason as to why companies should switch to a proper digital system and avoid the use of paper in any scenario.

Improved customer and technician satisfaction

Similar to how Epicor ERP enhances your core operational processes, FSM enhances customer satisfaction. Nowadays customers expect a certain type of service and without that level of satisfaction, you can easily lose clients.

An automated system for field workers will give technicians a dashboard of data where they can access all the centralized information of each client, enforcing a better service when on the jobsite.

A better understanding of the customer’s requirements and needs help technicians respond to the best of their ability whether it’s an installation, repair, or defective product. Once a technician has been made aware of the issue, he can communicate the problem to other departments and request another part, a different service, or pass it onto the account manager who can escalate the issue and solve it in a timely manner.

Field Service Management

At Epicor, field service management is here to stay. Located on the Cloud for easy access, Service Pro for manufacturing is field service management software for companies with service technicians. A mobile app, visual scheduler, asset management, and business intelligence are among the many features available on this software that is integrated with Epicor Kinetic.

To learn more about why you should implement a field service management software to your current ERP, contact our team of experts today.

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