More Effective Warranty Administration

Warranty recovery involves the tracking and recovery of all vehicle expenses related to manufacturer recalls and vehicle warranty-type repairs. While managing warranty recovery can be a time-consuming and complex task, it can also be one of the quickest...


“The biggest challenges customers face regarding warranty claims are identifying if a part is eligible for warranty reimbursement, preparing the claim information and tracking the recovery, Paccar Parts’ Elstad says. “These are the same reasons why many fleets lose thousands of dollars every year that they should have recovered.

“When a part fails, identifying whether it is under warranty can be a huge obstacle. If you don’t have a good shop management system, it could require wading through a lot of paperwork for parts invoices, work orders and claim forms.

“Thousands of dollars in potential warranty claims go un-filed because managers can’t find the right documentation or because of the time required to do the research,” continues Elstad. “A quality shop management system, like the Paccar Connect system, solves these issues and can be used to manage all warranty requirements by utilizing an unlimited amount of user-defined warranty schedules for all types of equipment.”

The right system needs to be able to manage warranty schedules - whether it is a new truck with an extensive warranty or replacement parts with variable warranty periods, for example: 2 years/200,000 miles, he says. The system also needs to remove the guesswork by automatically alerting the user of possible warranty coverage, provide a way to tag the failed part so it isn’t discarded and make it easy to look up prior work orders and parts invoices that will be required when creating a claim.

In addition, the shop system should “be able to capture your warranty recovery so that you can measure your success over time with each supplier.”

TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANTAGES

It makes good business sense for a fleet to employ a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) to handle warranty management and administration. These systems are tools to help control, optimize and verify maintenance activities.

Most simply, a CMMS “takes the remembering out of the process,” Collective Data’s Swiser says. “The software remembers for you.”

“One of the most daunting tasks of warranty administration is identifying potential claims in the mass of paperwork that flows through a maintenance system,” says Walters of TMW Systems. “Without computerization, this task requires a manual review of each document by a skilled warranty administrator or team of individuals based on the volume of repairs. This manual process occurs after the fact and eliminates the option of optimizing the warranty solution.

“Computerized electronic records lay the foundation for automated warranty identification and warranty alerts in real-time, whereby the fleet can optimize a repair solution.”

“There are many benefits to a Computerized Managed Maintenance System,” adds Paccar Parts’ Elstad. “Warranty is one of them, as it provides an immediate and easily measurable return on the fleet’s investment in the system.”

In general, computerized warranty management systems allow the user to carefully record all available warranty coverages on each vehicle and also aftermarket parts, Walters says. Once this data set is established and applied, the system should identify all potential claims in real-time.

For vehicles, the user simply tells the program what warranty the vehicle has - time, miles, etc., and then instructs the program on who to notify as the expiration approaches, explains Swiser.

For parts, when the user sets up a part in the inventory file, they define what the warranty is for that part, he says. Whenever that part is used on a work order, the warranty “attaches” itself to the equipment worked on. If the same equipment comes in for repair and that same part is placed on a work order, most systems will warn the user that the particular part number was used on a previous work order and may still be under warranty.

CLAIMS IDENTIFICATION

Another big issue fleets face is not always submitting work and reconciling payments received for repairs made on warranty vehicles. Software programs can help with this.

“A good information management system should automatically identify all possible claims based upon the warranty set up for the vehicle,” TMW Systems’ Walters says. “Once identified, the claim can be reviewed for accuracy and edited if needed. Some systems will even generate a fileable claim from the data provided.”

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