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 system should also track and apply claims recovery for each individual vehicle, he adds. Reports showing warranty claim history by vehicle and system will assist the fleet in purchasing and specification decisions.

“While software programs cannot ‘program’ an attitude of watchfulness, they keep the warranties more visible to technicians and managers,” says Swiser of Collective Data. “No one has to remember, or look up the paper records, that the transmission they’re working on came with a 50,000-mile warranty. Since it only has 37,000 miles on it, the shop is due some monies in the form of partial labor reimbursement or parts replacement at a pro-rated price.”

“Without a CMMS, the time resources required to maintain an adequate filling system for work orders by unit, parts and outside repairs by date, and then to look all that up when a repair is completed is tremendous,” says Elstad of Paccar Parts. “In the past, a manual check of the records may show that the parts were eligible for warranty but by the time it was completed the failed part had already been scrapped.

“That is why, traditionally, shop personnel have focused only on the big dollar items, as they are more memorable. Because of the lag caused by the research time and the possibility that the part has already been scrapped, many shops have come to believe that trying to recover warranty on lower cost parts doesn’t pay off.”

Computerized Maintenance Management Systems can provide in-system alerts when a part is eligible for warranty, tag the failed parts, save the information for a more convenient time to process the claim and easily look up previous work orders and supplier invoices for a specific part or job, Elstad notes. The systems “can track any part regardless of its value, reduce the processing time to a tiny fraction of the time required by a manual process and record the recovery to document the total realized savings to the fleet.”

RESOURCE INVESTMENT

“Understand that moving to any Computerized Maintenance Management Systems will require time and people resources,” says Paccar Parts’ Elstad. Nor should a CMMS be considered a cure-all for warranty administration problems.

“A computerized system cannot fix bad information,” he says. “Before uploading or entering your initial data make sure it is clean as possible.”

What’s more, not all warranty issues can be fixed by a computerized system.

For example, Elstad says low-cost parts providers may have shorter warranty coverage periods and limited labor reimbursement. “If the part has to be replaced numerous times, it can end up costing more than its name brand competitor, especially when taking into consideration unit downtime, claim processing and parts re-ordering times.”

“Using the proper software can help eliminate a lot of human errors - whether by commission or omission, but not all errors,” Collective Data’s Swiser adds. “No matter how good the software, it is still going to be used by human beings and can be prone to errors.”

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