Discussion Warranted

Abstract:The impact warranties have on a company’s bottom line may not be readily apparent. A warranty is more complex than a simple relationship between buyer and seller, and becomes even more so when multiple tiers of suppliers are involved. Much of the costs incurred from warranty claims could be avoided by practicing efficient warranty management. Understanding the role of warranty in the design, manufacture, and other logistics processes is essential to the success of a …

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Excellent overview of the warranty process in a manufacturing organization.
--A. Kemp, 08-16-2010

This is a very good summary of some major areas that warranty typically touches. I think I may cite this in the introduction of a research paper I am working on.

I recently worked for a company (that I will not name) at which warranty costs were obscene. Extremely poor business processes in the warranty department, along with some of the lack of fundamental "blocking and tackling" items Andre described, were costing the company millions of dollars. I did nearly all the statistical analysis associated with warranty, and one thing became very obvious very quickly: Warranty data has the ability to expose major problems throughout the organization. This does not always go over well with the owners of those processes and can create a political minefield for the analyst. This leads me to believe that because of the ubiquitous nature of warranty, the analysts must be autonomous to do the work and strongly supported by senior management. There were a number of times I did really good work, and it was buried never to see the light of day because it "made a process owner look bad."

After that experience, I now am of the opinion that unless the warranty analysis group serves independently as a truth commission and reports directly to the president of the company, they will be limited in their effectiveness.

Just wanted to make mention of the nasty underbelly that can exist. Again, nice write-up...
--Jason Overstreet, 06-04-2010

A good article. If we can add service quality as one more feedback loop from the dealer service point and advance corrective actions as part of the quality initiative, it would go a long way to improving customer satisfaction

--Subramania Kannan, 05-25-2010

Good article. Useful.
--Desai, 05-24-2010

Warranty claims are often affected by the unanticipated difference between the designed use of an article and the actual consumer use. The role of marketing in giving unsupportable consumer expectations regarding the utility or strength or longevity of an article can significantly impact warranty cost or company reputation. Having the end user say "dump this before the warranty runs out" does not improve sales.
--mark, 05-11-2010

This is a good article. It is time for all of us to start working toward a standard for warranty management. For this to happen, companies need to cast off the veils of secrecy around warranty costs and other data. To reduce the warranty failures, apart from other techniques, you need to go with the physics-of-failure approach. Accelerated testing and multiple environment overstress testing needs to be made mandatory. If the space or aeronautics industries can have better warranty performance, why not automobiles? It is possible. What is required is an open dialogue and action plan.
--R.M.Parkhi, 05-11-2010

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