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“Just ask Your Warranty Administrator”

Most of you know how I feel about people, processes and communication… the key ingredients needed for a successful business.

I recently held a manager’s training session between department managers for a multiple dealership/location organization.  It was discovered during this open training session that the organization needed defined job descriptions for all its personnel including the wash rack and lot porters.

In the same session, we discussed our employees' dealership knowledge regarding policies, procedures, job descriptions, employee performance requirements, and manufacturer guidelines regarding sales and service.

I then shared with the group, if you want a pulse regarding the “goings on” in your fixed operations department, just ask your warranty administrator.

Yes, the warranty administrator who usually sits in his or her office alone, maybe with another administrator (depending on the volume at your dealership) and just goes about their business day in and day out and in some cases with very little involvement with dealership employees.

I know what you are thinking, “the warranty administrator?” Obviously, there are other employees in your fixed operations departments that most likely have a pretty good grasp as well.

But you will find as you speak to the warranty administrator they have a grasp on the following manufacturer and dealership processes, procedures and policies:

  • Manufacturer’s changing policies on warranty coverage and or procedures for specific warranty labor operations. (Affecting our customers)
  • Technicians properly clocking in and out or flagging times for labor ops
  • Specific technicians needing coaching and training regarding “cause & correction of completed labor operations. (Technician write-ups)
  • What advisors need training and coaching during the “customer write-up” process to better understand the customer’s concerns.
  • Authorization process needed prior to ordering repair parts for warranty repairs
  • Which techs are struggling with productivity and efficiency based on processing specific warranty times.
  • Communication between parts team and advisor team regarding status of parts shipment dates and received parts.

This is just a snapshot of what your warranty administrator is aware of.  As an owner or manager, I would include my warranty administrators in management meetings as well as honest feedback regarding my dealership policies and procedures.

If we are not getting our warranty administrators input on a regular basis we are missing the boat regarding key information needed to operate our fixed operations department at maximum capacity.