Since the start of the Warranty Counseling Process in 1996 many dealerships have had a rude awaking. Numerous dealerships are finding themselves going through the agonizing stages of Ford’s “Warranty Counseling Process”, due to abnormally high warranty trends. Unfortunately, it takes most dealerships a substantial financial loss and a years worth of reoccurring headaches to realize the importance of preventive maintenance. Dealerships must remember, they are responsible for fixing the customer’s vehicle concerns and provide Ford with the necessary requirements in supporting the repairs performed. The lack of knowledge in warranty administration is the major reason for chargebacks to a dealership. Most of these administration errors could be drastically reduced if dealers took a Pro-active vs. Re-active approach.
Summers Dealers Services (SDS) has helped many dealerships exit the Warranty Counseling Process. We have conducted many warranty reviews for concerned dealers to try and find out why they are having abnormal warranty trends. Again, what we found is that poor warranty administration is the leading contributor to abnormal warranty trends. We believe this condition exist because most dealerships do not have one person from the outside review how your employees have been enforcing the rules set by the manufacturer.
Another area of concern that no ones like to mention is false and fraudulent claims collection. Some dealerships find out that their employees are not as honest as they thought. When you hire your personnel you never think they might take advantage of the system and put your dealership in jeopardy. Although the ACESII system has made impressive strides in helping to reduce fraudulent activity, a knowledgeable employee can easily manipulate the payment system. The best way to stop this type of activity is to have a random Warranty Claims Review to keep tabs on your warranty claims collection. To produce outstanding employees you must invest money in proper training and put them under constant scrutiny.
Time after time, we hear dealerships indicate that they have no outstanding claims and all the repair orders are getting paid in a timely manner. This is great, but dealerships must be able to recognize the hidden dangers in warranty claims collection. Just because the ACESII payment system is paying all the repair orders, this does not mean that your responsibilities have been fulfilled. This is where most dealerships find themselves in trouble because they lack the necessary documentation and knowledge required to support the repair payments as outlined in the Sales and Service Agreement.
We all know that it is virtually impossible to keep up with the expanding demands that Ford is requiring on all of it’s warranty repair orders. Still, it is the companies right to demand money back because your personnel are not keeping up with their end of the bargain. By taking a pro-active approach and letting us help your dealership to find its weakness, we can help you avoid ending up in the Warranty Counseling Process. When the areas being misused or abused are discovered and the proper correction plan is implemented you will see a drastic improvement. Once your employees obtain a solid understanding of the proper requirements in warranty claims collection, your chances for a costly audit are greatly reduced.
Let’s face it. You completed the repair, paid the technician, purchased the parts from the manufacturer and now the company can chargeback the repair because your people did not initial the repair order or in other terms, they did not cross the “T” or dot the “I”. Do not give up your hard earned cash without a fight. The Warranty Practice Review is the cheapest insurance that you can purchase. Your personnel want to do things right but they need direction and constant guidance. Provide them with the tools to carry out their jobs properly. Summers Dealer Services offers detailed training and will provide individual assistance to needing employees. This is something that the manufacturer lacks in offering.
These are just a few of the areas that will be beneficial to your dealership when participating in the sponsored Warranty Practice Review. Listed below are a few examples of what you can expected from the Warranty Practice Review:
- Review of fifty repair orders (hard copy, original, related support)
- Audit tag attached to each repair order with deficiencies
- Open phone line for any questions pertaining to warranty
- Audit proof your dealership to limit potential chargebacks from Ford Motor Company
- Option to assist with other warranty concerns
- Determine if proper warranty administration and claim payment are being followed
- Keep your employees abreast of the ever changing warranty field
Just because your Warranty Trend Report (126DP) shows that your warranty numbers are below or at average with the other dealerships in your region, does not mean that a Warranty Practice Review will not be beneficial to you. We have conducted reviews and have found large amounts of missed eligible dollars waiting to be collected. In many cases, the cost of the Warranty Practice Review is recovered from uncollected dollars.
Having a warranty expert review your dealership’s operations is the best possible insurance you can buy. The knowledge your employees will gain is ten fold for the money spent. As always the information from the review findings will not be shared with anyone except with your own personnel. Regular check-ups will increase employee knowledge of this complex and ever changing world of warranty. You will also receive a report card on your employees knowledge so you can see where you stand and how you can improve. Do not wait to contact us when you have already entered into the Warranty Counseling Process. It is time for dealerships to become pro-active in this crucial area. Remember the manufacturer is your largest paying service customer so take the appropriate step in make sure your doing what is required of your business . There is know reason why your hard earned cash should ever be taken away!!
We cannot stress enough how many dealerships are jump started after a Warranty Practice Review so why wait! Having a professional review your dealerships policies and procedures will assist in correcting your dealership’s concerns with no chargebacks.