Warranty Wake-Up Call: Effectively Managing Warranties Before They Expire
The in-store manager at a brand new big box retail store location faced a plumbing issue that turned into a warranty management catastrophe. Two months after the store opened, a sewage line burst and it was leaking all over the floors and adjacent rooms. The store manager panicked and called the first plumber he could find online instead of contacting his facility team. The plumber who came out ended up doing a poor job and the problem ended up worse.
When the facility team found out what had happened, they scrambled to find out who had done the original plumbing. After a day of searching, they found the contact info and called the original plumbing contractor to come out and fix the issue.
When the contractor arrived and saw that someone else had messed with the plumbing, he voided the original warranty. Fixing the damage ended up costing over $40,000. All of which would have been covered 100% by the warranty.
Why? Because the store manager didn’t know what to do in case of such a situation. Also, the facility team didn’t have a warranty or record management process in place to share with each location.
Poor warranty management isn’t all on the facility manager.
It’s easy to blame the new on-site manager in this case. But without a response process in place and the facility team’s lack of access to the warranty information they needed in seconds, he reacted the best way he thought to mitigate further property damage. Even the most experienced managers are vulnerable to this scenario. With warranty documents buried in file cabinets or in an obscure digital location, the manage faces a tough situation.
Facility managers need the tools to manage their warranties so everything is easily and quickly accessible.
Going back to our original scenario, what if the in-store manager had spent a couple hours searching for the warranty? The damage from the pipe burst could have exceeded $40,000. It’s easy to look back and say he should have looked for the warranty or called the facility team. But depending on what’s at risk (for example, expensive equipment), he may have made the right decision.
Many CFOs are shocked to see expensive repairs on warrantied equipment.
When a CFO or other financial officer looks back at expenditures, they don’t see the breakdown in warranty management. Or that the manager did what he could based on the scenario.
Rather, they see a completely unnecessary expense. They also see a voided warranty that will continue to cost the business money down the road. This makes the ability to understand the status of every warranty pivotal to job security and operational efficiency for both FMs and in-store managers.
Better Record Management, Better Decisions
The warranty management system had completely failed the facility manager and his team. But the panic of the situation could’ve been avoided with a better record management system. If the in-store manager had been able to access the information in seconds, he would have had time to find the warranty.
Poor warranty management and poor record management are one in the same.
Most of the time, important records are only stored in the heads of long-time employees. So what happens when those people leave? Or when they’re on vacation?
There is a better way to manage warranty information: ARC® Mobile Facilities Dashboard. Have warranty information available on your (and anyone on your team’s) phone, tablet or computer. It’s also available offline, and it can distribute updates to everyone on the team. It’s cloud-based warranty information management, and it help solve your record and warranty management problems.