Guest Post with Matt Singer, Chief Financial Officer at Ecotrak
Effective warranty tracking is underutilized, but offers great opportunities to reduce spend and improve efficiencies. Without warranty realization, work orders are submitted without knowing whether the equipment, service or part is under warranty. This could result in paying for a service visit or part that could have been free. We sat down with Matt Singer, Chief Financial Officer of Ecotrak, to discuss how you can make sure you’re not missing out on significant cost savings and efficiencies now or in the future.
Shortfalls of Manual Warranty Tracking
Many franchisees track warranties in their email, spreadsheets, Word documents or paper files. Capturing warranties this way can lead to a system of chaos, often lacking complete information on the warranties or universal access to the documents.
A manual approach can also be complicated when you manage multiple locations or the person managing the documents is out of the office or leaves the company. If a critical asset needs repair, and the warranty information isn’t readily available, chances are you’ll move forward with the work order regardless of the potential savings a warranty might provide.
Bottom line: A manual warranty tracking process creates too many opportunities for human error and can also make business continuity difficult to achieve.
When to Consider A Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) for Warranty Tracking
“Unless you can quickly and confidently answer the following questions,” says Singer, “you may be wasting money unnecessarily by not realizing warranties.” A CMMS can provide these missing benefits. So, ask yourself:
- How many pieces of equipment are currently under warranty?
- What are the standard terms of the warranties?
- Can you calculate warranty savings and compare it to R&M spend?
- Are you capturing three levels of warranties—manufacturers, service providers and parts—every time?
If this information isn’t easy for you to access, facility management software can maximize savings for your company by ensuring all your warranties are captured and utilized.
What kinds of warranties can Facility Management Software track?
Facility management software tracks three levels of warranties for three levels of possible savings:
- Service provider
Service warranties are widely missed because the information is included on invoices that are routed to accounting departments, which do not capture or track the information. Warranties can be captured and verified in the software:
- During the equipment onboarding process
- By uploading existing warranties via an easy template
- Automatically when service providers send their terms and conditions or invoices
An Automated Solution for Efficient Warranty Tracking
Everyone, even smaller franchisees, benefits from a CMMS because of the automation, ease of use, trackability and rich data that can be aggregated. If you’re a small franchisee, facility management software with a powerful CMMS can help streamline processes while you have a manageable number of stores and prepare you for growth.
What to Look for in a Facility Management Software:
Ease of Use
The solution is only as good as the data. If it’s easy to input warranty information, it’s more likely it will happen. It should be easy on the franchisee side and the service provider side. If it’s difficult to place a service request, operators will abandon the software and call the service provider, and now the work order isn’t tracked. If it’s difficult for the service provider to close a work order and process an invoice, they’re going to email it to the franchisee, circumventing the software. A mobile-friendly software also makes the software easy to use and accessible from anywhere.
Unmistakable Visual Cues
The core benefit of the software is to quickly and easily see if a warranty is available and within its expiration date. Strong visual cues indicating these values are key to making this information work for you. Visual cues can be as simple as a big green check mark or big red “X”.
Service Contact Information
A good facility management software can route service requests to the appropriate contact. For example, if there’s a manufacturer warranty available on a piece of equipment, all service requests should be sent to the warranty service provider. After the warranty expires, the technology automatically reroutes work orders to the vetted service provider.
A customizable software solution allows you to build your software to match your company’s needs. Matching your workflows with your CMMS makes it easier for your managers to create service requests and work orders. As a result, you can track the data you need and run your own custom reports.
Multiple Permission Levels
A CMMS helps save you time by eliminating manual invoice processing. Build invoice approval controls for your operators to review and approve invoices directly from the software.
Bottom Line: Efficiently tracking warranties can result in significant cost savings for your business. Learn more about the opportunities provided by a facility management software by contacting Ecotrak today.