April 5, 2021

Is it time to automate equipment warranty tracking?

Like it or not, staying on top of equipment warranty requirements and expiration dates is an important task in the construction business. Warranty compliance impacts safety and is often looked at when insurance companies investigate workers’ compensation cases. Following warranty policies is critical not only for remaining in compliance, but also for developing a preventive maintenance schedule and identifying which repairs or replacements are covered under warranties.

If your construction company maintains multiple vehicles and pieces of equipment, and you’re often struggling to track their various warranties, it may be time to automate the process. By using digital methods, your staff can more easily store, track, file and collect on warranty claims.

Basic strategies

Perhaps the easiest way to track warranties is to send all repairs directly to the dealer network and let the dealer handle warranty claims. Some vehicle and equipment dealers also offer customers an online portal to file and manage claims for both the base warranty and extended warranties from other suppliers.

Another basic strategy is to log warranty information into a database using commonly used spreadsheet software. Users can sort and search warranty information by manufacturer, purchase date, model number, registration number, expiration date and so forth to build reports using pivot tables. However, these documents generally can’t send advance alerts when warranties are expiring or when there’s any applicable warranty coverage for maintenance and repairs.

Advanced solutions

For more advanced in-house warranty management needs, consider using industry-specific business management solutions. These include asset management, construction maintenance management or fleet maintenance software. Such solutions typically offer a warranty-tracking component that you can use to track each piece of equipment in one central system and alert technicians of pending warranty expiration dates.

Plus, when a repair request or work order is created in the system, the software can automatically search warranty data per the equipment, components or parts and create a notification if there’s coverage.

More sophisticated solutions also make it easy to track warranties for aftermarket parts — such as batteries, bulbs, starters, alternators, and steering and suspension products. Tracking and recovering warranty dollars related to aftermarket parts can add up to substantial savings over time, depending on your fleet size.

Worth consideration

As a construction company grows, using manual methods to keep track of warranties for vehicles and equipment can become a full-time job, and most businesses don’t employ such an individual. Although investing in a warranty tracking solution will entail upfront purchase, implementation and training costs, the eventual savings mentioned may make this a worthwhile outlay.

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