WCM Conference Preview, Part 1
If you can believe it, the 14th annual Warranty Chain Management Conference is going to convene in less than three weeks in San Diego. So much has changed since the first WCM opened in 2005, and so much is going to change this year, as new technologies take hold, and old competitors merge and reorganize.
Manufacturers and Suppliers
Another track scheduled at the exact same time is a panel discussion entitled, “Collaborative Warranty Management: OEM, Dealer & Supplier Perspectives,” moderated by Ashok Kartham, the CEO of Mize Inc., and featuring panelists Dave Bunton from Trek Bicycle, Paul Garand from Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions, Dave Sakata from Freudenberg-NOK, and Jason Payne from Sensata Technologies.
Kartham said collaboration is the keyword in the title. “We want to talk about how all the stakeholders in the warranty process can collaborate,” he said. And that means not only those who are paying claims, but also those who are being paid. Typically, there’s some friction between OEMs and their suppliers, or between OEMs and their dealers, about issues such as claims cost and root cause.
“But we do think they share some common goals,” Kartham said. “One is how to keep the customer happy. Two is whether there is an opportunity to generate some additional sales for extended warranties, parts, upgrades, or accessories. And then also part of this discussion is product quality.”
Kartham said Bunton from Trek Bicycle works on improving supplier recovery as well as how to improve the sharing of product quality metrics with his suppliers. Garand, Payne, and Sakata bring a supplier perspective to the discussion, and will talk about what they need from OEMs to improve product quality and reduce claims cost.
“Each of them has decades of experience managing warranty and quality,” he said. “Also, they have been working with multiple OEMs in their day-to-day jobs. So I think they can bring that perspective of what is working and what is not, and how they can improve that whole supplier and OEM collaboration process.”
Kartham said the people that will get the most out of attending the panel discussion are those who are deeply involved in the OEM-supplier relationship. All the panelists in this case are in the vehicle business, but he said the discussion is meant to be broader in scope than just that single industry. “Every durable goods manufacturer has the same challenges, because 60% to 70% of their components are sourced from suppliers,” he noted. “If they are to effectively manage warranty, they need the suppliers to participate, not only with cost recovery, but also how they can improve quality. So hopefully, we will keep the discussion generic enough so that all industries can benefit.”
Author: Eric Arnum, Warranty Week.