Issue Date: Warranty Administrator for Ford Dealers Mar 2008, Posted On: 3/1/2008
Warranty policy requires demonstration of management control of the repair process One of the hallmarks of a good dealership warranty system is making sure the right technician gets the right job. Dispatching is always a challenging job - Ford's requirements for warranty repairs, make that job just a little bit more difficult.
After the advisors write the work order, get all of the vehicle information, and the customer's signature, it is time to assign the job to a technician. There are a number of controls that Ford requires to assure that service management has sufficient oversight of the repair process.
Prior to dispatching the repair order to a technician, some important decisions must be made. It is important to get the job to the technician who is most capable of repairing the particular concern of the customer. It should go without saying that Ford is a big believer that this will result in the best repair situation (in other words, it will cost them the least amount of money - now and in the future.)
Factors, which must be considered, include: the estimated repair time, the skill level of the job, and verifying that a trained technician is available, as are any special tools needed.
Warranty policy will add on a few extra considerations, such as if the customer has had similar complaints of the same type on the vehicle. If it is an unusual or intermittent fault, then a decision needs to be made about how much verification, in the form of test drives and other methods to replicate the concern, need to be performed by shop management.
It is important to note that Ford has always required that only experienced, qualified technicians be assigned warranty repairs. Under the shop competency and diesel training requirements, this requirement is directly tied to claim payment.
Some shops will actually have a dispatcher, or a person to assign the work to the technicians, based on the factors mentioned above. Other stores will leave such duties to a shop foreman, assistant service manager, team leader or other type of management position. However, the majority of Ford shops use a system where the advisors will act as dispatcher for their own repair orders.
There are some other controls related to dispatch:
Responsible for identifying the tech assigned to the repair by their ID number.
Maintain technician's daily time and job tickets and record "on" and "off" times on each job to allow tracking of technician efficiency and productivity.
Review parts and technician repair information and add appropriate Labor Time Standards Operations.
Flag repair orders and forward for closeout and pricing.
All customer pay, warranty and internal R.O. time must be accounted for through the technician's time and payroll records.