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A warranty administrator works for a retail or distribution facility and communicates with manufacturers about defective parts or repairs for a specific product, such as electronic components or modules. This worker writes warranty requests, collects and ships failed parts, and works with the accounting department to ensure that all part and labor claims are paid in full. In fact, this administrative position may oversee a number of other warranty workers if the business is relatively large, such as an automotive dealership.
New parts that are defective are normally sent back to the manufacturer for monetary credit, especially if worker labor is involved to replace and adjust the part. Each manufacturer inspects the returned parts and distributes credit to the facility claiming the work; parts are usually credited at cost and labor hours are paid based on the individual manufacturer's specifications. Warranty administrators must make sure that each claim is paid to keep inventory levels correctly counted and the repair process profitable and fair.
Initially, the warranty administrator must prepare a standardized form to submit the claim; the form normally requires the part number and description, as well as all the information regarding the failure and replacement. The administrator must verify that the claimed labor hours are correct for the specific part replacement. Many manufacturers will disregard a claim if the labor hours claimed are too excessive for the particular repair job.
Failed parts must be returned to the manufacturer by the warranty administrator. Typically, the parts must be attached to the claim form for rapid processing; lost parts or claims can require research by both the manufacturer and administrator, which costs time and money. The warranty administrator should ship the parts and claim through a traceable shipping company so that proof of delivery is possible.
Warranty funding may take a number of weeks before the accounting department sees the monetary credit from the manufacturer. The warranty administrator should have a spreadsheet or other documenting process to confirm open claims. As a result of the documentation, workers can confer with accounting if any claims are being held or have been lost; any issues can be resolved in a timely manner to ensure a fast payment process.
Larger repair facilities, especially in the automotive industry, usually have an administrator overseeing a number of other workers. The group as a whole will divide the warranty duties between each employee to ensure rapid payment. The main administrator may simply supervise the workers and respond to any unusual issues that may arise.
The demands of the automotive industry are very unique and challenging for newcomers to the field. Warranty coding directly affects the pay of the technicians, service advisers, parts advisers and your managers, so it will be difficult for someone with no actual automotive experience to be given this position. If a dealership can hire internally, it will. Ex technicians make the best warranty administrators, but any in house position can be promoted.
I started out as an appointment coordinator, and seven years later after learning other positions, I became a warranty administrator. I love it! The best part is when a master technician rips apart a vehicle. Pretty freaking awesome.