In my career, I have trained over 200 warranty administrators and zero horses. The reason for that is that I know warranty like I know my own name and I know nothing about training horses. In fact, when they put me in the old folk’s home, I will probably just sit there and repeat labor operations and everyone will think I am totally nuts. I do know that when I compare training a warranty admin, it closely resembles the training my horses have or have not received.
We had a little horse named Elbert. He was cute, good-natured, and dependable. He was a caregiver who wanted to please you and would take care of anyone on his back. The problem with Elbert is that we wanted a roping horse that could win in competitions. Elbert could not rope to save his life. He just wasn’t wired to rope.
I compare this to many warranty administrators I have been called on to train. The dealership has someone they just love that has all the wonderful qualities that Elbert had. Everyone wants that kind of employee. They just are a mom to everyone! However, no matter how they try or are trained, they just are not wired to do all the functions that being a warranty administrator requires.
We also had a horse named Bo that my husband just had to have because he was a beautiful paint with this gorgeous long mane and tail that would fly in the wind as Bo ran through the fields. That is all Bo could do, run through the fields. In fact, we couldn’t even ever catch Bo but boy was he nice to look at.
I don’t think I need to draw you a picture here for you to get the comparison if you have ever hired THAT kind of warranty admin.
Next along came Gypsy. There is a reason she had that name because she was a wild one. Not dependable. I won’t draw you a picture on this one either because I know you all have had those experiences in the service department.
I really need to mention our horse named Nit Nat. This was a 30-year-old appaloosa that would trudge along and get the job done but it was painful for whoever would ride him. You had to be patient because getting there was a long slow trip.
Finally, we learned that if we wanted to rope and win that we had to have a horse that first had a natural talent for chasing steers, was built for the job, dependable, and “well trained”. The key to all of this is that we didn’t have the ability (as evidence in all the above horses) to train a roping horse.
What we had to do was pay a fair price for the horse with the qualities we wanted and then spend a fortune on training. Now I am not insinuating that you need to pay a fortune for training but you do have to “invest” in the proper training to have a winning warranty department, just like we had to invest to get a winning competitor.
To think that you can take an Elbert, Gypsy, Nit Nat or Bo to do the job without training is crazy. Now with any of those types, you will have things that you need to live with. The Elbert type will be able to do the job but not be a barn burner. Bo, well let’s say you reap what you sow! Gypsy will need to be harnessed, and Nit Nat you will need to be patient.
So before you hire think about all the qualifications you want your warranty department to have. Evaluate the temperament, learning ability, and what skills the person already has or doesn’t have. Do they have accounting knowledge and computer skills? Do they know how a car operates and is built? Are they fast or methodical and which do you want? How much are you willing to invest in their education?
Finally get them training! In fact get them all the training that you can get your hands on. The manufacturer training is often not enough because it doesn’t bring into account the DMS function of the job or the accounting portion. It is also in“perfect world” training on “perfect” tickets. Often times the best training is the one that is done in your store on your real-world repair orders. The training should also institute a system of accountability for the store.
The more training your warranty department has the more valuable they will be to your dealership. This will also result in you not having warranty dollars lost either in an audit or write off situation.
If you are in need of training, contact us! We have trainers ready to assist in any manufacturer!