What it Takes to be a Warranty Administrator


30-Second Snapshot:

You must always be careful to hire a Warranty Administrator who knows what they’re doing or you could have a massive chargeback, unpaid claims, or mutiny on your hands. Always look for someone who fits the following:

  • Analytical, organized, process driven
  • Fair-minded, respectful, maintain integrity
  • A warranty and service background
  • Accounting skills
  • Parts knowledge
  • Knowledge of policy and procedure
  • And more...


There seem to be two main views in dealerships when it comes to hiring warranty administrators.

  1. They are a clerk and anyone can be trained to do it.
  2. This is a highly valuable position and only a qualified candidate should get the job.

If you fall into the first category, there are some important qualifications to look for in your Admin before training can begin successfully.

They have to be wired to fit the position.

  • Analytical, organized, process driven
  • Fair-minded, respectful, maintain integrity
  • Persistent, good communication skills, Aptitude for teaching
  • Patient yet fiery
  • Have the courage to fight for money you deserve

Without these qualities, no matter how much you teach them, they will never be a great administrator. He or she may be able to push the paper, but will never be an asset to your dealership and will probably cost you big, big bucks in a factory audit. Then you’re looking for a new administrator...again.

We’ve seen it time and again. A Dealer will hire an unqualified person off of the street because they’re cheap labor and “anyone can do warranty.” They usually don’t last long.

In the administrator position, one must be able to analyze the claim and examine it for the proper sequence of events making sure that all items are present before closing the repair out. In most cases, it is the administrator that will teach the service staff what process they need to follow.

Fair-minded sounds a like an odd attribute for an administrator but without a healthy respect for technicians and advisors, they will not be seen as an asset to the dealership. In fact, they will be a liability due to the tension they create.

For example: When a technician cannot be paid for part of a job he completed because he didn’t follow the proper process, the administrator cannot have a lack of compassion and respect. The mindset has to be that it really breaks your heart that you cannot pay the time because the poor guy did the job, but having the integrity you cannot claim it because it isn’t right.

I have seen many administrators without these skills go to the technician and throw the paperwork at them and say “I can’t pay you, you didn’t do it right.” Then turn around and walk away. This can create a lot of conflict between departments.

A simple, “I am sorry, I can’t pay the time on this job because the proper processes were not followed. Here is how it needs to be done the next time,” can go a long way in building unity in the department.

If you fall into that second category and recognize that a warranty administrator is a highly valuable position and only someone qualified can be in the job then not only does the employee have to have the qualities from above but the following skills must be present as well:

  • A warranty and service background
  • Accounting skills
  • Parts knowledge
  • Knowledge of policy and procedure
  • Know how to flat rate labor operations and booking process
  • Reconcile statements
  • Working knowledge of mechanics
  • Excellent computer skills
  • Multitasking skills
  • Work long hours
  • Communication background

These skills take time, training, and seasoning to achieve, but are worth their weight in gold.

Hiring a properly trained administrator is like having a seasoned doctor. If they know their craft then they have seen a few things and have prior experience to draw from that can save you some big headaches during an audit.

Without having both sets of qualifiers, the warranty position will be a short-term employment for the dealership.

You can now see why it is not easy to find a great administrator.

If you’re tired of the turnover, give us a call. We have been doing this for a long time and no, we don’t just hire people off the street. We only hire those who have what it takes so you can know that your administrator is qualified.

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