If you have entered all the warranties into your purchasing system each month as you buy items, you will know when all those items expire. Have your programming IT personnel design a warranty report that summarizes these items and their expiration dates to be entered at the same time the items are received. A warranty time can be tied to the item number with begin (receipt) and expire dates. If everyone gets into the habit of adding this information, a database begins to emerge.
Issue a Warranty Report, ordered in chronological order. Issue this report for the company listing all items that are covered and which are going to run out with the manufacturer. That report would be a good trigger to cause maintenance to have the machine fixed and serviced, extra parts bought if necessary and a request to the manufacturer to inquire if they offer any discounted extended warranty. When you ask ahead of time, you have a better opportunity to get a discount on the extension versus allowing it to run out.
Questions to ask purchasing personnel about warranties, warranty periods, training maintenance personnel:
- If parts are supposed to be under warranty, what information will the vendor ask for 11 months from now on a one year warranty that needs to be written on or associated with a specific part? Is there information they request that you will need to have in the future when something you have purchased fails?
- Are warranty periods entered anywhere in the information purchasing system? Can they be entered into the body of the purchase order since most products have a purchase order noted on them somewhere when they are received? Does the vendor use something to trace their product’s warranty period?
- Have maintenance personnel been trained by purchasing for what to do when parts fail concerning checking warranty periods?
- Do maintenance personnel know not to immediately discard failed products given that they may be under warranty? What is this procedure?
Remember that simply reviewing the complete listing of everything you have purchased that is still under warranty will imprint on the reader’s mind. Because of this review, that person is more likely to question manufacturer coverage on an item that breaks down since he has reviewed the current coverage listing. The listing will serve a purpose in reminding your employees which items to point out when problems occur. If possible print labels with warranty expiration dates on items you buy.