If you work for a global manufacturer of durable equipment, then it is likely that your company still operates a legacy system for warranty management. Legacy systems are costly to maintain and modify. Since there are very few people inside the organization who remember how the system works, your company must employ people with specialized knowledge of the system. At issue, these people are usually focused only on the task of system maintenance and may provide little value to the company beyond this task.
It is typically the exception rather than the norm for business users of the system to obtain the upgrade and enhancements they require because it involves so much development effort. As a result, business people may lack certain software features and functions needed to manage critical business processes and interaction. Instead, they must rely on manual efforts or process workaround to get their work done which usually requires additional staff. In addition, legacy systems often lack integration capabilities with newer corporate system and applications.
The net impact is that legacy systems can lead to operating inefficiencies, productivity issues, and costly errors. As a warranty manager, you are held accountable for cost and quality. The challenges associated with legacy systems can have an adverse impact on your department’s performance. However, there are solutions to these challenges.
Challenges facing a leading Building Products Manufacturer
Louisiana Pacific Corporation (LP CORP), a leading manufacturer of innovative building products, provides industry-leading service and warranties to help customers build smarter, better and faster. LP Corp was facing many challenges with an aging warranty database, international claims processes, and inefficiencies in reporting/analytics. This was because LP CORP was utilizing a legacy application to manage its warranty processes.
At issue, each country where LP operated was using a different legacy system for claims registrations, investigations, and settlements. There were language and system compatibility issues between these applications in Europe and the United States. There was no integration or translation possible between the systems. In addition, the applications were over ten years old and reaching their end of life.
It was problematic and costly for LP Corp to modify and maintain these multiple systems. The global standardization of common processes was nearly impossible. Business people could not generate their own reports. Instead, they had to really on software programmer to create the report and it was difficult to find qualified people to maintain the code in these legacy systems. In addition, reports and notifications from Europe needed to be translated into English. Furthermore, extra time was needed to review emails and voice mails to make sure nothing got lost in translation.
As might be expected, there was a duplication of effort required to make sure information was accurate. This often resulted in delays in approvals, information updates, and payments. For Vance Thomas, LP Building Solutions’ Corporate Warranty Manager, this meant early mornings and late nights resolving issues. More importantly, his headcount was continually growing to deal with these process inefficiencies.
A Flexible Solution
After an exhaustive search, LP Corp decided to implement a Cloud-based, Global Warranty System, powered by Mize Warranty Solution, to optimize warranty claims and customer support processes. Mize enabled LP Corp to leverage best practices and standardize internal processes across all claim groups. Mize also provided a system that provides flexibility for future processes as well as improvements in analytics and forecasting.
In addition, the flexibility of the Mize solution allows LP Corp to manage various warranty policies, business rules, workflows, forms, and correspondence templates to meet the needs of various regions, product groups, and third-party contractors. With the Inspections Smart Blox from Mize, the LP Corp team can perform field inspections on any mobile device and generate warranty investigation reports. Mize mobile app on iOS and Android allows field inspectors to capture inspection data and pictures to support the claim process. All the communication is captured and tracked for each case and claim including emails, comments, and pictures. The Mize application is integrated with SAP for financial and payment transactions.
Download IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Manufacturing Warranty and Service Contract Management Applications 2019 Vendor Assessment (doc # US44408619, December 2019) -Mize Profile.
Benefits of the New Solution
Mize has enabled LP Corp to make significant improvements in data quality and analytics. In addition, LP Corp has been able to centralize its entire claims process into the single, cloud-based global system making it possible for all claims offices to work from the same database and eliminate the duplication of effort. As a result, the company has been able to consolidate offices. LP has also observed an increase in operating efficiency now that Inspection personnel use the mobile application to track labor and time. In fact, they have been able to reduce the time to process inspections by a total of 2 hours per inspect.
These improvements netted a 15% cost saving in the 1st year for LP Corp. The company anticipates 3 X ROI over the 5 years life of the cloud solution contract from Mize. Of course, LP Corp will continue to reap efficiency gains in the future. For example, the company can quickly incorporate new product lines into the Mize system and well as easily migrate and incorporate product lines from acquired companies into Mize. In other words, the cost savings from the new system will no doubt support future growth initiatives for LP CORP
Achieving similar results
Would you like to achieve similar results in your company? Download our on-demand webinar recording to learn more about LP Corp’s warranty transformation. You’ll learn how Mize helped LP Corp reduce claims processing costs by 15% by consolidating multiple systems into a single, global application.
To view the Webinar recording, and download the presentation slides click here
And to learn more about the Mize Warranty Management Solution click here