Purchased parts are often used by different customers, in multiple models, anywhere in the world. During the warranty period, the manufacturer of the finished product is liable for possible defects, but suppliers must also take responsibility. A new software module systematically processes field data and provides valuable information about products in the field.
In order to be able to comprehensively analyze all data coming in from the field, a reliable database must first be generated. However, it may often take days and weeks before the data that suppliers receive from their customers in the form of complaint or claim notifications is available for analysis. Precious time, which the supplier does not have: The examination of any claims received is a duty which must be fulfilled promptly.
The big challenge of warranty management is therefore to process individual customer data as quickly as possible so that important insights can be derived from it. For collecting, standardizing, and analyzing field data, there is now a new software module that is fully integrated into the CAQ system BabtecQ. The solution also provides the basis for initiating a qualified objection in case of doubt.
Most manufacturers from whom suppliers receive data in the event of a defect or failure rely on their own data formats. As a result, depending on the customer, the same information is only available in vastly different forms. Only if these data are harmonized into a uniform format, they can be reasonably compared.
The Field Data Analysis module takes over this data compilation according to freely selectable specifications. Templates, created once and used over and over, bring together the different customer formats. Dictionaries can be used to standardize usage of such information as the country, the type of defect, or the vehicle model. This guarantees that, for example, entries such as “DE”, “DEU”, and “GER” can all be included in the same country code, and focal points of failure can be localized across different manufacturers.
Manufacturers can also make mistakes – are the reported warranty claims really all true and subject to the warranty? It is necessary to verify whether the contractual arrangements have been complied with and whether the transferred data are indeed valid. The software checks the data using validation rules, which the supplier flexibly adjusts according to in-house requirements. For example, the supplier can immediately see whether the failures are actually within the warranty period or whether the agreed-upon acceptance rates for calculating claims have been taken into account, all at the touch of a button. If this is not the case, a qualified appeal can be initiated on the basis of the findings.
As soon as a valid database is present, field data can be analyzed in a structured manner and useful information about products scattered around the world can be obtained. If it turns out that the supplier really is responsible for the quality defect, damage limitation must be pursued. It is important to detect failure behavior as early as possible and to act quickly in the wake of sound analyses. For this, the software provides a number of well-proven analysis methods. For example, isochrone curves inform of the failure behavior of products depending on the age of the vehicle. In addition, failure rates are automatically determined for each product. Using graphically processed field data, focal points and trends can be detected. In addition, the use of statistical forecasting provides information on how failures will develop until the end of the warranty period and depending on the quantities produced.
What can take up to 80 percent of the processing time with conventional solutions is done automatically by the Warranty Management software. The resources gained in this way can then again be used for the really important tasks: the complex analysis of the causes and introducing effective corrective measures for the continuous improvement of the products.