At a time when dealerships are relying more on service departments to maintain profits despite inventory shortages, Ford Motor Co. is trying to streamline warranty processes to pay out claims faster and keep repair work flowing . Most of the changes relate to bureaucratic red tape that has frustrated service technicians and delayed work.
In one instance, Ford removed the requirement for a technician to obtain pre-approval from the factory before beginning work on a warranty claim. Another change relaxed rules about keeping defective parts that Ford could recall for examination, which took up shelf space and required technicians to fill out tedious paperwork when Ford requested the part be returned.
“When you looked at the bureaucracy and the complexity of what we were doing, it was a bit like a dog chasing its tail,” said David Abatsis, owner of Acton Ford in Massachusetts. Automotive News. “Ford’s goal has been to keep a wrench in a technician’s hand more than all that involvement in processing and documentation.”
The changes, which have been rolled out in recent months and were based on dealer feedback and internal surveys, are not only intended to speed up repair work, but also to ease technicians working in high-stress environments. It’s part of an effort by Ford to retain workers in a field suffering from a shortage of available bodies.