How can I save money on core returns and warranty recovery?
By Bob Nolen
Hagey Coach developed a parts control system that accommodates core returns and warranty recovery. Many suppliers provide invoice credits for returned cores. Cores include rebuildable items such as brake calipers, air dryer cartridges, water pumps, starters, and alternators, and also include transmissions and engines.
We tag any part with a core value with a special bar-code label and yellow sticker to alert mechanics to recognize it as a core item and not throw it out. Rather, return it for a credit that may range from as little as $10 to as much as $500.
Vendors also may offer no-cost replacements for parts that fail under warranty. We tag warranty items with green stickers marked warranty immediately when they come to remind the parts staff to return the old part for credit.
We use a maintenance management software application — in this case, Dossier from Arsenault Associates — to research vehicle histories for a part that has failed within a warranty period. The technicians know immediately if a part has core or warranty value by the tags on new parts. With this same information saved in the database, we know which cores and failed warranty parts the staff did not save for return credit.
Cores and failed warranty items usually go back to vendors in the box the replacement part arrived in, and the vendor’s driver signs for them on pickup.
By tracking warranty and cores we are saving about $10,000 to $15,000 a year. Throwing away cores and warranty parts is like tossing money in the garbage. We track everything and try not to miss anything.
Bob Nolen is Fleet Manager for Hagey Coach in Souderton, PA.