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Director of Warranty Operations

Location: Southern California | Job # 709 | Category: Operations

Our client is seeking a Director of Warranty Operations. This position is responsible for the strategic planning and oversight for all aspects of Warranty Operations, Technical Assistance and Prior Warranty Authorization through the Technical Center as well as the US Service Garage operations. This role has significant value as the subject matter expert and lead representative for all Warranty Operations within the US.

Primary Responsibilities: 

  • Collaboration with the North American Safety Office, Warranty Operations and Product Quality teams to develop the most effective policies, procedures and systems necessary to facilitate warranty/ campaign repairs for customers via the Dealer network
  • Ensuring timely and accurate Dealer payment and factory and vendor recovery per established warranty agreements
  • Compliance with all state and federal laws
  • Development of strategies and oversight of dealer policy compliance through use of systems, analysis, and audits
  • Maximizing effectiveness of the Technical Center and Service Garage in support of customers, product quality and execution of vehicle warranties
  • The continuous development of warranty and technical support operations that support a positive brand image and dealer relations

Major Responsibilities:

  1. Warranty Operations 20% – Provide strategic direction to the warranty team for warranty policy development and implementation in coordination with Corporate HQ, US Legal and Product Quality. Represent US warranty policies and implementation to the field and dealers.
  2. Warranty Assurance 20% – Provide strategic direction, oversight and corrective action plans for dealer warranty compliance activities. This includes utilizing available warranty data to develop KPI’s and audit protocols for maintaining proper compliance and expense control.
  3. Technical Center 20% – Provide strategic direction and oversight for Dealer troubleshooting and repair support hotline, both web portal CRM and phone, develop effective prior warranty authorization processes, consult with Product Quality and Parts regarding emerging issues and service information deficiencies, support development of technical instruction through Corporate University, liaise with Field Technical Specialists for on-site dealer technical support, review Technical Center effectiveness and develop plans for improvement to meet the needs of the dealer network.
  4. Warranty Systems 15% – Provide strategic direction for warranty administration and compliance by establishing and maintaining guidelines for effective utilization of warranty systems. This will maximize systemization and uniformity of compliance efforts while reducing manual monitoring or approvals.
  5. Warranty Planning and Recovery 15% – Thoroughly review and analyze all aspects of department expenses and recovery from the factories and local vendors. Develop strategies and action plans and lead efforts to minimize expenses and maximize recovery where/when required.
  6. Service Garage 10% – Operation of US corporate repair facility including company vehicle maintenance and repair, shop equipment maintenance, advanced troubleshooting with difficult to repair vehicles, analysis and time study of new repair procedures and special TSB repairs and off-site vehicle support for media and other company-sponsored special events.

Personally Performed Duties: 

  • Provide oversight and strategic direction for all warranty activities, including the approval of all policy decisions in coordination with vehicle manufacturers, local vendors and suppliers, Regional and Corporate Headquarters, and Global Staff Coordinators
  • Provide strategic direction for the management and continuous development of the systems needed to facilitate timely and accurate submission of warranty claims by dealers, warranty claim approval for payment to dealers, warranty expense management, claim recovery from factories and vendors and any required reporting (e.g., a Labor Time Standards (LTS) system, Warranty Intelligence Network (WIN), WebDCS, claim edit systems, PWA and PAS Systems, TREAD reporting systems, etc.)
  • Interface with and direct field personnel as the subject matter expert for the US in the area of warranty operations
  • Direct the development of evolving methodology and processes used to (a) analyze and identify excess dealer warranty expense or fraudulent warranty activities and (b) conduct dealer warranty reviews/audits and parts return inspections in compliance with federal and state laws
  • Direct the operation of the Technical Center support team to provide timely repair assistance and prior work authorization for specific repair operations which meets dealer expectations, liaise with Field Technical team for escalation, and provide product quality feedback and support including early warning reporting
  • Lead cross-functional efforts for continuous improvement of systems and reporting to support the identification of quality or parts-related issues driving warranty expense and action by the Product Quality (countermeasures) or Parts teams (pricing, remanufacture programs, etc.) 
  • Oversee the effective implementation of claim recovery processes and systems to ensure timely and accurate expense recovery from factories, local vendors and others as required to facilitate maximum expense recovery
  • Provide guidance and direction for dealer and field team Warranty-related education through publications, webinars, parts, and service club meeting attendance, as well as Corporate University training.
  • Review and approve TREAD reporting of warranty claims and other reporting or support activities/projects required to ensure compliance with all federal and state warranty laws
  • Direct Service Garage activities including facility, equipment, and tooling maintenance, company vehicle maintenance and repair, advanced troubleshooting, validation and development of new diagnosis and repair procedures including technical service bulletins, and off-site vehicle support for media and other company­ sponsored special events
  • Interface, collaborate and consult with the Legal Department regarding warranty liability, litigation or other warranty-related matters as needed
  • Operation and management of all departmental operations within approved headcount and budget guidelines (including development of the annual department budget)
  • Support personnel development and corporate objectives (job knowledge and efficiency utilizing cross-training, documented job procedures and Corporate provided educational opportunities) for all department staff through leadership and mentoring techniques

Job Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s Degree and Engineering background preferred
  • 15+ years’ experience in the automotive industry, retail and/or corporate with dealer contact experience preferred
  • 10+ years of managerial experience in a wholesale automotive environment
  • Overall knowledge of manufacturer, field, and dealership operations
  • Demonstrated leadership skills managing large teams

Directly Related Experience:

  • 10+ years of successful strategic oversight in warranty operations management experience, including knowledge of administration and various state laws governing manufacturer-dealer relations
  • 5+ years of technical knowledge of automotive systems and repair
  • 3+ years’ experience in retail dealership service operations
  • 3+ years’ experience at the OE/Distributor field level
  • Regional automotive field experience preferred
  • Must have deep understanding of warranty operations, warranty assurance, and warranty planning/recovery
  • Knowledge and understanding of both wholesale and retail automotive operations regarding all areas of warranty operations

Skills:

  • Technical knowledge of automotive systems and repair
  • Detail-oriented with excellent analytical and independent critical thinking skills including statistical analysis
  • Knowledge and understanding of systems development and maintenance
  • Planning, training, motivation, implementation, and management skills
  • Strong people management, written and oral presentation/communication skills
  • MS Office proficiency (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), SharePoint is a plus
  • Ability to work effectively in a multi-cultural environment

Problem Solving/Decision Making:

This position has a large degree of latitude to provide independent judgment and decisions to the field and dealers regarding existing and required warranty policies and claims payment, as well as analysis of claim data and processes generating warranty expense for facilitated actions with the factories, US product quality organization, field teams and dealers, to improve vehicle quality and reduce unnecessary expense.

This position is also responsible for developing, interpreting, disseminating and implementing warranty policies, guidelines and protocols. This includes understanding and incorporating Legal, Product Quality, and compliance requirements.

Therefore, the position has a high degree of fiscal responsibility. Because there is potential to testify on behalf of warranty-related matters, there is a high degree of legal responsibility as well.

ANTICIPATED COMPENSATION RANGE: $150k – $250k

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