Last year, IDC Manufacturing Insights revealed the Warranty Capability Maturity Model (WCMM), a framework for assessment and continuous improvement in warranty management. Three companies, Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc.,Volvo Powertrain and Case New Holland have adopted the model and put their companies through the rigors of self assessment.
While the process is ongoing, the benefits they have garnered so far from using the model include the ability to:
- Perform an objective and comprehensive assessment of the current state of the warranty operation, in the four dimensions that the WCMM comprises: organization, governance, metrics and technology
- Identify gaps quickly. Utilizing the comprehensive framework of maturity markers, the companies were able to easily identify where gaps existed within each stage.
- Develop a strategic value roadmap for future investment. Once gaps were identified, the teams undertook a prioritization exercise which considered not only the elements of resources (people), process and technology to support the warranty organization, but included short term priorities (e.g. training, process improvements, upgrade prioritization), as well as long term vision (e.g. closed feedback loop to product development, remote monitoring sensors and analytics).
- Utilize a collaborative tool for communication and benchmarking. The benefits of using the WCMM extend beyond the warranty organization and even beyond the enterprise.
- Internally the companies are able to use the model to point to and share information about specific maturity markers across warranty groups and into other groups such as finance, sales and marketing, etc.
- Externally, the companies, now having an established taxonomy, can collaborate with each other-- discuss specific stages and maturity markers within stages, share best practices and technologies, and how they are overcoming organizational challenges.
While the companies are in somewhat different industries and each company implemented the model in slightly different ways, it should not be surprising that there are some commonalities in the benefits they realized.
In a few short weeks in Orlando Florida, the annual Warranty Chain Management Conferencewill bring together one of the highest concentrations of warranty executives ever recorded. The growth in interest in this conference is a testament to the growing need for improved warranty management methods and tools across industries. Representatives from the three aforementioned companies will join me on stage at the conference to discuss their experience with the model in detail and take audience questions.
Overall, we at IDC Manufacturing Insights along with our cohorts as the Institute of Warranty Chain Management are thrilled that the benefits reported by the early adopters of the WCMM align exactly with the goals we had set forth for the model. The news of the use cases was so noteworthy it was even covered in the latest issue of Warranty Week.
It is clear by the reception of the WCMM, and the results of the early adopters that the warranty industry was hungry for structure the way some children hunger for discipline. But, has the industry matured to the point where organizations can envision warranty as an opportunity rather than simply a burden on resources? We intend to find out by launching a refresh of our global, industry-wide warranty study to measure how much the industry has evolved in 18 months since the study was first conducted in 2010.
Stay tuned to our community to find the link to the study, or look for my postings on Twitter or any of the warranty LinkedIn groups in about 2 weeks. If you are not the social networking type, and are interested in participating, contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. And, if you can't make it to the conference and want more information on the Warranty Capability Maturity Model, don't hesitate to give me a shout.