COLOGNE, Germany - Ford’s Parts Recall Center in Cologne-Niehl this month invited several dealers to celebrate the successful completion of the new “Quick Parts Return” pilot project.
“The goal of the new process is to deliver erroneous warranty parts faster to Ford’s specialist departments,” explains Gerhard Giebisch, data analyst at the Parts Recall Center.
“So far, the avarage time needed from the date of repair to the arrival of the parts in the PRC, is two months. The new Quick Parts Return process reduces this period to only two days.”
“Our task is to inspect parts that are returned as customer complaints from dealers, and to find the causes of the problem,” says Global PRC Manager Ulrich Horstmann.
“The faster we find out, the sooner we can intervene to correct the production process. The Quick Parts Return process leads to a further optimization of vehicle quality and lower warranty costs.”
Currently, when vehicles are repaired in the dealership, the dealer creates a warranty refund application, which is verified and paid by the Ford warranty department. It isn’t until then that the repair becomes visible in the Ford system and the Parts Recall Center may request the warranty part from the dealer for further analysis.
This process usually takes about two months. The new process, which has been tested in a pilot project with dealerships from the immediate vicinity of the Ford plants in Cologne and Saarlouis, reduces the processing time significantly.
A day after the repair, the warranty part and all other parts of the repair will be taken to the Parts Recall Center. On the same day, these parts will be reviewed and the results are forwarded to the respective departments at Ford or the relevant supplier.
Initial results are promising. A warped rear shelf in the Connect was corrected in production after only five days. A material failure of a supplier part was identified and solved just two weeks after it was detected.
“The goal of the Quick Parts Return process is to identify new quality problems as quickly as possible and initiate corrective actions. In addition to the existing routine via the warranty department, our long-termgoal is to bring 10 per cent of all warranty parts from the German market into the PRC through this accelerated process for analysis,” says Ulrich Horstmann.
“To achieve this 10 per cent, we need 25 to 30 participating dealerships with a high volume of warranty parts.”
In the future, the new Quick Parts Return process will improve product quality, customer satisfaction and brand perception, too.