Read part 3 of our interview about returns handling in the automotive aftermarket

Return processes are expensive, labour-intensive and the associated transports damage the environment. In the first parts of this interview series, TecAlliance’s experts Moritz Mahler, Product Owner of the Warranty & Returns module, and Masato Dünßer, Business Consultant, showed how optimised returns processes contribute to your business success and make an active contribution to environmental protection. They explained why the Order Manager module Warranty & Returns was developed and how it supports all players in the automotive aftermarket. In this last part they talk about new features that will further improve the returns processes.

You mentioned that “Warranty & Returns” was developed as a solution for the whole independent aftermarket and you explained the advantages of such an approach. However, how can a wholesale dealer submit claims to a parts manufacturer who is not connected to the Order Manager?

Moritz Mahler: Warranty & Returns is a module of our international B2B platform Order Manager. And although more than 280 parts manufacturers worldwide are connected to the platform, there are still suppliers that can’t be reached via our solution. To address this issue, we made sure that a wholesaler can create claims for any supplier with Warranty & Returns – if he is connected to our platform or not.

For the wholesale dealer, this makes sure that he has all his claims in one place. In a clearly structured list where he can see the status of all his claims at a glance. This increases transparency a lot and helps him to give instant feedback if his customers ask about the status of their claims.

Masato Dünßer: Every supplier who is using the Order Manager has instantly access to Warranty & Returns, just like all traders. Claims which are submitted by traders are available in the claims list of the supplier in any case and could be processed by him.

If a supplier is not connected to the Order Manager, it’s almost the same. The only difference is that the trader needs to add the supplier’s address manually and send the claim via e-mail.

And what about the garages? How can a wholesale dealer make sure that they submit claims via Warranty & Returns?

Moritz Mahler: We developed a feature called „Garage Link“. The wholesale dealer can generate links that he can place for example on his website, in his parts catalogue, web shop, eBay shop, in an email or even as a QR code printed on delivery notes. The garage doesn’t need an Order Manger account. If they click the link, they can directly create and submit claims to this specific wholesale dealer.

What are you planning to further improve and facilitate the handling of returns and warranty cases?

Moritz Mahler: We want to help our customers save time and money! That is why we work every day to simplify the process of returning parts. We want to make it as easy as possible for garages, wholesalers and parts manufacturers to handle warranty and returns claims.

In the last weeks, we have already developed several helpful features: Users are now able to upload many claims in one step with the mass upload functionality. And they can also make mass decisions in the claims list. This saves lots of time!

Masato Dünßer: When a workshop or trader employee takes a photo or video of a defective part, he usually uses his smartphone. Then the question is always: how does he get it onto the PC on which he is currently creating the claim? Now, we are providing a QR code in the digital claims form. The user scans this code on the monitor with his smartphone, selects the media files or takes a photo and directly uploads the files to the claim. We received lots of positive feedback from the users. It’s sometimes those little things that really make a difference.

Moritz Mahler: We are currently working on several functions that will make the processes even smoother and more streamlined. If a parts manufacturer scans the code on the shipping label of a returned product, the status of the claim is updated automatically and the wholesaler knows that the goods were received.

We want to make it even simpler to create a claim and we are going to redesign the claims list so that is more user-friendly and can be customised.

And last but not least: We are planning an option for ERP integration because this will further improve the process for manufacturers. This will bring us one step closer to our ideal of an optimal returns process.

You are already using the Order Manager, have a TecCom ID, and want to give our Warranty & Returns module a try? Go to the Order Manager Online Portal, log in with your user account and create your first claim!