Anytime the opportunity to save money arises, there isn’t anyone who would turn away. This is why we’re always so shocked to hear customers who don’t manage their door hardware warranties. There is a huge amount of money to be saved and many, many people are completely unaware.
But that’s OK. I’m here to help and give you the lowdown on the money you can save by taking advantage of your warranties.
Door Hardware Warranties: The Basics
Any sort of parts warranty is something you should check in on on a regular basis to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. We use our door and lock hardware every, single day and it’s easy to get so accustomed to seeing them. We often forget about how expensive those items can be.
It’s true that most of your hardware parts come with the standard one-year warranty, but I have some more good news. Most general contractors offer a one-year warranty that covers parts and labor.
What does that mean, you ask?
Let me explain.
For example, if you have a door closer installed and six months later it begins to leak closer fluid, you can contact your general contractor and they’ll come and fix it. The even better news? It’s covered under warranty so you aren’t out any money from your pocket.
Most people would simply call a repairman, shell out the money, and call it a day, but this is where I scream, “NO! Put your money away! You’re better than this!”
Higher Grade Hardware
If you’re working with higher grade hardware (a grade 1 or 2) you’re probably well aware of the money you spent to get the kind of product those hardware grades provide. (Quick recap: Grades 1 and 2 hardware are built for more use, meaning they can handle lots more door traffic, are tested for more cycles and typically hold up better than grade 3 hardware which is strictly residential.)
Thankfully, hardware grades 1 and 2 will often have a longer warranty that last more than a year. In fact, many have at least a two-year warranty with many running between five and 10. Some of your higher quality hardware can even have a lifetime warranty.
This, alone, can save you thousands upon thousands of dollars, and who can say no to that?! Of course, this comes with the contingency that you have to keep a close eye on your door hardware warranties and manage them accordingly.
Managing Your Door Hardware Warranties
When it comes to managing your warranties, I can think of very few things that are less tedious. However, I also know just how financially rewarding it can be!
It’s very common for organizations to allow the general contractors to manage the door hardware warranties of all the hardware parts in the entire facility. I honestly can’t stress this enough: DO NOT DO THIS.
General contractors are usually not nearly as concerned with saving YOU money as you are. This is why you need to work with your vendors. These guys are lifesavers when it comes to managing door hardware warranties because if anyone knows their product, it’s them. They will help you with your warranty management and snatch up any money you may be leaving on the table.
LockNet and Warranty Management
Warranty management is a service LockNet offers. We wrote an in-house software program that automatically alerts the Technical Service Representative (TSR) if a part is within the warranty period when it is ordered. If the part the TSR orders is a replacement for an item that has shipped within the part’s warranty period, the system then identifies the call and allows the TSR to review the call to see if that part was ordered for the same door.
For the part to be marked as a non-warranty item, a reason code must be selected as to why the warranty is not valid. The information garnered from this is then easily visible to the LockNet accounting department and they ensure the warranty accounting process is followed.
To sum it up, you don’t have to worry about your door hardware warranties if you have someone (like LockNet) managing them for you.
But wait! There’s more! (Game show voice…)
The system also allows us to generate warranty reports both for customer and internal use. It allows customers to see how much they have saved in warranties for any given time period. The reports also enable us to identify parts that may have consistent problems. This way, these issues can be addressed with the manufacturer, or alternate products can be sourced.
Managing your door hardware warranties for all of your parts can be quite time consuming. It’s worth it, but still… If you have an automated process that generates reports, it also allows you to gain time back. On top of that, you’ll be more purchase-savvy when it comes to purchasing parts. You’ll have a report in front of you that tells you every little thing you need to know.
Our system for managing door hardware warranties saves us around 20 seconds per service call. That may not sound like a lot, but when you look at the big picture, that’s approximately three weeks of work annually for our service department!
It also lowers errors in missing warranty claims by reducing the human element in the process. If a location has a long service history, when we get calls regarding parts warranties, those calls might be easily overlooked as a TSR rushes to get something more important taken care of; but now the program does the work. This system ensures that each possible warranty call is presented for review and the TSR can’t skip the process.
That is a little behind-the-scenes look for you so you can see how we help our customers get the most out of all of their door hardware warranties. If you have questions about how can save money, feel free to contact us any time!
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