Many Unhappy Returns

The member companies of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) are all in the business of manufacturing the parts you install every day. Of course, they all want you to spec and buy the high quality products they make. It’s a bit ironic, therefore, that we are asking you to follow processes that might cause you to not order a part. This may seem backwards but when you realize the high cost of warranty returns for starters and alternators that are returned to the manufacturers, it really makes sense.

The vast majority – actually more than 90% – of alternators and starters that are returned are not defective. They are returned for a variety of reasons but one of the principle causes has been identified as “diagnosis by installation.” Sometimes the steps to fully diagnose the problem are omitted because it may seem quicker and easier to just switch out the part. Not only is this not efficient, it also causes problems for everyone you depend on in the aftermarket supply chain. More importantly for your business, it can cause you to leave profit dollars on the table and potentially do a disservice your customers. Consider the following:

 

  • Doing the proper diagnosis and only ordering the part if it is really needed can add billable hours to the job and better serve your customers.
  • Discovering a non-product related issue can save your customers money – and prevent future problems.
  • Costly comebacks that put customer lifetime value at risk can be avoided.
  • Tens of millions of dollars spent by the industry processing claims on non-defective products could be eliminated.
  • Everyone in the process, most especially the shop, will save time.

Like our spokesperson Al says, “Smart people solve problems, geniuses prevent them.”

Be a genius: Do the diagnostics and follow the process before you order the part. You’ll avoid unhappy returns.

 

Bill Hanvey

Senior Vice President

Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA)