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AGRICOMP is an agricultural based company which deals in both software and hardware agricultural products through affiliated dealers distributed all over the country. These products aid farmers in crop rotation planning, financial management, remote access to diverse agricultural databases, weather and market information news (Cooper & Schindler, 2011; Doane & Seward, 2010).
Dealers operate on behalf of AGRICOMP in selling, handling of warranty and repair services. During the warranty period, dealers are responsible for maintenance of both software and hardware parts of these products with repair claim vouchers submitted to the company headquarters for reimbursement (Cooper & Schindler, 2011; Doane & Seward, 2010).
If the staffs are convinced of the claim, then payment is made to the dealers through the indicated preferred means. However, in most cases the authenticities of claim rely on staff members who might be biased to dealers. This has resulted in numerous complaints from dealers perspectives.
Dealers’ feelings about the warranty
First, dealers felt that they are short changed in the way they are treated after repairs. For instance, they are denied the cost of services they have offered to customers on account that they are outside the warranty agreement or because the warranty agreements have expired.
Secondly, dealers in most cases have complained of long and unsuccessful appeals. Such denials reduce their margins thus making them incur high losses. Therefore, most dealers have resolved not to appeal as they consider it a waste of time.
Finally, dealers claim processes are slow and involve lengthy procedures which are blamed on company employees with conflict of interests which frustrate most of dealers.
First, the company should train its dealers on the content of its warranty documents. This will help dealers in undertaking correct repairs which are covered by warranty.
Second, it seems most of the dealers are illiterate in understanding the appeal process and so there is need for good relationship between the company and its dealers through employing qualified staffs with company information at hand. In addition, there is need for giving dealers a direct line to office staffs as this will help in reducing malicious repairs incurred by dealers.
Third, AGRICOMP needs to reimburse dealers a percentage of the cost incurred in undertaking repairs for cases where the warrantees have expired. This will help in maintaining customers’ loyalty and increasing dealers’ satisfaction levels.
Fourth, the company should employ qualified field technicians who are responsible for repairs of its products. In this way, the work of dealers will be limited only to collection of default items but not repairs. This will help limit the numerous cases of exorbitant pricing by malicious dealers and their associated companies.
Fifth, the company should make contractual agreement with nearby repair centres which should act as customers’ referral points. This will help reduce dealers function to certification of warrantee documents and therefore enhances their intensive participation in sales activation processes.
Finally, if all the above methods are not efficient, then an external mediator should be appointed to help in the appeal process. However, care should be taken as an external mediator might result in the revival of old and concluded cases against the companies.
Moreover, external mediation fees should be negotiated and shared between dealers and the company so that it does not reduce the company’s profitability while at the same time not hurt dealers (Cooper & Schindler, 2011; Doane & Seward, 2010).
In summary, I strongly recommend the company to resort to direct repairs which are well coordinated and scheduled to designated places on a monthly basis. However, the company should only resort to external mediator in situations where dealers are not convinced of the board’s decision not to pay for the services already rendered.
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Cooper, D. R., & Schindler, P. S. (2011). Business research methods (11th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
Doane, D. P., & Seward, L. E. (2010). Applied statistics in business and economics (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.