Warranty Chain Management Conference 2016 – After, Inc’s Wrap-Up

Published by Kevin W. McCarthy, VP Product Management, After, Inc. on March 22nd, 2016.

The Warranty Chain Management Conference 2016 was held last week in Jacksonville, FL., and from all perspectives it was a rousing success! After, Inc. was well represented at the conference, and we are grateful to WCM Director Alison Griffiths for facilitating our participation and sponsorship (All agreed our pens were the “write” promotion!).

Some important highlights from the conference, from the After, Inc. point of view:

Keynote Presentation – Warranty Data Lakes

Richard Vermillion, CEO of After, Inc. provided an excellent start to the conference delivering his keynote address on the insurgence of Big Data technologies and data sources in the creation of Warranty Data Lakes. Richard helped to illustrate the variety of ways that a warranty data lake can optimize claim reserve and loss modeling, provide early warnings for losses and provide signs for customer satisfaction.  Using multiple sources, such as spatial, geographic, telematics and customer data, Richard was able to convey a modern approach to warranty analytics.  And based on the lengthy question and answer session, it was a topic that was well received!

Pre-Conference Workshop – Risk Management

Paul Swenson, Dan Adelsberg and Scott Morrison, all senior team members from After, Inc. provided a 3-hour workshop the day before the conference start on the topic of warranty risk management. It began with an overview of risk management, with a focus on extended service plans, but with applications to limited warranty plans as well.  The costs of transferring risk, understanding underwriting reports and forecasting losses were also covered during the session, which was one of the most popular of the conference.

*One particular item of note from the workshop was a related comment from two distinct attendees: One of the most salient benefits of 3rd party involvement in producing warranty analytics, specifically around pricing, is that it diffuses any internal politics on the subject.  Having an objective, expert perspective is the best way to avoid any turf-wars from internal divisions with differing end goals.

Conference Session – Customer Segmentation

Scott Morrison, EVP Business Development at After, Inc. is an expert in segmentation methods for impactful marketing programs around extended service plans. In his session, Scott reviewed some of the most common dimensions used, such as customer future value, customer engagement with your brand, and attitudes towards the brand with regards to quality and customer service.  Using these dimensions and others in segmenting the customer base can lead to significant opportunity around reducing future warranty claims, streamlining the warranty processes, improving product quality and customer service, and in gaining a competitive advantage in selling more extended service plans.

Conference Session – Understanding the Warranty Customer

Tara Piazza, EVP Customer Research and Operations at After, Inc. leveraged 6+ years of cumulative extended service plan research to speak about the trends and insights she has interpreted from the data. Tara used a pool of categories such as: major appliances, home electronics, power sports, marine, auto and others.  Through her research, Tara was able to discuss the strengths of ESPs that sell, and to outline the resonating aspects of high-performing plans, such as pricing considerations and expected coverage terms.

Beyond the conference and presentations, we also had a spectacular evening dinner on Wednesday, complete with a river shuttle over to a prominent Jacksonville steakhouse. We’d like to thank the participants that were able to join us, and appreciate their great insights, conversation and humor!

All in all, it was a substantive conference for After, Inc., our clients and our partners. We were able to meet and speak with knowledgeable warranty professionals, and share our expertise with the wider marketplace.  Please contact us directly if you would like access to any of the materials described above.  If you would like to speak with After, Inc. regarding your warranty programs, please give us a call at 800-374-4728.