Magazine Article | September 21, 2006

Service Management Reduces Warranty Costs

Source: Field Technologies Magazine
Integrated Solutions, October 2006

Viking Yachts is a manufacturer of luxury yachts ranging in size from 45 to 73 feet long and costing anywhere from $800,000 to $4 million. In addition to operating a 550,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, Viking also imports cruising and motor yachts from England and Italy and operates a full-service repair facility in South Florida. Viking manages subsidiary operations that include fabrication of fishing towers, installation of electronic components, operation of a 250-slip full-service marina, as well as a wholesale financing organization. Viking competes in global markets via dealerships located worldwide.

Viking’s service department needed a way to capture warranty and service costs by yacht, yacht model, and customer to provide feedback to engineering and manufacturing to maintain their traditional high-quality objectives. After an intensive search and selection process, Viking singled out a service management solution, SM-Plus from Single Source System, to achieve this.


Virtually every part of a yacht manufactured by Viking is made right at its manufacturing facility — except a few major component parts such as engines and appliances. Because of this, the engineering and manufacturing teams use standard ERP (enterprise resource planning) functionality to feed bill-of-material and configuration information to SM-Plus. The service management solution is also used to capture warranty data from parts that fail in the field. This information is valuable to the boat designers because it helps them identify opportunities for design improvements that can significantly reduce or eliminate future failures in the field.

SM-Plus is also used by the Viking customer service team members to track incidents that are either phoned in by customers or dealers. The multisite capabilities of SM-Plus also allow customer service to see the complete service history of a yacht across all of the Viking service locations.

On the dock, service technicians capture material and labor expenses via wireless bar code scanning using the data collection module of the software along with an interface to a third party data collection system.

The service management solution has enabled Viking to better capture warranty costs, providing the true cost of manufacturing defects. The reason/resolution information provided by the solution has allowed Viking to build a knowledge base for repetitive issues which enables them to better service the customer.