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Maintaining protection through innovation

By Kate Swanson

Company updates 2017 offerings 

Western Service Contract, fueled by McGraw Powersports, has big plans for the rest of 2017. For nearly 40 years the company has provided extended protection for powersports products. This year, Western Service Contract has set goals to grow the number of states under its coverage, promises new product and offers an online platform to better serve its dealers.

In the past 12 months, the company has undergone changes to its back-end system to help streamline the process of submitting and approving claims from dealers. “We underwent this entire transformation with this new system. The goal is to provide the dealers with just the best ease of use experience that they can have,” said Kyle Phelps, director of marketing for The McGraw Group of Affiliated Companies. 

The new platform allows for claims to be instantaneously submitted to Western Service Contract once they are filed, so payment can be made more quickly.

Kyle Phelps

“Within this product, we can look at the claim, approve it and have payment made right then and there through the system to the dealer. You could have one-day resolution from submittal of a claim to payment back to the dealership,” Phelps said.

The platform is fully online and cloud-based. Phelps said that the company communicated with dealers during the development process of the platform: “What we try to do is use the input from the dealers to make something and tailor it to what they need. That was the focus of this platform. We really wanted to be this one-stop shop for dealers so they didn’t have to go to different systems or places.”

While part of the platform is already accessible, Phelps says the entire platform is set to launch through Western Service Contract in June. Through beta testing with its dealers, the company has been able to gain insight into what its dealers are looking for and how to best suit their needs. “With this new platform and this new technology, it really allows us to make changes to our products much more quickly,” Phelps said.

In addition to the online platform, Western Service Contract added three new states at the end of March: Washington, New Mexico and Oklahoma. “Our goal by the end of 2017 is to have a 50-state footprint,” said Phelps. “We really want to be able to have products and services in all 50 states, so that we can get the dealers into this new system and writing contracts on all their powersports units whatever state they may be in.”

With the addition of those three states, the company now covers 48 of the 50, with only Florida and Louisiana remaining. Phelps said the company is currently in the process of working with Florida and is hopeful that Louisiana will follow shortly thereafter. 

From a product standpoint, Western Service Contract also launched its Polaris Slingshot Priority Maintenance Program in 2017. The recipient of a 2017 Nifty 50 award, the program was developed using input from dealers who carry the Polaris Slingshot. The program is a way for dealerships to increase their deal profitability while also providing their customers with a value that locks in current maintenance costs. In addition, Western Service Contract does not cap dealer markup so the profit margin is variable. 

“We sat down with dealerships and created this product with the dealers,” said Phelps. “We wanted to tailor the coverage and the rates to fit exactly what they are looking for. When they sold the unit, they felt like there was a gap in what they could provide the end customer.”

“We are, at the end of the day, powersports enthusiasts. We’re consumers of the products that dealers sell. We’re continuing to evolve and innovate and we’re listening,” said Phelps. 

 

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