Guidelines for Editorial Submissions

Articles submitted to Warranty Week should address issues of importance to managers in manufacturing industries such as automobiles, trucks, consumer electronics, and home appliances that traditionally provide basic manufacturers' warranties with their products. More specifically, the articles should point out ways of improving the management of warranty programs, reducing warranty program cost, raising quality levels, reducing defect rates, improving response time, reducing warranty fraud, etc. If there is a common thread we look for, it would be the application of computer technology to the improvement of the warranty management process.

Through both a weekly email broadcast (over 4,000 recipients as of September 2006) and an online Web site (upwards of 12,000 page requests per week), Warranty Week reaches an educated audience of thousands of people worldwide. Most of this diverse and dispersed group of people are involved in warranty processing, from upper level (CEO, CIO, VP, GM) to middle-level positions (plant managers, department heads, engineers and consultants) in a vast cross section of manufacturers, dealers, retailers, third party plan administrators, insurance companies, software developers, and investors. What they have in common is a professional interest in the warranty process, from the assembly line to the consumer's home. Consumers are not a major part of the readership, although fleet managers in the airline, trucking, and metropolitan transportation fields are.

Success stories are welcome, but failures can teach others valuable lessons, too. Don't overlook the negative side-effects of warranty process automation -- unemployment, cost overruns, obsolete equipment caused by changes in the market -- but try to find the positive lessons for managers faced with similar situations.

Manuscript Requirements

Copy must be submitted in an electronic format. A plain text document in the body of an email message is best, but a Word document is also acceptable. The problem is that Word is quite hostile to HTML reformatting, in spite of the built-in converter. However, if photos or diagrams are part of the presentation, then a Word version can serve as a handy guide during the reformatting. Authors are strongly encouraged to add hyperlinks to their copy, in lieu of footnotes, sidebars, or extensive background explanations. Let's make use of the medium, and link as much as we can. However, keep in mind that the copy will end up incorporated into a pre-existing Web page as a 500-pixel-wide column, so advanced HTML formatting (style sheets, frames, JavaScript, etc.) is not advisable. It may interfere with the rest of the page (this is the biggest problem with the built-in Word-to-HTML reformatter: it assumes it is the page, not an insert into an existing page).

Charts and tables are strongly encouraged, but direct conversions from Excel to HTML are also troublesome, especially if there are multiple tables to be converted. It's the same problem: Excel reformats charts in a way that interferes with existing formatting of the rest of the page. Charts and graphics delivered in a JPEG, GIF, Bitmap, or PowerPoint format are best, but tables built in Excel can also be manually converted into HTML, as long as they're not overly complex.

Articles on disks also are processable, if they are saved in either a plain text or a Microsoft Word format on a CD or a 3.5-inch floppy disk. Please place all photos, graphics, charts, and diagrams in a separate folder. Line width should be 65-70 characters, left-justified. No handwritten manuscripts, please.

Manuscript length is determined by the value of your words. Don't pad out a story with more words than are necessary to make your point, but don't cut out important concepts or ideas to make space. Let us decide what to cut, if that becomes necessary, to fit our available space. Also keep in mind that extensive amounts of background material can be posted separately on second or third pages, with "see also" hyperlinks added to the body of the main piece. We encourage the inclusion of hotlinks to pre-existing white papers, press releases, news articles, slide shows, and other supplemental materials, especially as contact options.

Please include a short biography of the author(s) at the end. It need not be long or detailed. Three or four sentences is just fine. The goal is to provide the reader with both a brief background about the author(s) and a way to contact them with questions or comments.

The three main categories of articles we seek are:

  • Concept/theory -- approximately 2,000-3,000 words
  • Applications -- approximately 700-1,500 words
  • Case studies -- approximately 1,500-2,000 words

Art Requirements

Photos, charts, graphs, drawings, and other artwork should be sent in an electronic file format, preferably in a JPEG, GIF, or Bitmap format. Headshots should be at least 140 x 210 pixels (w x h) in size, and in an approximately 2:3 aspect ratio. Logos, clip art, and other design elements can be any size or aspect ratio, although anything wider than 500 pixels may need to be reduced in size to fit the available column width. If there are extra-large graphics or diagrams, we'll put a smaller 500-pixel-wide hotlinked version of it into the newsletter with instructions to "click here to see full-size version." Please include a credit line for the source of a graphic if other than the author.

Rights

All articles must be original and must not have been previously published elsewhere. Warranty Week will encourage others to hotlink to the online version of the newsletter, and we will provide a package of logos, graphics, and HTML code to help a Webmaster accomplish this. We also encourage the inclusion of hyperlinks directing readers to the authors' bio, business and personal Web sites, and contact information. We also will provide authors with at least one copy of the HTML email edition of the article, which they are then free to forward and rebroadcast in its entirety to others. But the copyright will remain with Warranty Week.