How to Analyze and Negotiate Warranties for Goods and Services

A Primer for lawyers and non-lawyers alike

This book addresses general principles applicable to warranties and includes several checklists to promote understanding. The book also makes extensive use of actual litigated and reported court decisions. These cases illustrate not only what works and what to avoid, but also highlight how juries react to fact patterns and how judges interpret and apply the law. Accordingly, these cases provide real world examples and go far beyond the mere opinion of individuals. Of course, there is no guarantee that a different court or jury would always come to the same conclusion, but you can’t go far wrong by getting a sense and understanding of how judges and juries generally look at the issues of warranties. This gives the reader a special insight into how warranties work in the real world. The book also includes a foreword by Glenn Clark, Esq., Managing Director, Riker Danzig, Esqs.

Warranties are the heart of any agreement. Once goods are provided or services performed, warranties define the parties’ respective rights, remedies, and responsibilities. If you don’t understand how warranties work and how to avoid the many warranty traps, you put your contract and career at risk. This book teaches you about warranties in the “merchant” context and addresses the many common mistakes and misconceptions regarding warranties. If you deal in contracts, whether in a large or small company, you need to understand warranties.

Warranties affect all aspects of a contract negotiation and implementation, starting with the Request For Proposal (“RFP”) phase through to close-out or termination. Accordingly, knowing how to structure and implement warranties is key to the success of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Project Managers, Risk Managers, Insurance Experts, Purchasing Agents, Contract Administrators, Executives, Lawyers, Educators and any business or technical professionals who are involved with developing, managing or implementing either projects or purchases. This includes any complex transaction or procurement under USA Law where cost, schedule and scope certainty are important. This book is also appropriate for executive training as well as courses at the undergraduate and graduate school level.

Some Amazon reviews by our readers

“Paul Humbert has authored several timely books addressing the important topic of contracts in supply chains. Warranties are becoming both more important as outsourcing continues to expand, and more subject to abuse by both parties to a contract. From a supply chain manager’s perspective, a lot of players get involved in making and monitoring a contract, most of whom do not understand the legal implications for common ways of interacting with other companies. Paul provides an excellent and readable book rife with relevant and interesting examples. I’ve recommended his books in the past to companies in a variety of industries with good results. I will add this one to my list of recommended resources!” - Michael J. Gravier, Ph.D., C.T.L., Associate Professor of Marketing and Global Supply Chain Management at Bryant University with a focus on procurement, logistics, supply chain management, strategy, and international trade.

“Warranties” is another excellent addition to Paul Humbert’s expanding compendium of treatises describing, analyzing and offering insightful guidance to the always important activities of supply chain and contract management.  As Humbert so deftly describes, warranties are one of those topics that many of us think we understand until we are faced with actually interpreting and applying them.  Once again, his use of simple language, common sense examples, and actual case studies make the subject accessible, relevant and useful to anyone, including, and perhaps most especially, executives and senior managers whose decisions regarding warranties can have multi-million-dollar impacts and significant professional ramifications.  Get the book, read it, apply it.  It is well worth it.” - Michael Beck, Managing Director, M.J. Beck Consulting, LLC providing energy industry clients with a broad spectrum of strategic, operational and economic advisory services.

“Yet again Paul Humbert has turned the complexities of law, especially those things we really should know about, into a perceptive and instructive book that would rival a novel for its readability. Mr. Humbert has once more uncovered mines hidden in plain view that someone without legal training like myself could easily trigger in the course of daily business. Particularly amusing in this book are the many examples of highly paid counsellors that have been blown into smithereens, taking big companies with them, by treating warranties just that bit too cavalierly. Mr. Humbert illustrates his points with “cautionary tales” with a storytelling style that even Aesop would have appreciated.”- Ernest Manjiro, MBA, Thunderbird School of Global Management, Author of Return to Sendai and itinerant Marketeer.

“If you have ever negotiated commercial contracts and questioned the usefulness or importance of warranty terms this book is for you. The book is a concise, well organized and easy to understand reference tool for anyone involved in negotiating purchases for capital intensive projects, businesses and services. This book coupled with the author’s collection of other publications on commercial transactions is a must for raising the negotiating acumen of the entire business support team including procurement professionals and Chief Procurement Officers.” -  Jorge Lopez, Managing Partner, JAK Advisors, LLC and Former President and CEO, Consolidated Edison Solutions, Inc.

“Practical and hard-hitting advice for the business professional. Professor Humbert’s true gift is to take the complicated (or what appears complicated) and distill it to its simple and understandable essence. Although the legalese in contracts is often the purview of attorneys, all purchasing and other supply-chain management professionals must provide their attorneys with the requisite information so that the appropriate warranties can be crafted. This book provides purchasing and supply-chain management professionals with that critical understanding.” - Robert C. Mastice, MSME, Managing Director Tri-Power Design, LLC.

“Paul Humbert has crafted a pragmatic approach to warranties for goods and services.  In my experience, today’s business landscape is strewn with contractual obligations among supply chain trading partners that oftentimes contain ill-conceived warranties. Either through neglect or ignorance such contracts fail to properly define boundary conditions along with their attendant express or implied statements of warranty. This book educates and addresses protections and remedies for both the seller and the buyer within the context of the Uniform Commercial Code and Common Law treatment for both goods and services. I learned just how different a service warranty can be from a goods warranty. The book includes useful case studies and a summary checklist.” - William T. Walker, CFPIM, CIRM, CSCP, CLTD, Adjunct Professor of Supply Chain Engineering, NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Author of Supply Chain Construction and Supply Chain Architecture, Retired Director of Supply Chain Management, StarTrak Information Technologies, LLC.

“With the on-going desire to refocus on core competencies and to be able to get the latest and greatest in many fields, supply chain professionals drive an ever-increasing reliance on 3rd parties vs. internal capabilities. While everyone’s desire to compete at high-speed is understandable, good contract practices and warranties will result in less uncertainty and greater value. In this context, X. Paul Humbert’s new contribution on warranties brings procurement practitioners and others to a better understanding of what constitutes sound and well thought out warranties.” - Olivier Alizon, Business Change Senior Manager, Mars Petcare USA.

“The author explains warranties in the context of both the UCC and the common law of contracts in laymen’s terms useful to the trained lawyer as well as the everyday non-lawyer professional. The book describes the components and aspects of warranties that one must consider when doing business. An extremely useful and thorough checklist to consider includes: duration of warranty, when it actually starts, when is it applicable and when it is not, and costs involved. As someone who deals with this crucial aspect of doing business, I welcomed this in-depth tutorial on the importance of warranties. No longer can the supply chain practitioner or project manager simply ask ‘does this come with a warranty?’"- Shlok Keshari, MBA, Rutgers University, Senior Process Engineer, AT&T.

“Paul Humbert’s first 3 books were practical literary works for procurement professionals.  This 4th book takes a deeper dive into the often misunderstood, and always contentious, topic of warranties.  In a society that regards many items as “throw-away” when they break, in business, this is not an efficient or cost-effective solution.  Having strong warranty language in the agreement is good business, but ultimately helps to preserve the relationship in the event that things go awry.  I strongly recommend this book to educate oneself on the nuances of this important contract clause.”- Frayne D. Ronkowski, MBA, Villanova University, BS Commerce & Engineering, Drexel University, Procurement Leader (Energy, Technology & Food Industries).

“As with all three previous books by Professor Paul Humbert, his latest book How to Analyze and Negotiate Warranties For Goods and Services, excels again in its clarity and practical applicability. A must read for anyone working in supply chain management, or in any other way involved in selling or buying goods and/or services. I've changed the wording of my contracts after reading this book.” - J.J. Snoeck Henkemans BA, BSC, Founder and Owner of Google Page Rank 1 SEO.

“It is so refreshing to read a book that can take complicated and sometimes overwhelming subject matter and explain it in ways that are easily understood and appreciated by lawyers and layman alike.  Paul Humbert’s latest book on the analysis and negotiation of warranties does just that. His use of check lists coupled with his ability to delineate the differences between service warranties and warranties for goods is very useful to me as a practitioner.  His explanation of implied and express warranties relative to the UCC and his use of case briefs are invaluable to anyone involved in the business of contracting.”  -David C. Humphreys, J.D., University of South Carolina, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Colonial Trust Company.

“Paul Humbert is now four-for-four!  In his fourth and latest publication covering the negotiation and implementation of contract warranties for the purchase of goods and services, Paul provides us with straight forward and understandable guidance that every supply chain management practitioner should have in their professional tool box.  Just as Paul has sprinkled several famous quotes throughout the book, here is an adage that sums up my measure of the value of this book – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Well done Paul!” - Dan Klepacki MBA, BS Engineering, Director, Internships and Co-op Programs, Department of Supply Chain Management, Rutgers University.

“Paul has produced a valuable reference tool for complex engagements where contract templates are infrequently used, and negotiation fatigue often results in oversight. Additionally, unlike other materials that merely instruct readers what to do, the included case studies are useful to help neophytes understand why these are best practices.” 

- Jeff Thompson, Verizon Third Party Risk Management Office Lead

"As a professor of supply chain management and a former analyst for a Fortune 500 manufacturer, I know that properly constructed contracts, and specifically warranties, can mean the difference between profitability or not. Having worked with many companies on lean six-sigma projects, one area often overlooked, but full of opportunity, is the process of writing contracts and their integration with the entire business. Paul elevates the importance of warranties with this book. Through explanations and examples, we learn how important is a warranty, what does a warranty signal to your customers, and what does it mean for your bottom line. Additionally, within these pages, the intricacies of warranties are distilled down to understandable and actionable insights from both the buyer and seller perspectives. The use of real world cases and specific contract language to include and look for makes this book a must for those engaged in writing, enforcing and working with contracts. This book will increase your knowledge of warranties and their importance, so that you avoid future headaches and supplier relationship problems, while saving you money!" - David Dreyfus, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Supply Chain Management, Department of Supply Chain Management, Rutgers University. 

“Paul Humbert, in the next of a superb series of books on contract management and negotiation, has written a concise yet comprehensive assessment of warranties and their importance. I, for one, too often want to gloss over the language related to warranties, scope, and coverage. Humbert effectively advises supply chain management professionals and their colleagues how to think about warranties and particular details for which to watch out. He peppers the book with interesting quips that are both light-hearted and hard-hitting. My favorite is his reference to Oliver Wendel Holmes' quote: "A young person knows the rules, but the wise person knows the exceptions." Nothing better epitomizes the importance of warranties as it relates to contracts and purchases, and Paul's book dives deeply into all aspects of them. Moreover, he provides numerous examples and case studies that help bring to life these details. This book is a wonderful reference and one that will provide meaningful advice and counsel.” - Don Seitz, Princeton BA- Economics, Harvard MBA- General Management, CEO, Inkubate.

“Having been in the import/export business for about 30 years, I have faced the challenges well described in this book. Mr. Humbert knows the details of how business operates and how important it is to manage risks, particularly warranty risks. I wish the book had been available to me 30 years ago! Nevertheless, it has proven to be a very useful tool and it is not necessary to be an expert in the law to find the book both easy to understand and extremely helpful. The lists, examples, and cases were especially helpful. Every business person should own this book. Although the author makes frequent use of proverbs and sayings, I didn’t notice any from Sweden. Accordingly, I offer the following: “A business is good when both parties make a good bargain”. This book helps you do just that.- Sigurd Rosenqvist, previous owner of PeGe Parts Switzerland AG and Board Member of Tools Sweden, AB, Fittja Backe SE-14553 Stockholm, Sweden

“Paul Humbert’s latest book, How to Analyze and Negotiate Warranties for Goods and Services, is a practical and much needed guide for supply chain and commercial contracting professionals, including business professionals and legal professionals alike.  Paul goes beyond explaining what warranties are and providing sample warranty language, which of course he does, to helping the reader actually understand the nuances of warranties and the practical implications of working with and negotiating warranty provisions.  He also provides case summaries that bring the points to life, and helpful tools such as the warranties checklist.  Paul makes complex topics easily understandable and interesting too!  One of the current realities in corporate life is that everyone must find ways to do more with less.  As a result, the legal staff must be more efficient in counseling the business, and the business colleagues must be capable of negotiating more aspects of the contract with less legal input.   For all of them, this book is a must have, not just to read once and put on the bookshelf, but also to use as an ongoing reference tool and guide.  I recommend Paul’s three prior books to attendees at seminars I present for supply management professionals, and I am adding this one to my recommended reading list!”  - Martin J. Carrara, J.D., MBA, C.P.M., Senior Corporate Counsel, Pfizer Inc. 

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