Kategori: Global News

GLOBAL NEWS: Technicians boost efficiency with Pinewood’s Workshop Planner

In the present challenging industry circumstances, more dealers are looking to their aftersales operations to boost profits. Pinewood DMS helps dealers achieve this through more efficient management, using a part of the system called Workshop Planner.

It helps dealers improve productivity, by allowing them to optimise the way they manage their technicians’ time. Users can visualise and allocate work using a simple drag-and-drop interface. Bookings can be reviewed and amended as they arise and with a real-time view of the technicians’ and service team’s workloads, service advisors can allocate jobs to available technicians.

“Workshop Planner also allows dealers to ensure that specialist technicians aren’t being misallocated to generalist jobs – a common error which stifles the potential revenue they could be generating from more skilled work,” explains Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood.

“By segmenting technicians into service teams and splitting them by skill category, it makes it simpler for management to allocate work according to the proficiency of technicians.”

Specifically designed for technicians to focus on work that requires attention, jobs in the planner change colour according to their status.

“The colour-coded planner makes it really easy to see which jobs need attention. Technicians can see exactly when work needs to be finished – allowing them to ensure the job is completed within the allotted timescale, or communicate delays with the customer. As a consequence, dealers have found that customer satisfaction has increased.”

Workshop jobs can also be accessed in Pinewood’s mobile app for technicians, Tech+, where they can seamlessly move through operations, speeding up technician clocking processes.

Dealers’ using Pinewood DMS have found the Workshop Planner particularly beneficial. The ability to project a real-time display of activity in their workshop has provided clarity, and allowed them to react easily to changing customer requirements – improving flexibility and providing a superb aftersales experience.

GLOBAL NEWS: Pinewood moves training fully online with launch of eLearning

The increasing demand for self-paced learning calls for a different method to conventional classroom training. Pinewood Technologies have launched an online training platform, allowing users to learn at their own convenience – wherever they want, whenever they want.

Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood, explains how eLearning has transformed the way people learn:

“Online training allows our users to access courses designed specifically for their job roles – on desktops, tablets and mobile phones. Ranging from showroom courses for salespeople, to workshop courses for technicians, Pinewood’s eLearning is a simpler, more effective way to learn about Pinewood DMS.”

Video-based courses and quizzes teach and test users’ ability to carry out processes in Pinewood DMS. Learners can follow actions described in the videos on the DMS at the same time, cementing their understanding of various processes.

“eLearning courses allow both current and new team members at dealerships to enhance and refresh their knowledge of Pinewood DMS,” Briggs explains. “Users can watch videos and test their knowledge in areas of the system they have most contact with. Moreover, they can track their personal course progress and gain certificates on completion.”

GLOBAL NEWS: “Why so much paper?” – Running the paperless dealership

Eliminating the need to produce, scan, destroy, archive and recover hundreds of documents every day, is a huge opportunity to streamline processes and boost the availability, accuracy and security of information, as well as save the environment…and save money. So why are dealerships still filled with the sound of rustling paper?

Let’s look at the scale of the issue and the reasons why a dealership should address it with urgency. Firstly, by vastly eliminating paper in just one dealership – through digitising processes such as invoicing, test drive documentation, deal files and job cards – a dealer can expect to save around £200,000 over five or six years. That’s over £30,000 per year saved on toner, paper, on and off-site storage, shredding and secure disposal.

Now let’s look at the impact on processes, efficiencies and customer experience. To save money and protect the environment, this first requires a workflow of paperless processes to be embedded throughout the business. Pinewood DMS, from Pinewood Technologies PLC, offers a solution for this.

For example, in the purchase ledger, dealers can scan, authorise, code, match and attach supplier invoices to postings in Pinewood DMS, flagging them for electronic authorisation. This eliminates relying on printed documentation reaching the correct person for authorisation, to be filed or scanned into the DMS, reducing paper consumption and administration.

Mobile, role-based apps, deliver an improved user experience, allowing users to work more efficiently and deliver excellent customer service through fully paperless processes. Pinewood’s card payments app, Pay+, reduces inefficiencies resulting from paper-heavy processes. Mark Lambird, Managing Director at Eastbourne Motoring Centre, explains the impact Pay+ has had on his business. “Previously, we would write out a daily till sheet and someone was running to and fro trying to put the payments and the transactions together. It all integrates so easily now, you can take deposits and payments and it goes straight to the job number, so it’s made life a lot easier having Pay+.”

In the workshop, technicians can use the Tech+ app to conduct a VHC entirely on their mobile device, use digital job cards, and capture a picture of any paper documents, which they can upload straight to the DMS.

Similarly, aftersales staff can benefit from Pinewood’s Host+ app, which is closely aligned with Tech+, to facilitate communication between service advisors and technicians. When the customer arrives at the dealership, a service advisor can approve the job, confirm the vehicle mileage, check the work requirements and amend the pickup time from their handheld device. Following this, they can record an arrival video with the customer, highlighting damage or areas requiring attention – along with capturing an e-signature for the work, which syncs to the customer record. Technicians can view these details in Tech+ as they complete the full VHC.

Outside of the workshop, Host+ also supports sales staff to provide a seamless experience from the first moment of interaction, through to the completion of a sale. Capturing an e-signature for test drive declarations is fast and easy, customers can sign on a tablet device, again saving it to the CRM record.

“This allows dealers to fully focus on their customers,” explains Neville Briggs, Managing Director. “Gone is the impracticality and hassle of dealing with a mountain of paperwork. A fully digital approach brings much more than just environmental benefits for dealerships.”

Stocktakes are also simplified and paperless. Dealers can use the Stock+ app to scan VINs using the camera on their mobile device, to log vehicle locations instead of using a tick sheet. They can also capture a picture of any paper documents, saving them directly to the stock card or CRM record, to remove the need for manual filing.

Finally, Pinewood DMS lets dealers submit VAT returns electronically, in line with HMRC’s Making Tax Digital legislation introduced earlier this year.

Pinewood will continue to focus on eliminating paper for their tens of thousands of users, increasing dealer profitability and helping to protect the environment.

GLOBAL NEWS: Porsche dealers win back hours each day with new Pinewood integration

Pinewood Technologies has launched their latest integration with Porsche. Porsche Centres across the UK recently piloted Pinewood’s new integration with PVMS – Porsche Sales and Vehicle Management System – which saves dealers around half an hour of administration when ordering a vehicle.

The salesperson builds each order in Porsche’s PVMS online configurator, adding optional extras such as heated seats. Upon completion, a commission number is returned to Pinewood DMS, automatically updating the DMS with the full order details.

“It’s not unusual for a Porsche order to feature in excess of twenty additional options, so being able to import this saves significant time for dealers, who would otherwise manually rekey every item,” explains Neville Briggs, Pinewood’s Managing Director.

“It’s one of the best improvements I’ve experienced with Pinewood DMS,” said one user, a salesperson at Porsche Wolverhampton.

The PVMS integration automatically updates the price list in Pinewood DMS, ensuring that data is up-to-date and accurate. In addition, any amendments made to an order from the vehicle stock card in Pinewood DMS will automatically update PVMS – making the process faster and more efficient.

Pinewood are excited to offer this integration to Porsche dealers across the UK.

GLOBAL NEWS: “Pinewood is taking our business into a new modern era”

Ashley Beecham, Financial Controller at TL Darby explains how Pinewood DMS has impacted business at the Volkswagen dealership:

“We are a Volkswagen dealership located in Burton Upon Trent, with around 70 staff members, providing new, used, service and parts operations. We transitioned to Pinewood DMS in April 2019 and the impact on the business has been phenomenal. The improvement on reporting has helped us to manage the business in a more efficient manner.

The CRM element has given us the opportunity to deliver an improved customer service, and prospect the database with more accuracy enabling bespoke marketing campaigns. The accounts function is now completely straightforward, well-organised and transparent. The system is able to adapt to our changing business needs and reporting desires, and perfect for auditing.

The implementation itself was well planned and supported throughout, plus all of the Pinewood staff involved went above and beyond to deliver a first-class service. With the use of Stock+ we are able to upload documents to stock records and even complete stock checks from mobile phones, and the system keeps on growing and evolving with new features and upgrades added consistently.

Pinewood is taking our business into a new modern era and myself and all at TL Darby would wholly recommend the system.”

To read more of our customers’ testimonials, click here.

GLOBAL NEWS: Supercharge aftersales profits with Pinewood DMS

As new vehicle sales decline, there is increasing urgency for dealers to find alternative revenue sources, with many looking to their aftersales departments. Despite the increasing prevalence of electric vehicles and the reliability of modern cars – reducing billable workshop hours – Pinewood Technologies believe there are still plenty of opportunities to profit.

“We are learning from markets that are more advanced in terms of their adoption of electric vehicles. From our experience in these markets, such as the Nordics, we’ve observed that dealers capture more of the work that a traditional UK dealership might not pursue as actively. For example – tyres, smart repairs and even glass repairs,” explains Managing Director, Neville Briggs.

To capture every opportunity, Pinewood DMS encourages dealers to strike while the iron is hot, when customers are more likely to authorise identified work. “The best time to upsell is when the car is in the workshop, not when the customer has gone home and has the opportunity to shop around, or faces the prospect of having to revisit the dealership, which isn’t efficient for anyone,” says Briggs. “Our most successful and profitable customers are already aware of this”.

Pinewood DMS offers a built-in vehicle checking process to build trust with customers, who are more likely to authorise further work and therefore generate more revenue. To provide transparency, dealers can send a booking confirmation to the customer, with a video link explaining the arrival and check-in process. Service advisors can be pre-allocated to an appointment, so they are ready to greet the customer and begin the VHC process.

Pinewood’s app for sales and service, Host+, allows the filming of an arrival video from the convenience of a mobile device. Doing this with the customer present provides more credibility than if the dealer were to contact the customer later in the day and gives them more time to consider proceeding with the additional work. However, when upselling, dealers must have clear pricing and the stock required. Features such as menu pricing, inbuilt tyre catalogues, recommended ordering (based on previous ­supply trends) and automatic re-ordering of parts, address these challenges.

VHC video is a major highlight of Pinewood’s technician app, Tech+. Technicians can capture and send clips of damage to customers straight from the ramp, with a link to instantly authorise or reject the work. This has proven to significantly impact conversion rates and aftersales profits.

The past year has seen the release of brand new versions of all three of Pinewood’s aftersales apps; Tech+, Parts+ and Host+, for technicians, parts advisors and service/salespeople respectively. These bring a range of new capabilities, such as digitally signing documents to reduce paperwork, issuing parts on the move and barcode scanning.

A growing business

Pinewood are constantly growing their team to drive their customers’ businesses forward, this year hiring 27 new graduates. Additionally, the introduction of Live-chat and an extensive knowledge-base have proven immensely popular, enhancing the customer support experience.

These advancements will help dealers to truly make the most of Pinewood DMS’ ever-expanding features, enabling them to boost profitability and overcome market challenges.

GLOBAL NEWS: New Host+ app will help dealers deliver the ultimate sales and service experience

Pinewood Technologies PLC has launched the latest update for their popular showroom app, Host+, with a new look-and-feel and a number of brand new features to enhance the sales and service experience in dealerships running Pinewood DMS.

Firstly, dealers will notice a refreshed stock search in Host+, giving salespeople immediate access to additional vehicle details and documents, including the full image and video gallery for all stock vehicles. Salespeople can display any relevant vehicles to customers directly from their tablet, reducing the time customers are kept waiting in-store.

“It’s key for dealers to continually make improvements to their processes. The decision to buy a car is influenced by a combination of many factors – retail is detail,” explains Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood Technologies. “If you’re not meeting customer needs – and doing so quickly – customers will research alternatives online while you make them wait. So the offline sales journey must be seamless and provide a better experience than the customer can attain online or elsewhere. Host+ gives you the tools to manage this.”

Salespeople can instantly upload and view documents against a customer record, initiate a test drive and digitally sign the declaration, uploading this directly to the CRM record.

“By streamlining the processes that take place with the customer present, dealers are more likely to make a better impression. E-signatures for test drives and job cards are a great time-saver, removing the need for paperwork and unnecessary scanning”, says Briggs.

The app now features a bespoke ‘desired vehicle’ configurator, prompting salespeople to gain more detailed customer preferences. Salespeople can then identify relevant vehicles that match these, increasing the chance of making a sale.

The new Host+ app also allows salespeople to action individual and shared appointments on-the-go, ensuring all customers are followed-up as soon as possible to drive lead conversion.

The new and improved Host+ update is available for Pinewood DMS users to download on iOS, Android or Windows tablets.

GLOBAL NEWS: Pinewood reveals DMS enquiry management tips

As the modern-day automotive sales journey evolves, dealers face the challenge of converting leads and enquiries into sales in an increasingly digital and competitive environment. Customers have often educated themselves online or made their purchase decision before engaging with a dealer, reducing the opportunities for dealers to influence decision making during the initial stages of the customer journey.

This means that when customers do finally make contact with a dealer, it’s even more crucial that the retail experience is a flawless one.

Dealers need to have a powerful Dealer Management System in place and make full use of its capabilities, to convert leads into sales. Many dealers still don’t make use of the tools available to them within their Dealer Management System, which is a huge missed opportunity.

“Dealers must focus on creating a positive customer experience, providing them with all the information they need in a simple and efficient manner,” says Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood Technologies PLC.

Improve website listings to increase leads

With a growing number of car buyers preferring to browse vehicle information online rather than in-store, it’s vital to make sure website listings include lots of high quality photos, accurate vehicle specification and are up to date. Dealers who provide more detailed and better quality website listings are more likely to gain leads.

Many dealers have the ability to update vehicle listings quickly from their DMS. Pinewood are focused on helping dealers achieve a seamless and customer-centric online experience, with their DMS offering the ability to capture up to forty vehicle images, which are immediately available to the dealers’ website. This provides the ideal tool to showcase vehicle stock, enhancing the online search phase and resulting in more enquiries.

“Our stock management app, Stock+, allows users to instantly enhance website listings with vehicle details and photos from their mobile device”, says Briggs.

Maximise lead conversion through effective enquiry management

Similarly, choosing a DMS with tools to improve your showroom management processes will positively impact on lead conversion. From managing new enquiries, to the first contact with a customer, to the vehicle handover. The modern dealership is no longer an environment where a ‘quick and hard sell’ works – therefore converting leads relies upon the customer experience. This is an opportunity for dealers to impress.

“Pinewood DMS users can send personalised videos and emails at key points throughout the customer journey,” Briggs explains. “These communications create a more personal experience for buyers, enhancing their likelihood of taking action.”

Likewise, dealers must ensure follow-ups are dealt with effectively. “Pinewood DMS can prompt sales users to schedule a future contact following every customer interaction – whether this is online, over the phone or in person. The DMS connects with Outlook, scheduling reminders for any future appointments or contacts, helping sales teams to never let a lead go cold. Every interaction is stored on the customer’s CRM record, so other salespeople can pick up where they left off as and when required. This ensures that every dealer using Pinewood DMS has the best tools to manage and convert enquiries into sales,” says Briggs.

Make it quick and easy to pursue leads from manufacturers      

Finally, dealers can boost inbound enquiries by having a DMS with manufacturer integrations for their represented brands. For the systems which offer these integrations, enquiries submitted to manufacturers websites can automatically be sent to the DMS and flagged as opportunities for the sales team to action. Pinewood have close working relationships with manufacturers to help facilitate this.

By using their DMS to its full potential, dealers can boost their conversion rate, significantly influencing sales revenue.

GLOBAL NEWS: Pinewood DMS’ Accounting Goes Multi-Dimensional

Pinewood Technologies recently launched their new multi-dimensional accounting feature – allowing dealer groups to reshape their accounting structure into a single view with transparency between locations and the centre. This includes a suite of processes for reducing the costs of internal transactions.

“We have already piloted our multi-dimensional accounting feature with a number of large dealer groups with incredible results”, says Neville Briggs, Managing Director. “Through rethinking accounts processes, hundreds of thousands of pounds of savings have been achieved in a matter of months. Most importantly, it frees members of the dealer team from repetitive tasks, giving them the opportunity to focus on other areas of adding value.”

Apart from offering cost savings, it also allows dealers to boost operational efficiency across the business. Vehicle and parts movements between locations are simplified, and vehicle preparation requests can be accrued across multiple workshops. When it comes to vehicle movements, fewer cash entries are required, reducing paperwork. By using ‘click-and-drill’ by cost centre, transactional information remains easily accessible while reducing the number of reports and reconciliations that need to be produced.

“With single Sales and Purchase ledgers across businesses, aged debt can easily be identified and picked up on, making it easier to recognise areas at risk. Credit control is also simplified, due to all relevant information being held in one place”, explains Briggs. “Supplier accounts can be merged across a number of businesses, meaning there will be fewer touch points for suppliers, quicker resolution of issues and controlled payment runs.”

Following the decline in new vehicle sales and economic uncertainty, dealers are looking for new ways to cut costs and uncover greater efficiency within their businesses. Pinewood believes that multi-site dealers adopting multi-dimensional accounting will provide them with their single largest money saving opportunity of the year.

Watch this video to find out more!

GLOBAL NEWS: Pinewood go for Gold with Microsoft!

Pinewood Technologies has secured Microsoft Gold Partner status, having met Microsoft’s extensive set of certification and technology-based requirements to qualify for the standard.

To earn the Gold status within Microsoft’s Partner Network, eligible businesses must meet a comprehensive set of criteria, demonstrating their competence using Microsoft’s latest tools and technologies. Businesses can qualify as Bronze, Silver or Gold partners, depending on their level of commitment.

“Maintaining our Gold Partner status – which we have proudly held since 2006 – continues to demonstrate the exceptional quality standards we maintain here at Pinewood, which is what makes our DMS industry-leading,” explains Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood.

“The Gold status demonstrates our professionalism as a business, alongside our dedication to constantly developing the latest technologies. This is useful for developer recruitment, providing an indicator of our high standards and the level of innovation we are committed to delivering. It also highlights that we take advantage of the latest technical opportunities, meaning our team benefit from working with the latest technologies.” – Briggs.

This year Pinewood attained three Gold competencies, for Application Development, DevOps and Cloud Platform, and one Silver competency for Datacenter expertise. Each one requires the organisation to pass technical assessments, platform tests and exams, among other criteria.

Achieving these certifications reflects Pinewood’s technical capability and their highly qualified team, which includes many Microsoft Certified Professionals, whose knowledge helps to keep Pinewood on the cutting edge of technology.

GLOBAL NEWS: Dealers are missing out on winter profit

Nobody will forget the ‘Beast from the East’ bringing the UK to a standstill. With a likely repeat of the extreme weather we faced last winter, drivers will want to be prepared – providing dealers a prime opportunity to capitalise on the increased demand for winter tyres.

Dealers should be encouraging their customers to switch to winter tyres, having highlighted this revenue-generating opportunity for the upcoming season. Focused on boosting profits, Pinewood has developed a new ‘tyre hotel’ feature, promoting dealers to efficiently manage their tyre storage and servicing business, all within the DMS.

Introducing a ‘tyre hotel’ service generates revenue in three key ways; selling tyres, storing tyres and cross-selling to customers – who need to bring their vehicle to the dealership at least two more times than usual, in a twelve-month period. This creates an opportunity to uncover additional revenue more frequently.

“We’re constantly investing in new ways for dealers to capture revenue,” explains Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood Technologies PLC. “It’s a common misconception that UK drivers don’t need winter tyres. In reality, switching to winter tyres becomes useful when temperatures are 7 degrees and below, typical of the UK from October through to March. It’s an opportunity to generate additional revenue.”

Pinewood’s new ‘tyre hotel’ feature gives dealers the ability to capture tyre details using an integrated tyre catalogue. Dealers are able to generate and print contracts and invoices for the storage of tyres. Labels can be printed and stuck to each tyre, displaying the customer it belongs to, along with the details.

Customisable checklists can also be added to tyre inspections, highlighting key areas for technicians to check.

These features will help transform the typical small-scale tyre storage setup, into a scalable, revenue-generating business opportunity.

GLOBAL NEWS: Pinewood launches Parts+ app for issuing parts on the move

Pinewood Technologies have launched their latest multi-platform app, Parts+, which allows parts teams to scan barcodes and issue parts on-the-go.

“To become more productive, dealers must target incremental improvements by streamlining their existing processes and removing the factors which slow them down,” says Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood.

“Parts+ allows parts teams to issue parts from anywhere using their mobile device. This saves time, because you don’t need to retrieve a part, return it to the counter then issue it from a PC,” explains Briggs.

The Parts+ app features a built-in barcode scanner – a convenient tool for identifying parts faster than the traditional manual search. Scanned items can then be added to operations and issued to the job. Pinewood DMS is fully integrated meaning that the stock levels automatically update in the DMS.

A ‘conversations’ feature lets technicians and the parts department leave notes for each other on a job, improving communication. Technicians can get the parts they require faster to complete the job.

Users have a complete view of jobs across their location, with discounts and issue prices set in the DMS automatically applied.

The addition of Parts+ to Pinewood’s integrated app suite is their latest step towards helping dealers achieve enhanced productivity across their entire dealership.

To learn more about Parts+, follow the video link:

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