Author: Pinewood

Pinewood DMS Achieves Renault Certification for UK & Ireland

Pinewood DMS has been certified by Renault as an international DMS provider, having built a long-standing relationship with the brand and dealer network.

Pinewood DMS supports a comprehensive range of Renault interfaces enabling dealers of all shapes and sizes to manage their businesses effectively.

“Building upon a long partnership, we worked very hard with the Renault team during the certification process to ensure our DMS will keep Renault dealers compliant and simplify the digital customer experience. Even down to managing warranty work, the process is easy with the integrations directly built-in to the DMS such as menu pricing, parts catalogues, and automatic stock replenishment.” says Neville Briggs, Managing Director for Pinewood.

Building on a growing set of strategic partnerships with leading manufacturers, Pinewood is helping to shape the future of the automotive sector and improve business processes, reduce costs, and provide greater flexibility for dealer groups.

“We’re thrilled about the new certification and look forward to working together with Renault to create modern and innovative tools to support dealers and improve the Renault customer experience.” explains Briggs.

Pinewood provides a strong all-in-one DMS solution for Renault dealers with a state-of-the-art cloud solution combined with a high level of OEM integration for all brands.

With decades of experience implementing and supporting Renault businesses, a role-based online training suite and 24-hour support resources, Pinewood provide the ideal combination of new technology and customer service to support Renault dealers on their digital journey.

Pinewood DMS is the first DMS certified by BMW UK

On the 14th of July 2021, BMW UK announced Pinewood DMS as its first certified system for retailers, following the completion of a rigorous certification process to ensure the necessary processes and integrations are all available.

Alongside this, Pinewood Technologies has been selected as one of only two global partners to support BMW’s Retail Integration Strategy (RIS) and shape the future of integration services globally. With this partnership, Pinewood and BMW look to improve business processes, reduce costs, and provide greater flexibility for dealers.

This builds upon a working relationship that has ensured BMW integration has been a feature of Pinewood DMS since 2003, supporting BMW, MINI, Motorrad and Rolls-Royce businesses.

Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood Technologies explains:

“We are delighted to have earned the opportunity to work with BMW who are recognised leaders in technology and customer experience, and we look forward to working closely with BMW and MINI retailers in the UK and Ireland.

Our team at Pinewood are committed to working with both BMW UK and the team in Munich on a journey to build a modern set of integrations, built on services from BMW’s next-generation RIS layer”.

Pinewood’s strategy is to continue building on its leading all-in-one cloud DMS solution without the need for bolt-on systems. The DMS today includes built-in mobile apps, video services, document storage, as well as integrated digital services such as eSignatures, customer privacy preferences and online payments. The objective is to make IT management simpler with the benefits of offering a smooth digital journey for customers and a single view for business leaders.

Pinewood DMS has been designed with multi-franchise groups in mind, supporting this through continuous updates. The system includes comprehensive OEM integration, modern BI capabilities, and group stock management tools such as internal transfers and vehicle stock funding with financial organisations.

“Our UK-based development team are working in the latest technologies and have a deep and detailed understanding of the automotive industry. We are continuously investing in creating the best tools for retailer success. This certification and partnership with BMW Group is an exciting opportunity to offer retailers greater choice, resulting in improved tools to drive dealer profitability”, says Briggs.

Pinewood’s 2021 Software Placement scheme has kicked off!

11 new Software Development Placement students have started their career with Pinewood Technologies.

Pinewood’s placement programme has been running for nearly a decade, and through close relationships with universities, they saw almost 300 applications for their Software Development scheme this year.

Pinewood’s placement year is designed with the end goal in mind. Carefully mapped out by their placement successors and talent team, they’re able to nurture and mould students from scratch – developing their technical skills and providing an understanding of dealer expectations.

Kiran Kundra, HR Business Partner at Pinewood explains

“Our placement scheme has produced some of our most valued team members – so it’s really key we choose candidates who are a good fit for our business, both in skillset and outlook. We want to retain them, so need people who share our drive, right from the offset, supporting our growth in markets across the globe.

We work closely with some of the best universities across the UK to find the most talented and driven students, giving them a wide range of projects to get stuck into. This gives them the optimum footing, boosting their confidence and ability to succeed in a career in tech. We’re looking forward to seeing what the students can bring to the table!”

Pinewood provides extensive training and support from day one, including team-based projects, dedicated mentors, technical workshops, and the chance to work with the UX team on a project to improve user experience.

Successful students are offered a full-time role upon completing their degree, with 80% of last year’s students having received an offer to return. Pinewood is also on track to recruit 10 Graduates during Summer 2021 in a similar scheme, fuelling an exciting period of international growth.

Pinewood’s Good Video Guide – Top tips included

With the omni-channel experience now more important than ever, dealers must adapt to meet buyers’ evolving needs, or risk sales and service customers going elsewhere. By creating engaging video communications, dealers can drive real results – capturing and converting customers before they even set foot in the dealership.

The Benefits:

  • Build trust with customers – whether sending a personalised video tour for a car they’ve enquired on, or highlighting recommended work to upsell in a friendly VHC video
  • Upsell more VHC work
  • Make listings stand out online
  • Send personalised responses to enquiries, enhancing the customer journey

It doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive to improve the quality of video communications, it doesn’t even require a video specialist. By following a few simple tips, as outlined by the DMS experts at Pinewood, dealers can improve the response rates on their videos.

Pinewood’s Top Video Tips:

Make it personal:

  • Introduce yourself, as though you were meeting to the customer in person.
  • Greet customers by their name, showing them, you’ve taken the time respond personally.
  • Don’t rush, take pauses and speak clearly.
  • Ensure responses are timely – don’t leave an enquiry waiting for days (or longer), or they’ll go elsewhere.

Good lighting:

  • When highlighting damage in a VHC video, use a torch or laser so the customer can clearly see the issue for themselves.
  • If recording indoors, use a lamp to ensure the vehicle you’re recording is easy to see on-screen.
  • Avoid recording in direct sunlight – the video is likely to be affected by distracting shadows, bright spots or reflections.

Speak clearly:

  • Turn down any background music or radio noises, which may distract the attention of the viewer.
  • Avoid touching the microphone on your smartphone or recording device whilst recording.
  • Wait for any loud noises to stop – this may include workshop machinery, transporter vehicles in the background, or even moving ramps.
  • Find a quieter time to capture your videos with minimal distractions – both visual and audible.

Still too noisy?

  • Try Pinewood’s Audio Enhancement tool to reduce background noise – videos sound clearer and distractions are reduced, no editing experience needed.
  • Use visual aids, such as marked masking tape to indicate tyre tread depths.
  • Invest in a Bluetooth microphone for best results.

Use a mini-tripod or gimbal:

  • Capture still, steady footage.
  • Reach all angles.
  • Clips onto any phone.
  • Low cost and effective.

Be engaging:

  • Be conversational – prospects are more likely to listen and engage.
  • Keep it concise, or the customer will lose interest.
  • Highlight the best features – these are the selling points.
  • Finish with a clear call to action.

Try out these video tips today using the built-in video tools in your Pinewood DMS apps.

Dealers are creating professional online content directly in their DMS.

Following the acceleration of digitalisation throughout the pandemic, more people are warming to the idea of shopping online for their next car – and the likelihood is, that it’s here to stay. Pinewood Technologies have added new user-friendly editing tools to Pinewood DMS including photo background replacement and audio enhancement to encourage this new approach to customer engagement.

Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood explains:

“Now customers have had a taste for buying online and the convenience it brings, it’s likely this will continue. Even if buyers prefer to transact in-store, the majority will be looking for an omni-channel experience. They want to browse online before they travel to see a car, so dealers need to accommodate. This includes having great quality images and videos, ready to capture interest and drive enquiries.”

Photo background replacement

For online listings, cars with a neutral background are better for catching attention, and without the delay of a professional photographer or an overseas conversion service to return your images, backgrounds can be hard to change without physically moving the vehicle.

Now, salespeople can replace the backgrounds of images taken in Pinewood’s Stock+ app, swapping a forecourt for a clean, standardised backdrop. With zero editing experience needed, they can even add their franchise branding to create professional looking photos in moments – supporting consistent, quality listings that are available online immediately.

It’s often difficult to find a spacious area when photographing vehicles in the dealership and if the listing is amongst hundreds of others online, it needs to stand out. Gone are the days of shuffling cars – Pinewood’s photo background replacement is convenient, easy to use and effective – leading to a faster turnaround of stock and capital.

Audio enhancement

The next step of the journey is equally crucial – the follow-up. Any dealer can respond to enquiries with a formulaic or impersonal email. The ‘tuned-in’ sales team will go the extra mile, responding with engagement and a personalised video.

To support this, Pinewood have added audio enhancement as an extra feature of their video suite. Videos recorded in Pinewood’s apps will automatically be enhanced, reducing background noise, adjusting loudness, and improving the overall clarity and sound quality.

Scott Albiston, a Sales Executive at Pebley Beach has been testing out the latest feature, with some great results: “Audio enhancement works really well for us, especially recording videos on a busy main road – It’s a day and night difference!”

Capture, edit, send, sell.

As always, there’s no switching between systems – photos and videos can be recorded directly in the Pinewood DMS apps and are uploaded for access online in next to no time.

Now, more than ever, customers demand an engaging omni-channel experience. As the UK re-opens for business, dealers can use their available tools to focus on converting more leads and providing a seamless digital experience for their customers.

The Next Step Towards the Paperless Workshop

Pinewood Technologies have made it easier for dealers to prepare their warranty claims with new Write-ups in their Tech+ app. Technicians can add digital notes to jobs on their phone whilst they work on a vehicle, highlighting any new issues found and corrections made – saying goodbye to printed job cards.

Not only have Write-ups helped with reducing paper in the workshop, but they also give Manufacturers a clear view when auditing for Warranty Claims, with no need to trail through mountains of printed job cards. Write-ups can have specific headings depending on the franchise and are visible in Pinewood DMS, including a timestamp and record of any edits, providing full visibility across the business.

Gavin Crolla, Divisional Warranty Leader at Mercedes-Benz Leeds explains –

“Previously when submitting warranty claims or providing information to customers, we would waste so much time looking through filing cabinets and struggling to read handwriting. We now have a permanent digital history of our Write-ups neatly archived against job numbers in the DMS. It meets our audit standards with name and date stamps so we don’t need to worry that our claims will be rejected. The information can be reviewed forever-more it massively reduces our paper usage.”

Dealers have faced many challenges during the past year and digitalisation has clearly been an important factor. Whether it’s booking a service on the website, signing job cards digitally or paying for a service online – car buyers are embracing the impact of the digital world and dealers are seeing a massive improvement across their businesses when implementing the tools available to them.

Write-ups are available now in Pinewood DMS – the latest addition in Pinewood’s Digital Journey.

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