Author: Pinewood

Pinewood supports EV retailers to maximise workshop returns

It’s no longer a debate of whether electric vehicles will take off or turn out to be a passing trend. With the UK Government insisting that 50% of new vehicles will be zero emissions by 20281, and 100% by 20352, the change is now a reality.

According to Pinewood Technologies, dealers must make use of the tools in their DMS to uncover new profit opportunities and stay ahead of the curve when it comes to electric vehicles. Pinewood have been working with dealers across the Nordics where 84% of all new cars sold across Norway in January 2022 were electric vehicles3.

Stine Mundal Hagen, Corporate Business Development Manager for Porsche Norway said: “Pinewood DMS has given us the perfect tool with which we can monitor and steer all aspects from trade ins, car sales to service and used cars. Combining this with the financial capabilities of the system, we have reached new levels of process excellence in our operations. Pinewood’s extensive experience in the retail car industry has greatly helped us in our quest for increased value and service for our customers.”

It’s no secret that hybrid and electric vehicles have fewer serviceable parts and longer service intervals than traditional petrol or diesel cars. Because of this, electric vehicles may appear less profitable for workshops on the surface. However, dealers can prepare their teams with alternative ways to bridge this revenue gap.

Timely communications

It’s vital that dealers use their DMS effectively to maximise profits. Service Advisors must ensure every customer receives regular reminders, with a link to book their car in. Mark Davis, Dealer Principal at Brighton Honda explains that being able to set contact plans and send branded service reminders in Pinewood DMS is essential for his business –

“The customer experience is great with Pinewood DMS. We can send text reminders in a touch of a button from the service department. It’s really brought us into the 21st century with what people now expect with their online experience.”

Increase upsell 

After securing the booking, Service Advisors are presented with a golden opportunity – to upsell more cosmetic repairs, like dents and paintwork. With a system like Pinewood DMS, dealers can create custom checklists and adapt services by brand or vehicle type, helping Technicians to identify and upsell more additional work.

Save time managing multiple teams

Servicing electric vehicles requires working with batteries, so dealers will need to expand or upskill their aftersales teams to include electrical engineers. Inevitably, dealers need a system that handles multiple labour rates – especially if the workshop caters for both hybrid/ electric and petrol/ diesel engines. Many systems on the market are not equipped to handle this, so dealers must weigh up the implications and challenges if their system falls into this category. Without a sufficient DMS, dealers will need to manually calculate the labour rates – which can be inefficient and time consuming.

Planning ahead to maximise productivity

Vehicle retailers must consider the extra safety precautions needed to run an electric vehicle workshop – such as handling high voltage batteries, and accessing specialist tools and equipment. This will involve building separate workstations for EV teams, safely distanced from the petrol/ diesel vehicle bays. The changes will affect the workshop diary, so it’s key to get a DMS that can handle this, to maximise productivity and draw the best possible returns.

For example, Pinewood’s Workshop Planner makes it easy to manage different skillsets and service teams, or schedule repairs based on productive hours for each area – saving hours and boosting efficiency for EV Workshop Controllers.

The future for EV dealers…

With electric vehicle sales only set to increase, dealers need to have the right tools in place to maximise revenue and profits. With close relationships supporting dealers in the leading electric vehicle markets worldwide, Pinewood offers a strong solution for EV retailers.

If vehicle retailers are interested in learning more about Pinewood’s EV offering, visit: www.pinewood.co.uk/contact-us

 

REFERENCES:

  1. Sharpe, T. (2022, April 8). Government proposes that half of all new car sales must be EV by 2028. Retrieved from AM-online: https://www.am-online.com/news/market-insight/2022/04/08/government-proposes-that-half-of-all-new-car-sales-must-be-ev-by-2028
  2. COP26 declaration on accelerating the transition to 100% zero emission cars and vans. (2022, Apr 8). Retrieved from gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cop26-declaration-zero-emission-cars-and-vans/cop26-declaration-on-accelerating-the-transition-to-100-zero-emission-cars-and-vans
  3. Hill, J. (2022, February 3). Norway’s stunning new EV numbers: 84% of new car sales in January all electric. Retrieved from The Driven: https://thedriven.io/2022/02/03/norways-stunning-new-ev-numbers-84-of-new-car-sales-in-january-all-electric/

 

 

 

 

 

How Pinewood DMS is transforming commercial dealers

With the demand for online shopping, home deliveries and convenience only set for continued growth, commercial dealerships should be capitalising on this opportunity. From improving workshop productivity to improving the omnichannel experience for fleet customers, commercial dealers should be seeking new ways to squeeze extra revenue.

Flexible service communications

To boost the take-up of service bookings and aftersales revenue, commercial dealers must adapt their communications and follow-ups accordingly. It’s essential to find a DMS that supports custom checklists, amendable service intervals and flexible follow-ups depending on the vehicle type. Helping to target the right customers, at the right time and boost aftersales revenue.

Retaining fleet customers is even more essential than in a passenger car workshop, with multiple vehicles likely to require servicing at each visit. Therefore, commercial dealers need the tools to track the effectiveness of communications. With Pinewood DMS, leaders have access to data-rich reports, making it easy to share future communications and optimise performance.

Fully digital service journey

When fleets are being serviced, it is imperative for commercial dealers to maintain clear visibility within their workshop to ensure operations run as efficiently as possible. Digital job cards allow instant access to service details for leaders and technicians alike, reducing the risk of miscommunication. Similarly, digital workshop planners with drag-and-drop allocation ensure the right technicians are working the right jobs.

With a mobile app like Tech+, technicians can perform instant vehicle health checks with detailed service notes. Technicians can also report any urgent work needed, which fleet managers can digitally approve of remotely via eSignature – all in a matter of minutes. Additionally, as part of the digital journey, an online Job Status Tracker provides the fleet customer with a clear view of the vehicle progress in the workshop and off-site with subcontractors.

Working closely with manufacturers

Commercial dealers can also boost their service offering with Pinewood’s range of OEM integrations. Service contracts can be customised and created at sale allowing service invoices to charge into the plan, with the account’s postings all taken care of. Menu pricing is also available, which allows fleet managers to have their own predefined requirements to simplify the preparation request.

No matter the brand or type of vehicle they offer, commercial dealers can instantly benefit from Pinewood’s suite of digital tools. The digital features available in Pinewood DMS, provide customers transparency whilst boosting efficiency across the workshop.

To learn more about how Pinewood DMS makes handling fleets as easy as ever, contact our team today.

Beat the Supply Shortages and Boost Revenue

There’s never been a more crucial time to focus on used stock. In fact, for multi-branch businesses, the current new vehicle shortages, and surging market value of used cars, presents a golden opportunity – if retailers have the tools to tap in. Pinewood DMS is focused on maximising profits group-wide, allowing leaders to handle used stock as efficiently as possible.

Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood Technologies explains:

“Our customers, including several leading dealer groups, are driving strong revenues from their used retail sales – having tuned into the market and made use of our built-in tools. Pinewood DMS gives leaders a full view of their stock across multiple sites, focused on boosting revenue.”

Having a system with a single point of control, managers can identify where process improvements are needed, benchmark their best-performing sites, and ensure all branches are turning over vehicles at a competitive margin.

Darren Lakin, Aftersales Director at Wessex Garages says:

“The fact we can see everything in one place, whether it’s in sales, accounts, service or aftersales, makes everybody’s life much easier. It’s made a massive difference, it’s saved man-hours, and it’s streamlined our approach to business across every platform.”

Fuelled by the lockdown restrictions, car buyers now have more choice than ever – able to research and buy online, in-store, or a mix of the two. Failure to efficiently prepare and list stock online could result in losing customers and dealers need to be supported by a DMS which can leverage the business. With a live, accurate view of stock, dealers using Pinewood DMS can publish professional stock ads online in seconds, straight from their mobile devices.

Tracking the performance of multiple branches is key. Comparing vital metrics such as preparation efficacy, true days in stock, and profit margins, enables leaders to analyse performance and act on insights from their best-performing branches. Briggs explains:

“Our top-performing dealer groups are using Pinewood BI to obtain critical insights and leverage their returns. With an all-in-one system like Pinewood DMS, it’s easy for leaders to make the important business decisions and analyse trends across every site. Even down to getting the best rates for funding, groups can quickly retrieve accurate financial data from the DMS, whereas most systems would struggle, needing to collate data from multiple sites, across several platforms. Maximising profit from used stock relies on getting the best rates for funding.”

Ultimately, there is a considerable profit opportunity in the used vehicle market. Groups can significantly maximise revenue and results by efficiently managing stock. Taking a holistic approach can result in a big win, driving results. Pinewood DMS provides all the tools large-scale businesses need to excel. If you’re keen to see how your business could benefit, visit www.pinewood.co.uk

BMW Group Renews Development Partnership with Pinewood

BMW Group have renewed their partnership with Pinewood Technologies for 2022. Pinewood is one of only four global BMW Development Partners shaping the future of retail integration services globally.

“We’re proud to continue working closely with BMW in Munich to create services that enable a premium customer journey. With more customers looking for an omni-channel experience – from booking through to paying online – the complexity of systems needs to be reduced and to do so, we are using the innovative cloud-based technologies at our disposal.” explains Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood Technologies.

As a Development Partner, Pinewood have earned the opportunity to help design and test new interfaces and will be among the first to make new services available to BMW retailers.

BMW UK recently announced Pinewood as its first certified DMS provider and following this, Pinewood have been in talks with numerous BMW and MINI retailers across the UK and Ireland. Pinewood’s distinctive DMS approach is an appealing alternative to other vendors in the market, so it’s no surprise that many dealers are enquiring to explore the extensive manufacturer integration and digital solutions on offer.

Nasser Mohammed, Group Finance Director for Eastern Holdings explains why Pinewood DMS works for their business:

“With almost 40 trading entities across Scotland, it is imperative we have a DMS which easily connects our businesses and staff, giving scope to scale as well as real-time visibility. The system gives complete transparency of every site, both horizontally and vertically with instant access to live data in just a few clicks. We have seen and experienced substantial benefits, including always being on the most up-to-date technology platform at no extra cost – which has helped us to compete at the forefront of our sector.”

Pinewood DMS is available to retailers worldwide. 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’s BMW/MINI system has been core in maximising our productivity – enabling us to automatically share data with BMWGB as a manufacturer, in complying with their standards allowing us to streamline our processes. Undoubtedly, their certification will bring flexibility to more dealers in the network, being the only all-in-one, integrated system.” Says Mohammed.

Any dealers interested in Pinewood DMS and the available BMW integrations can contact the team here.

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, massively reducing 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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