Author: Pinewood

Pinewood DMS is growing fast in the Nordics

After two years of refinement, feedback, and fine-tuning, Pinewood Technologies have had a great reception from dealers excited about the new system choices available, with Pinewood DMS now being adopted by dealer groups in Sweden and Norway.

Pinewood DMS is a cloud-based, all-in-one dealer management system, providing dealer groups around the world with the tools they need in the current digital age.

Pinewood work closely with over 50 vehicle manufacturers to deliver a modern system without the need for costly add-ons – giving multi-franchise dealers the tools to focus on delivering results.

Through building a strong relationship with Porsche Norway, Pinewood have now implemented their DMS into every Porsche dealership to replace their legacy on-premises solutions and implement the latest processes.

Petter Johannessen, CEO at Porsche Center Oslo explains:

“Porsche Center Oslo introducerade Pinewood DMS i augusti 2019 och målet var att få en bättre integration med vår tillverkares system och skapa en effektivare vardag för våra anställda med bättre arbetsflöde, högre kvalitet på utfört arbete samt att skapa bättre kundupplevelser. Det finns alltid utmaningar med att implementera ett nytt DMS, men Pinewood har varit intresserad av att anpassa och vidareutveckla systemet till förmån för oss som kund. Vi är fortfarande i en fas där vi hela tiden utnyttjar fördelarna med övergången till Pinewood och är mycket nöjda med att ha ett system som uppfyller alla våra behov inom avdelningar och funktioner.”

With over 40 years’ experience in the Automotive industry and over 30,000 people using the DMS daily, Pinewood Technologies are always looking to develop the latest and most valuable tools to reflect the changing climate.

With a focus on innovation and dealer profitability, Pinewood proved their value and resilience during the COVID pandemic. Dealers using Pinewood DMS found a range of new tools at their disposal including online service booking, digital signatures, video messaging, online payments, and eLearning – all built-in to the DMS without the need to bolt on additional systems.

“We’re growing rapidly, working with manufacturers in Sweden and Norway to implement across their dealer networks. From small, single-dealer businesses to large corporations with hundreds of locations, Pinewood DMS can enable it all. With a focus on bringing every aspect of the dealership together from workshop to sales, to accounts. We focus on saving the dealers money, so there’s no need to buy extra software and there’s no rekeying into multiple systems, it’s all in one place and simple to use.” Says Karl Zaar, Customer Service Director for Pinewood Sweden.

Any businesses across the Nordics that are interested in finding out more about Pinewood DMS can visit the website and have a demo with one of the team. Pinewood Technologies is currently hiring in Sweden, new roles are being added regularly and are available on Pinewood’s website.

Built-in versus bolt-ons – The DMS dilemma

With so many different systems on the market offering tools for every aspect of a dealer’s business, it’s difficult to know which route to take. Which bolt-ons to choose, and how many to add? If a Dealer Management System can’t do the job without bolt-ons, can it really meet your business’ needs – or are you left paying over the odds with only half the tools you require?

The ‘Bolt-on’ DMS Model

There are hundreds of additional systems on the market – you name it, there’s a system for it, generally offering features where the DMS provider has stopped short. This situation has evolved naturally over the decades, but as digitalisation has leaped forward in the last year, it presents a real challenge to providing a truly digital customer experience.

While bolt-on solutions may integrate to some extent, this all adds to the cost and complexity of managing dealer systems. The alternative is to look for an all-in-one DMS where every module is integrated and the essential tools are built into the system, designed to work entirely in sync.

Bolt-ons thrive when there are gaps between the DMS and the most effective business model, often showing the pathway to a fully digital business. Unless the DMS company is continually investing in closing these gaps, purchasing more and more bolt-ons becomes almost compulsory.

Dominic Threlfall, Managing Director of Pebley Beach explains:

“Dealers often use all these different systems, but they all have to be maintained. By having one system, the cost saving to the business is massive!”

The ‘Built-in’ DMS Model

Looking at a system like Pinewood DMS, common bolt-on features like workshop planning, VHC video, document storage and credit cards – they’re all included in the DMS. And because they’re built-in, they sync that bit better with what’s going on around them to create a fluid customer journey and a 360-degree view of the business.

Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood explains:

“With Pinewood DMS, everything is built-in – your tools and business areas are synced, so everybody is singing from the same hymn sheet. Of course, there are the manufacturer systems and selected third parties that will need to be integrated, but we hear from so many dealers juggling separate systems about just how challenging it can be! Cost is a huge factor, plus the inconvenience of constantly switching systems. Staff need training on every system too – it really adds up!”

Darren Lakin, Aftersales Director at Wessex describes his views:

“By taking away bolt-on providers, it has allowed us to integrate our VHC process and CRM management, giving us the whole package in one place. There’s no more double-keying, so it’s a much more efficient and streamlined process.”

By reducing the number of bolt-ons, the dealer team no longer need to switch systems or re-key information just to carry out day-to-day tasks. The leadership have a clearer view with just one set of activity information to manage and can focus on creating value, rather than managing dozens of integration points and commercial relationships.

The DMS Dilemma

More than ever, it’s on dealers to be brave and break away from old habits. If your DMS is technically behind the times and without a path to keep up, it’s impossible for you to stay on top of the game – and the more you compensate with bolt-ons, the more fragmented your processes can become.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because most large dealer groups now maintain over 20 different software systems and many are now realising that decreasing, rather than increasing this complexity, is the path to the digital future. And this means addressing the problem at its source by finding a DMS provider that’s ready for the journey.

Pinewood introduces more new Ford interfaces to their DMS

After recently launching their Ford REACT! integration in Ireland, Pinewood Technologies have added more new features for Ford dealers. Working closely with the brand, Pinewood now better supports the repair order process – with new integration available for Uptime Management and Digital Service Records (DSR) coming soon.

Pinewood’s Job Progress Tracker works with Uptime Management to send automatic vehicle status updates from the Workshop straight to Ford, making it easy to identify any holdups as jobs are worked on and support with any tricky repairs. Dealers are boosting efficiency and improving customer satisfaction – with customers already having reported a “five-day reduction in VOR time” * as a direct result.

Pinewood have also improved Digital Service Records for Ford dealers – integrating with the FordEtis system. The new DSR interface can send service details over to Ford, making it easier to track and export service history. This saves dealers switching between systems – both are interconnected, making the process faster and clearer. Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood explains:

“When filling in a job card for warranty repairs, many technicians still print them, adding notes by hand before scanning them over to the manufacturer. It proves to be inefficient, especially now dealers are becoming more digitally focused, and oily fingerprints make them difficult to read. Dealers can now add notes to jobs digitally, straight from Pinewood’s Tech+ app, then send to Ford using the new DSR interface. It’s much faster!”

Pinewood’s DSR interface is currently in pilot, soon to be available for Ford customers alongside Uptime Management – extending Pinewood’s growing manufacturer integration suite.

*Paul Singleton (Operations Director) and Sarah Brettle (FCSD Director), Ford of Britain.

Pinewood customers boost VHC revenue with Bumper finance integration!

Pinewood Technologies has partnered with Bumper – offering dealers a built-in tool to boost VHC revenue. Motorists can pay for their Vehicle Health Check using interest-free monthly repayments, making costly repairs more affordable. Spreading payments has been a game changer, with dealers already seeing significant results.

Chris Taylor, Group IT Director at Cambria Automobiles PLC explains:

“Many drivers are worried about expensive repairs on their cars, especially in today’s climate – but Pinewood’s Bumper integration really makes the difference. Splitting VHC bills into smaller payments makes them more affordable, so more of our customers are happy to go ahead with extra work. It’s a win-win!”

Using Pinewood’s Tech+ app, technicians can record a video, showing any red (urgent) or amber (advisory) work they’ve identified. This can be quickly sent to the customer for approval – straight from the DMS, with the option to apply for finance at the same time.

Taylor explains – “We build trust with our customers by highlighting any issues we find on their vehicle in a friendly video straight from the ramp. Alongside this, the flexibility of monthly payments has led to a significant rise in the take-up of VHC work across our dealerships, all integrated within the DMS. It’s really helped us to boost VHC revenue.”

The process is seamless, taking just moments from end-to-end. The customers’ details instantly pull through to Bumper from the DMS, populating the finance application form. Once approved, the work is invoiced directly to the dealers’ Bumper sales ledger accounts, so payments can be quickly allocated with no fuss.

Bumper finance integration is now available in Pinewood DMS.

Pinewood’s new VWG integration makes managing leads easy

Pinewood Technologies have released their latest integration with Volkswagen Group, supporting dealers to manage leads and boost sales, joining their full suite of VWG interfaces.

Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood explains – “We’ve worked closely with VWG to create the ultimate integration suite – Volkswagen Lead Management System (LMS) is a great new addition. Dealers can expect to see significant benefits, from boosting sales to saving time rekeying, allowing them run their business more smoothly and profitably. Data is seamlessly shared between VWG and the dealer behind-the-scenes in the DMS, so the sales team can focus on what they do best.”

New leads can be picked up immediately by the sales team. Pinewood DMS automatically creates a CRM record and sales opportunity for all fleet and retail enquiries from VWG, enabling them to respond to enquiries faster and more efficiently – improving customer experience. Volkswagen Group also get an overview of the entire sales process, so are able to highlight any significant challenges in the business, supporting dealers to improve their sales experience.

LMS has improved transparency for both the dealers and VWG, eliminating the need for information to be inputted manually in both systems – saving time and improving data accuracy. Pinewood’s LMS integration is now available to VWG customers, alongside their full suite of DMS interfaces.

Pinewood achieves Ford REACT! certification in Ireland

A bright start to the year for Pinewood Technologies! Following the successful pilot of their Ford REACT! integration into Bright Ford’s Phibsborough site, Pinewood received the news that they are now Ford REACT! certified for Ireland.

Using the proven REACT! integration in Pinewood DMS, invoice details for vehicles, parts and workshop are automatically sent to Ford via a daily feed for business analysis.

Henry Flanagan, Director at Bright Ford explains – “This latest Pinewood DMS integration for our Ford dealerships will bring a number of benefits and reinforces our decision to have partnered ourselves with Pinewood Technologies. We now continue to roll out the integration to our 3 other Ford locations in Dublin.”

With Bright Ford leading the way, Pinewood have already had significant interest from other Ford dealers across Ireland, with many more sites eagerly lined up to enable the integration in the coming weeks.

Pinewood works closely with vehicle manufacturers across the globe to build time-saving integrations. Ford REACT! is one of many key features planned for release throughout the year, bringing substantial benefits to Pinewood DMS customers.

Pinewood and ASF launch new partnership

A new integration between Pinewood Technologies and ASF (Auto Service Finance), also called Bumper, is now available allowing motorists to pay for work from their Vehicle Health Checks in monthly, interest-free installments. Customers can approve their work and arrange finance online from the comfort of their own home, making vehicle repairs more affordable and attractive.

Every aspect of Pinewood DMS, including accounts, workshop, video, VHC, parts, and CRM, have been brought together to provide a unique level of integration.

ASF Co-Founder, Jack Allman, said “The integration is by far one of the most advanced in the market of its kind, combining VHC, video and finance systems. This is made possible by the unique nature of Pinewood DMS being a complete solution. It provides huge potential for dealers to capture more service work and significantly boost revenue.”

Technicians use Pinewood’s Tech+ App to record any red (urgent) or amber (advisory) work identified on the vehicle. Using video to record a clip of the damage straight from the ramp adds credibility to the inspection. This can be priced and sent to the customer by email or text message.

After looking at the report and watching the video, the customer can approve or reject each item. With ASF integration enabled, they will have an added option to pay in manageable, fee-free, monthly installments, financed by ASF. There’s no need for the customer to even fill in their contact details, it all pulls from the DMS.

The application for finance is sent automatically, returning an immediate response. If accepted, the customer proceeds and the dealer can complete the approved work whilst the car is still on the ramp.

The work is invoiced directly to the dealer’s ASF sales ledger account enabling payments to be quickly allocated.

“Our focus throughout this pandemic has been to help dealerships operate digitally while maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction. Dealerships will benefit from a higher take-up of VHC work and a quick and easy payment process in the DMS”, says Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood Technologies.

The ASF integration is available now for Pinewood DMS customers.

2020’s top new tools in Pinewood DMS!

It’s not just Santa’s elves who were busy this year! The Pinewood team worked around-the-clock, bringing a host of new features for their customers to boost sales and keep businesses COVID-safe. It’s been a challenging year, but Pinewood kept their gifts coming throughout… Why save them all for December? Here’s the run-down of Pinewood’s top new tools of 2020:

Secure online payments

Dealers can now take a remote payment from their sales and service customers. There’s no need to even set foot in-store, it’s done entirely online using Barclays ePDQ, keeping everybody safely distanced.

MOT expiry

Dealers can update their MOT database for FREE! This includes any vehicles affected by the lockdowns. Pinewood works with the DVLA to make sure dealers are contacting the right customers at the right times.

Tech+ VHC voice assist 

Make technicians’ job a little easier with Pinewood’s very own Siri-style voice commands. Simply ask Tech+ to ‘find a job‘, ‘start operation‘ or ‘add conversation notes‘ to complete these tasks handsfree – how convenient!

Digitally sign documents

Cut down on paperwork and reduce the spread of COVID with Adobe Sign! Available now for sales and service, it’s more convenient for customers, saving them the time and hassle of travelling to the dealership. Sign in seconds!

eLearning

Training just got easier! Pinewood’s video-based courses allow your team to learn at their convenience, with end-of-course quizzes to test their knowledge after. Refresh skills with new role-based courses added monthly.

Up-sell with service plans

Capture extra revenue and boost satisfaction for the cars you sell. Service plans are easy to set up in the DMS – book a workshop job against a plan and view the balance or vehicle cover at any time from the Accounts module.

Automated VHC reminders

Set up auto-reminders to follow-up on any deferred red/ amber work. Customer didn’t have the cash last time? Don’t lose their business. Add a follow-up event into their contact plan to capture the revenue at a later date.

Brand new support portal

It’s now even easier to get help when you need it! Pinewood’s improved Support Portal features a Live Chat agent, leading you straight to the tools you need – with searchable articles, guides and release notes.

2020 in summary: Pinewood are always making improvements to keep their customers on top form, and this year was no exception! They added many more great new features to enhance the digital experience for dealership staff and customers, with electronic invoices, Business Intelligence at your fingertips, online bookings and app improvements.

What more could you ask for? Stay tuned… 2021 is going to be even more exciting for Pinewood customers!

Pinewood welcomes back Green 4 Motor Company!

Green 4 Motor Company have successfully re-implemented Pinewood DMS into all of their dealerships, supporting their Mazda, Suzuki and used car businesses.

Alison France, Finance Director at Green 4 Motor Company explains:

“We found the transition back to Pinewood easy from start to finish! We had an excellent project manager who kept us informed along the way, so we were fully prepared for our go live date. This went extremely well with the help of Pinewood and their excellent team.” 

France explains how the entire process was seamless, with the safety of team members and customers made a priority. Pinewood’s eLearning platform proved to be of significant value, helping staff relearn key parts of the system whilst minimising risk and contact amidst the pandemic:

“The Pinewood team were diligent and professional. When onsite they respected our rules, due to the COVID pandemic and the need for extra care and attention at all of our sites to protect our workforce and our visitors. Our staff enjoyed using eLearning and found it most useful, reminding us of how good Pinewood is. The end-of-module tests certainly created a buzz around the dealership with colleagues challenging each other.”

Pinewood are pleased to be supporting Green 4 once again and look forward to introducing some exciting new features to the group in the coming months.

“Using Pinewood will ensure that our staff are accessing a modern up-to-date DMS and it means we can give our customers the optimum buying experience, using new technology when they enter our showroom. We are very happy with the move back!” – France concludes.

During the pandemic, Pinewood have supported their customers – old and new. With the help of their zero-touch tools and eLearning platform, they have managed to implement sites remotely and in-person with successful results.

Pinewood DMS helps dealers go digital! Boost sales in Lockdown 2.0

The recent lockdowns have provided an unexpected motivation for dealers to revisit the abilities of their DMS and explore how to achieve an engaging, contactless buying experience.

Pinewood users have discovered a range of tools for creating a seamless digital customer journey and perhaps surprisingly, mobile apps are playing a big part in this. Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood Technologies explains:

“It’s been our mission to help customers uncover new ways of generating revenue. Our popular Stock+ app has been central to successfully taking the initial sales experience online. Salespeople can record and send a personalised video, show highlights of the vehicle up-close and answer any questions. It’s more engaging than a call or email and of course, more likely to convert enquiries. Being integrated into the DMS, managers can easily see that enquiries are being dealt with when working remotely.”

With the Stock+ app, salespeople can take high-quality vehicle photos on their phone, which are updated to dealer and OEM websites directly through the DMS. Pinewood have recently improved this and the upload process can now enhance images by automatically removing the background. As a result, sales teams can create professional-level content without the need for editing skills.

Mark Lambird, Managing Director at Eastbourne Motoring Centre explains: “Using Stock+, we definitely sell more cars! People buy the cars much quicker if they can see them in a video – we can talk over the features and benefits, it’s been a real positive.”

Personalised video has undoubtedly changed the game for car sales. From home, customers can benefit from the expertise and assurance of speaking to a professional in-store while taking a virtual tour of the vehicle. This can be followed-up with a convenient two-way SMS conversation, all accessible from the DMS customer record.

Pinewood are constantly updating the DMS with a focus on enhancing the digital sales experience. By making use of these tools, dealers can boost revenue with little effort or cost and it’s clear that contact-free tools are the way to go.

New Graduates remotely join Pinewood’s fast-growing team

After welcoming 10 new placement students earlier this year, for the first time learning and working entirely from home, Pinewood Technologies has recruited a further 10 graduates to join their Software Development team in November.

Thrilled by the results of their remote training plan, with undergraduates already assisting with real projects in their teams, Pinewood are keen to continue expanding. The introduction of new talent into Pinewood’s software teams will support the DMS business to achieve their ambitious growth strategy.

Katrina McTernan, Early Careers Recruiter at Pinewood explains: “We’re a hive of activity right now, with a huge focus on taking Pinewood DMS into new markets. Our developers have truly embraced the lockdown, focusing on delivering great new features that are benefitting our UK and international customers. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial that we grow our teams to accommodate. This is a fantastic opportunity for our new graduates to start their career in a fast-paced environment, embracing new ways of learning, to quickly become valuable members of the team!”

Pinewood’s graduates will follow a similar boot camp to that of placement students. Each graduate will be assigned an experienced mentor, whilst taking part in live daily workshops via Microsoft Teams, learning everything they need to become a Full-Stack Developer. Graduates will be given a checklist to complete, keeping their progress on track and encouraging them to boost their technical knowledge.

Katrina concludes: “It’s our priority to find the best, passionate people for our business – we’ve invested a lot of time in creating the best remote training plan and we’re excited to see what the future brings. With over 20 developers having joined us remotely throughout lockdown, it’s an exciting new chapter for Pinewood!”

Pinewood BI provides profit-boosting insights

Dealers have the tools to be smarter than ever in their business decisions. When Pinewood launched their Business Intelligence (BI), it gave dealers the potential to look beyond the standard DMS reports, bringing new insights to light. Leaders can access live data in seconds from their mobile, delving into every area of the business in just a few clicks, from anywhere worldwide. It’s never been easier.

After launching BI for Porsche Norway, Stine Hagen, Corporate Business Development Manager, explained how the mobile intelligence tool delivered immediate results: “Leaders went from spending hours on KPI reports to having them live on their computer and phone at all times. This is an excellent tool for all leaders to see what part of the dealership needs their attention in a hectic everyday life.”

From struggling sales teams to inefficient workshops, Pinewood BI can help identify why businesses are falling behind, highlighting areas of concern and indicating where productivity can be improved. Fully integrated with Pinewood DMS, Pinewood BI acts as a ‘behind the scenes’ detective, interpreting real-time data through easy-to-understand, visual reports. Even away from the dealership, leaders can maintain full visibility and control, accessing the entire reporting suite from their mobile – giving them a huge competitive advantage.

Hagen explains: We strive to give the best value and service for our customers, which can only be achieved through complete internal transparency and process control. Pinewood has given us the perfect tool to monitor and steer all aspects, from trade-ins to car sales, service and used cars. Combined with the financial capabilities of the system, we’ve reached new levels of process excellence.”

BI is available for any dealer groups using Pinewood DMS, offering a powerful tool for building profit and productivity-focused reports, fully accessible on a PC or mobile device. This brings the data dealers want to their fingertips, anywhere at any time, providing full transparency.

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