Author: Pinewood

Commercial Dealers embracing new digital tools in their businesses

Pinewood Technologies is supporting commercial vehicle and truck dealers with new tools, processes and OEM integrations across every area of the business. These have been designed to enhance the important fleet aftersales relationship, improve operational effectiveness and support manufacturer propositions in the LCV and HGV sector.

Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood explains: ‘Commercial dealers are now embracing digitalisation and using our new tools to drive their businesses. Pinewood is continuously investing and innovating to help support dealers and the range and breadth of tools available is something that commercial dealers are discovering as they explore different ways to do business.

For example, Pinewood now offers a tool to manage Technician shifts in commercial workshops. Shift patterns in 24-hour workshops can be arranged in combination with skillsets to accurately allocate work.

In addition, the recently-updated Technician Planner is a flexible drag-and-drop tool for allocating work to technicians based on teams or skills. Highlighting how each member of the team is utilised makes it clear when the workshop is (or isn’t) working to full capacity.

The new planner offers the benefit that technicians can automatically pick up their next task on their mobile device using the Tech+ app. From the app, technicians can prepare vehicle or customer-specific health checks, capture video, add work, issue lubricants, prepare menu priced quotes and even issue parts directly to the job with a simple barcode scan. Additionally, technicians can message the service and parts teams from the app.

Printed job cards and paperwork are no longer necessary as all information is available digitally, including e-signatures for approval.

Jobs can be monitored using a live traffic-light system to identify problems in advance. As part of the digital journey, an online Job Status Tracker provides a clear view for the fleet customer of the vehicle progress in the workshop and off-site with subcontractors.

As commercial vehicles need to be checked at fixed intervals, this is easily managed with contact schedules which can be shared with Fleet operators to help plan downtime, supported by a follow-up process designed to deal with multiple vehicles in a single conversation.

Routine vehicle inspections make use of specialised checklists for fleet customers and commercial vehicle types which can themselves contain sub-checklists for lighting or specialist fitted equipment.

As another example of the support for Commercial business, Service Contracts can be customised and created at sale allowing service invoices to charge into the plan, with the accounts postings all taken care of.

Finally, the sales team can save time and minimise the chance of mistakes by using a menu-priced template for pre-delivery work. This means each customer and vehicle type can have their own predefined requirements to simplify the preparation request.

As this is a wide menu of things to consider, Pinewood are engaging with commercial dealers every day to help identify the right tools for each business to use on the journey to be more successful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E-signatures extend Pinewood’s range of zero-touch aftersales tools

As lockdown restrictions ease, dealers must take steps to boost customer confidence and reduce unnecessary risks. To help this, Pinewood Technologies have made it even simpler, faster and safer for dealers to provide a contactless service experience.

Pinewood DMS hosts a range of contact-free features, all completely integrated as standard. By making a booking on the dealer website, customers can simply select a time and date with live availability information to book their car into the workshop.

This is where Pinewood’s latest contactless tool comes into play. Before the vehicle even arrives, dealers can now gain approval for the repair work by requesting an electronic signature, eliminating any contact with physical paperwork required whilst in the dealership.

Using Adobe Sign, customers can now approve repair work from home, reviewing and signing the job card remotely.

Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood explains: “It’s quick and easy for service customers – they’re sent a link straight from the DMS which shows them the job card with all work planned for their vehicle. All they have to do is read the document and sign their approval on a desktop or mobile device. The entire process is seamless and updates the job automatically within the DMS.”

Having secured approval for the initial work, the customer can drop off their vehicle with minimal interaction, perhaps leaving their keys in a sanitised area. Alternatively, the collection and delivery service arranged at the booking can remove the need to enter the dealership.

While the vehicle is being worked on, the customer can track their progress online and electronically approve any additional work required using the integrated health check and video solution.

The customer can pay online before collecting their vehicle, removing the risks of handling card machines, whilst minimising time spent at the dealership.

Integrated with Barclays ePDQ, this is a secure payment solution, enabling dealers to take remote payment from the customer. All major credit and debit cards or PayPal are accepted.

Pinewood’s range of contactless tools – including the Adobe Sign solution –  are now available to all dealerships using Pinewood DMS for no additional charge, providing the ultimate contactless end-to-end solution.

 

 

 

Pinewood welcomes 10 talented placement students

After switching to remote working during lockdown, Pinewood Technologies were astounded by the hard work and positive results from their staff. This rapid transformation uncovered smart new ways for Pinewood’s teams to collaborate and even take on new talent; with 10 undergraduate developers making a strong start to their ‘socially-distanced’ placement year.

Kiran Kundra, H.R Business Partner at Pinewood explains: “Investing in early careers is a huge priority for us, allowing us to grow our next generation of DMS experts. The past few months have seen significant changes in the industry – meaning we must be ready to adapt and come up with new ideas to keep our customers performing well. It’s a great opportunity for students to get involved, learning fast from day one!”

Each of Pinewood’s 10 Software Development students, selected from over 1,000 applicants in the UK’s top universities, will work on a variety of development projects, learning how to deliver new and innovative features for Pinewood DMS and its role-based apps. Individuals who show initiative and ambition in their work will be offered a graduate-level role upon finishing their university degree with Pinewood Technologies.

Kiran explains: “COVID-19 has caused us to make many changes, including reinventing our placement experience. For the first time ever, our software students will be trained from home, closely supported by an experienced network of dedicated mentors. We’ll be using Microsoft Teams for video calls, screen sharing, and online projects to bring students up to scratch with the technologies our developers work with – so they can become truly valuable in the later months of their placement. It’s an exciting challenge, but we’re confident that we can provide the resources and support to help them succeed.”

 

 

 

 

 

Technicians can go Hands-free in the Workshop

Pinewood have released an industry-first tool for technicians – the hands-free Voice Assistant in Tech+. The Tech+ app already gives technicians the tools to record detailed checks on vehicles, request parts with built-in menu pricing, together with connecting digitally with their customers using electronic health check videos.

Pinewood realised that using a mobile in the workshop could prove quite difficult for technicians when wearing the necessary PPE. With Artificial Intelligence becoming increasingly popular and valuable for speeding things up, even in the household, with the likes of smart speakers and voice assistants, Pinewood took this and applied it as a free addition to their Tech+ app.

“We want our customers to work as efficiently and comfortably as possible, which is why we created our suite of digital apps, to begin with. With the new Voice Assistant in Tech+, technicians can open jobs, start operations and send conversation notes just by talking to their mobile device. Bluetooth headsets can also be used, they are easy to set up and will be a great addition to the app, ensuring clear communication between the technician and their new assistant. Tech+ users can find a preview of the new feature in their app today and try it out, with new improvements and functionalities appearing in the future.” Explains Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood Technologies.

The world is becoming more and more digital as time goes on, eVHC has been adopted by a large number of dealerships and is proving hugely beneficial for growing revenue in the workshop.

“The Tech+ app has quite frankly revolutionised what we do. The ability for the technician not just to be able to clock on and off a job, not just to do a visual health check directly on the tablet, but also you get to see the service history of the car, it just enhances the experience for both the technician and the efficiency in the way that we work in the workshop. It’s been a real fundamental improvement that we have been able to drive from Pinewood DMS.” Says Dougal Keith, Managing Director at D.M. Keith Motors.

Why stop there? People are becoming comfortable with voice assistants in their homes with the likes of Siri and Alexa, AI-powered technologies are quickly becoming the norm and Pinewood want to make sure that dealerships don’t lag behind. First online bookings and payments, paperless documents, apps for working on-the-go and now the Tech+ Voice Assistant – just another step into the digital era.

Selling service plans has never been easier with Pinewood DMS

Pinewood are always looking for new ways to give dealers the tools they need to run a seamless customer-friendly experience. With the new feature to manage maintenance and warranty plans in Pinewood DMS, dealers can focus on up-selling and providing a high-quality service whilst the DMS keeps on top of payments and bookings.

During a vehicle sale, the salesperson can set up a service plan with their customer, the money accumulates and the balance can be viewed in the DMS.

When the vehicle comes into the workshop, the plan can be checked to make sure the work qualifies and the balance will reduce accordingly. As always, this is reflected in the Accounts module with the option to drill down into the various workshop jobs.

This new feature gives dealers more control of their aftersales processes and encourages salespeople to increase revenue with up-selling service plans.

Are you a customer and interested in this feature? Look at the ‘Maintenance and Warranty Plans’ addition in our Support Portal.

Pinewood Release Online Payments for Service Work

Pinewood have introduced a new online payment feature in the workshop, enabling customers to pay for their service work before collecting their car.

Recent events have made it clear how important it is to have a system that adapts to changing circumstances and embraces the digital era. Always looking to make sure that their customers have all the tools they need, Pinewood noticed a big difference between dealerships and the rest of the retail sector.

“If you think of common bookings you might make – for example, plane, train and cinema tickets – you can just book and pay online and you’re done. Automotive retail shouldn’t be any different or any more difficult. Our new online payment solution helps to provide a hassle-free and modern customer experience.” Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood.

Using a proven and secure online payment solution, dealers can now offer their customers the ability to pay their service invoices online before collection. The Barclays EPDQ solution is fully integrated with Pinewood DMS, once the customer pays on the portal, the money is directed straight to the dealer’s bank account and appears in the DMS Accounts module. Barclays EPDQ accepts all major debit and credit cards, including PayPal, to make it even easier for dealers to receive payments.

Alongside the suite of mobile apps, online booking and digital documents, online payments in the workshop completes the no-contact collect and deliver cycle. Gone are the days of multiple customers waiting in the dealership for their vehicles. The customer can book their service in on the website, the vehicle is picked up by a member of staff and the job progress tracker tells the customer exactly what stage the vehicle is at while it’s in the workshop.

“It’s a challenging time for our industry and dealers are looking for ways to keep their staff and customers safe alongside making a profit. Adding online payments to our already digital and paperless system, gives our customers the edge that will set them apart from the rest.” says Briggs.

COVID Support Final Roundup

Over the past few weeks, we have been highlighting handy features in Pinewood DMS that can help dealers limit physical contact, contact the right customers and look good doing it. Let’s take a look at everything we covered.

Remember, everything can be set up using the COVID section in our Support Portal, or contacting our team at enquiries@pinewood.co.uk

 

Check out the dedicated COVID section in our Support Portal including guides and videos. Any questions? Our Support team are always happy to help: Want to stay updated? Make sure you’re following us on Twitter and LinkedIn!

Top tips for Pinewood DMS customers – Week 2!

This week we have more handy tools to help you stick to social distancing guidelines. Here at Pinewood, we want to support you in any way we can. Don’t forget about the dedicated section in our Support Portal including guides and videos. Let’s take a look at what we covered this week.

Electronic Invoices

Viruses can live on paper, reduce physical contact and cut costs by sending email invoices to your customers in Pinewood DMS. The days for printing invoices are over.

Parts Pre-Picking

Keep your technicians and parts staff safe, limit queuing at the back counter. In Pinewood DMS you can pre-pick your parts for the day and set them out next to the correct workstations.

Personalised Videos

All you need is Pinewood DMS, a car to sell, a phone or tablet and a friendly face! Download Stock+ today and send personalised videos to your customers.

iOS / Android / Windows

E-Learning

Learn where you want, when you want with Pinewood DMS E-Learning. Including a range of videos and quizzes to get you up to scratch on all of the modules important to you. Find out more

Check out the dedicated COVID section in our Support Portal including guides and videos. Any questions? Our Support team are always happy to help: . Want to stay updated? Make sure you’re following us on Twitter and LinkedIn!

 

Top tips for Pinewood DMS customers – Week 1!

Here at Pinewood, we want to support you in any way we can. Over the next few weeks we will be highlighting various tools that are available in Pinewood DMS for you to set up, with a dedicated section in our Support Portal including guides and videos. Let’s take a look at what we covered last week.

Collect and Deliver

In Pinewood DMS, you can manage your collect and deliver bookings to limit the number of customers in your dealership.

Job Status Tracker

Did you know that your customers can see what stage their vehicle is at in the workshop? Make it easy for customers to wait at home for their vehicles.

Contact your Customers

Are you presenting yourself well in your email communications? We can help with email templates to set your dealership apart from the rest.

MOT Test Updates

Update your MOT database, including any vehicles affected by the lockdown. Pinewood have worked with the DVLA to make sure you are contacting the right customers. Did we mention that it’s free?

Workshop Planner

A simple way to plan workshop jobs. Schedule by technician, team or shift and see all job notifications on one screen. Technicians see their jobs in Tech+ and know exactly what they’re doing day-to-day, find out more.

 

Check out the dedicated COVID section in our Support Portal including guides and videos. Any questions? Our Support team are always happy to help: . Want to stay updated? Make sure you’re following us on Twitter and LinkedIn!

 

Pinewood extends remote DMS access amidst COVID-19 crisis

The next few weeks will be a challenging time for our industry, with the impacts of coronavirus likely to affect us all. We want to reassure our customers that we’re doing all we can to maintain the highest levels of support to keep you up and running.

Our dedicated customer support teams and online portal will continue to operate as usual – ready to resolve any of your DMS-related queries. There will be no change to our opening hours as our team continue to maintain exceptional quality service.

Helping your team to stay safe is paramount. We’re giving all customers the chance to extend their VPN connectivity without charge. This will provide some additional resource to facilitate home working, so your team members can continue to operate as efficiently as possible.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Stay safe and we will continue to keep you updated!

Nissan announces Pinewood as preferred supplier for eVHC

Pinewood Technologies has been selected as a Nissan Preferred Supplier – making them the only DMS vendor selected by Nissan for eVHC.

“Dealers could save around £2,000 per year with our integrated eVHC solution,” says Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood. “There’s no need to purchase additional software with the expense and hassle that entails.”

“As a business, we’re keen to adapt to evolving manufacturer requirements, optimising processes for dealers so they can boost efficiency. Pinewood DMS is constantly updated with new features and process improvements – our eVHC and many video capabilities, being great examples.”

Nissan reviewed a range of eVHC systems, evaluating their video capability, marketing and reporting, with a goal to “maximise future workshop upsell opportunities.”

In Pinewood DMS, Nissan and multi-brand dealers can identify areas of upsell, using standardised manufacturer checklists. Data collected is automatically submitted to the manufacturer via monthly feeds. Finally, dealers can trigger branded marketing communications at stages throughout the VHC, informing customers about the status of their vehicle and requesting customer work authorisations.

Pinewood’s eVHC tool will help support Nissan dealers to maximise future upsell opportunities.

Pinewood Technologies ‘Triathlon’ raises over £1k for a great cause!

Over £1,000 was raised by team members at Pinewood Technologies, as they held a triathlon-inspired fitness fundraiser in support of Prostate Cancer UK.

The triathlon-style event encouraged team members from across the business to get involved – taking half an hour during their working day to walk, run, cycle, or row in Pinewood’s onsite gym – all for a great cause!

To boost donations and get more people moving, team members could also nominate a colleague to take part, by donating to the charity.

The fundraiser was organised by one of Pinewood’s business placement students John Palmer, raising a grand total of £1,120 for Prostate Cancer UK. Collectively, team members ran the distance of 8 triathlons, cycled the distance of 5, and rowed a further 20!

During their year in industry, Pinewood’s business placement students are required to complete a checklist, which includes organising a company-wide event or fundraiser, allowing them to practice their project management skills.

“We challenge our placement students to hold fundraisers throughout their year with us,” explains Kiran Kundra, HR Business Partner. “It brings team members together, who may ordinarily not get the chance to interact – whilst allowing us to raise money for a host of fantastic and worthwhile causes. The triathlon was a huge success and we were proud to see so many team members take part – raising an incredible amount for Prostate Cancer UK!”

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