Author: Pinewood

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 work 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 instalments. 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 instalments, 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 web sites 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.

 

 

 

 

Pinewood Sponsors Birmingham Open Hack 2020

Pinewood Technologies proudly sponsored the Birmingham Open Hack event which took place this weekend, challenging students from Birmingham City University to an online hackathon. Students put their technical skills to the test in a competitive 48-hour online challenge, with other major sponsors including IBM, Santander and Microsoft. Pinewood were impressed by the passion, commitment and technical skills displayed, Katrina McTernan, Early Careers Recruiter at Pinewood explains:

“It was inspiring to see such energy from the next generation of our tech community – these students have set the benchmark, giving us a clear picture of the level of talent we can expect to be joining our teams in the near future.”

Pinewood’s challenge was to develop a Microsoft Teams Bot for remote classrooms, allowing teachers to create flash cards and questions to present to students, returning results back to the teacher. Pinewood were impressed by efforts from all candidates, viewing the hackathon with fantastic potential to bring new talent into their software teams. Katrina discusses:

“We invest a lot in early careers, hiring up to 20 Computer Science Graduates and Undergraduates each year to grow the best talent. Being involved in events like Birmingham Open Hack allows us to scout out new talent, it’s great to see so many students showing an interest in development beyond their course of study.”

Pinewood are recruiting developers to join their team, with roles for Placement Students, Graduates and Senior Developers. Birmingham Open Hack offered students the opportunity to get involved in simulation projects, gaining valuable experience and the chance to get noticed. Pinewood are keen to chat further with those who made an impression and look forward to meeting more tech-enthusiasts at future events.

 

 

 

Pinewood offer remote training and implementation to dealers

2020 has been the year of change with dealers now exploring new ways to engage with their customers and boost profits. Pinewood have offered online coaching for some years, but take-up has grown hugely since the lockdown. This coaching is aimed at helping dealers remodel their business and get the best from their digital tools. All of this can be offered more cheaply than the fuel normally needed to attend a traditional classroom course. Mike Browne, International Account Manager at Pinewood explains how the online implementation proved a success:

“The remote implementation was one of the smoothest we’ve had. With eLearning, the staff could become familiar with the parts of the system related to their job roles, using real examples. During Live Week, everyone was prepared and ready to go. We used Microsoft Teams to manage any queries and held regular video calls to answer any detailed questions they had. Screen sharing and tracking their progress on Teams made everything so easy – just as, if not more, effective as being there in person.”

Online training allows Pinewood 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, eLearning is a simpler, more effective way to learn about Pinewood DMS.

This new training initiative gained immediate traction with a clear demand from dealers for convenient, cost-effective training which did not disrupt everyday business. Alongside remote implementation, Pinewood has proven that the future for switching systems could look very different, with an exciting range of options to suit every dealer and cater to every learning style, budget and preference.

 

Pinewood wins DMS award at Car Dealer Power 2020

Pinewood DMS was announced as the overall winner for Dealer Management System of the year, at the virtual Car Dealer Power Awards 2020. Finalists were voted for by thousands of dealerships across the UK.

“Thanks so much to all of our Pinewood customers who voted for us. Our team are absolutely thrilled, it’s been a tough year for everyone and we’re glad that we’ve managed to support our customers through this time.” Says Neville Briggs, Managing Director for Pinewood.

Pinewood has improved on their zero-touch features over the past few months, with some great feedback from customers. For example; Online Service Booking, Remote document signing (Workshop Jobs & Vehicle Sales Orders), Online payments of Workshop Invoices, Voice Controlled Technician app.

To support dealers with adopting new tools, Pinewood’s Support team are available 7 days a week. The eLearning platform also provides role-based courses, making sure customers are using the system in the best way possible.

The team at Pinewood offer their congratulations to all finalists and winners.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Us
Scroll to top