Category: Announcement

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.”

 

 

 

 

 

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 launches new app to improve the sales experience

Pinewood Technologies have released their new Sales+ app, designed to improve dealers’ selling processes and promote a fantastic customer experience.

Following its initial release, Sales+ includes all the great benefits of Pinewood’s meet and greet app Host+, in addition to several brand new features, exclusive to Sales+.

The new app introduces ‘kiosk mode’, allowing customers to safely and discretely input their financial details into the DMS in advance of a quotation or vehicle sale. Other highlights of Sales+ include the ability to digitally sign test drive forms, upload any relevant documents straight to the CRM record from the app, and conduct vehicle appraisals entirely from the salesperson’s tablet device. These new features will help dealers eliminate paperwork, removing the need to archive paper copies, whilst streamlining the sales process.

Read more about Sales+ here. 

Gforces and Pinewood deliver integrated online vehicle service-booking solution

GForces has become the first provider of automotive technology and software to deliver a vehicle service booking solution that integrates with both a leading DMS, as well as dealer workshop systems. In partnership with Pinewood Technologies PLC, creators of Pinewood DMS, the solution enables customers to easily make bookings online.

Customers can select from available dates and times provided directly from the dealer’s DMS and receive an instant booking confirmation, with no need to fill out forms or speak to the dealership. This of course saves time and money on administration and enables aftersales staff to focus on other activities.

Hartwell PLC, a leading multi-franchise dealer group based in Oxfordshire, will be the first retailer to pilot the integration. However, any client using Pinewood DMS will be able to utilise GForces’ NetDirector® Service Booking Widget, as it is designed to work with any dealer website.

“GForces and Pinewood approached this project with the goal of delivering a seamless system that would help improve customer experience,” explains Paul Hilton, Retail Director for GForces. “This is about delivering what consumers want and improving their user journey. It should be a simple, end-to-end process that enables you to make a booking there and then.”

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

“GForces’ Software as a Service focus allows us to deliver solutions that cater for all retailers,” says Davis. “We’re not tied in to templated platforms or products and can collaborate with numerous third-parties and fellow innovators like Pinewood, to deliver software and services being demanded by dealers. It gives us impressive flexibility when considering functionality and how we can support retailers in a difficult market.”

The integration with Pinewood marks part of GForces’ renewed vision to work with the key systems used by UK retailers. Further integrations and partnerships are expected throughout 2019 as part of this vision.

For more information or to get started, dealers should contact their Pinewood DMS and GForces account managers.

New Host+ app will help dealers deliver the ultimate sales and service experience

Pinewood Technologies PLC has launched the latest update for their popular showroom app, Host+, with a new look-and-feel and a number of brand new features to enhance the sales and service experience in dealerships running Pinewood DMS.

Firstly, dealers will notice a refreshed stock search in Host+, giving salespeople immediate access to additional vehicle details and documents, including the full image and video gallery for all stock vehicles. Salespeople can display any relevant vehicles to customers directly from their tablet, reducing the time customers are kept waiting in-store.

“It’s key for dealers to continually make improvements to their processes. The decision to buy a car is influenced by a combination of many factors – retail is detail,” explains Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood Technologies. “If you’re not meeting customer needs – and doing so quickly – customers will research alternatives online while you make them wait. So the offline sales journey must be seamless and provide a better experience than the customer can attain online or elsewhere. Host+ gives you the tools to manage this.”

Salespeople can instantly upload and view documents against a customer record, initiate a test drive and digitally sign the declaration, uploading this directly to the CRM record.

“By streamlining the processes that take place with the customer present, dealers are more likely to make a better impression. E-signatures for test drives and job cards are a great time-saver, removing the need for paperwork and unnecessary scanning”, says Briggs.

The app now features a bespoke ‘desired vehicle’ configurator, prompting salespeople to gain more detailed customer preferences. Salespeople can then identify relevant vehicles that match these, increasing the chance of making a sale.

The new Host+ app also allows salespeople to action individual and shared appointments on-the-go, ensuring all customers are followed-up as soon as possible to drive lead conversion.

The new and improved Host+ update is available for Pinewood DMS users to download on iOS, Android or Windows tablets.

Pinewood go for Gold with Microsoft!

Pinewood Technologies has secured Microsoft Gold Partner status, having met Microsoft’s extensive set of certification and technology-based requirements to qualify for the standard.

To earn the Gold status within Microsoft’s Partner Network, eligible businesses must meet a comprehensive set of criteria, demonstrating their competence using Microsoft’s latest tools and technologies. Businesses can qualify as Bronze, Silver or Gold partners, depending on their level of commitment.

“Maintaining our Gold Partner status – which we have proudly held since 2006 – continues to demonstrate the exceptional quality standards we maintain here at Pinewood, which is what makes our DMS industry-leading,” explains Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood.

“The Gold status demonstrates our professionalism as a business, alongside our dedication to constantly developing the latest technologies. This is useful for developer recruitment, providing an indicator of our high standards and the level of innovation we are committed to delivering. It also highlights that we take advantage of the latest technical opportunities, meaning our team benefit from working with the latest technologies.” – Briggs.

This year Pinewood attained three Gold competencies, for Application Development, DevOps and Cloud Platform, and one Silver competency for Datacenter expertise. Each one requires the organisation to pass technical assessments, platform tests and exams, among other criteria.

Achieving these certifications reflects Pinewood’s technical capability and their highly qualified team, which includes many Microsoft Certified Professionals, whose knowledge helps to keep Pinewood on the cutting edge of technology.

Thurlow Nunn returns to Pinewood DMS

The Ely-based AM100 retail group have successfully re-implemented Pinewood DMS into all 12 of their locations during the last few months.

“We look forward to helping Thurlow Nunn drive increased results with Pinewood DMS, especially with the introduction of our latest role-based apps, which include Tech+ for technicians, Parts+ for parts teams and Stock+ to manage vehicle stock,” explains Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood Technologies. “We’re delighted to welcome them back.”

Thurlow Nunn plan to introduce Pinewood’s entire range of apps across all sites, with immediate effect. Pinewood’s apps have proven to be a hit and continually evolve to keep dealers competitive.

“With the support of our Business Development team, we are working together with Thurlow Nunn to ensure they achieve significant time savings and profit enhancing results. This is a great opportunity to look at the system again and get more out of its comprehensive features.”

Pinewood Technologies work with over 50 manufacturers worldwide. “Manufacturer integrations makes up one part of the efficiencies dealers can benefit from – in this case Vauxhall,” explains Briggs. “Furthermore, we have designed Pinewood DMS to be easy to use. For example, reconciliations or producing monthly reports is made quick and simple, all of which contributes to the overall speed and profitability of the operation.”

“We also provide unrivalled access to our knowledgeable support team, who are available throughout typical dealership opening hours, rather than standard office opening hours.”

“We’re looking forward to continuing a successful partnership” summarises Briggs.

Automotive Compliance announces integration with Pinewood DMS to reduce errors

Automotive Compliance and Pinewood have integrated their systems, following a request from motor dealers. Paul Guy, Managing Director of Automotive Compliance says, “This integration is a double win for automotive dealers, not only removing the frustrations of double keying customer data, but there is a compliance benefit too. Too often we have seen the repetitive entry of the same data leading to keying mistakes.” These mistakes can have serious consequences with finance documents or insurance policy registrations. “We have been party to regulatory complaints involving wrong information on a policy. In some of the more serious cases, the insurance provider has disputed cover. This leaves the motor dealer culpable and could not only face financial loss, but the wrath of the regulator.”

One point of entry for customer details during the sales process will minimise mis-keying errors. “Earlier this year we integrated with our core panel of product suppliers for GAP and Smart Insurance, to include policy registration”, Guy adds. “This Integration with Pinewood DMS closes the final gap in a dealer’s process, with the customer data flowing from initial enquiry through to sale, demands and needs, finance approval and registration of add on insurance products – in a seamless process.”

Neville Briggs, Managing Director of Pinewood Technologies, comments, “We’re delighted to offer this integration to further improve the efficiency of dealers’ retail environments. With an extensive and still growing list of integrations, Pinewood DMS provides dealers with an all-in-one solution to drive down costs, increase margins and provide an outstanding retail experience to customers.”

Dutch Hyundai dealers go live with Pinewood DMS

After an extensive selection process to find an innovative new dealer management system, Hyundai dealers from Dirk Barten Group in the Netherlands have recently gone live with Pinewood DMS. Dirk Barten is one of the larger Hyundai dealers in the country, with seven dealerships.
Pinewood DMS is Hyundai-approved and provides a comprehensive solution including CRM, commercial vehicle sales, reception, showroom, workshop, parts, accounting, business intelligence and more.

Pinewood also have a presence in the Dutch commercial vehicle sector, among them are BAS Trucks, who are Europe’s largest used truck and trailer dealer. This adds Volvo and Renault commercial vehicles to the extensive list of over 50 car, truck and motorcycle brands represented by dealers who run on Pinewood DMS.

Pinewood Technologies’ Partner, Grayhams, has the licence to bring Pinewood DMS to the Netherlands and 10 other countries. Grayhams were appointed as a Partner in 2016 and its co-founders, Ronald van der Vlist and Martijn van Pinxteren, boast more than 40 years of experience between them in the automotive and truck sector.

“We believe the automotive industry is ready for a comprehensive solution,” says Ronald, “…a system that takes work off your hands and reduces the need for multiple different programs.”

For more information, visit www.grayhams.nl

Pinewood welcomes 19 new undergraduate placement students

Pinewood Technologies welcomes their latest intake of students. With around 200 team members in total, 19 undergraduates represent a significant investment in their next generation of talent. These students are currently undertaking degree courses in computer science and various business fields, which align with Pinewood’s two core placement types; Business and Software Development.

During their ‘year in industry’, software development students will acquire hands-on experience, learning from Pinewood’s knowledgeable software team, working on projects that will have a direct impact on the DMS.

The business placement students will work within multiple departments and engage with a range of internal and external stakeholders, gaining a huge breadth of experience. The opportunity to cover various business areas during the placement scheme has proven to be a huge attraction, with record numbers of applicants.

After graduation, most placement students return to Pinewood to build their career. Many of them will be on hand to mentor the next new intake, helping to channel their energy and passion into the new roles.

“This brings fresh perspectives into our teams and gives students an opportunity to make an immediate impact on real projects, even in their early career,” says Jessica Thompson, Marketing Assistant and placement mentor.

Additionally, Pinewood works with South and City College Birmingham to offer a BTEC Level 3 apprenticeship as a Software Development Technician. This gives young, driven individuals the opportunity to ‘earn-while-they-learn’ in a fast-growing company where they can achieve their career goals. This apprenticeship can lead to a degree education, where Pinewood will fund their successful apprentices through further education – a BSc in Digital & Technology Solutions, delivered through Aston University.

The automotive industry is vast, rapidly evolving and promises exciting future advancements – opportunities such as the placement schemes, graduate roles and apprenticeships by Pinewood provide a gateway to a fantastic career.

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