Category: Announcement

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’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 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.

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 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.

eSignatures 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. 

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