Category: Announcement

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 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.

 

 

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.

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