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Pinewood highlights what to look for when choosing mobile devices for your dealership

With the automotive landscape changing and smartphones and tablets becoming commonplace in dealerships, a new challenge emerges in trying to futureproof your business. It can be difficult to choose between the number of devices and operating systems on the market.

Retailers who invest in the latest devices and embrace new apps will gain a competitive advantage, making device choice a more important factor, as technology becomes ever-more pervasive throughout the dealership.

An older generation device and operating system may be cheaper, but will limit app performance, proving slower, less reliable and – crucially – unable to support the latest updates. This means dealers will miss out on new features, which will limit the efficiency and customer service levels the business can offer.

DMS vendor, Pinewood Technologies, has developed a cutting-edge app suite, focused on streamlining processes, driving productivity and enhancing profit opportunities for dealers. So far, this includes apps for capturing personalised video, conducting integrated vehicle health checks, processing card payments, managing vehicle stock and issuing parts whilst employees are on-the-go.

Pinewood recently updated their technician app ‘Tech+’, bringing a new look-and-feel, the ability to add flexible checklists to work and improved menu pricing. Users with newer generation devices could immediately update their apps to benefit from the new features.

Microsoft’s discontinuation of mainstream support for Windows 8 devices, earlier this year, was a prime example. Any dealers still using Windows 8.1 will no longer benefit from improvements to apps or be able to access new features. Those who invested in newer generation devices with up-to-date operating systems will continue to run their business using the latest tools and features, arguably giving them a competitive edge.

Pinewood recommends:
• Apple iOS devices on iOS11 or above
• Windows devices on Windows 10 or above
• Android devices on at least Version 7 (Nougat)

Before choosing a device, the role of the user must also be given some thought. Technicians may require a smaller, easy-to-carry device with a light, or camera flash – facilitating clearer VHC video recording from beneath vehicles. For these users, Apple’s latest iPod Touch is a suitable option to consider, as an alternative to the more costly iPhone.

Users of reception-based, meet and greet apps, may prefer a larger screen to enhance the customer experience. Here, there is a range of tablet devices to consider, from the premium Microsoft Surface Pro to a variety of reasonably priced Android tablets.

Pinewood launches Parts+ app for issuing parts on the move

Pinewood Technologies have launched their latest multi-platform app, Parts+, which allows parts teams to scan barcodes and issue parts on-the-go.

“To become more productive, dealers must target incremental improvements by streamlining their existing processes and removing the factors which slow them down,” says Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood.

“Parts+ allows parts teams to issue parts from anywhere using their mobile device. This saves time, because you don’t need to retrieve a part, return it to the counter then issue it from a PC,” explains Briggs.

The Parts+ app features a built-in barcode scanner – a convenient tool for identifying parts faster than the traditional manual search. Scanned items can then be added to operations and issued to the job. Pinewood DMS is fully integrated meaning that the stock levels automatically update in the DMS.

A ‘conversations’ feature lets technicians and the parts department leave notes for each other on a job, improving communication. Technicians can get the parts they require faster to complete the job.

Users have a complete view of jobs across their location, with discounts and issue prices set in the DMS automatically applied.

The addition of Parts+ to Pinewood’s integrated app suite is their latest step towards helping dealers achieve enhanced productivity across their entire dealership.

To learn more about Parts+ see the video below.

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. 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.

Pinewood unveils Stock+ app for managing and selling vehicles

Pinewood has announced the release of their latest multi-platform app, Stock+, helping dealers to sell and manage vehicle stock directly from a mobile device.

“Our latest app helps dealers in three key ways”, says Neville Briggs, Managing Director. “Respond to customers with personalised videos, quickly and efficiently update stock information, and store vehicle and customer documentation for future reference – all straight from your mobile device.”

The app allows salespeople to send personalised videos, providing a better customer experience, which helps convert more enquiries into sales. It also has a built-in video editor, which allows salespeople to add intro and outro clips, for example to adhere to dealer brand guidelines. Furthermore, GDPR options enable compliance with the law.

“Photos and videos of available stock are essential for vehicle sales,” says Briggs. “Stock+ makes it very quick and easy for sales execs to showcase their dealership’s stock, so you never lose an enquiry due to a lack of media content”. Full integration with Pinewood DMS means users can seamlessly update dealer website pages with photos and videos, captured and uploaded straight from a mobile device.

“Apart from multimedia, we’ve made it easy to add used optional extras to the spec listing. Quite often you’ll find only basic spec details listed online, which can be frustrating for customers trying to compare vehicles and ultimately result in them going elsewhere.”

Research by What Car? has indicated that the average buyer plans to test a minimum of two vehicles before making a purchase decision, with almost 50% of buyers claiming they will test more cars than they previously have done. With documents such as vehicle appraisals and registration documents stored in Stock+, test drives and other sales processes are also streamlined.

Available on Android, iOS and Windows mobile devices, Stock+ has been designed specifically for smartphones, and is now available for download for Pinewood DMS users. It joins Tech+, Host+ and Pay+ in Pinewood’s growing suite of mobile apps.

Watch the following clips to discover more about Stock+:

Now Available: Introducing New Tech+

We have enhanced our advanced technician app, bringing you more exciting new features! Our improved app is now available for iOS, Windows and Android devices, featuring a new look and feel for iOS users.

Watch the video below to discover more:

Highlights:

  • Same easy-to-use experience across all devices
  • Clearer, colour-coded view of Job Detail
  • Re-designed VHC Status Summary
  • Full visibility of service history
  • Flexible checklists, adaptable for different types of work or vehicle
  • VHC videos
  • Improved Menu Pricing
  • Better workflow
  • Parts Issues – View and issue pre-picked parts, including barcode scanning

Our new and improved Tech+ is available for download now.

Pebley Beach achieve class-leading service levels with Hyundai and Pinewood

Hyundai and Suzuki dealer, Pebley Beach, has devoted the past two decades towards building a class-leading customer experience proposition. Recently, they have worked with Pinewood DMS and Hyundai to develop integrations to improve efficiency.

Dominic Threlfall, Managing Director of Pebley Beach explains: “I have worked closely with both my manufacturer partners and also with Pinewood, to integrate with Pinewood DMS more and more.” Sharing his expertise has helped facilitate the implementation of Hyundai 360 integration, with the benefit of maximising aftersales service quality.

Collaborating with Hyundai – and soon with Suzuki – to develop new integrations with Pinewood DMS, brings invaluable benefits to Pebley Beach. Dominic enthuses: “It streamlines our business, it saves us resources, it enables me control.”

“We have to be class-leading and the only way of doing that is having a system like Pinewood DMS…it’s a one view system…it does everything you need as a DMS.” Having a system that provides a ‘Single Customer View’ has provided transparency across the business for Dominic, with Pinewood DMS highlighting profit opportunities, identifying areas for improvement and driving efficiencies.

“The cost saving is massive. You just take one employee, that’s £20,000. We’re probably 2 or 3 members of staff lighter than most other dealerships. Other dealers often have a lot more resource…and you can see why, because they are using these different systems.”

Dominic prides his business on having achieved a “five-year retention of almost 70%…almost unheard of in a mainstream brand like Hyundai or Suzuki.” As the number of dealerships continues to consolidate, building an outstanding service proposition is increasingly important, helping to develop long-term relationships with customers.

Take payments up-front in your service department

Take prepayments from your customers with our latest workshop update. Secure a deposit at any stage, using as a means of payment when the final invoice is produced.

Benefits for your workshop:

  • Take incremental payments for work spanning long periods
  • Streamline the process by removing the need for payment at collection
  • Use as part-payment for invoices
  • Seamlessly take deposits in Pay+ (Pinnacle’s card payment facility)

Pinewood: the UK’s only DMS provider with a fully integrated card payment solution

Pinewood is the only DMS provider in the UK market to offer a fully integrated card payment facility, Pay+.

Dealers can accept card payments securely and flexibly, with the assurance of a fully PCI-DSS P2PE accredited solution.

Pay+ highlights:

  • Seamlessly integrated into Pinewood’s DMS
  • Convenient multiplatform app
  • Supports wireless PEDs (PIN Entry Devices)
  • Securely take card payments
  • Available with all major UK acquirers

VWG dealer D.M. Keith Group choose Pinewood following comparison of DMS providers

D.M. Keith Group, the UK’s largest ŠKODA retailer, are sharing their experience with Pinewood’s Pinnacle DMS. A few months after the implementation, Dougal Keith, Managing Director, reflects on the successful implementation and the benefits his business has seen.

After considering a number of DMS providers, they narrowed it down to two. “It was between Pinewood and CDK and it was really the operational efficiency from the people at the front end of the business that made us choose Pinewood over CDK.” Keith explains. “Pinnacle touches everything that we do and really what we were looking for in the DMS was exactly that, one system that replaces lots of different systems that we had. That was fundamental in the decision making process for us. The system is all-encompassing and is drawing lots of benefits for every area of the business.” In particular, Keith praised Tech+ app for workshop technicians, saying; “It has quite frankly revolutionised what we do in there.”

Changing DMS involved moving 150 users from seven sites across the UK. “The level of support we received during that really difficult implementation period was really, really substantial. We had two trainers on all of our sites, and that made a fundamental difference to the quality of the implementation.” says Keith.

“So fundamentally, the question is, ‘would I recommend the Pinewood system?’ I would say a wholehearted ‘yes’ and I would give you three reasons for doing that. It’s a very efficient system, it’s very easy to learn and implement and it has driven cost out of the business. There’s a small number of systems that you can look at out there, the main overarching thing for me is the ease of use for the people using it day to day. That’s the key reason that we chose Pinewood, and that’s why I recommend you consider it as your DMS provider.”

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