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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.”

New shared diary view: Allowing sales teams to increase the effectiveness of their follow ups

Pinnacle’s latest new feature provides enhanced visibility of the contact diary. Salespeople can now be allocated into teams so their planned activities can be viewed in a combined diary. Any members of a team can access and action contacts from the shared diary.

Sales leaders can be associated to more than one team, allowing access to multiple team diaries once ‘CRM Teams’ is enabled.

Enable ‘CRM Teams’ to benefit from:

  • Timely follow-ups – All members of a team can view and action contacts, rather than depending on one member of the team. This reduces the chance of missing appointments and opportunities and helps the team focus on delivering customer expectations.
  • Absences no longer hinder customer response time – If salespeople are absent, their contacts can still be completed by colleagues in the sales team.

Pinewood enhances aftersales checklists in Pinnacle DMS

Pinewood Technologies PLC have released their latest aftersales feature, now available to all Pinnacle DMS users.

Dealers can now create a variety of custom checklists for aftersales processes, to streamline operations and move closer towards a paperless process. This is in contrast to other systems that may restrict dealers to using a single generic checklist.

“With new features added every few weeks, we continue a 15-year tradition of providing free updates for our customers”, says Neville Briggs, UK Managing Director. “This update provides a practical and incredibly flexible solution for many types of checks and is another example of our commitment to continuous innovation.”

Multiple checklists are useful for different vehicle types (cars, motorcycles, trucks and trailers), technical checks (VHCs, manufacturer service checklists) and vehicle preparation (PDIs, manufacturer approved-used, dealer’s own used checklist etc.). These can all be used on the move on Pinnacle’s Tech+ and Host+ apps to maximise convenience and efficiency, with no need for printing, handwriting and scanning.

“Apart from more obvious uses, such as multi-brand dealers using specific manufacturer checklists for servicing, it’s also possible to link checklists to templates,” Briggs explains. “It’s possible to get creative, as these are totally custom checklists. For example, you could have a lighting checklist within a template for emergency service vehicles, or a cranes checklist within a construction vehicles template. Trying to achieve this with a single generic checklist would be cumbersome at best.”

All of this gives technicians a way to do a thorough job – and with consistency. “Dealer profitability is at the heart of everything we do,” says Briggs. “By managing checklist content for different types of checks, technicians can generate upsell opportunities to boost revenue.”

Hyundai approves Pinnacle DMS for retail network

Pinnacle DMS by Pinewood is now an approved DMS for Hyundai retailers. Already used by a significant share of UK Hyundai dealerships, Pinnacle offers the best integration with Hyundai’s ‘360 Workshop Automation’ available on the market today.

“You can’t understate the time it saves”, says Dominic Threlfall, Managing Director of Pebley Beach Motors, commenting on the efficiencies the integrations bring to the aftersales process.

“We’re proud to be the system of choice for many Hyundai dealers”, says Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood Technologies PLC. “We’re continuing to work with Hyundai and other manufacturers to provide ever closer integration and we’re really pleased to be able to offer the most comprehensive ‘360 Workshop Automation’ of any DMS in the UK market.”

Hyundai dealers have praised Pinewood for their dedication to improving the aftersales experience, such as e-VHC extract with a direct link to Hyundai’s ACE portal, providing breakdowns of service work conducted. Other integrations have included the workshop service history feed; providing a complete picture of customer interactions directly from Hyundai, and menu pricing; minimising data-entry time by drawing menu options directly from Hyundai’s systems.

“Pinnacle is a comprehensive system. It has an extensive feature-list and doesn’t require additional software or the associated costs,” says Briggs. “We believe in delivering features and efficiencies to dealers as well as value for money. For example, video, online VHC and showroom capabilities are all built-in, with handy Tech+ and Host+ apps for use on mobile devices. Increasing dealer profitability and giving customers the modern and seamless retail experience they expect, is something we take very seriously.”

Hyundai retailers should contact Pinewood Technologies PLC for more information.

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