“Why so much paper?” – Running the paperless dealership
Eliminating the need to produce, scan, destroy, archive and recover hundreds of documents every day, is a huge opportunity to streamline processes and boost the availability, accuracy and security of information, as well as save the environment…and save money. So why are dealerships still filled with the sound of rustling paper?
Let’s look at the scale of the issue and the reasons why a dealership should address it with urgency. Firstly, by vastly eliminating paper in just one dealership – through digitising processes such as invoicing, test drive documentation, deal files and job cards – a dealer can expect to save around £200,000 over five or six years. That’s over £30,000 per year saved on toner, paper, on and off-site storage, shredding and secure disposal.
Now let’s look at the impact on processes, efficiencies and customer experience. To save money and protect the environment, this first requires a workflow of paperless processes to be embedded throughout the business. Pinewood DMS, from Pinewood Technologies PLC, offers a solution for this.
For example, in the purchase ledger, dealers can scan, authorise, code, match and attach supplier invoices to postings in Pinewood DMS, flagging them for electronic authorisation. This eliminates relying on printed documentation reaching the correct person for authorisation, to be filed or scanned into the DMS, reducing paper consumption and administration.
Mobile, role-based apps, deliver an improved user experience, allowing users to work more efficiently and deliver excellent customer service through fully paperless processes. Pinewood’s card payments app, Pay+, reduces inefficiencies resulting from paper-heavy processes. Mark Lambird, Managing Director at Eastbourne Motoring Centre, explains the impact Pay+ has had on his business. “Previously, we would write out a daily till sheet and someone was running to and fro trying to put the payments and the transactions together. It all integrates so easily now, you can take deposits and payments and it goes straight to the job number, so it’s made life a lot easier having Pay+.”
In the workshop, technicians can use the Tech+ app to conduct a VHC entirely on their mobile device, use digital job cards, and capture a picture of any paper documents, which they can upload straight to the DMS.
Similarly, aftersales staff can benefit from Pinewood’s Host+ app, which is closely aligned with Tech+, to facilitate communication between service advisors and technicians. When the customer arrives at the dealership, a service advisor can approve the job, confirm the vehicle mileage, check the work requirements and amend the pickup time from their handheld device. Following this, they can record an arrival video with the customer, highlighting damage or areas requiring attention – along with capturing an e-signature for the work, which syncs to the customer record. Technicians can view these details in Tech+ as they complete the full VHC.
Outside of the workshop, Host+ also supports sales staff to provide a seamless experience from the first moment of interaction, through to the completion of a sale. Capturing an e-signature for test drive declarations is fast and easy, customers can sign on a tablet device, again saving it to the CRM record.
“This allows dealers to fully focus on their customers,” explains Neville Briggs, Managing Director. “Gone is the impracticality and hassle of dealing with a mountain of paperwork. A fully digital approach brings much more than just environmental benefits for dealerships.”
Stocktakes are also simplified and paperless. Dealers can use the Stock+ app to scan VINs using the camera on their mobile device, to log vehicle locations instead of using a tick sheet. They can also capture a picture of any paper documents, saving them directly to the stock card or CRM record, to remove the need for manual filing.
Finally, Pinewood DMS lets dealers submit VAT returns electronically, in line with HMRC’s Making Tax Digital legislation introduced earlier this year.
Pinewood will continue to focus on eliminating paper for their tens of thousands of users, increasing dealer profitability and helping to protect the environment.