"Nothing happens until someone sells something.”
With this short statement, Thomas Watson, the erstwhile chairman and CEO of IBM, summarised the importance of putting sales at the heart of your business.
This statement rings true for all businesses, especially dealerships, where the recent problems with stock shortages, a general drought of good used vehicles and major disruptions in trading patterns have put immense pressure on dealers since 2020.
For many franchised dealerships, the market pressures mentioned above have led to more pressure from manufacturers to track and report every process and practice. Add to that the additional compliance requirements on Finance and Insurance managers and on dealerships in general, which have all added to a dealership’s management and administrative burden.
Unfortunately, none of these reports and the modern-day electronic management systems, dashboards, compliance reports and customer retention management (CRM) software mean anything if they do not contribute to profitable sales.
This focus on profitable dealers is a mantra at Pinewood Dealer Management Software (DMS), a global DMS provider that has been serving South African dealers since 2007.
The Pinewood DMS journey started in 2005 when the Reeds Motor Group travelled to the UK to visit dealers and learn from their best practices. They found that these dealers were all using Pinewood DMS, which spoke to the Reeds value of being customer centric and they promptly decided to implement it their operations back home.
Following Reeds’ success with the DMS software, Pinewood DMS South Africa officially opened its doors in 2009 and it has since grown to a major provider to dealers across South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and other countries in the region.
“We see ourselves not as a service provider, but as a business partner. All our efforts focus on dealership profitability, and we work in lockstep with dealer principal’s and their teams to achieve that,” says Duncan Hoole, Marketing Executive and Web Coordinator for Pinewood DMS SA.
Duncan explains that every process is measured against the holy grail of dealership profitability. This includes the Pinewood DMS systems for Customer Relationship Management, Sales and Aftersales environments.
This means that every customer-facing staff member has opportunities to upsell close at hand, and all other administrative, planning and operational systems are built to streamline activities to help save money and improve the bottom line.
As such, the DMS system was programmed to help each part of the dealership work together to drive sales and profitability. For instance, the entire system is web based, which means that dealers do not have to purchase complex hardware or software for it to run on, nor are there any upfront license costs as it is billed on a monthly user license basis. The web-platform also means that every user always has the most up-to-date version of the software, and at no extra cost.
Ultimately, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the many dealers who use Pinewood DMS agree:
“When Pinewood DMS came in, it was so user friendly that I could start using the management system again and it was the first time that everything was integrated, so we were very happy with that,” says Christoff Vlok, Administrative Director at Worcester Nissan.
Says Willie Jooste, Group Marketing Director of Penta Motor Group: “We recently switched over our retail website to a Pinewood DMS solution purely because the integration between the website and the DMS is seamless. The technology and the innovation that Pinewood DMS is putting behind its software, is where we believe the future lies.”
Dealerfloor will soon publish an article on the various elements of the Pinewood DMS system and how it integrates with manufacturer systems.
For more information on Pinewood DMS, please visit: pinewoodsa.co.za.
* This article was written by the Dealerfloor team in partnership with Pinewood DMS South Africa.
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