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The future for bodyshops

Award-winning bodyshop management system

Advance makes Alton Cars 'slicker, leaner and faster'

Alton Cars; an award winning UK based Accident Repair Group chose Advance as its preferred Bodyshop Management System to support the continued growth & investment of the group. Since using Advance Alton Cars have become 'slicker, leaner and faster'

Tony Parish, Chairman of the Alton Cars Group explains "our driving force is to become 'slicker, leaner & faster', whilst maintaining our high quality standards and customer journey. Advance was the ideal system to allow the group to maintain this ethos through its unrivalled central management information and control features; allowing Alton Cars to deliver improved customer service, efficiency and productivity".

Advance bodyshop management system:

workflowBusiness Integration and Proactive Workflow

Advance manages the entire claim process from the initial notification through to final invoice. This is possible because Advance creates a seamless link between production and administration helping to minimise on site Cycle Time.

For example, job stage progress captured from Shop Floor Data Capture (SFDC) terminals enable administrative users to see the live status of every vehicle in repair, directly from their own Advance screen. Concurrently the SFDC terminals provide feedback and scheduled stages to the technicians assisting with production schedules.

In addition exceptions found on the shop floor can be notified directly through the terminals, for example, if a technician is stripping a vehicle and realises there is more damage than initially estimated, he can flag this directly via a shop floor terminal and Advance will instantly alert the estimator – this happens without anyone leaving their work station or having to physically check the status.

During installation, your business processes can be built directly into Advance so the software knows intuitively what should be happening with each claim at every stage. Advance then pushes work through the repair process, ensuring the fastest possible repair cycle. Work that is not being processed is identified as an exception and the relevant people alerted.

This is backed up with intelligent and fully automated Action Lists for each department, reminding staff of the next outstanding action and automatically moving jobs forward as these are completed. Advance also provides escalation procedures so a manager can be notified of any non-conformance.

To ensure that each job meets your contractual obligations, Proactive Workflow works in tandem with Advance's SLA Monitor, enabling alerts and escalations to be sent automatically via on-screen prompts, emails, SMS messages or Web Updates.

time savingTime Saving Features

Advance is packed full of time-saving features designed to empower users with instant access to information. Using intuitive wizards, Advance helps to streamline tasks whilst maintaining total accuracy, some examples of these are:

Instant Search: From any field on any Advance screen you can instantly search for any claim on the system.

Simple Invoicing: Invoicing with estimate validation and a check against authorisation(s) to ensure right-first-time invoicing.

Postcode Recognition: Enter a postcode and the address can be populated automatically (requires postcode software subscription)

Registration Recognition: Advance will notify a user where a vehicle has previously been on site, will show previous details and allow these to be instantly copied to the new claim.

Document Scanning: Connect your scanner to Advance and create scanned images of all documentation - from a copy of the original notification through to driving licences, signed documents, purchase invoices and any other paper document associated to a claim. The powerful search capabilities will take you straight to the desired document with the ability to view on screen, print or send via email – no more digging around in filing cabinets!

Useful summaries: Appear at the bottom of screens where key information is being shown, again avoiding the need to print endless paperwork. During the lifetime of a claim you can see at a glance if the final invoice is going to match the authorised amounts, providing an early warning that a supplementary estimate may be needed or any other potential issues that may affect cash flow and/or profitability.

auditAudit Trails and Accuracy

Advance tracks the entire claim process by recording each individual action with the date and time, building a complete and detailed activity list from every telephone call to every deleted part, from the initial notification right through to the final invoice being paid – everything is tracked and this audit trail is constantly available.

Customer profiles ensure that correct terms are applied to each job, covering such items as labour rate, discounts, courtesy car and storage terms etc.

Milestone checks are incorporated to that ensure all the key data is accurate before continuing. This is especially useful at points such as estimate authorisation or when producing an invoice – you can even add your own criteria to these checks to ensure your own controls are in place at every step.


All Advance modules have full communications capability and can be configured to send messages manually or automatically at any point via SMS, Email or the Internet.

For example, you could automatically send an SMS to a customer asking them to contact you to arrange book-out as soon as the QC stage is passed, or an email could be sent automatically to an insurer where the policyholder could not be contacted in time.

Any communication sent through Advance is automatically added to the claims audit trail for future reference.

customer-serviceCustomer Services

Advance provides a complete solution to manage and improve customer service. Fast claim entry screens and even electronic claim notification reduce the time needed to load claims on the system. The visibility of live progress information feeds customer services teams with the information they need to efficiently assist with all enquiries.

bookingBooking Diary and Capacity Planning

The Advance Booking Diary gives a complete visibility of bookings laid out within a simple day-diary format, providing a clear view of your available resources on any given day. The booking diary also allows bookings for internal information, estimators' appointments for on-site or mobile estimates.

In addition full Courtesy Car Fleet Management includes a comprehensive fleet availability schedule.


The Advance Estimating module has time saving features such as Item Codes for 'Tick Sheet' estimating, allowing rapid generation of 'Opinion Times' based Estimates. In addition, Advance Estimating has comprehensive links to all of the major estimating packages and most of these have the ability to upload customer information, as well as the more commonly requested facility of downloading calculated estimates.

When working with multiple insurance approvals, many repairers are forced to use multiple estimating systems and each estimating system has its own format and layout. Advance solves this problem by converting all estimates into a common format that is tailored to how you actually repair the vehicle rather than how you were forced to estimate it.

All estimates, including Audatex, are converted into your own self defined work stages, so you can separate strip and rebuild, decide whether you want to split paint into prep, paint and polish - you are in full control.

purchasingPurchasing and Stock Control

Advance comes with a complete purchasing and stock control system offering total control of parts, stock-items, consumables and third party services (sub-contract)

Supplier profiles associate manufacturers with your preferred suppliers (both OE non OE) and also validate discounts received. This improves accuracy and delivers complete supplier management allowing tracking of orders, receipts, returns and credits. Parts progress can be seen from any department within your business, even deleted parts.

The stock module provides a comprehensive and configurable purchase ledger link to both Sage and Opera and also links to external consumable management systems such as Orsi-Scan, Allocator and Wurth.

Advance also links to electronic paint scales from a wide variety of paint manufacturers.

work-in-progressWork In Progress

Our industry leading Resource Planning Module drives production through our Shop Floor Data Capture terminals and provides a clear visual workshop status with user selectable views. Clear information is displayed using colour coded highlights draw attention to any potential problems, allowing you to take action to keep the job on schedule or change the priority.

Team view provides visibility of all staff activities, instantly drawing attention to inactivity. Team View also ties in seamlessly to the Team Diary to take into account staff holidays, sickness, training and overtime.

invoiceInvoicing and Accounts

Maintaining a healthy cash flow demands that invoicing is completed quickly, accurately, and in accordance with the terms of the work contract.

Advance has all the tools to optimise your invoicing process, as seamless features ensure that your invoices are right first time, from checking applied rates and discounts through to recording authorisation values.

Advance can even check specific work provider rules and alert you to potential issues that might delay payment, or just as importantly, alert you where the job profitability is lower than expected. These issues can then be corrected before the invoice is raised to avoid extending the payment cycle. You are also able to produce up-front invoices for excess or inherited charges.

Advance provides fully customisable Sales and Purchase ledger links to Sage accounting software.

action-listsAction Lists, Reporting & Performance Measurement

Designed to display moving information, Action Lists are designated by department to display an instant and live claim status - again following our ethos of pro-active claims management.

Action List views prompt each department to action claims within their business area. Views can be sorted and certain lists can be grouped, e.g. by Work Provider or Manufacturer. In addition views can be exported to Excel.

As you would expect, Advance has powerful standard reports to suit all of your analysis needs. These can be viewed at any time – printed; exported to Excel; scheduled to output at regular intervals; automatically emailed.

advice-centralAdvance Central

Advance Central is a powerful group management system that allows a single, centralised point of control for multiple sites. Three key areas are covered by Advance Central;

Central Claims Management allows for a multi-site operation to consolidate its claims handling into a single location. Central's unique features allow claims to be allocated to any branch based upon postal code and other criteria such as capacity or repair type. Work can be booked into the respective repair centre through our Central Booking Diary facility.

Your central claims handlers can have live feedback on the status and progress of repairs at all sites and can provide a central, cost efficient point of contact for all progress reporting and customer contact.

Multi-Site Management allows you to control the administration all of your sites from a single central location. From work provider terms and conditions, right down to the design of your documents, from preferred suppliers to access rights – you simply set the rules in Advance Central and let it take care of updating all the other sites for you, making maintenance for multiple sites as easy as a single site.

Central Reporting allows you to produce consolidated reports across your group and see how the entire business is performing at a glance. When used in conjunction with PowerStation, you can create performance league tables for any area of your business which allows you to instantly focus on problem areas or identify best practice.

help-supportHelp, Support and Updates

Advance features a comprehensive online help system that can be called up at the press of a button. Step by step instructions provide a clear understanding of all functions within Advance along with examples and tips to guide you.

PineTree operates a regular update policy that ensures Advance retains its market lead and means all of our customers have access to the latest features. Our entire development programme is driven by our customers, whether it's feedback regarding current features or requirements for new features based upon business needs or market requirements - our goal is to make sure that our customers have the most comprehensive management system possible.

Prior to each update being released, we publish a detailed newsletter explaining all the new features and how to get the most from them.

PineTree has a dedicated Service Desk, operating an ITIL system to ensure that your questions are promptly answered. Our Service Desk team provide immediate telephone support and can also connect remotely to your site to swiftly address your needs. We also have a team of three field based application specialists, who install Advance and also offer additional ongoing consultancy services.

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