Escape Trailer Industries
Dynamics 365 Business Central
Escape Trailer Industries is a direct-to-consumer manufacturer of personalized fiberglass travel trailers and private lots RV based in Chilliwack, BC. Originally a local owner-operated company for over a decade, Escape Trailer was acquired by a private equity firm in 2018 and continues to grow rapidly.
Outgrowing Their Accounting System
Escape Trailer handled all their finances through Sage, which served the businesses well back when they had lower transaction volumes. Once the company started to grow, they were restrained by the accounting software, which had a lot of limitations, and the team had to rely on manual processes using SharePoint and Excel. “We were lacking systems to enable a smooth transaction of data across the organization,” says Karl Kenny, Escape Trailer’s President. When the need for a fully integrated ERP solution was realized, they selected Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. “After we completed the review of different ERP solutions, we chose Business Central because we felt it best fit the needs of the business going forward,” says Karl.
Getting Up and Running with a KwixStart Implementation
James Fidler, VP of Finance and Business Systems at Escape Trailer, was looking to quickly implement the first phase of their project and get their company up and running on the Finance module. After speaking to a couple of providers, James selected Kwixand Solutions as their Dynamics Partner and decided to implement Business Central Essentials with the Kwixstart Implementation methodology. A Kwixstart implementation is a lean implementation with a fixed price, allowing companies to get their solution up and running without losing transaction speed.
The project started on November 30th, 2020, and Escape Trailer went live within a month on December 31st, 2020. Escape Trailer found the implementation experience straightforward and well-planned out. “I’ve gone through lots of different implementations in lots of different organizations. I’ve never in all that time experienced one as easy and flawless as the one with Kwixand Solutions. We all credit the team there for all the support that was provided to us to be able to achieve that,” says James. “The process was very clear from the outset. All the deadlines were realistic. We were confident, certainly with the team’s knowledge and understanding of the system, and with the training sessions provided, we were able to hit the ground running in the New Year.”
Leveraging The Benefits of Dynamics 365 Business Central
Escape Trailer immediately saw multiple benefits of their new solution in their day-to-day. A top benefit was the ability to reconcile the bank accounts easily. Previously, this was a manual process where the bank statements from multiple accounts had to be uploaded to the system at the end of each month and manually checked, which was labor-intensive. With Business Central, they could pull bank information directly into their solution and cut down on time using the automatic matching functionality, which automatically matches bank statement lines with bank account ledge entries. “Due to the high volume of transactions in our accounts, this would be a two-day process at the end of each month, and now it takes less than 30 minutes,” says James. He commends Kwixand for their attention to detail during the implementation process. “For example, minor things like how we integrated EFT information. The team worked with us on that, and little things like that that made a big difference to us in the end because it eliminated manual work that would have otherwise been created,” says James. “There were lots of pieces like that, which cumulatively meant so many efficiencies for us.”
Providing Long-Term Value
Escape Trailer attributes the successful implementation largely to Kwixand’s project management. “It is very rare to be part of a project that hasn’t experienced some slippage in terms of cost and timeline. Kwixand Solutions were able to stick to both those quotes from the outset, right through to delivery, and that’s rare, says James. “Notably a lot of companies over-promise and under-deliver and Kwixand was the rare exception – where there was a promise made and delivered.”
The Escape Trailer team is now looking forward to extending their Business Central Solution to implement their production, inventory, and production processes within the system. In the meanwhile, Kwixand Solutions built a small customization for Escape Trailer to further save the accounting department time and manual labor. They have a periodic inventory, which would bulk up in their General Ledger under the inventory purchases account. This required them to do a physical count to reduce that number and make inventory adjustments for thousands of items at the end of each month. To simplify this process, the Kwixand team created a button that they could simply click to clear out this inventory. James adds, “I think without exception, every time we reached out to Kwixand and said this is what we need from the system, a solution was provided.”
It is very rare to be part of a project that hasn’t experienced some slippage in terms of cost and timeline. Kwixand Solutions were able to stick to both those quotes from the outset, right through to delivery, and that’s rare.
- James Fidler,
Director of Finance & Business Systems, Escape Trailer