Dynamics 365 Finance for Specialty Vehicle Manufacturing – When Everything is Critical

The Velosio team learned much about this incredibly challenging industry when they were engaged by a custom specialty vehicle manufacturer.

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    Choosing Velosio and Dynamics 365 Finance when operational excellence is not an option

    When you see them screaming down the streets, sirens wailing, the sense of the urgency of their mission accelerates your heartbeat. Emergency vehicles capture our attention because they’re designed to. They must move through traffic quickly to reach the site of the emergency. Their very presence must warn other motorists out of the way.

    Only if you’ve been inside one can you begin to appreciate how complex specialty vehicles are. If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to require a hurried ride in an ambulance you may not have been able to fully appreciate all the equipment, all the fittings and storage and circuitry and pumps and other elements that all work in concert with the emergency medical technicians to take the best possible care of you on your way to the hospital.

    Even when you tour a fire truck in your local station you may not realize how packed they are with technology and equipment. There are fittings for each of the many pieces of equipment they carry to prevent damage during transport. Those fittings are designed to remain tightly closed, but open easily to allow firefighters rapid access to everything as they respond to each emergency.

    Solutions Implemented:

    • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations
    • Supply Chain Management
    • Project Management & Project Accounting
    • Inventory and Warehousing

    Each Vehicle a Custom Project

    What most people don’t realize is that each community, every district, every city has different requirements and specifications for their emergency and other specialty vehicles, including vehicles designed to support physically challenged citizens, those designed to repair municipal fixtures and roads, and many others. This results in most being custom construction projects for those who build them. They must be built to specification.

    The Velosio team learned much about this incredibly challenging industry when they were engaged by a custom specialty vehicle manufacturer to help improve the way in which they account for the entire bill of materials for each project, maintaining information needed for storage, construction, and ongoing maintenance and repair service.

    Even the bill of materials for one of these vehicles is unique. In one of the columns, each part is identified as either a “buy” type which is purchased from a supplier, or a “make” part which is custom produced by the company from a combination of raw and other materials. Even more astounding is that the number of each type is just about equal. Half the parts in any specialty vehicle may be custom fabricated by the builder.

    Critical to Keep Track of Everything

    The customer service experience is critical to the ongoing success of companies who specialize in highly customized specialty vehicles. The specifications are extremely specific, and the final product must look exactly as the customer expects.

    Each of the thousands of purchased parts have varying warrantees and the builder warrantees their fabricated components. Many have their own serial numbers. Any inventory system must be able to track all those thousands of parts and their current condition at any time for every vehicle the company builds and sells.

    The Job Doesn’t End When the Vehicle Rolls Out – It’s Just Beginning!

    Not only does the company manufacture these specialty vehicles, but they also provide maintenance and repair services for them. Most of them, especially emergency vehicles like ambulances and fire trucks, cannot be out of service for any length of time. The builder must be able to rapidly determine if parts involved in any outage are under warranty or not. If they are, it must also be determined whether they’ll need to provide a serial number to obtain replacement.

    In essence, each vehicle manufactured has a life of its own which must be tracked at all times to assure parts availability, ongoing operation, and a service capacity that can often mean life or death.

    Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations

    Velosio Implements Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations

    Velosio’s customer had endured a difficult involvement with another provider of ERP and related services. During early meetings they described literally hundreds of software customizations the previous provider had sold to them. The Velosio team found multiple cases in which they were over-licensed and over-subscribed on software and services. Due to the extensive customization, they had not been able to update their software platform in over ten years.

    When Velosio uncovered all this and proposed specific remedies, their CEO commented that he wished they had met Velosio ten years earlier.

    The Velosio solution was to replace the hobbled ten-year-old system with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations including Supply Chain Management, Project Management, Project Accounting, Inventory and Warehousing. This was a comprehensive solution managing every aspect of their business from the warehouse to the design shops, human resources to inventory, accounts payable and receivable to general ledger and more.


    This Velosio customer has repeatedly expressed their appreciation for the way in which Velosio resolved their many operational challenges with their earlier software. Given the criticality of the vehicles they design and build, the entire Dynamics 365 platform was designed and implemented with an equal sense of criticality.