For Full-Service Trailer Dealer ILoca Services, Excede Powers Long-Term Growth

June 27, 2024 — ILoca Services was founded 35 years ago by brothers Dan and Jim Thompson, and in the beginning, it was just the two of them working from a single, small trailer. As they grew the business together, adding employees and locations, they remained focused on their purpose of keeping refrigerated units on the road and up-and-running so their customers could deliver critical necessities like food and medicine. Today, it is a full-service trailer dealership headquartered in Illinois with branches in Wisconsin and Iowa.

The company’s tagline is “Your partner for the long haul,” and as Parts Manager Shawn Pfiffner explains, “Our belief is that we’re in all in this together. We want to grow right alongside our customers, so we’re always looking for ways to help them out.” It’s an approach that clearly resonates with the company’s employees, who have nominated it as a Fortune Great Place to Work for two consecutive years.

An Intensive Search for a New DMS

ILoca Services was using a Sage solution to support their foundational business practices, but it wasn’t tailored to trailer dealerships, and despite extensive customization, it could not keep pace with the demands of their growing business. Critical processes like buying and selling parts and inventory were particularly laborious. “Our old system wasn’t set up correctly for buying and selling parts or for managing inventory, and it made it hard to do business. Customers could be at the counter for 20 minutes,” Pfiffner said.

Further, ILoca had heavily customized the solution to make it work for their needs, including building integrations with numerous third-party solution providers. That not only made it challenging to access their data, but also was a heavy lift to maintain and update it. When Sage rolled out a new platform, the ILoca team faced a decision: rebuild all the customizations and integrations or find a new solution that was more tailored to the trailer industry.

The team at ILoca Services decided it was time to make a change. They wanted to be sure that their next dealer management system could support them well into the future, so they did extensive research and evaluation, looked at different accounting systems, met with software providers, and even talked to other software partners. Ultimately, they landed on Procede Software and their industry-leading dealer management system, Excede, as the best fit.

A Streamlined and Efficient Implementation

The ILoca team could tell from the outset of the implementation process that things were going to be different with Procede. The Procede team conducted discovery calls for each department to capture ILoca’s requirements, learned current system and data structures, and conducted thorough UA testing to ensure that all necessary data could be properly migrated, before making the final cutover.

As Pfiffner describes it, “Throughout the entire implementation process, from the first demos to going live, everyone we worked with was extremely knowledge and answered our questions quickly. The whole process went very smoothly.”

For ILoca’s Parts Department, “Life is Great with Excede!”

Once Excede was live, departments across the dealership quickly began realizing improvements. One of the greatest areas of impact was the Parts department. Pfiffner said, “Life is great with Excede! Once it was up and running, productivity and sales went through the roof, due to our team being able to help people and get them out the door quicker. We went from taking upwards of ten minutes to create an order to having it created, posted, and paid in under a minute.”

Excede has also been instrumental in streamlining inventory process, particularly since ILoca uses Excede Barcode Scanning. “We not only use Barcode Scanning when parts come in, we use them to do cycle counts, as well. It’s been a game changer for us, since our salespeople no longer have to verify parts quantities,” said Pfiffner. He continued, “Before, we didn’t have a location system. Now, when I click on a part, I have all the information I need—part number, branch, and how many times we’ve sold it.”

Real-time Data Access Drives Business Insights

Implementing Excede had a similar impact for ILoca’s Accounting department, as Controller, Mary Walgrave, explains, “Excede is a wonderful system, and I would highly recommend it from an accounting standpoint. One thing I appreciate about it is being able to drill down to the journal entry level and see how something is going to impact the general ledger. Being able to fully expose a transaction and see how it affects the financials has been invaluable. We don’t have to wonder what’s going to happen when we post. Instead, we know exactly what’s happening in our business, we can prepare our financials correctly, and we can get ready for year-end audits.”

ILoca has also realized efficiencies from Excede’s rules-based accounting functionality. “Over time, I’ve developed specific accounting rules, so everything hits the right bucket, which has been a timesaver,” said Walgrave.

Other departments across ILoca have also benefited from streamlined access to data within Excede. Larry Kyan, ILoca’s Network Administrator, who led the project from the dealership side, explains, “We’ve created dashboards for each department, so everyone knows exactly where they stand. The Procede Professional Services team has even created some custom views for us that integrate with Power BI, and they’ve been great to work with.” Kyan continued, “Data Insight has also been a really good tool for us. It’s made it easy for us to access information and see data quickly.”

Third-Party Integrations with Excede Increase Efficiency

One of ILoca’s requirements for their new dealer management system was a solution that would grow with them, and they’ve found that in Excede. As Walgrave explains, “We continuously refine the way we use Excede to make it more efficient across our entire organization—accounting, parts, services, sales, and rental. We appreciate being exposed to new third-party solution providers through Procede, and as new integrations become available, we evaluate them to see how they fit with our business.”

Pfiffner agrees, saying, “I’m really looking forward to implementing the UPS integration. Whenever we can centralize our work in one place like Excede and eliminate another program, we increase our efficiency.”

A Shared Commitment to Partnership

In speaking with the ILoca team, three things stood out: the Procede team, the performance of the software, and a shared commitment to partnership. Kyan describes the team by saying, “The entire Procede team is wonderful! The people are so friendly—whenever I talk to anyone, they are approachable and easy to communicate with. They take the time to really understand what we need and respond quickly.”

Kyan also spoke to the stability of Excede by saying, “It’s an incredibly stable system. We just don’t see errors and issues like we did with our old system.” And that stability has had ripple effects throughout the company, as Walgrave explains, “Because of that reliability, our team has taken more ownership and confidence.”

“Your partner for the long haul,” is more than just ILoca’s tagline—it’s their commitment to their customers. And it’s one we share at Procede. We are fortunate to be ILoca’s partner, and we are absolutely in it for the long haul.

To learn more about leveraging Excede to drive your dealership operations, please reach out to