Continental Auto Transport
Peace of Mind: How To Impress Your Toughest Customers and Keep Your Drivers and Staff Happy at the Same Time
Ten-year old Continental Transport Inc. an Auto Transport company from Henderson, CO, operates approximately 80 power units hauling cars and trucks across the United States and Canada. Continental’s Accounting Manager, Karen Drone, spoke to us about their “Axon Experience.”
Continental moved to Axon software in early 2004. What triggered the move at that time?
“Continental was running a couple of different systems, and Axon was chosen because of the trucking side of the business. The dispatchers were comfortable with how it worked. And it could handle all of the needs of the company. It was the true trucking package. One of the main reasons that we went with it was fuel downloads.
“Prior to Axon, tracking fuel costs was a mess. Trying to do it within two different software packages and spreadsheets was a nightmare. Axon totally appealed to us at the time because of fuel downloads. It was a major timesaver for us.
“Since starting with Axon, we’ve increased our fleet size from 52 power units to about 80 – over 50% – with the same number of staff.”
How have you found the experience of dealing with the people at Axon?
“I’m a big supporter of Axon because of the service that we have received. When I first started here, there were a lot of things in this software that I was not familiar with. Everyone was really helpful. We had some messes that really needed to be cleaned up, and the support was incredible in making that happen. I’ve gotten to work with the programming staff on the auto transport EDI because all of that is new for us, and it’s been incredible.
“Part of us getting the new Volkswagen line was that we had to have software that was compatible with theirs. We were actually going to stop using Axon and go with another software provider because we were basically told that’s what we had to do – that nobody else could do what the other software provider could do.
“I made a call, ‘Is there any chance that Axon can do this for us?’ And they jumped on the opportunity and said, ‘Yes, we can handle that.’ It saved us so much money and such a nightmare in trying to do a conversion to a different software.
“Axon saved us a lot of grief. And Volkswagen has complimented Axon’s programmers on how they got this together. It made us look really good. We have been able to impress them.”
Your background is in accounting, and you’ve used other accounting software. What would you tell people who are reluctant to switch accounting systems about the change to Axon?
“I would tell them that, when you look at Axon, you have to look at the entire picture. There are other good accounting systems out there. But because Axon interfaces with all the other areas of your operation, it makes it a great program.
“It’s an all-inclusive package, and because it interfaces in so many different areas, it makes it very valuable. You don’t need to run Excel spreadsheets and several different programs.
“I would tell them it’s a good package for the trucking industry. I would recommend that they move to Axon.”
Have you seen how Axon helps make the trucking side easier?
“Yes, I see how the settlements are, how the drivers get their paperwork. At the end of last year, we were trying to do 1099s. We wanted a summary sheet for our drivers as back up for their 1099s, listing their revenue and expenses.
“Within a matter of days we had a report that our drivers absolutely love. It is a wonderful tool. Axon has been great. We asked, and we got it.”
How do your drivers like their settlements?
“Our drivers don’t have any issues. The statements are self explanatory. I don’t hear complaints. And it’s nice for us because we can enter descriptions, in detail if we have to, and the recurring transactions work good for us. There are some pretty nice features. It seems to work the way we do it, and our drivers seem happy with it.”
Are there any other areas that Axon has really helped you with?
“Axon really helped to streamline our processes. Right now we’re a pretty well-oiled machine. Everybody knows how Axon works. If we have to tweak it a little, we can. And we get such good support that we can bounce ideas off of Axon, and they can say ‘Do it this way’ and ‘This way will work,’ or they’ll create a field for us so we can do it.
“A while back I gave a referral to somebody for Axon. I said, ‘Their support is just incredible!’ Because it is. And that, to me, is so important when you’re starting new software. You have the help of people who can walk you through this stuff. They don’t get frustrated, and they don’t make you wait for days, and they have a good way of explaining how things work.
“One thing about this system is that there are a lot of checks and balances. For instance, when you have a sub-hauler that you have to pay on an order and you have a payable, you can use the Match to Carrier Invoice screen. It’s just nice the way that using a system that can handle everything links it all together automatically.
“A lot of the reports provide my checks and balances. What’s outstanding; what’s getting old; why hasn’t this been billed; or why is this out here; or this needs to be deleted; or whatever. That’s one thing that our CPA complimented me on this year was actually working with the reports to get the information that he needs. He was very happy with the financials from this year, and the reports and the supporting documentation.
“Axon gives us peace of mind.”
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