“From an accounting perspective, we were basically generating an invoice and doing all of the mechanical work, as far as miles and rates and that sort of thing, manually. Axon gave us the functionality to enter all that information on the orders and trips, and it calculated everything for us.”
Big Tex Trailer Manufacturing
Mount Pleasant, TX 75455, USA
Big Tex Trailer Manufacturing Inc. of Mt. Pleasant, TX, is the leading utility trailer manufacturing company in the United States. When they found that their sophisticated ERP software system wasn’t up to the job of handling the specialized needs of their trucking company, Big Tex Transportation Inc., they turned to Axon Software. Margaret Parks, Chief Information Officer, spoke to us recently about their Axon Software experience.
I’m Margaret Parks, Chief Information Officer for Big Tex Trailer Manufacturing, located in Mount Pleasant, TX.
We needed an accurate way to identify revenue and expenses at the truck level, and we wanted to be able to include payroll as part of those costs.
Our main business is manufacturing utility trailers. Our regular accounting software is more of an ERP system, and there was just no good functionality in there that was a fit [for trucking]. It wasn’t providing us with the information we needed.
There were really two factors. First was Axon’s ability to capture revenue and expenses at the truck level. And second was the cost.
When we were shopping for software, we looked at four or five different packages. When we looked at demos, Axon just seemed to be a good fit and a good value compared to the other software that we looked at. The functionality that we were looking for was there, and it appeared to be fairly straightforward and simple to use. And we thought the cost was reasonable for the product.
Oh, absolutely, because previously, from an accounting perspective, we were basically generating an invoice and doing all of the mechanical work, as far as miles and rates and that sort of thing, manually.
Axon gave us the functionality to enter all that information on the orders and trips, and it calculated everything for us.
We’ve been really pleased with the functionality of the software. We had some learning curve issues initially because the whole concept of that very detailed level of tracking was so new to us. We went from entering an invoice that said a thousand miles at $X a mile, to the whole trucking/dispatching/payroll all tied together in functionality – that was a huge change for us.
It’s definitely positive. The training was very good. And the support and help with getting set up was very good. I really don’t have any complaints at all. We’ve been very pleased.
We try to maximize trips by getting back hauls whenever we can. We are not a logistics company per se, so our focus is slightly different from many other trucking companies. But we are trying to minimize our cost to the highest degree possible.
The value that the software provides is very good. And the functionality is certainly there for everything that we need to do.
The accounting aspects of it are a little different because Axon is posting transactions in real time right through to your general ledger. It works great.
Axon gives us reliable and accurate cost information, and that helps us to control our costs. As long as we have accurate costs, then we can make management decisions based on that reality. Our ERP system doesn’t have that functionality.
It helps us identify particular drivers who may be more efficient fuel-wise or whose expenses might be out of line compared to someone else’s.
The revenue side is all very similar, so our main focus is on controlling the costs and being able to compare drivers. This allows us to evaluate their performance individually much better than we could before.
My background is more on the accounting side. So that’s where my focus with the software is. And I think Axon is very good.
I already had a very high-powered accounting system, so it wasn’t an issue of going from something less complex to more complex. However, what I could do in my other system related to transportation was pretty limited. And as they say, you can’t manage what you can’t see.
Axon gives ‘visibility’ to those transportation issues, so you have a much better opportunity to manage them rather than just recording a history lesson.