“We do truckloads, local pickups and deliveries, lift gates, insides, warehousing, distribution, expedited hotshots, a little bit of everything…. We got the first warehouse in 2010, then we expanded to a bigger one… We got Axon about 3 years ago because we started adding more trucks, more drivers, more shipments, and we needed something to help us manage all this information.”
Bondars Logistics LLC
West Sacramento, CA 95691, USA
California-based Bondars Logistics LLC was able to quadruple the number of trucks they operate in only 3 years while adding just one office employee. We had to know more, so we stopped in for an interview with company president, Venci Mudrov.
My name is Venci Mudrov with Bondars Logistics from West Sacramento, CA.
We do truckloads, local pickups and deliveries, lift gates, insides, warehousing, distribution, expedited hotshots, a little bit of everything. Anything that fits in a dry van, we can do. We are currently running 22 trucks.
The company started in 2007, so we just had our 10-year anniversary in August. We started with expedited hotshot deliveries – cargo vans, sprinters. We slowly moved into bigger, better things.
We got the first warehouse in 2010, then we expanded to a bigger one, and we moved into our current facility about 3 months ago. We are still setting everything up. It has been an interesting ride.
We got Axon about 3 years ago because we started adding more trucks, more drivers, more shipments, and we needed something to help us manage all this information.
Axon turned out to be a pretty good fit because we were doing double entries before. We had custom-built software and we would enter everything there, print it out, and have another person enter it into QuickBooks.
We had 5 trucks when we started, and Axon has helped us grow our fleet to 22 trucks in just 3 years. We have hired one more person as a dispatcher, but that’s about it. So, since we started, we have increased our fleet by 4 times and only had to add one person.
If we were to double our fleet again, we might have to hire one more person because somebody needs to talk to the drivers and the customers.
We are actually thinking of adding more modules to Axon to help us manage everything, like the mobile app and the online tracking of shipments.
Then, instead of customers calling us for updates, they can just go on our website and punch in their reference number. They can see live where their shipment is. We can also integrate it with our GPS, which would eliminate a lot of talking to drivers, talking to customers.
Everything is going to be streamlined.
Very quick to respond to issues. Training as well – every time we get a new dispatcher or other new person in the office, we tell them to call Axon for training. They schedule a date and they get trained. The more they use it, if they have questions, they can either send Axon an email or give them a call. It makes training much easier.
What I do with my dispatchers is have them first play with the software and write down questions they have. Then we call Axon with specific questions. It’s best to give them the basics, have them play with it, let them ask questions, and they are up and running in less than 2 weeks.
For starters, everything is there in one software. I don’t have to open two or three different programs or Excel spreadsheets to find the information that I need.
Scheduling is very easy, and we set everything up to be color-coded. So, with one glance at the dispatch you can see what you have for today. You can see what you have on hand, available, whether you assigned it to a driver or not. It is pretty easy to manage everything that we have.
We actually just got that module about six months ago, and it has been easy. We tied it to our GPS provider for the trucks. Fuel tax used to be a week-long process and right now it’s a matter of about 2 hours.
We give our drivers a fuel card that normally stays in the truck. Every week our fuel provider emails us a file that we upload into Axon, and that’s it – instead of mailing, entering everything, reconciling accounts. This used to take 1 person probably a day out of every week.
After dispatchers assign drivers, everything is pretty easy. It’s just the click of a button to print a report. Then accounting writes him a check, and that’s it. It’s as simple as that.
Before, we did it in Excel and everything was manual. We had a template, and everything was written down. I don’t think it matters to them that much, but it really matters to us.
Everything is much easier for us now. Rather than spend time updating a spreadsheet, we simply click a button. It prints out and emails them.
Everything is pretty streamlined and quick. As soon as we receive the paper from the driver, we scan it in and upload it to Axon. We click a button and the invoice with all supporting documents is emailed to the customer.
Compared to what we had before, considering the volume that we do right now, I would probably have needed 3 more people in the office to deal with the billing and managing all the shipments.
Axon is saving me from having to hire 3 people.
I would say within 6 months to a year max. We keep adding modules, and it would depend how many users you have, but it’s within a year, max. Every business is going to be different, but for us Axon actually paid for itself in about 8 months.
On average, I’ll say it’s $150,000 a year that it’s saving me. The amount that we paid is only a fraction of this $150,000, so that’s why I said it paid off in about 8 months. Actually, maybe less when I think about it.
Right at the beginning it replaced the need for 2 people, and now it’s replacing 3 people.
Customer service. Everyone can transport a shipment, but the question is how you communicate with customers.
Axon has helped us communicate with customers more effectively. Whether it’s sending them updates, invoicing them, or sending them any kind of paperwork – even for a shipment we did a year ago, I can look it up right away and have all the information. I can read all the notes that the dispatchers entered, all the paperwork is there, pictures if we need.
It has really helped communication between us and the customer.
What we had before was custom-built by a friend of mine. It was built on the FileMaker platform, so it was hardly a software. It was kind of like using Excel for the most part.
Before we decided to go with Axon, we did check out 10 other companies. We found out that Axon is the most user-friendly, easy to customize, and easy to learn. It took me about 2 weeks to be up and running at 100%.
I would tell them that it was the best thing we did, and the best money we spent so far. It has really helped us with productivity and improving our business.