TRIPLED OUR FLEET & SAVED $200,000 A YEAR

“We haven’t had to increase our staff to handle the increase in fleet from 50 to 150. That has saved us probably $200,000 a year.”

Jason Jason Sutton
General Manager
Hughes Oilfield Transportation
Odessa, Texas 79764, USA

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Hughes Oilfield Transportation (HOT SHOT) is a successful, steadily growing company operating out of Texas. They are a smart team that needed to find a software package that could keep up with their ambitions. About 7 years ago, they teamed up with Axon Software and kicked things into overdrive. We met up with General Manager, Jason Sutton, to find out some details about their Axon Software experience.
Jason

My name is Jason Sutton and I am the General Manager at Hughes Oilfield Transportation in Odessa, Texas.

Tell us about the company.

We are a hot shot company. Pretty much anything with the oilfield that goes on a flatbed, we haul it. We can haul 48 states, Canada, wherever they call, we haul. I’ve been here for 10 years and we have been in business since 2000. Barb and Floyd have been driving hot shot trucks since 1973, so we have all kinds of experience in this business.


When did you start using Axon Software?

In 2007. We started with Axon to replace QuickBooks® because QuickBooks was inadequate for what we were doing. We had spreadsheets and Excel files and everything else to supplement QuickBooks, and Axon brought all that together in one program for us. That cleaned it up for us. There was a big transition from QuickBooks to Axon and getting the fully integrated accounting software.


Can you tell us about your experience in dealing with Axon Software?

Everything that we have needed done has been done. We get a response immediately whenever we call for service or support. In my experience, it is very easy to use and it’s user-friendly. It is a tremendous amount of data that you can pull up in a tremendous amount of ways.

It has been a lifesaver, as far as my understanding of our accounting. The QuickBooks and all the spreadsheets were confusing as could be. With this, it’s all right there. I don’t have to piece this in or add that – I can look at it all at once with Axon.

There was a lot of data entry error before because we were trying to pull information from this area and put it into QuickBooks and then pull information from over here that you’ve entered and add that into QuickBooks. Now we put it in one place, and it goes to all the other places it needs to go, so that has really streamlined our accounting, orders, pay, and everything else.

Now we don’t have to go and figure out what their pay is and then come back to figure out what the difference is. It is all already in there. Now it’s just check a box, move to the next screen, and check a box.

This is a very unique industry, and everybody thinks it is just like trucking, but it’s not trucking. The familiarity with the oilfield is the key.

The other stuff that I looked at was either just dispatch or just accounting. Axon has everything you need and more.


Do drivers like the new statements?

They are a lot easier to understand and a lot easier to explain. You don’t have to have 14 pieces of backup to show how you figured it all out – it’s all right there.

It is definitely a lot clearer to the driver. They can see exactly where all that money went, so that has made it a lot easier. Payroll is a lot easier. Everything that is coming out or going in, it’s all in that settlement.


Has the reporting helped you make better management decisions?

We just recently put in a field operations manager and we went through our top customer list and we’ve been able to see the differences in what we did with revenue last year compared with this year. We’ve seen who has fallen off or who has increased, and we have been able to target specific customers. We’ve been able to monitor how our customers have reacted with us year to year, day to day.


Has Axon Software affected your staffing?

When we first started with Axon, I probably had less than 50 trucks and 12 secretaries. Today we have 150 trucks and we’re still at 12 secretaries that focus on that side of it. We haven’t had to increase our staff to handle the increase in fleet, so that has saved us probably $200,000 per year. I have increased staff on other sides but not because of the trucking – it was because of collections or safety or field operations.

We have been able to streamline our invoicing process. As opposed to having four people working on it all the time, now we can have two people working on it full-time with no problems.

The payroll was very complicated before, and now we have that back down to one main person that works on payroll and my office manager checks her work. It used to be that the whole group had to do payroll because they had to figure everything out, and now we can pretty much do it with one person. No problem, and we are doing half a million dollars in payroll every two weeks.

There are a lot of transactions there, but one person can run it really smoothly.

We have short haul guys, long haul guys, sometimes they are both. We have drivers, owners; we have leases. It’s not all shop to shop, and it’s not all addresses. Axon has no problem with any of that. 

I don’t know what we would do if we didn’t have Axon. That’s my bottom line, for sure.


Does Axon Software help with your customer service?

We can definitely access their [customer] information immediately. If they call in with the waybill number, order number, invoice number, or even just a date and the driver, we can go back through Axon to search it and pull that right up.

We can answer their questions and take care of any concerns they have with the invoice right then. That is extremely helpful. There is no concern over whether it’s relevant or up to date or if something is missing, because it’s all right there. That has definitely helped us answer our customers more quickly.


Do you find Axon Software allows you to get invoices out more quickly?

Yes, with the database of picks and drops and with the database of customers, it is pretty much point-and-click now.

You don’t have to enter everything every time. Once you have that stuff in there, it comes up automatically so most of it is point and click. Pick your commodity, pick your miles, pick this, pick that. Prices fill in with the rate tables, and most of it fills right in.

My invoice girls are taking less than five minutes on average for every invoice, and that includes the ones they can’t read and the ones that aren’t filled out right. It has extremely sped up that process.

That’s why we consolidated from five or six employees down to two with no problem, no overtime, nothing. Straight 40 hours a week, two people invoicing, and we run 1100 to 1500 tickets every two weeks. It’s just smooth and we don’t have any issues.


If someone in the industry asked you about your experience with Axon Software, what would you say?

I would highly recommend it, and I have highly recommended it multiple times to local companies here.

I searched and searched and searched for software to replace QuickBooks and I’ve looked at over 100 different programs, because there are all kinds of trucking programs out there. Most of them are over-the-road programs.

Axon is more geared to oilfield trucking than anything I’ve seen before.

We have short haul guys, long haul guys, sometimes they are both. We have drivers, owners; we have leases. It’s not all shop to shop, and it’s not all addresses. Axon has no problem with any of that. I don’t know what we would do if we didn’t have Axon. That’s my bottom line, for sure.
The other stuff that I looked at was either just dispatch or just accounting. Axon has everything you need and more.

This is a very unique industry, and everybody thinks it is just like trucking, but it’s not trucking. The familiarity with the oilfield is the key.