ABC Heavy Hauls – Fort Worth TX

“With Axon, We Have Saved At Least Two People’s Salaries Over The Time That We Have Had It. It Very Quickly Paid For Itself.”

“The cost savings that we get monthly with Axon, versus adding another person, is easily tenfold.”

 

 

ABC Heavy Hauls operates around Fort Worth, Texas. We spoke with company owner Melissa Stevenson-Smoot to learn more about how they have taken advantage of Axon to streamline the business.

“I am Melissa Stevenson-Smoot and I own ABC Heavy Hauls. We have been in business since August of 2013, mainly hauling heavy equipment. We haul construction equipment up and down the highways that builds the roads, hospitals. . . . Any kind of equipment, big or small, we’ll haul it all.

This is a family-owned business. My parents started it in 1982. They had the towing part and then they expanded into heavy equipment in the late 1990s. I was working for my Dad and was really interested in the equipment side. They sold the towing portion and I purchased the equipment side of the business in August of 2013.

We started using Axon near the end of 2013. We were using more of a towing system and started looking for a trucking dispatch system. We came across Axon, which seemed to be more user-friendly and carried accounting and payables along with dispatching and IFTA. We went live with Axon in December of 2013.”

How has your experience been with Axon?

“My experience with Axon has been fantastic. The training was incredible – our trainer was very, very helpful. She basically held our hand through it because I was not an accounting person. I knew a little bit about Quickbooks, but mainly I did everything in Excel spreadsheets and on paper.

She was very helpful, teaching me about how things move from point A to point B. She showed us how Axon could be customized to meet our needs – Axon was by far the program that we thought would be best suited for us.”

How has Axon helped you with your business?

“Axon has allowed us to minimize our office staff. We basically run with just one girl in the office doing accounting, receivables, and payables. That allows me to do payroll. We have one person dispatching. We have gotten to the point where we’ve grown so much that we have saved by not having multiple people in the office. We are at the point of adding one, maybe two, people to maximize Axon to the best of our abilities.”

Has Axon saved you from some problems you were having in the past?

“We went with Axon to put everything in one basket instead of having multiple programs like ticketing software, or QuickBooks, or somebody else doing payables and receivables. With everything in one basket, everything is at our fingertips. It is very user-friendly, and I think my life would be far more challenging than it already is without it.”

How do your drivers like their equipment statements and driver settlements?

“They like it. It’s a backup system; it is a kind of check and balance. They are really thrilled with that.”

Has Axon changed the way you do invoicing?

"Invoicing is so much quicker. I can get invoicing done in 10 or 15 minutes. Maybe it takes longer than that, but that is what it seems like. There is no reason why we can’t invoice every single day.

The drivers do the calls, we do the invoicing, bada boom, bada bing, and it’s out. That is fantastic. It really helps cash flow tremendously.”

Do you use the custom reports?

“I do use a lot of the reporting, and I think it’s really neat. The capabilities of all the different types of reports that Axon has – that is fascinating to me. I like the numbers aspect. You can see things like how much each customer spends, or their activity, or how long it takes for them to pay their bills. That is one aspect that I think is really helpful.”

If you added another 10 trucks, how many more staff would you need to add?

“Honestly, I don’t think we would have to add any. The biggest challenge is having the right people in the right positions, but now I think we have the right people. Because we utilize Axon, there would be no reason to add any staff.”

Does Axon help your ability to manage effectively when you have to be out of the office?

“We have the capability of logging in from anywhere. If I am out, I can use a Hotspot card to go in and watch the dispatch screen. I can still run payroll. I can invoice if I have to, because I have certain customers that only allow me to do the invoicing. My eyes and ears can always be on their invoices. They like to know that Melissa has checked the miles and everything. With our previous program, there was no way that this was going to happen.”

Would you say that Axon has paid for itself?

“I would say that Axon paid for itself fairly quickly just by not having to hire extra staff. The cost savings that we get monthly with Axon, versus having an actual person, is easily tenfold. By using Axon, we have saved at least two people’s salaries over the time that we have had it, and I would say that it has very quickly paid for itself.”

Has Axon helped you in your ability to deal with your customers?

“Using Axon, our customer relationships have been improved and been very efficient. If somebody calls and needs a copy of an invoice, it is very quick to go in and pull that up, either by the order number or the invoice number, and you can instantly PDF it right there from the system. I don’t have to go to the filing cabinet and find the invoice.

We have certain customers that have their own POs or bills of lading that we instantly save as and attach to the order. The efficiency aspect of it is phenomenal. If there are any rental agreements or anything specific to a certain order . . . we are attaching so much now.”

Can you compare Axon to any other software you have used?

“Comparing Axon to a program we used back in my previous life – there is no comparison. Hands down, Axon by far beats it. If you click that little Contact Axon button, you get a message saying ‘We’ll be right with you.’ In probably five minutes, you get a phone call. Everybody is always very helpful, very supportive. They will find somebody whose specialty it is to answer your question.

Michelle came from a CPA office and she said, ‘I have never had anybody be that efficient and quick to give help. This is phenomenal. Do you know how lucky you are to have this?’ I thought that was great. I was glad to hear it. I have never had any customer service like I’ve had with Axon.”

Did you find the training was good for what you needed getting started?

“Absolutely. The training was very thorough and very patient. They could even train someone who wasn’t very computer savvy. Each day we had our conference call and they went through everything step by step.”

What would you say to someone in your industry interested in your experience with Axon?

“I would say that I recommend it, and I actually already have. I have talked to a few people before and given them my recommendation.

I would totally recommend Axon to anybody, because it has saved our lives tremendously.”

ABC Heavy Hauls Website

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