Dakota Valley Trucking – Jessica Selchert

“For the Office Manager Who Does It All”

Jessica Selchert is the office manager for Dakota Valley Trucking of Millbank, South Dakota. She is responsible for all their bookkeeping and internal accounting requirements. In this interview, Jessica speaks out about their experience with Axon.

What are your responsibilities, Jessica?

“I do all the billing, accounts receivable, receipts, driver payroll, owner operator settlements, insurance, fuel taxes, licensing, invoicing. I do everything except the dispatching and loading trucks.”

What does Dakota Valley haul and where do you haul it?

“For the most part we haul rotary blower fans that are made here in South Dakota, and we haul them all over. The majority of them go to California, Illinois, Minnesota, but we go everywhere. We have flatbeds, stepdecks; we have a couple reefers, and a van.”

Tell us about your experience in dealing with Axon.

“Uh, confusion at first (laughs). I guess from what I was used to, it was a lot more complex. Now that I’ve used it, of course, it’s much simpler than what I had been using.

I don’t have to enter it once here and enter it somewhere else there, and then pray that it’ll go to the next spot on its own, which was what we experienced with our previous software packages.”

Our biggest problems are fuel costs and keeping track of just where our money is going – costs in general. And Axon has helped us with that. I can pull up reports to show where all the money’s going—if it’s going to fuel or repairs, or if there’s some equipment that’s not moving or costing more to run. I can tell with this software. – Jessica Selchert

Has Axon changed the way you do fuel tax?

“Now I don’t have to enter many fuel invoices because we have the integration with our fuel supplier. Unless they pay cash for it, I don’t have to enter their fuel daily, which is a lifesaver. I’d say the Axon fuel software has saved me a half hour a day, with 10 company trucks and about six owner operators.”

Has Axon changed the way you do invoicing?

“Oh, definitely. When I get the paperwork, I double check to make sure everything is correct. And then I just mark the box ready to invoice, select the proof-of-delivery day to generate an invoice, and it’s done. Whereas before, I would have to completely type out an invoice at the time of receiving the paperwork and then manually send it to another software program to invoice it out.

It was too complicated; a lot of stuff got forgotten. You know, detention times or wrong rates. If the rate has changed, we now have the capability of just going into the system. The dispatchers can go into the system and change the rate to the new rate and, by the time I get the paperwork and I’m ready to invoice it out, all the rates and your detention time, lumper fees, etc. are in there. I don’t have to worry about it not being there.”

Has that saved you any money?

“Oh, I’m sure it has. But I couldn’t put a figure on it because with our old software I wasn’t able to tell what we lost, what was forgotten. By the time we realized that it had been forgotten, it was too late. But Axon has definitely improved our ability to invoice correctly.”

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

“I guess one thing that I have seen is that when somebody calls for a credit reference, I can give them up-to-date information, whereas before I hadn’t a clue how many days it took for a customer to pay. I could tell them what the last invoice was and how much we billed them at if they had five minutes to sit on the phone while I pulled it all up, to go through my three different programs to get it. Now everything’s right there in their file.”

Which three programs were you using before?

“I had Prophesy, and that was divided into two parts, and then from Prophesy it would have to go into Quick Books because Quick Books did the accounting portion of it. Some of the information was in one part of Prophesy; some of it was in the second, some in Quick Books.”

Has the integration of Axon software, where everything that’s entered automatically updates your entire system instantly, helped you?

“Oh, yes. Once you type it in, it goes to where it needs to go without me dragging it along to its correct spot.”

Tell us about the training you’ve received from Axon.

“The training went very well. I seemed to understand it immediately; I knew what our trainer was talking about, and she was very helpful and understanding, and it went very well. I didn’t feel like I was drowning anyway.”

Tell us about the support that you’ve received since you went live.

“It’s working very well. I call on a regular basis (laughs). You know, I know what I should be doing, but I’m kind of unsure about it, so I will call and just double check, and they’re always so nice and helpful. And there has been a time when they were unsure, and they came right out and told me, ‘Hey, I don’t know. Let me look this over, and I’ll figure it out, and I will call you back,’ and it’s always been within the day that they call me back and have an answer for me.”

How does that compare with your experience with the other software packages that you were using?

“Oh, there wasn’t any support there. There was none, so it’s a complete difference. One hundred per cent better.”

Let’s talk for a minute about the ease of use of the Axon software.

“Oh, it’s very easy. I mean with all the tabs and the information underneath the tabs, it’s pretty self-explanatory.”

How has working with Axon software affected your business?

“It’s running much more smoothly. If the owner, the boss, asks for reports to know where we stand, I can just pull it up. There is no question of where I should go to get it at all. And since I can pull everything up so easily – the information is right here – I can give him the information that he needs easily.

Our biggest problems are fuel costs and keeping track of just where our money is going – costs in general. And Axon has helped us with that. I can pull up reports to show where all the money’s going—if it’s going to fuel or repairs, or if there’s some equipment that’s not moving or costing more to run. I can tell with this software.”

If one of your peers in the industry were to ask you about Axon, how would you describe your experience?

“I would have to say it’s been very good. I feel that it’s very simple software to use.”

Website: Dakota Valley Trucking

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