Dan Meaney’s Trucking Ltd. – Arlynn Sleeman

“Axon – It Just Makes Life Easier For Everybody!”

For over 20 years, Dan Meaney’s Trucking Ltd. of Calgary, AB has hauled pipe throughout Western Canada. In May, 2004 they made the leap to Axon software to manage their operations. Arlynn Sleeman, Office Manager, speaks about their “Axon Experience.”

Tell us about some of the problems that you have solved using Axon software.

“It has certainly made a big difference in how we operate in that there’s a whole lot less work. Because you do something once, and it’s done – you don’t ever have to go back and deal with the same info. again. It’s already there, and it just splits up into all the areas where it’s needed.

For instance, let’s talk about the dispatch procedure. In the past, it was written down by hand, and then it had to be transferred from the dispatch office and broken down between each operator. And then from there you would type it up so you actually have a decent type of statement to hand out to the guy. And all the additional transactions and so on were done by hand and in Excel. That’s all been completely changed now. Dispatch enters their portion, invoicing enters their portion, and then when it comes time to do the statement, it’s all there so you just print it and hand it out. Quite easy.”

I have always said that getting this software was one of the best things we’d ever done. …As far as how the system works, the support that we’ve had, the training that we had is great. I’m completely satisfied! As far as the software goes, it has certainly made my life a great deal easier. I actually get to work a little less every day so that’s nice. I like that. – Arlynn Sleeman

Are you operating now with the same number of staff as you had previous to implementing Axon?

“Yeah, we haven’t changed that at all. Had we continued doing it the way we had been doing it prior to Axon, we would have had to add somebody, but as it turned out we had to add no one. So we have maintained the staffing level, but it just makes life a little easier for everybody.”

Has Axon improved the way the driver and owner operator settlements have been handled?

“Oh, certainly. As something transpires throughout the month, over and above the trip, and you need to add something to their statement, you just put it in, and it’s there. You never have to deal with it again. Once it’s been input into the computer, it pops up where you need it to pop up on the statement – compared to the old way where it would have been entered manually into their [ledger] page and then retyped onto a proper statement for them, so we were handling the same stuff more than once. That’s the biggest thing that has changed for us – there isn’t so much repetitive work in anything.

I think the guys have a better statement – it has far more detail than what I ever typed out on the statements way back when. And they seem to be quite satisfied with how easy the statements are to understand. They just provide a great deal more information than what they had previous to the Axon program.”

How has it effected the time it takes to prepare your statements?

“Oh, big difference! That’s why I say we didn’t have to bring anybody else on. When I sit down to do the statements, it takes us a very short time. I don’t really time it, but you know, when I sit down, I can have it all done in the morning or far less.”

Has using the automated fuel downloads helped you?

“Well, again, it is a very quick process. And it shows on the owner operator statement as well. The fuel-ups never did show on the statement before when we were doing it the old-fashioned way. So there is more information for them on their statements.”

How do you feel about the ease of use of the software?

“Oh, I find it very simple to use. It’s certainly user friendly and, of course, the support is there when you need it so that’s a big issue as well.”

How would you describe the training that you received?

“The training was very good. I managed to retain a fair bit of it. Every now and then, you’d forget a little bit of it, and when you would call, the help was right there so it was great. They were very patient with us, and you never felt like, oh jeez, maybe I shouldn’t be calling them because I sound like an idiot. So it was great working with them.”

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

“I have always said that getting this software was one of the best things we’d ever done. I can’t imagine how we would have carried on the way we had been prior to Axon. As far as how the system works, the support that we’ve had, the training that we had is great. I’m completely satisfied! As far as the software goes, it has certainly made my life a great deal easier. I actually get to work a little less every day so that’s nice. I like that.”

If you had to do it all over again, would you do the same thing?

“Oh, yeah, and I would have done it sooner than we did. We had actually looked at Axon several years before that, but, for whatever reason, we didn’t do it then.”

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