Kent Materials – Aggregate Haulers

“Without Axon, We Would Need At Least 2 Or 3 More People Just To Compensate For The Volume of Tickets We Handle Daily”

Kent Materials is a growing young aggregate hauler from Louisiana. Axon users for less than six months at the time of this interview, they believe that they have already saved over $60,000.00. We spoke with Amy Miller, who pushed the company into investing in Axon, to hear about their experiences so far.

“My name is Amy Miller. I work for Kent Materials, and I’m the Office Manager / Jack-of-all-trades. We are located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; we’re moving to Burley. We are a tri-axle dump truck company that hauls aggregates.

“We’ve been in business since June of last year. We’ve grown from 4 trucks to 17 trucks and, from what I understand, we’ve ordered two more trucks. We’re also going to get two more day cabs, so we’ll probably have over 21 trucks here by the end of the year. We started using Axon this summer on July 9.”

How has your experience been with Axon?
“It’s been really good. In our old system, we would have to put all the work tickets on a spreadsheet and then we’d have to turn around and do an invoice in QuickBooks®.

“Payroll was a lot of double and triple data entry, whereas now you just put it in a work ticket. It’s a one shot deal. It’s pretty good – pretty awesome. So we’re happy with it.”

What are some of the problems that Axon has helped you with?
“Extra data entry. We invoice; we pay our vendors; we pay our drivers every week. We have 2,000 – 3,000 work tickets per week that we may have to enter, and right now it’s one or two of us that are doing it.

“It has cut back on the time for payroll. Now we’re not having to re-enter all the information to pay the vendors and keep track of that. It helps us keep track of worker’s comp. and auto insurance when things expire, whereas before we were having to keep track of that on another spreadsheet.

“It has saved time on just the data entry part, and getting paid by our customers too.”

How long did it take to get paid by customers before?
“It could take a couple months because before, for invoicing, we were having to input it into a spreadsheet. We wouldn’t be able to invoice until the following week, if it wasn’t the week after that, because it was just so much data entry. Now, if we have all the invoices and work tickets come in on Monday, we can normally get all the invoicing done by Friday.”

Kent Materials AggregateAt the rate you’re growing, if you didn’t have Axon, how many more staff people would you need?
“If we hadn’t gotten Axon, with the growth rate that we’ve had, we would have had to hire at least two or three more people just to compensate for the volume of work tickets that we have to handle on a daily basis.

“Right now it’s mainly the two of us that are running the operation and we probably gross about $10 million, which isn’t too bad.”

What do you think the return on investment with Axon has been?
“I think since starting with Axon [about 6 months ago] we’ve saved the company over $60,000.00.

“If we would have gotten Axon back in January or February when I was pushing for it, it probably would have saved us even more. It took me about five months of hard selling to get it [approved] just because of the costs and so-on.”

How do you feel about Axon’s training and support?
“Excellent. You don’t feel dumb when you call and you ask a simple question. They respond immediately. If it’s not your representative, it’s gonna be somebody else that will call you and walk you through it. I would have to say y’all are excellent. You know your stuff.

“I find the software very easy to use, especially when I got in there and started working on it. I found it easy.”

Has management been able to make better decisions?
“You can pinpoint the drivers that you need to prod and get ‘em more motivated to drive, or you can see where your weakest link is. That way you can either change it or address it.

“I can give the answers to my boss – the ones that he wants. If he wanted to know what was actually made in a month, I can print out something. It’s right there; all I have to do is print out the equipment statement report and that’s his answer right there.”

How do you find the financial aspect of the software?
“Honestly, I’m used to working with QuickBooks. I’ve been working in QuickBooks for years, so I didn’t find it as easy to maneuver through as QuickBooks. But because of the work ticket aspect of it, and everything else that it does…. It’s just a different way of retraining your brain.

“Overall I’d say this is hands down a much better product. It does exactly what we need it to do when it comes to invoicing, payroll, paying our vendors, and sending it to Direct Deposit. It’s just a good product ... it’s a great product.”

If other aggregate haulers asked you about your experience with Axon, what would you have to say?
“It’s great. If you have any problems or any technical issues, they’re quick to respond. If we have a question, ‘What’s an easier way to do this?’, they help us work that out.

“If you want to know what your trucks are really making, that’s a big one too. Before you would have to do a spreadsheet and keep track of that. It’s a lot harder to keep track of it in, say, traditional QuickBooks or a regular accounting software program. You can really see what your true costs are, associated with each piece of equipment that you are using.

“If we hadn’t moved from the system that we had, and the way we were doing it, we would not be able to have the companies we work for say that we’re the most professional trucking company that they have dealt with.

“I think that has to do with our ability to send the invoices out – they’re readable and they’re in the order that they need to be. We wouldn’t be able to invoice that way through our old system.

“It just makes us look more professional and put together, like we know what we’re doing.”

Kent Materials, LLC Website