Long Star Trucking and Field Services – Midland, TX
“If We Weren’t Using Axon, We Would Have To Add At Least Another Four To Five People”
“Since we implemented Axon, we have more than doubled the size of our fleet, doubled the size of our business, and added additional businesses.”
Long Star Trucking & Field Services got into the oil business at a good time, back in 2008. They started small, grew the company and enjoyed a good deal of success, but realized that something was holding them back.
In 2013 they found Axon which helped them streamline their business and amplify their growth opportunities. We spoke with Melissa to hear more about their Axon experience.
“My name is Melissa Sanchez, and I work for Long Star Trucking & Field Services. My husband and I have owned the business for about five years and we currently run 60 vacuum trucks. We are located in the big city of Midland, Texas.
“We started back in May of 2008 – my husband worked for a bank at the time and it was just something that we decided we were going to try and see how it goes.
“We purchased three vacuum trucks and, about six months into it, oil busted. We made it through about 18 months of that, just riding that oil field craziness, and now we have grown to operate 60 vacuum trucks, 20 roustabout crews, and about 20 flowback crews. It has been a crazy time, but it’s been good.
“We started using Axon in June of 2013.”
Can you tell us about your experience with Axon?
“The first three months were a little difficult, just because we didn’t know the system at all. We were getting used to something new and obviously had to transition, but once we did that we loved it.
“We have absolutely loved it. I would not go back. We looked at two other different softwares, but there was a customer that we used to deal with out of El Paso that had Axon, and that is how I got the name. That is how we started and we love it.”
Has having Axon changed the way you run your business?
“Originally, when we started, we had about four people that were invoicing. That was our biggest thing – the amount of people that were doing invoicing and the mistakes that were not being caught as far as how to pay tickets and that kind of thing. There was just too much falling through the cracks.
“Since Axon, we went from four people down to one for all of the invoicing, and we identified that there were invoices being paid twice. There were drivers that were being paid twice and some others that didn’t get paid – all because it was more difficult to track in QuickBooks than it is in Axon.
“That was our biggest thing, I think, going from four people to one actually doing the invoicing.”
So you have actually reduced your staff?
“We have not reduced our staff but only because we have grown in the last year and a half.
“Some of the people that were originally doing the trucking stuff have now moved over and do flowback or something completely different than they were doing in the past because we don’t need them doing the trucking invoicing.
“It has helped get us caught up on everything. We were always running probably a couple of weeks to a month behind on some things. Now, we are maybe a day behind at the most in all of our invoicing, payables, everything that we do.
“Pretty much everything that we do is now on time.”
How are the Fuel Downloads?
“Love it! Love it. On Axon, it is all set up. All I do is hit download, browse files, find the file I’m looking for, and it uploads it.
“We do fuel for supervisors, fuel for work, and flowback fuel for trucking. There may be a couple of transactions I have to go in and change manually, but it seriously takes 30 seconds to download the weekly fuel.
“And it is accurate. You don’t have to worry about it, because it comes directly from the fuel supplier. That was a great benefit.”
Are your owner operators satisfied with their statements?
“Yes. It just makes it simpler because they see what tickets they are getting paid on. They don’t have any questions. They know what hours they are being paid for. They know if anything has changed on the individual ticket versus what they have, and there is no question as to whether or not they got paid on a ticket.
“We used to have 10, 15, 20 drivers lined up, and now maybe we will have a question from one or two a week. It has made it that much easier.”
Can you compare your experience with Axon to any other software that you’ve dealt with?
“I worked in the corporate world forever. I came to help my husband three years ago. I dealt with QuickBooks and, even though there is a lot of functionality to it, I think it is too general. It’s not really streamlined for any particular industry – it is not made for trucking. That was the thing that we had a hard time with, is some things just don’t make sense.
“With Axon, it is more specific to our industry so it is simplified.”
Do you find the software easy to use?
“I think it is great to use. There is probably more in there that we haven’t used, but our day-to-day stuff I think is a lot simpler.
“To give you an example, to reconcile our bank account, you were looking at a day and a half on QuickBooks for the same amount of transactions. In Axon, that has gone down to probably three to four hours. So that alone has given me almost a full day of work in a month which I would generally use towards reconciling.”
How is the return on investment from Axon?
“Axon has more than paid for itself if you calculate how we’ve been able to streamline and put people in places to do other things that we wouldn’t have been able to do in the past. Just going from four people invoicing to one created the ability for those three people to do other things.
“Since we implemented Axon, we have more than doubled the size of our fleet, doubled the size of our business, and added additional businesses.
“If we weren’t using Axon, we would probably have to add at least another four to five people to be able to maintain. You are looking at a cost of at least another $120,000, plus their cost of insurance, sick days, training time, all of the things that go along with hiring somebody new.”