Montgomery Trucking Co. – Wellston Ohio

"In the time we have had Axon, we estimate it has saved us somewhere in the area of $200—250,000"

Phil Fain of Montgomery Trucking Company has always been a hands-on president. He used to be heavily involved in the dispatching but found it a cumbersome and slow process. That is, until 6 years ago when they invested in Axon and streamlined their business.

We recently caught up with Phil to hear more about their Axon experience.

“My name is Phil Fain, and I am co-owner and president of Montgomery Trucking Company in Wellston, Ohio. We are a small- to medium-sized family trucking operation that has been in business for over 55 years and under the current ownership for the past 35 years.

“We have approximately 35 over-the-road trucks and another 6 or 7 spotting service trucks. We currently have almost 60 employees. We are predominantly in the frozen food industry and deal with other van-type materials.”

Has Axon changed the way you do business?
“It has made a tremendous impact in the way we do business. When we decided to go with the Axon program six years ago in 2008, the processes we were using were very time-consuming and involved a lot of handwritten information.

“At the time I was heavily involved in the dispatch, which was very cumbersome. It took probably half a day just to try to figure out where our loads were going, what people we had to work with, and it was extremely time-consuming.

“When we purchased the Axon system, that time frame dropped dramatically and it has been a big help to us.”

Is it true that you’ve added more trucks since purchasing Axon?
“Absolutely. It definitely streamlined our processes and allowed us to add some more equipment without adding additional people.

“Since we have had the Axon system, we have been able to increase our fleet size by 10 to 12 trucks and we have done that without increasing our office staff or support staff. To add 10 trucks [before Axon], we might have needed to add a couple more office staff.

“We are maybe talking $25,000 to $30,000 or more per person, multiplied by the number of years we have had Axon; we are talking some big dollars.

“In the time we have had Axon, we estimate it has saved us somewhere in the area of $200,000 to $250,000.

“So the payback on purchasing the Axon program was very rapid, probably within a couple of years. We have our money back from purchasing the system, and actually we feel we could continue to add trucks. We could probably add another 10 to 12 trucks and still have the same office personnel that we are operating with now, without any difficulty.”

Have there been benefits to management from seeing new numbers and reports?
“Those numbers have allowed us to purchase more equipment, more assets, and we are able to simply do more with less. It does save us money and will continue to save us money in the long run.

“Without question, those are all factors that have helped us grow and make decisions more quickly, and to make decisions that let us see when we are not doing so well at the same time. If we are having problems and need to be doing better, we can look at those numbers a lot faster.”

Has it had a positive affect on staff morale?
“Without a doubt. It has helped everybody as far as office work – it made it simpler and the process is quicker. It just allows for more time to do other things and get other work accomplished. It is definitely a morale booster. It speeds our whole process up every day.”

Does Axon help you work with your clients more easily?
“Absolutely. Especially on the dispatch level. If someone calls on the spur of the moment, ‘Can you take five more loads?’ or ‘Do you have a truck somewhere in the area that you can help us get a load picked up?’ we can look in the Axon system and answer them within minutes. Before, it might have required a call or email back. We can just do everything a lot faster and give them an answer right now.”

If someone in your business asked you about Axon, what would you say?
“It is a great tool and a great business advantage for us to have. We were apprehensive at the beginning obviously because any time you put money into something you want to make sure it is really going to help you as much as the overall cost of the product.

“With the Axon system, it has more than paid for itself and we love working with the Axon people. We have not had any issues at all. They are very proactive about seeing things that we are not seeing, that may be wrong, or something we should know about.

“The support and help from the Axon group has been fantastic.”

“Our productivity has gone up. Everybody is on the same page.
“From a billing aspect, what used to take days now takes one day.”

We also spoke with dispatcher and planner Seth Fain to get his perspective on whether the change has been good for their company. Here is Seth’s Axon experience.
“My name is Seth Fain and I work at Montgomery Trucking in Wellston, Ohio. We haul refrigerated foods. I am the dispatcher and planner for 34 trucks. We started using Axon in 2009.”

What has been your experience with Axon?
“It has been outstanding. Starting out, we were using it for everything from dispatching, to road tax, to billing. That has continued over the years. We have streamlined it and overall it has been fantastic.”

Is it an improvement over what you used to use?
“Before, we were pretty much on a DOS program. It was simple, load entry and load planning, but no billing, none of the extras.
“Now we can track drivers from where they started to where they end, every minute of every day. That keeps it simple for payroll, for bookkeeping, and for everyone else involved.”

Do your drivers like the driver settlements?
“Very much. It has been very positive when they open their pay check at the end of the week.
“They can see everything from the miles they hauled to the destination city and pay breakdown as well. So very, very good.”

Has Axon helped you increase the speed of invoicing?
“It’s daily now when before we would have to wait for the drivers to get back and hand in the bills. Now they can be scanned in. We can have a bill by the end of the day so turnaround has been great.”

Has Axon improved your productivity in the office or helped your company grow?
“Since using Axon we have increased our freight by 10 trucks, but our staff has not grown. Our productivity has gone up. Everybody is on the same page. From a billing aspect, what used to take days now takes one day.
“Axon has paid for itself many times over for us.”

How would you describe the training and support that you receive from Axon?
“Axon usually calls us if there is a problem, before we even know. We have been very impressed by their technical support.
“When we first started, we had unlimited access to our own trainer. We had videos. We had online help. And he [the trainer] was on the phone with us constantly. It was amazing.”

How do you find the support if you need to phone in?
“They answer my question as soon as I call. Someone is on the phone helping us and they usually find the problem. They will let us know sometimes before we even see it.”

How do you compare Axon support to support from other programs you’ve had?
“I would say no comparison. The other program we have used is on the trucking side and software is not their number one priority. There is a lot of lag time in support. Any time something is wrong with Axon, it’s fixed within the day.”

Is Axon easy to use?
“It is very user-friendly, the graphics are great, and the layout of the software seems pretty flawless.”

If someone in the industry were to ask you about your experience with Axon, what would you say?
“Hands down, I would say that there is no better trucking software out there. Axon is the best software, hands down.”

Web Site: Montgomery Trucking Co.