Roadex Services Ltd. – Jackie MacEwan

What Have We Done For You Lately?

In 1994, Larry Twordik, President of Roadex Services Ltd. made the bold decision to scrap their Maddocks Truckmate software and replace it with Axon. In 1996, Larry appeared in a video interview in which he stated, among other things, that “We’ve doubled the size of our company as far as the number of trucks that we’re running, with the same number of people in the office. And that would be impossible if it were not for this program.” That was almost 12 years ago, so we had to ask – “What have we done for you lately?” In August of 2003, Roadex upgraded to Axon’s new and improved “Enterprise” version. Jackie MacEwan, Controller, speaks to us about their experience.

Jackie, tell us about Roadex and your role in the company.

“I have been with Roadex for just over eight years now. I’m the controller, so I run the financial and administrative side. Roadex started in 1991. We are a long-haul trucking company, specializing in hauling RVs across North America. We pick up the RVs at the factories where they’re built and take them to the dealers who sell them. We also haul general freight. We have an average fleet size of about 60 trucks.”

As far as my job goes, it’s cut my workload by, minimum, probably a third – in some cases up to two thirds! - Jackie MacEwan

What are some of the problems that you’ve been able to solve using Axon software?

“It has been a huge time saver with IFTA fuel tax and with Worker’s Comp. I remember years ago when I used to have to manually fill out that long IFTA form and do the Worker’s Comp. payable reports manually. It would take spreadsheet upon spreadsheet of calculations and, literally, days. Now I can do all of my quarterly reports, including IFTA, Worker’s Compensation, and all of my state taxes in a matter of hours. It’s huge. It’s wonderful.

The driver settlements and the payroll program have obviously decreased my workload. The driver settlements are very detailed, and it really minimizes the phone calls from employees wondering what they were paid for or requesting details of the pay because it’s all there in black and white.

It’s made a HUGE difference in the time that it takes to invoice. I can have 40 invoices processed in under half an hour. It’s just so simple. I know in previous programs I’ve worked with, once the invoice is posted, that was it. If you had to make any changes, it was too bad. The great thing about Axon is that it allows you to not only enter data quickly but to make changes. You have the ability to copy and void an invoice and correct it, because the rate was wrong or there had been an adjustment to the load for whatever reason. It’s very simple. Of course, it won’t let you delete something without knowing you’ve done it - I’ve worked with programs that would let you do just that!”

Has it helped you with your receivables?

“Yes, the reporting especially. It’s very easy to keep track of receivables. With the history reporting, you can get anything you need about all of your customers, or just specific customers, or dates of invoices. A click of a button and you can have any information you want.

That’s probably my favorite thing about Axon, the reporting systems. Compared to other programs, with Axon you can find any piece of information, with hardly anything to go on, with the click of a button. I had a customer phone me with a very small bit of information on a load we hauled four years ago, and with the information they gave me—I believe it was the driver, and the city we delivered it to—I was able to find that load from four years ago. If a customer calls me and wants to know if we have a specific RV in our system, it’s a matter of putting in the serial number and doing a search, and I can tell them immediately if we have ever hauled that unit. It’s stuff like that, that just isn’t offered anywhere else, that has made a huge difference.”

Has Axon helped you with your customer relations?

“Oh, certainly. I mean what is good customer service, really? If a customer calls with a question, there’s no putting them on hold, there’s no calling them back, or getting back to them about the information they’re looking for. They phone with a question, and you have the answer at your fingertips, every time. You’ve got to know that they’re thinking, ‘Man, these people are on top of things, they’re on the ball.’”

Can you get all the management information you need, such as individual unit profitability, from Axon?

“Absolutely. I do it regularly. The owner of the company always has questions as to how are things going, are we making money, where are we making money, where are we losing money. I mean, between us, that’s our job. So I can look up any bit of information, whether it’s one operator, one company truck, a whole fleet, a specific commodity that we haul, a specific customer - any bit of information. If you want to pull it out, you have the ability to do so. The information that you can get from Axon is endless.”

Do you think that Axon has saved you a lot of money or helped you make money?

“Yes, for one thing, there’s no critical information that’s going to slip through your fingers. There are no receivables that will go aged and unnoticed. Everything is there, and there’s really no way to lose it. With other systems that I’ve used, it was very easy to miss something. Beyond that, obviously the cost of running your business is decreased as far as administrative or office staff goes. You don’t need as many people to do the same job that you used to need.

Since I started with Roadex, we’ve increased our fleet from about 40 units to 60, but the number of our office staff has pretty much stayed the same. We currently have five full-time and one part-time. We have two dispatchers; we have one person in safety and compliance; we have myself and a part-time person in administration; and we have an operations manager. So for 60 trucks, with basically one or two people handling every division of the business, I think that’s pretty good. And we could handle many more. Don’t get me wrong; we’ve got room to grow.”

How would you describe the ease of use of the Axon software?

“It’s very user friendly—for data entry, for data correction, and for reporting. To learn everything that it has to offer does take time. Anything worthwhile does. There’s so much in there! You get into reports that you’ve used for six months or a year and you maybe try something different because, ‘I wonder if I can do this?’, and sure enough, you can. And then you’re thinking, wow, I’m going to use that all the time. Eventually you realize everything it has to offer and you just can’t say enough about it.

Getting information out of the program as far the reporting system goes is fantastic. It’s amazing, so overall it’s been a very positive experience.”

Was changing software systems difficult for your organization?

“Well, change is always difficult to some extent. You always have some staff members that are more enthusiastic about it than others. But when it comes down to it, when we all learned the program, there was not a single person, as far as I know, that wasn’t happy about the change, once they learned it.

As far as my job goes, it’s cut my workload by, minimum, probably a third – in some cases up to two thirds! Previously, my days were full doing receivables, payables, pay statements, payroll—all the day-to-day stuff that had to be done. I didn’t really have a lot of time to go in depth to analyze numbers, to analyze profits and margins and things that are really important to have growth and success in your business.

I find that now I have a lot more time to dig into the numbers. I take advantage of the reporting system that Axon offers to look at the profitability of different fleets and customers and products that we haul to find out where we can improve. Having the time to do that is important.”

Website: Roadex Services Ltd.

v