Tempo Transport Inc.

Tempo Transport Inc. of Fredericton, NB, has been hauling flatbed and reefer trailers across most of North America for the past 16 years. In 2006, Tempo made the leap to Axon software. In this interview, Corina Roth speaks to us about their experience.

Tell us about your experience with Axon.

I used to do a lot of manual entry with the fuel tax. The drivers would send in a trip report with all the miles that they traveled and the fuel that they purchased, and I would manually have to enter it into a program, and then manually do up their bills and invoicing. Nothing was automated from our dispatch like Axon is. The invoice was automated in the old system but everything else we entered manually—the fuel, the fuel tax, the pay, everything. – Corina Roth

“I can say nothing but good things, actually. It’s been a very positive experience for me.”

What triggered the change to Axon software?

“We were using the TransCore Logistics Program – Link Logistics and Accpac accounting software. We had a lightning storm here, and it fried our server, and our backups were not recoverable. And they would not give us copies of our database. They would sell it to us, but they would not give us copies of our database, so that kind of left me with a bad taste in my mouth, and basically we started shopping from there.”

Did that severely harm your business at that point?

“It hindered us in a big way because we had no access to previous data other than the printed copies that were on file. So we basically started from scratch, bought two new servers and a back up server and all new work stations, and started from scratch.”

How have you found Axon’s support and update systems?

“With our old program we would wait six and eight months just for a new update. You guys load new features practically every night. We really love that you give us new updates all the time and that you’re tweaking things to make it more convenient at night, and we come in and it’s always a nice surprise, ‘Oh, look what they did tonight; oh, I like that feature.’ We’re not distressed; we’re not pushed out of our server; and there’s no down time during the day when your peak business hours are; so that’s a very good feature.”

Can you estimate the time savings that that’s created for you?

“It’s probably saved me . . . twenty hours a week just on fuel tax and invoicing. And I would say probably the same amount for Debby who does the entry of the fuel because now it’s all automatically downloaded in the system. So it’s probably saved two of us at least twenty man hours per week each. It’s incredible. And I’m a carpal tunnel sufferer so it’s helped me there too because I don’t do hours and hours of repetitive data entry any more.

I’ve actually got more time in my day so that now I’m starting to look at cost reports and do more analysis and see where we can improve things.

The ACE module in Axon is a big time-saver  especially with dispatchers on the phone grabbing information and just plunking it into the program. A lot of my time has been spent trying to get all the security issues looked after for ACE. It’s a lot of work, but previously we’ve never had the time to do that type of thing in house. It was always done at the accountant’s or sent out of house, because there was never time in the day with all of the work that we used to do.”

Has your invoicing and receivables improved with Axon?

“Oh, definitely. It’s turned around a lot faster because we can literally invoice on the information we have once the driver has delivered. We can email them out, which we didn’t have the ability to do before, or we can fax them out. So it’s definitely turned around a lot faster that way.

Now it’s usually a four-day turnaround versus the two weeks it used to take. We would always have to wait for the paperwork before we could invoice, but now information is on hand as the driver is going down the road, and everything is in the order so we can invoice it immediately.

When customers call in and want to write a check, we can give them the current receivables that are literally up to the minute – versus two or three weeks behind in the old program. In the old accounting system we were on we had to export the information from the dispatch program into that accounting program, load the data into it, proof it, and then send it to accounting. So it was a long ordeal just to get a set of books done. Now we just click a button, and we’re there.”

Has Axon helped improve productivity inside the office?

“I would say it has sped up our day-to-day process. It has freed up more man hours to get more done in the day versus sitting for hours on end going through fuel statements or proofing invoices, that kind of thing. It’s definitely cut down on the number of errors.

With this program, point, click, and it’s done. And the information flows through from journal entries down to payroll. It’s just seamless.”

How did your dispatchers handle the change?

“We were using the Link Logistics program before. But Axon has a lot more features that the dispatchers are able to have access to. For instance, when you’re putting in a load for a customer, if they’re $10,000 over their credit limit or they haven’t been paying in six to eight months, the dispatcher sees that before they book that load, and says, ‘Hey, we really can’t do any more business with you because you haven’t paid your bill in six months.’

It’s been a really good thing that way because before the receivables were always 30 days behind, and they’d get this little highlighted list they’d have to thumb through while trying to talk on the phone without losing the freight. This industry is dog eat dog, and it’s minute by minute, and time is precious. There’s always a carrier on hold on the other line that’ll say, ‘Yeah, I’ll take your freight and I’ll do it in two minutes,’ while you look up your receivables to see if you can actually do their freight. It has saved us from a lot of loss.

The screens are very user friendly; the equipment is there, and they have a trailer pool they can pick from or it’s defaulted to. The routing is right there for them. A lot of our drivers are on the 10-4 phones so when they say, ‘Can you give me an idea of where that is?’ yes we can. Hit that little map button, and it’s literally right down to street level, and they can get directions. It saves them a lot of driving around aimlessly burning fuel and making long distance phone calls. It’s been real positive for the dispatch that way.

Having the ACE manifesting right there, and not having to re-enter the load information into the web portal, has saved a lot of time. Because again, when you have repetitive entry it’s time, time, time. And if you have to sign out of your dispatch and load up into that ACE web portal, which is not that friendly of a beast, and enter all that information that you’ve already entered into your dispatch, there’s a half hour of your time gone right there. With Axon, it’s entered once and it’s done. We like that feature.”

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