Trucking News – December 2019

“IF NOT FOR AXON, WE’D NEED AT LEAST 2 MORE PEOPLE IN OUR OFFICE TO CARRY THE WORKLOAD”
“The Workload Hasn’t Increased, Even Though We Have Twice As Many Trucks”

Golden Express Trucking primarily hauls reefer loads across the Canada/US border. Interestingly, they have been running the company with the same software system for over 11 years – Axon Software. We spoke with Amit Kumar to get his perspective on the benefits of their long-lasting partnership.

Can you tell us a bit about the company?

We have been in business since 2006 and we operate about 25 trucks. We haul reefer produce between points in Canada and the US, basically from British Columbia’s lower mainland down to California and Arizona. From there, we bring loads back to BC, Toronto, or Alberta – depending on what pays well. Market conditions and the availability of trucks dictates where we go.

I started in the trucking industry because I couldn’t get a job. I moved from India to the States, and from there to Canada, around when the dot-com bubble burst and I was in IT. That was a time when jobs were very scarce. Pretty soon after I landed, September 11 happened, so it was a mini recession at that time. Trucking was an industry which would still pay well, and there are no limits or boundaries that restrict you from coming in. That’s what led me into trucking, and the rest is history. I kept working and here I am.

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My name is Amit Kumar and I am with Golden Express Trucking based in Surrey, BC.

Can you talk about what led you to Axon Software?

We started using Axon in 2008. Before Axon, we tried two different software systems at Golden Express. One was a small customized software that the company already had before I moved here. I don’t remember the name of that software. Then we tried another solution from a company based out of Toronto, and it didn’t have everything that was needed to work efficiently.

I started looking for other options, eventually ran into Axon, and contacted them.

Has Axon Software helped streamline your business?

Axon is very detailed in what we can accomplish. Anything we can think of in regard to moving a load: how to associate trucks, drivers, trailers, picks and drops. It is very detailed in that sense. You just have to think about it, and you can do it in the software. It gives control over how we handle freight and invoice customers.

Before Axon, some things would get overlooked and not get billed. Some things were double-billed. There were times when we were using spreadsheets to keep track of checks. PC*Miler was used to generate miles, and then payroll for the drivers, and everything was done separately. It was not synchronized.

Axon gave us the ability to put everything in one place. We started doing payroll on our own and AR/AP without depending on outside help.

How do the drivers like the new statements you provide?

The drivers actually do appreciate the fact that we give them detailed statements, and owner operators do as well. Everything is properly laid out for the drivers or for owner operators – the way the load was run. We put the point of origin and the route that the driver took – all the places it picked up or stopped on the way to the destination – and because it’s integrated with PC*Miler on the backend, the miles are always accurate.

It takes away the doubt that people would have about getting paid. We show all stops on the statement and there is nothing to hide, because we want to pay people for the work they have done. When they see everything is being properly paid out, they appreciate it. We have very few complaints. They appreciate the fact that everything is properly disclosed with nothing hidden. People have said that the pay records are very good, detailed, and on point.

Have you grown since you purchased Axon Software in 2008?

We had about 12 trucks at that time and now have 25. We were 4 people in the office at that time. We’re still 4 people in the office. If not for Axon, I assume that we’d need at least 2 more people in our office to carry the workload that we currently have.

The easiest thing about working with Axon is that the system doesn’t care how many trucks we have. Once we have everything in place, all the work gets done and allocated to everybody – each individual truck or driver. It’s more organized and that helps us get the benefits from using the software. The workload hasn’t increased, even though we have more trucks.

Has Axon Software helped you with customer relations?

Axon has definitely helped us in satisfying our customers’ needs for on-time and proper billing. There is always the ease of going back in the system where we store all the documents associated with a load. Any time a customer requires something, even as far back as 10 years ago, we can pull that file and send them the document. It has been very helpful and yeah, the customers do appreciate that.

How do you find the support?

Axon support has been great. There are times, especially when we started using it, that we wouldn’t know how to do something and would call support. Somebody would get back to us, connect remotely to our system and guide us through the steps that would get us a desired result. There were times when they’ve gotten senior programmers involved and got us what we were looking for. It has been great.

Do you find Axon Software easy to use?

I find it very easy. I’ve compared it with other companies who use different software, and Axon is definitely better. There are no complaints from my side.

If somebody in your industry asked about your experience with Axon Software, what would you say?

Our experience has been very positive. I think, on my recommendation, two people have already started using Axon.

YEAR-END PREPARATIONS

Here are a few tips to help you with your year-end bookkeeping.

Recurring Equipment Transactions

It’s a good idea to review the Maximum Year To Date amounts you have set up for recurring equipment transactions. If you have reached the Max Year To Date but not the Max Life To Date, the system will automatically start the deductions up again when you start a new year.

Payroll

American customers can use the Wage Base Report and the Payroll History Report to check how your company’s 941 information as well as W2 and W3 totals were calculated.

Both American and Canadian customers can determine which items were flagged as Taxable when you finalized your payroll registers by printing a Detail Payroll History Report and selecting the Print Transaction Taxable Flags option. If you forgot to mark an item as Taxable, you can prepare a W2/T4 Adjustment (Payroll > Employees > Tax Options tab).

For more detailed information, check the How Do I section of the Payroll Help.

Foreign Currency

If you have a bank account in a different currency from your company’s home currency, the exchange rate may change between when the money was deposited in your foreign bank account and when you prepare your financial statements. The difference between the two amounts is unrecognized gain/loss and can be recognized on the Financial > Recognize Bank Gain Loss screen.

Further reminders can be found in the Year-End Checklist (Help > General).

CUSTOM FIELDS ON TICKETS AND PROJECTS

Custom fields are a useful way to track additional, non-standard information on your tickets and/or projects. For example:

  • You can use a custom field when determining the rate for billing your customers using Rate Tables
  • If you create a custom field with exactly the same Name and Type as a custom field on one of the Ticket Locations screens, the information you entered will come across to the ticket when you choose the ticket Location
  • Custom fields can be added to projects to track Required Quantities for tickets that have the same Job Description and the same Custom Field value
Example:

Custom Field > Material

Required Quantities

Job Description > 2 man crew Material > sand Quantity > 1000 lbs

Did you know?
  • You can tab out of a custom multi-line text field by placing a checkmark in the Tab through checkbox (Customize… > Customize Screen > Field Properties) and tab over a field by choosing the Tabover checkbox (Customize… > Customize Fields)
  • Your custom fields on tickets will appear as columns on the Projects » Tickets tab

NEW! You can now add custom fields to Ticket Templates

DID YOU KNOW?

We’ve recently added some new features to save you time online:

  • Manually test Scheduled Reports using the Run button.
  • Use the Presets link to set up and save a Select with a specific set of options. If you frequently use the same options, you can Save as Default
  • Choose Browse All Notes and double click on an item to view Note details from any of the Notes pop-up windows.
  • Automatically adjust the width of a column to the contents (for example, on drop-down lists or the Dispatching screens) by double-clicking on the divider when the cursor shows a double arrow
  • Access the Equipment and Employee master records by double clicking on its name on the Preview screen of the Reminder Report.
THE INFORMATION YOU NEED—WHEN YOU NEED IT

Every company is different, so Axon provides you with the ability to tailor the trip manifest to your particular circumstances.

Design

You decide if you want to print each trip on a separate page and whether the report should include one line per order or one line per pick/drop.

Header

In addition to the standard information (origin, destination, tractor, trailer, driver), you may want to provide your drivers with more specific details, such as trip start and end dates, driver start time, or required temperature. You can set up your own custom field on the Trip screen and then choose it as a header field on the trip manifest.

Columns

You have a choice of columns, in addition to the default ones, that can be included on the manifest. For example, you may want to add a column for other charges, a column for handwritten comments, or a breakdown of the tractor/carrier pay.

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Keep your drivers happy by providing them with trip manifests that include all the information they will need to deliver a shipment.
CROSS-BORDER SHIPMENTS

Do you ships good across the USA/Canada border? If so, you’ll be glad to know that Axon’s software is fully integrated with ACE/ACI, making it easy for you to provide border authorities with advance information about your shipments.

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at Axon!
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