Trucking News – November 2019

“WHEN YOU GROW FROM ZERO TO ONE HUNDRED TRUCKS IN JUST TEN MONTHS, WHO CAN YOU TURN TO FOR HELP TO KEEP CONTROL?”
“We were running $6-7 million with [just] 7 employees, and of course Axon Software played a role in that.”

Hourglass Transport is a long-time client of Axon Software, using the software system to stay lean and efficient ever since they were first established in 2003. We spoke with Billy White to get his take on their solid partnership through the years and understand why he says they are “on board forever.”

Can you tell us a bit about the company?

We started this company in February of 2003. We are located in Coleman, Oklahoma, and our business mainly consists of using one-ton dually pickups hauling horse trailers, cargo trailers, stack loads, and campers. We go to all 48 states and all provinces of Canada.

I previously worked for a company that a lot of people just weren’t thrilled about, so I talked with the ownership here at Sundowner, and we decided that we’d start up a trucking company and ship all the product. It took off real fast. It’ll be 16 years soon.

November-001

My name is Billy White, founder and general manager of Hourglass Transport.

Can you tell us about converting to Axon Software?

When we started, we were so busy. By October of ’03 when we went with Axon, we were generating almost $500,000.00 a month in gross receipts without a trucking program, using QuickBooks and Excel and a lot of handwritten stuff. I was handwriting paychecks. It wasn’t working out. I started trying to find some help, and I don’t remember how I found Axon, but I did. Once we started looking at it, it was very simple from that point forward. We found Axon within about 6 months of starting the company and were soon up and running with Axon Software.

Axon has been easy. It’s exactly what we want and what we needed at the time. The training at first was just phenomenal, and I think after a few days everybody was on board. First class. When we went live, they stayed with us. If we had any questions, it didn’t matter how long it took. It was just easy.

All this time later, we haven’t had any issues. We just expect everything to run smoothly – and it has. We started with Axon and I haven’t even considered looking elsewhere. I don’t even know what’s out there to be honest with you. I have absolutely no interest in anything else, unless Axon did something weird. We’re on board forever now.

Did Axon Software streamline your business compared to using those other programs?

Fortunately, I had some accounting people that I gave it to, and they just integrated it. It was easy. I didn’t really get involved in that part of it. I just turned it over to those guys and within a few days we were up and running. Everything was accurate. Pretty easy.

How do the drivers like their settlements?

They like them. They’re not complaining. Once they get a settlement, they know exactly where they stand with their escrow money or any deductions. When you don’t have drivers complaining, it’s working. That was a problem prior to Axon. After Axon, the statements are laid out very clearly for these guys so actually we do not have any serious questions. Since Axon it has not really been an issue.

It absolutely helps with driver retention. It takes away the guessing game. If you can make sure the drivers are not confused about anything, they have more confidence in the company, and because drivers always seem to be looking for mistakes, the simple settlement statement is a big plus. It does help in retention, just the mere fact that there’s a trust factor there.

From a management standpoint, are you able to quickly and efficiently analyze your business?

Oh sure, yeah. I’ve got access to all the financial information and it’s right in front of you. I don’t have to go ask someone for reports. I can do it myself, and it’s very easy. An easy transaction.

Axon seems to stay on top of any changes that need to be made. They’re ahead of the game. I haven’t had to request a change in many years.

Can you talk about the growth Hourglass has experienced with Axon Software?

When we started, we had zero trucks. The business was strong back then and within about 10 months, we jumped up to close to 100 trucks. Of course, the economy has knocked us down a little bit, but when we started with zero, the office wasn’t even up and running yet, so Axon came in at the right time we started with me and one other individual, so we had to increase, but we maxed out with 7 at one point. We were running $6-7 million with 7 employees, and of course Axon played a role in that because I didn’t have to staff other people to find out information. I could do it myself. It’s been good.

If you were to increase the number of trucks you run, would you have to hire more staff?

No. With Axon, if we took on another 10 to 20 trucks, I would only have to hire another dispatcher. I wouldn’t have to hire anyone to do with financial or safety, it would just be some help in dealing with the drivers.

Has Axon Software helped with your customer relations?

Customer relations are good just because all the information we have about our customers is easy access. All their information is in there, in the Axon Business Partner record, so you don’t call them not knowing who you’re dealing with. You already have all their information and what they’re expecting. When we add a new customer, we put in all their information and it will be there at our fingertips.

How long did it take for Axon Software to pay for itself?

Probably less than a year. We were very profitable early on and had Axon right out of the gate.

If one of your peers in the industry asked about your experience with Axon Software, what would you say?

I would tell them to start with Axon. Shop around, but you will come back to Axon after you’re done.

KEEPING TRACK OF CUSTOMER PAYMENTS

The Receivable Report and the Receivable History Report are designed to make it easy for you to track your past and current accounts receivable.

Receivable Report

You can use the Receivable Report to review customers with outstanding invoices and payments and then contact them with a reminder.The report can be customized with additional header fields (for example a phone number or email address) as well as additional columns.

Receivable History Report

The Receivable History Report is a convenient way to review:

  • Invoices for a particular customer,
  • Payments received during a particular time period,
  • Customer credits, or
  • Receivables that were included in a particular bank deposit.

You can also obtain the information you need to calculate a salesperson’s total sales.

Both reports can be accessed directly from the Business Partners’ screen giving you easy access to all your customer information

NEW MOBILE APP FEATURES

We’ve added some new features to the Axon Truck Link mobile app.

Trips

You now have two options when you are providing your drivers with updated information on a trip.

Documents

A new scan button makes it easier for your drivers to capture images of documents.

Messages

Streamline the Axon Truck Link messages employees receive by deciding who needs to receive each type of message – orders, trips, tickets, and/or free form messages (Trucking > Setup Options > Axon Link tab).

Review past Axon Truck Link messages on the Activity tab for Orders, Trips, and Tickets, or on the Driver Call-Ins screen.

Additional Information

Contact Axon Software if you would like to send Customs Broker fields or Fuel Surcharge Percentage from Orders to your drivers via Axon Truck Link.

November-1-2
CUSTOMIZE YOUR TRIP MANIFEST

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

Header

Decide what information you want to include in the 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.

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.

Letterhead

If you have several different letterheads, you can choose the one you want to use for trip manifests.

November-2-2
TROUBLESHOOTING WORK ORDERS

Why is there a red cell on my Inventory Counts screen?

A red cell indicates invalid information, and the count will not be saved. Check the following:

  • Make sure the Quantity is correct
  • Serial Numbers must be separated by a comma
  • The number of Serial Numbers must match the Quantity
  • If the part isn’t serialized, the Serial Numbers field should be blank

Why hasn’t the Markup Price on my Work Order Parts been updated?

If there is a Markup, the system will calculate the Price on the Work Orders > Parts tab as follows:

Price * Markup % – if a Price is entered on Work Orders > Inventory

Last Cost * Markup % – if no Price is entered on Work Orders > Inventory

The system will NOT update the Price based on changes in the Last Cost if there is a lag between the date the Work Order is entered and the date it is completed.

November-3-2
WHY CAN’T I RECONCILE MY WAGES PAYABLE REPORT WITH MY ACCOUNT ACTIVITY REPORT?
  1. Check to make sure that you have chosen the same date on both the Wages Payable Report (As of) and the Account Activity Report (choose the same date for both Date From and Date To)
    • Compare the Opening Account Balance on the Wages Payable GL Account (Business > Opening Account Balances) and make sure that it matches the amount on the Wages Payable Report when you set the As of date to the day prior to your On-Line As Of date (Business > Setup Options)
    • If the two amounts do not match, you will need to correct the problem
  2. If the date is the same but there is still a discrepancy, you will need to make sure that you have the correct amount in your Opening Account Balances
  3. If your Opening Account Balance is correct, try to narrow down the discrepancy
    • Find the earliest date when the Wages Payable Report and the Account Activity Report do not match
    • Determine if the amount changes over time (e.g. on June 14, 2012, the two accounts didn’t match by$453, but on March 31, 2013, they were out by $150)

Special Free Offer!

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  • What most trucking software companies don’t want you to know about their so‐called “Real‐Time” systems that could cost you thousands of dollars every month.
  • Why integrating your Accounts Payable transaction entries with your operations software will save you over half a week of work—every month.
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