Trucking News – October 2020

“IT HAS REALLY HELPED US CUT DOWN ON OVERHEAD.” “IT HAS PAID FOR ITSELF TWO OR THREE TIMES OVER AT THIS POINT.”

Specialized Transport Service is a heavy haul trucking company operating out of Dallas, Texas. After 27 years in business, they decided to step up their game and invest in a fully integrated system. Did it make a difference? We stopped in to chat with the VP Operations, Darrell Hendrix, about their first year with Axon Software.

Can you tell us a bit about the company?

We haul all types of oversize or overweight pieces, like equipment, vessels, oilfield equipment.

We first started using Axon during the first part of 2018. It has really helped us cut down on overhead. The flexibility of it and all the tools that it offers – it combines everything.

It’s all integrated, from the time we take a call and do a quote, to the time the load is done, all through the accounting process. It has really helped us out a lot and sped things up.

The biggest thing is the cost-savings benefit from it.

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I’m Darrell Hendrix, Vice President of Operations with Specialized Transport Service. I’ve been here for 27 years.

How has Axon Software helped you from a financial point of view?

We’ve cut down on overhead. We had a staff member quit and because of Axon we haven’t had to replace her. We eliminated that full-time office position, so it has definitely paid for itself twice over – maybe three times over at this point.

It’s definitely been a big, big help, from our antiquated ways of doing things.

What type of problems has Axon Software helped you solve?

Getting our paperwork and work orders to the drivers – it has helped that out a lot. The problem of redundancy doing paperwork, it has cut down on that. And of course all the other issues with keeping up with inventory in the shop, all of our parts and maintenance.

It has simplified invoicing, very much so. If a customer calls and says, “Hey I need this invoice right away,” it is really easy for us to get it sent to them.

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If you increased your fleet by 15 trucks, would you have to increase your staff here in the office?

I would say probably not. The person invoicing might do some other things less and spend more time invoicing. But I don’t think 15 trucks would change that much at all.

Has Axon Software helped improve your customer relations?

It has helped us get invoices to the customers more quickly. Any of us can send the customer a statement if they call and request it. We don’t have to go get somebody to send it, so it’s a little more responsive in that sense.

How do you find the software for ease of use?

It’s pretty simple. Once you learn its personality, so to speak, it’s pretty simple to figure stuff out. Especially writing up orders, which is the biggest thing for daily operations.

The training seemed pretty straightforward. It’s one of those things where they explain it and it all makes sense. Then when you sit down, a lot of it will come back to you.

The support is good. We can send a message for them to contact us and usually within a few minutes we get a call back.

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

I would tell them that they should definitely consider it. The upfront cost is a little bit of sticker shock, but once you put the pen to paper and realize what you’re going to save in the long run, it’s just not very costly.

SAVE TIME & INCREASE ACCURACY WITH WORK ORDER TEMPLATES

Work Order Templates save time spent on data entry and improve accuracy and consistency. Templates are particularly useful for items such as oil changes and general service that happen on a regular basis.

Tips for Filling in the Customer/Equipment Fields

Both customer and equipment fields can be left blank if you’ll be using the template for various customers and/or equipment.

Filling in the customer or equipment works well if you are tailoring your template to a specific situation (for example, a yard tractor that needs its hydraulics re-pressurized every

Defaults

It’s a good idea to leave fields blank if the information may change (e.g. Price, Taxes to Charge, GL Account). They will fill in on the Work Order from the Business Partners/Setup Options defaults for the Customer/Equipment.

Most of the default information for the customer and/or equipment (e.g. addresses, contacts, etc.) entered on the template will override any other defaults that you have set up for Work Orders.

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TROUBLESHOOTING DIRECT DEPOSITS
  • To reverse an entire direct deposit, choose Payables/Payroll > Void Direct Deposit File.
  • To correct the information in an individual direct deposit and then resend it, choose Payables > Checks > Reset Direct Deposit/Void and Copy.
  • If you void a direct deposit, you may need to adjust your next FCN (Financial > Bank Accounts > Direct Deposit Setup > File Creation#) as some banks require that there be no gaps in the file creation numbers.
  • If you don’t want to email the advice stub (e.g. if you are re-processing a check), double click in the Email column and use the pull-down menu on the column heading to change or delete the email address.
  • If you forget to print your advice stubs when you generate your direct deposit file, you can do so using Reprint Checks.
  • To review failed batch emails, choose Batch Email Status, Batch Emailed By, and Batch Emailed On when using the Checks and Check Lines data sources in Reporter Reports.
  • The system will automatically reconcile your direct deposits with your bank statement when you generate your direct deposits unless you turn off Auto Reconcile Generated DD File(s) (Bank Accounts > Direct Deposit Setup).
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TRACKING PARTS UNDER WARRANTY

Axon’s warranty tracking feature helps you keep track of parts that are under warranty. Enter the warranty information based on hours, date, or mileage when you add a part to inventory. The warranty will go into effect when the work order is completed and will be based on the completed date, hours reading, or odometer reading that is in effect on the completed date.

Position Codes are convenient when you’re using multiples of a certain part to distinguish between the different parts (e.g. Left Front or Rear Axle). This way, you’ll know which warranty belongs with each part.

You’ll receive an automatic reminder when you use a part that is under warranty on a work order.

MAXIMIZING THE TICKET HISTORY REPORT

The Ticket History Report is a handy way to obtain detailed information (e.g. revenue per Equipment or profit and loss) about past and current Tickets. Here are some tips for getting the most out of the report:

  • Set up different report layouts to suit different situations (Tickets > Setup Options > Ticket History tab).
  • Control the amount of information in the report by choosing a specific date or date range when selecting your ticket filters.
  • Choose Project – equals – Project Name if you want to print a report of all the outstanding tickets for a particular project.
  • Choose the Print Other Expenses Detail? checkbox if you want your report to include a breakdown of additional expenses (e.g. expenses that appear on a driver settlement or equipment statement).
  • If you choose to Sort By – Equipment/Contractors, the revenue will be split between the different pieces of equipment/contractors based on the revenue allocation you have established (Tickets > General tab > Revenue Allocation). The total will always add up to 100%, but it will be broken down between the different Equipment/Contractors.
  • Choose the Print Ticket Counts checkbox on the Tickets > Setup Options > Ticket History tab if you want your Summary report to include a count of the total number of tickets as well as the number of tickets per unit of measure. Each ticket will only be counted once, and the count will not include Other Charges units of measure.
CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS MADE SIMPLE

Credit cards in your home currency are set up on the Financial > Credit Cards screen. For credit cards in a foreign currency, you will need to create a foreign currency bank account specifically for the credit card.

To pay a supplier, you will need to choose the credit card in the Bank Account field on the supplier check.

Tip: This can also be done directly from the invoice using the Quick Payment option and choosing the credit card from the list in the bank account field.

You can track your credit card transactions and the balance in the credit card account on the Bank Reconciliation screen. The Credit Card is set up as a Liability Account so the balance will normally be a negative amount.

Tip: When using the Other Statement Transactions to record things like extra charges from your statement, using a Type of Withdrawal will increase the balance payable to the credit card company and using a Type of Deposit will reduce the balance payable to the credit card company

Need more information? Take a look at How do I handle credit card payments? in the online Help

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KEEPING TRACK OF STOCK

Axon’s Inventory screen is a valuable tool to help you keep track of your stock. It’s available in the Work Orders application to record parts you plan to use on work orders and in the Warehousing application to record parts you’re storing in your warehouse prior to shipping them out to a customer.

Inventory is an integral part of the Work Orders and Purchase Orders systems.

  • The Parts Availability button on the Work Orders screen summarizes the availability of the highlighted part and the inventory is automatically updated when you use a part on a work order.
  • Quantity on hand and value are updated when you receive parts on a purchase order.

You can use the Inventory screen to keep track of parts that are under warranty. Simply enter the warranty information based on hours, date, or mileage when you add a part to inventory. You’ll receive an automatic reminder that a part may be under warranty when you use it on a work order.

If you’re using multiples of a certain part, you can distinguish one from another with Position Codes (e.g. Left Front and Rear Axle). This way, you’ll know which warranty belongs with each part.

You can also track serial numbers. m-autoThe system will track the actual purchase cost of each serialized part and will apply that cost when the part is used on a work order or invoice (the FIFO method is used to cost non-serialized parts).

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DIRECT DEPOSIT MADE EASY

With Axon, direct deposit is quick and efficient. You can use the direct deposit option to pay employees, suppliers, owner operators, or AP factoring business partners without the bother of printing a check.

You can either generate a direct deposit text file to send to your company’s bank or prepare a manual direct deposit to enter on your bank’s website.

The advice stub can be emailed directly to your employee or business partner when the direct deposit is generated.

Deposits can be distributed between one or more bank accounts based on either a flat amount or a percentage.

The system will automatically reconcile your direct deposits with your bank statement leaving you one less thing to fuss over when doing your bank reconciliation.

BATCH EMAILS

Sending out individual emails is time-consuming – and unnecessary. With Axon software, you can email a whole batch of Receivables Invoices, Customer Statements, Equipment Statements, or Driver Settlements at the same time.

Personalize your batch emails by choosing your own subject line and a message to include in the body of the email.

SPECIAL FREE OFFER!

Want to learn how to put more money on your bottom line while spending far less time working at it than you do now? Call now 1.800.567.8385 or fill out our form below to reserve a copy of the free book: “HOW WE TRIPLED OUR FLEET SIZE WITHOUT ADDING ANY OFFICE STAFF!” In this amazing book, you’ll discover:

  • How properly integrating your dispatch and operations software with your back‐office systems can slash your current office staff’s workload in half!
  • How a simple one‐step interface option can help cut 10 days of work or more—each and every month—off your fuel bill processing.
  • 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.
  • And much more!