FROM 14 UNITS TO 20 WHILE STREAMLINING STAFF
"We had about 14 units and now we're up to about 20 with Axon. We were able to decrease our staff a bit, running about 3 people in the office."
I'm Summer Bradford, President of Dragon Material Transport in Fresno, CA.
My name is Summer Bradford. I’m the president of Dragon Material Transport, Inc. in Fresno, California. We have bottom dumps, asphalt tankers, super tens, and we do a little bit of low bedding in the Central Valley in California.
We got started through family. My husband’s dad and grandpa were truckers. My grandpa was also in the trucking business and it just kind of evolved into where we are today.
I’ve been here since I was 18 years old. We dated all through high school and worked for his parents in the office. I stayed after I graduated from college.
Can you talk about the transition to a new software program?
In 2019, we had an outdated program that we couldn’t upgrade and it wasn’t supported. We grew out of it because we started doing other things that involved sales, and we needed a system that was more complex.
After researching mostly online, and a little bit of word of mouth, I found Axon. After probably four or five months of questions and answers, we had to take the leap and just do it. It was a major undertaking for us.
With data entry, the timing had to be right. I wanted to do it in the winter when we are slower.
We should have done it in October, but we ended up doing it in March because we had a lot going on. But now, here we are.
How has your experience with Axon been?
I worked on it with Kathleen and Cindy from the Axon team, and we kind of went for it. A lot of time went into putting it together to be exactly how we wanted it.
We’re still doing tweaks, but we’re pretty happy with it. Two and a half years in, we are pretty happy. It works for us. It’s nice to be integrated because we weren’t before. We had two systems, QuickBooks and Varipro, and we were merging the two with our CPA and spending thousands in time and energy, and who knows if it was correct?
Has the real-time integration changed the ﬂow in the oﬃce?
Brandon puts in the dispatch every day. I set up the projects, the jobs, the rating. So when he dispatches, he’s able to pick up the job locations and the projects. It’s in the system. So that way, when we process the tickets, it’s there. You’re able to put them in.
It makes it nice and easy to see what’s happening – it’s not buried in a stack. Cindy is able to pay the bills, enter the invoices, and create statements and summaries. It’s actually really nice to have a heads-up display of what we’re doing every day and see it there. Even when it’s put away, it’s there. It’s nice.
Has Axon helped with quicker invoicing?
Yes, actually. I have stepped in and done some of the invoicing. I’ve learned quite a bit about how to bill properly. It’s specific, so I can pick up certain things that I want. If a customer says they only want one job, I can pick out that job.
Have you been able to staﬀ more eﬃciently?
When we started using Axon, we were running about 14 trucks and now we’re running about 20.
We’re actually down right now in staff. We’re running about three people in the office. Axon makes it easier for us to have less staff. It’s easier to plug and go. Axon is definitely a timesaver. We spend less time in the office. It gets easier every month for me.
Has Axon helped with customer relations?
I think it has helped. It’s easy to get the reports that you need and look up the data. It’s an animal that survives off what you put into it. If you put the data in correctly, then it serves you properly in the future too.
For instance, I have jobs that expire on the month, so the prices have to change every month. I’m able to put an end date, and then it’ll just stop. So, nobody can put in the wrong data. It’s kind of nice. Then it helps me remember to adjust the price on the first or second. The customer’s not getting the wrong rate. We get warned that we have to fix it.
How was the training and support?
It was good. Our trainer was very, very well versed in what she does. She’s knowledgeable. She is easy for me to get ahold of when I need her. She pays attention to all my questions and seems to fix my problems if I ask.
I don’t call support as much as I could, because I like to figure things out first. So far so good.
Do you ﬁnd the software easy to use and get around?
It’s pretty easy. We had someone that wasn’t involved in the trucking business, and he was able to maneuver the accounting portion of it quickly. That’s promising, you know. We’ve been in it so long, so it was nice that somebody who wasn’t involved in anything with trucking was able to handle it.
Has the software paid for itself?
I’d say so, yes. Just the fact that we’re all integrated is a huge timesaver for all of us. Having A to B to C, and the finish line at the end of the month is kind of nice.
Before Axon, we were going downhill with double entry of data. We needed to be integrated and we knew it. I think a lot of small businesses use QuickBooks and don’t know any better, because it’s easy. Once you learn how to use a program that’s tailored for you, then you’re like, “Oh, okay. I should have done this a long time ago.”
You don’t know how your business is going to evolve, and it does. Axon is definitely tailored for trucking on the bookkeeping side.