WE QUADRUPLED WHAT WE DID LAST YEAR
“I would have needed at least 4 more staff members to process that kind of paperwork, but with Axon we haven’t had to hire anyone.”
G & J Heavy Haul, Inc. was anticipating company growth and a record year, but they were getting bogged down by organization and knew they had to do something. We spoke with Jennifer, one of the Co-Owners, to see what made them decide Axon Software was their best option to grow with and how it has worked out for them so far.
My name is Jennifer Archer. I am a Co-Owner of G & J Heavy Haul Inc. with my husband Jesse and his mom and dad, Janice and Gordy Archer.
Tell us about the company.
The company started in May of 2005. We are located in Corona, CA. We work statewide and we have a shop in northern California near Sacramento.
I wear many hats. My title would be operations, but I do the company payroll, accounts payable, and all the miscellaneous stuff that no one else wants to do. Our company does construction trucking, so we move dirt, rock, sand and gravel, and asphalt. Our core business is moving dirt.
Our main competitors are the big scraper machines – if you haul over a mile, we are a better option for fuel efficiency and production.
When did you start using Axon Software?
We went live with Axon in July, making the transition from a self-built system which was just giant Excel spreadsheets and workbooks. We were using QuickBooks® for payables and payroll. I knew we needed to make a change because I felt like our QuickBooks system was kind of a ticking time bomb. It had been built upon and built upon, and no one had really corralled it. It was a big monster with so many people involved – at one point I think I counted 247 GL accounts for our little family business. I knew that wasn’t the way to run the company and something needed to be fixed.
Axon gave us a chance to start fresh and it also gave us a tool that was designed specifically for trucking.
How has your experience been in working with the Axon Software staff?
Amazing. The training was fantastic. I can’t praise our trainer enough for her patience and her willingness to just really work through it with us and explain everything. My father-in-law, Gordy, knows through and through how we run things since he built the company. He sat down with our trainer and once he realized that it would work for the company, he gave me the green light to start training.”
Has Axon Software’s accounting system changed the way you do business?
A lot. It has definitely improved the way we look at reports. I am able to give a report to Gordy within a few minutes of him asking for it. In our old system, we had to figure out how to get exactly what he wanted.
From the perspective of running a business, that has been really, really awesome and a really helpful tool. We love the custom reporting. I am extremely impressed with that part of Axon – the ability to pull information onto one page versus having a stack of papers to go through.
What kind of problems has Axon Software helped you solve?
Being family-owned and -operated gives us the ability to really help the smaller guy out. Some of our owner operators struggle because they are trying to either buy new trucks or put a filter on their truck for all the regulations here in California.
Axon has given us the ability to help those guys out financially, and it has a really nice way of tracking that.
Being able to give those guys an advance or set up a loan within Axon for them has been extremely helpful. It is a lot nicer having it in the system and tracked so when we automatically go to pay the guy, it pulls up on his equipment statement. If it’s something that we don’t want to deduct at that time, we don’t have to, but it’s in the system being accounted for.
It is being tracked a lot better than tracking it on paper, which is what Gordy used to do. He had multiple binders of all the loans and he used Excel, but it’s a lot more efficient to have everything all in one place.
Has the equipment reporting helped you out?
Tremendously. And I definitely see that it is a great tool for taking the incoming invoices for the trucks on the shop side as well. You can take that one invoice, enter it into the system, and it automatically goes to that truck to be charged. It’s great. All you have to do is add in the labor and you are done.
In our old system, a repair order came in from a mechanic and it would sit here on this desk until the invoice came in. Then you had a stack of invoices, a stack of repair orders, and you had to take this invoice and find a repair order that matched it. It was a very time-consuming process, especially when we were running really hard.
We have a couple of mechanics that don’t speak English and they write in Spanish. My poor shop girl was deciphering these repair orders and then trying to match up what part he was talking about. But now it is pretty foolproof.
Has Axon Software helped with improving or maintaining your customer relations?
Axon has helped tremendously in that area. We have a customer who requested that we bill them by the day. We wouldn’t have been able to do that as well in our old system, but now it’s easy. Also, when we send out an invoice and someone calls asking about something, we are able to help them out so easily.
Has it saved your employees from entering the same thing over and over again?
Tremendously. Say we have a ticket that comes into the office and goes through the initial process with the job number assigned to it. Now, the same person that gets it can enter it one time, and it pays and bills. That is what has allowed us to take on so much more work. We had to process that tag four to five times in our old system and now it’s once.
We can take an entire week’s worth of tags for about 20 trucks from one job, put it on either Rachel’s or Sandra’s desk and have it invoiced, with the pay side completed, within an hour or two. In our old system, there is no way that we could have done that. It would have taken a couple of days to complete the whole process.
What would your business look like without Axon Software today?
If we hadn’t have switched when we did – if we tried to run on our old system with the growth that we’ve experienced – we would have tapped out several months ago. We wouldn’t have been able to pay our guys. We wouldn’t have been able to take any more work. We would have had to call a time-out.
Gordy and my husband could both see this coming – how busy we were going to be – but the office staff had no idea. We quadrupled what we did last year. Every month we have broken a record and the amount of freight bills or tickets that comes through this office is incredible. I would need at least four more staff members to process that kind of paperwork, but with Axon we have not had to hire anyone.
I think it would be safe to say we could handle at least 50 more owner operators, maybe more, and we are hiring. We are so busy that we can’t hire enough trucks right now. When they come in, they are going to work immediately.
Do you feel that Axon Software has paid for itself?
Yes, I do. There is no doubt about that with what it’s already providing. We went live with Axon on July 1, which is about four months ago. Without a doubt, Axon has paid for itself at this point and I know it will continue to pay for itself and will only get better.
It’s a great software. I am really happy to have it as part of our daily business. I would definitely recommend Axon Software.