Q-Line Trucking has a fleet of 330 trucks pulling their own flat decks and hopper trailers across the United States and Canada. Q-Line’s Mike Granger, Mark Thiessen and Kurtis Hinz, talk about their experiences with Axon Software.
Tell us about your experience in dealing with Axon Software?
Mike: It’s been very positive. We have a bunch of young guys here so we caught on fairly quickly and we liked it a lot better than the previous program that we had.
Kurtis: It’s been really good. It’s user friendly and it seems to work quite well, especially in our tracking department. We’ve been able to really utilize it to keep track of what’s going on and give our customers fast responses when they call in and want to know what’s going on with their loads.
What problems has Axon Software helped solve?
Mike: It’s made fuel tax a lot simpler since all the miles are already in there. It’s cleared up a lot of redundancies where we had to enter everything in one program and then re-enter it into another program. Axon is all fully integrated, so it saves us a lot of steps that we were doing before.
We’re using the electronic fuel downloads which help track fuel to the trucks and it saves us time going through the fuel receipts of everybody and manually entering them for fuel tax as well.
Mark: We used to do a lot of double entry, triple entry, re-entry and so on. Now, having everything – the accounting and the dispatch software – all in one program, helps a lot. Plus, it really makes it quick to get the invoices out.
Has it streamlined production of driver and owner operator statements?
Mike: Yes. Mark does most of that, making sure the trips are all right and the miles are right, and getting the statements finalized. He’s doing that for over eighty owner operators now, every month. I used to do it, and it used to take a good part of a week, and we only had maybe fifty owner operators. We can do eighty-five now in the same amount of time.
Mark: Before, it used to be me and Mike working on it. Now, it’s just me doing it. We’ve got more trucks and I’m still getting it done on time, so we’ve got things streamlined fairly well here.
Has the speed of invoicing been improved?
Mike: Oh, yes, definitely. We used to wait for the paperwork to come in, then I’d have to find the rate for that load, and then I’d generate an invoice from that, and then, once we had a bunch of invoices, I’d have to post them into the accounting software. Now, when the order is generated, once the paperwork comes in, everything is just checked off and the invoice is generated and then, boom, it’s straight into the accounting, just like that.
Mark: It keeps the delays down quite a bit. I know there were times when invoices could get delayed a couple of weeks or more. Now, I think we keep that up a lot better.
Once you receive the paperwork from the drivers, how long does it take you now to get the invoices out?
Mark: For the most part, they’re out in the mail the following day.
Has your equipment revenue reporting process changed?
Mike: Yeah, it’s easy to find the revenue for each piece of equipment. We don’t have to do a bunch of calculations or anything; we just generate a report and it’s there! It’s much simpler and less time consuming than the way we used to do it.
Has Axon Software improved office productivity?
Mike: It’s made us more efficient. We’re able to do a lot more than we used to with the same number of people. We’ve gone from 16 trucks to 116 in eight years (116 at the time of this interview, now at 330 trucks). We couldn’t have done that without Axon. In the last year, we’ve increased 50%. Axon makes it a lot easier for us to expand.
Not having to enter information multiple times means there are less errors and less steps involved, so everything is done so much quicker. If we didn’t have the software today, we’d probably need at least three more staff members.
Does the software affect how many trucks each dispatcher can handle?
Kurtis: It’s enabled us to distribute some of the responsibilities a little better. Our fleet is growing constantly, and with Axon, our truck dispatch has been able to keep up. We’re growing at quite a fast pace right now, so it’s definitely helped us as we have not had to increase staffing levels even though we’ve increased our fleet size. I think we’ll be able to handle at least another 15% increase with the staffing that we have.
Has working with Axon Software helped your customer relationships?
Mike: If a customer has a question, we can look up their account in three seconds and see what’s outstanding and what the status of the orders is. It makes it easier to tell a customer what they need to know. Before, we’d probably have to phone back after we dug up the paperwork that we needed to find. Now we can do it just with the click of a button.
Tell us about Axon Software support.
Mike: Any time we have any problems, we just call up Axon and solve the problem right away, or they’ll get online and look at our system and fix it up. It’s usually the same day that any issues are resolved, so it’s been very good.
Kurtis: The support’s been really good! We have a pretty good rapport, and your guys are pretty open to any questions or suggestions that we have.
Compare the Axon Software system with other software you have used.
Mike: Axon’s been a lot easier to use. It’s more user friendly than the other ones we’ve had. With the other ones, you almost had to have a degree in programming to figure out how things worked and how you can do anything. But with Axon, you just click on a tab and pick something and it’s very simple to use.
Kurtis: This is quite superior to what I was used to. The visuals are better. It’s easier to find things. The split screens on Truck Dispatch have been quite useful for us. So, yeah, it’s superior to what I’ve used before.
Do you find the ability to enter information anywhere in Axon Software and have it instantly update every other part of your system to be an asset?
Mike: Oh, definitely, to have everything in one program saves us so much time and energy instead of having to go from one to another. And being able to send loads directly to the satellite from Axon saves time on the phone too.
How would you describe the ease of use of the software?
Mike: It’s a lot simpler to use than most of the programs out there. The new dispatchers that we’ve hired catch on pretty quick. Within a day or two, they’re almost fully functioning. Even the accounting side of it, I find so much easier than AccPac and stuff like that, which I’ve used before.
How would you describe your experience with Axon Software to your peers?
Mike: I always describe it as very good. Somebody phoned me a couple of months ago and I totally recommended it.
Kurtis: I’d recommend it and I’d say that we’ve had good luck with it. We’ve had nothing but good things to say about Axon.