A FIRST CLASS OPERATION
“Paperwork is a necessary evil of a trucking company and it’s a big cost factor. I believe Axon was a worthwhile investment. It has made the billing process easier, the dispatching process easier, and the financial end easier. It saves me time that I don’t think I would save if I was still on a different system.”
R. B. Humphreys Inc. of Rome, NY is a trucking company that covers the entire east coast with sixty-five power units and approximately ninety-five reefer trailers. The following is an interview with General Manager Bob Glownia.
My names Bob Glownia, General Manager of R.B. Humphreys Inc. located in Rome, NY.
Tell us about your experience with Axon Software.
Our experience with Axon has been very good. It’s a great system. The interface of point and click and pull-down menus makes it very easy to use and enables non-computer types to use the system effectively. Previous to Axon we were on a Cobol program and it was very difficult to use. They were trying to upgrade it. I looked at their upgrade, and it wasn’t as easy to use as the Axon system.
What problems has Axon Software helped to solve?
With the price of fuel, the ability to put in fuel surcharges very easily and to keep changing them with the price of fuel, and separate it on the invoice, has been a big help.
Also, on our invoicing we primarily accumulate all the paperwork for a week and then on Monday and Tuesday we typically bill everything that’s been delivered the prior week. The same with driver pay – everything is processed at one time. The Axon system has saved a considerable amount of processing time so that we’re still timely on payroll. With our settlement process, I’ve had orders where we may have had four drivers on the order. The Axon system has helped the reliability of easily billing and being able to go back and find out who was paid for it.
It’s made that whole process much easier. If I have questions [about an order], it’s easy to find what we did. If somebody missed something, we know they either didn’t put it on the order or the allocation of the amount may have been wrong, but that’s a mistake that a human made.
As well, with our previous system we were not entering individual stops. We would invoice directly off the customer’s fax sheet. Mistakes were more prevalent. Tracking who was on the order was more of a problem. Now we are recording all the stops, the appointments are in, so being able to tell a driver what’s going on is much easier.
Has the ability to enter information once and instantly update every other program in the Axon Software system helped you?
Entering the order and having it go through the rest of the system automatically is a great benefit. When an order is entered, all the detail is there, and you just keep updating that information as you need to. We are currently scanning paperwork and tying it together with the invoice and the order, so I don’t have to go back and start pulling individual documents afterwards. Saves on space and everything.
When a customer calls up and asks about a certain order or invoice it’s real easy to get to. We use it a lot now for pallets. We check them if somebody calls in with a shortage. All the paperwork can be pulled up easily. The Axon trucking system was a real advantage right after we put it in because I can start searching these things.
I looked at a few other companies when I was originally researching the system and a lot of them say ‘Here, you buy this module and you can go into another module and there’s a dispatching module, an accounts payable module, a general ledger module.’ I don’t know how they integrate together.
I do like Axon’s ‘Here. You have one program and it goes through everything and you have enough security on it that you can limit access to people that need to have certain access.’ So the integration – you know, that’s the advantage – you don’t have to re-enter anything.
Have you noticed any productivity gains?
You have to keep up with the current state of technology to process additional invoices without adding additional people. As we’ve got further into the system, the processing time of invoices is moving down. If I were still on the old system, it would be costing me more money to get it done either by adding more people or not having the information available.
The other thing is the information that’s available. The only way I was able to raise rates was to really have a good history showing where we were with various customers. By being able to put it in the computer, it became available by the various reports that we could create by customer, showing what we’re charging. It would be much harder to do that with our old system than it is with Axon.
How does Axon Software affect profitability?
You have the ability to continue increasing volumes without the need for additional people to process the paperwork. Paperwork is a necessary evil of a trucking company and it’s a big cost factor. I believe Axon was a worthwhile investment. It has made the billing process easier, the dispatching process easier, and the financial end easier. It saves me time that I don’t think I would save if I was still on a different system.
How do you find the financial end of the system?
Getting financial information doesn’t take as long. When an order is entered, you immediately see it there. Once you learn which reports you have to use to make sure you’ve processed the right invoices and everything, it becomes very easy to close a month. It’s a really good, clean system that flows real well. Getting the numbers is easy and, once I’m ready to close a month, I can have everything done in two hours.
Do you use the Axon Software executive briefing?
The executive briefing is a great tool. I run it probably two or three times a day because I’m always looking at the cash balance to see if we’ve written checks and where we stand on receipts and accounts receivable. I have my sales there, and there are certain general ledger accounts that are important to use and it’s easier to use it right there than trying to print a trial balance or look up an account activity. So it is a very beneficial tool.
Tell us about the support you’ve received from Axon Software.
The way Axon assigns support people, initially having a trainer and going through everything there, made it very easy to get started. You had somebody to talk to right away. The support has been real good, and typically somebody gets back right away. I don’t think anybody could ask anything more of the support.
Compare your experience with Axon Software to your experiences with other software systems?
We were with Creative Systems system out of Chicago before we went to Axon. One of our associated companies has Innovative on an AS400. I believe the Axon system is much easier to use. I’ve done the accounting on the other systems, and this system is much easier to use; the accounting is much easier. You can minimize the amount of data entry so a non-computer user can enter data without as much difficulty.
For a manager, I think Axon is more beneficial and it’s very easy to track things like the history of orders so that you can track revenue by individual customers or driver activity.
How would you describe your experience with Axon Software to one of your peers?
Well, I think my experience has been a — oh, a cliche would be it’s been a first-class experience, OK? They’ve done things professionally. I think Axon has a first-class operation: they’ve done a very good job. I’ve paid for something and I got what I paid for. And that’s really what anybody who’s buying a system can expect, is to get what you paid for and make sure the system works and does what you want it to do.
I will readily recommend Axon Trucking Software to anybody else. I couldn’t run my business without the Axon system right now.