HAULING THE FASTEST PLANE IN THE WORLD
“What do you do for excitement when your daily business is hauling heavy construction equipment? Why, haul the fastest plane in the world, of course!”
Taylor Heavy Hauling of Antelope, CA, hauls construction equipment, as well as the occasional more exotic cargo, throughout California and the western United States. Co-Owner Sheila Taylor and Regina Garrett, Office Manager, spoke with us about their Axon Software experience.
My name is Sheila Taylor, I am one of the Owners of Taylor Heavy Hauling.
Tell us about Taylor Heavy Hauling.
Sheila: My husband started in business with his family back when he was a kid, so it’s kind of in his blood. His father started a trucking company in the ‘60s here in California, and so Richard was raised with it.
We got married in 1978 and shortly after that started our own company with two trucks. We’ve just built it up ever since.
We run between 25 and 30 [trucks] at any given time now, specializing in heavy hauling – construction equipment and things like that.
What led to the decision to look for new software?
Sheila: We were really struggling with our accounting and paperwork and our dispatch system was completely separate from the accounting software, so that’s what started us looking.
Of course, everything we did required multiple entries, and our dispatch was completely manual. We used handwritten ‘call tags.’ One would stay in dispatch, and one would go to the truck driver, and every once in awhile one would get lost, and we’d find it six or eight months later. It’s kind of hard to bill for something at that point.
If the driver didn’t turn his paperwork in and the tag was lost, we just didn’t know. There were lots of things falling through the cracks.
Not to mention the whole accounting process. We used to use QuickBooks®.
How was the transition for you?
Sheila: Well, to be perfectly honest I was afraid. QuickBooks is so user-friendly, so I was excited but very nervous at the same time. But once we got it and got involved in it, we realized that it wasn’t so scary.
Before we made the decision, we brought our accountant in to take a look at it because all of his clients were using QuickBooks as well. So, I didn’t know what he was going to say.
After the presentation, the accountant said ‘Tell them yes. You need to do this.’
He understood the dynamics of our business and the dynamics of the accounting nightmare that we had going on, and he said it’s more like traditional bookkeeping procedure than QuickBooks. So, we’ve learned a lot.
The transition was really, really easy. Everything is fine and wonderful. I don’t think there’s one single complaint we have about Axon.
Were you looking at other software packages at the time?
Sheila: Yes, we looked at two others. We looked at Axon first, and so you can imagine everything we looked at after that just didn’t compare. (laughter) We all agreed, and our accountant said that this definitely was the way to go.
Were there areas where Axon Software helped you to achieve cost savings?
Regina: Yes, payroll for one. Just the ease of inputting it and, when I invoice, the payroll is automatically updated whereas before it was all manual. And there are many different ways that I can double check to make sure I haven’t missed anybody’s orders.
Payroll used to take me all day. Now it takes me an hour. It’s amazing. Before, when I used to invoice, I wouldn’t look at it until I did payroll. Now the payroll is done when I invoice it. I just automatically go in and I pay everybody at the same time. Now when I have to do payroll, I just check everything and, like I said, it’s an hour.
Sheila: That’s pretty amazing in itself, just the payroll aspect.
What do you like best about the Axon Software system?
Regina: I would say, after you learn it, the ease of it. And then if you have any questions, the support is just fantastic.
Something else I really like is that when I invoice, you put in the Commodity and the Date and the Bill To, but in our office there’s four people that have access to that.
So, if they want to look up a certain piece of equipment, when it was moved, all that, they don’t have to come to me. They can do it themselves. That saves me hours! Because before I was going into the file to look for it, where now we can go to the Select button and select the customer name and the commodity or a date range and pull it up.
Sometimes the customers have questions, and within seconds you have it in front of you.
Sheila: Yes. No one gets irritated with someone else for asking a question because they can find it on their own.
Regina: Or they can ask how to find it.
Sheila: Yes. And for me, the thing I like best is the 1099 reporting aspect of it. It used to take me a week to do it because it was part on QuickBooks and part manual, and it was just gathering a lot of information. And now it’s done as you go, and at the end of the year you just click on it and it’s done in 15 minutes. I used to put it off and put it off until the eleventh hour, and then I would be so irritable and everything. (laughter) It’s much better now. I love it. I actually look forward to doing the 1099.
Has it allowed you to spend more time with your families?
Regina: Yeah, I used to be here a long time to do payroll, and that week I would spend with Sheila doing 1099 reporting…. (laughter)
Has this helped you with your Receivables?
Sheila: Because of the economic times here in California, that’s one of our biggest struggles – collecting money. But Axon makes it very easy. I mean it’s easy from that aspect. Wouldn’t you say, Regina?
Regina: Yes, it is. Because we have a better accounting of what’s actually past due, what’s current, and all that.
How have you found the support from Axon Software?
Sheila: The support is amazing. We can call at any given time, and if for some reason someone isn’t available, somebody will call us back right away. And if they don’t know the answer, they will find someone who does. I mean we’ve never waited more than an hour. Ever. Oh, my gosh, it’s amazing. You guys are really, really good at what you do.
Axon’s support staff have been great in helping us to build reports that weren’t in the system too. We can call and say, ‘We’re needing this, this, and this.’ And they’ll say, ‘Give me just a few minutes.’ And I swear, every time they call right back, and there it is. Another [custom] report.
How would you compare it with anything else you’ve encountered?
Sheila: Oh, it doesn’t even compare. Support for anything – even our cell phones – you have to wait two days to get someone to help you. These guys, like I said, if someone is not available at the moment we call, someone calls back within a few minutes. If they don’t have the answer, they find it.
We’ve never had to wait over an hour for anything, and I can’t think of anything software-wise, computer-wise where we’ve had that kind of support in this office.
What would you say to someone else in your industry who may be considering Axon Software?
Sheila: I would say if you want to save money, you will go with Axon. If you want unlimited support, you’ll go with Axon. If you want something detailed for your company, you’ll go with Axon. You’d basically be stupid not to go with it.
Regina: I agree with everything she said. I mean it’s just an awesome program. It’s just amazing what it can print out and what new things we find on a weekly to a monthly basis. We’re constantly learning with it.
Sheila: You know, we love it! On a day-to-day basis it just makes what we do so much easier; that’s all I can say.