ENTER 700 TICKETS A DAY & TRIPLED OUR REVENUES
“We use the ticket system very heavily. We’ll do 600 to 700 tickets in a day, so we have a lot of data entry… Since we invested in Axon Software, our revenues have tripled. We’ve grown from around 25 or 30 trucks to 80 trucks now.”
Twelve-year-old Xtreme Oilfield Technology Ltd. has 180 employees and operates a fleet of about 80 vacuum and pressure trucks out of St. Paul, Alberta. Xtreme’s CFO, Ken Siewiertoka, spoke to us about their Axon Software experience.
I’m Ken Siewiertoka, CFO for Xtreme Oilfield Technology Ltd. based out of St. Paul, Alberta.
When did you start using Axon Software?
We started using Axon in 2006. Prior to that we used Simply Accounting and Excel spreadsheets. There was a lot of duplication. You’d have different people entering the same information more than once. And also, it didn’t allow tracking very well. Right now, we measure the profitability for all of our units. At that time, you couldn’t really do that very easily.
What made you look for new software?
Growth. We got to the size where it was just too cumbersome to use Simply. Simply is fine if you’re a small company with just a few employees, but for the level of growth that we have, we needed something that makes it easy to integrate that growth without becoming too cumbersome.
How has Axon Software changed the way you manage your business?
To me, one of the biggest benefits of it is that I can go in, drill down, and see everything that I want to see on any particular unit or department. And everyone in the company is able to do that. One of the biggest benefits is the integration. We run a shop for our trucks, and right from here I can see all the work orders, inventory control, all those sorts of things. So can my accounting staff. To me that’s a huge benefit to working with Axon.
It’s a user-friendly system as well. It’s very, very intuitive. There’s not a lot of training for new employees.
One of the things that I like about it is, if you want really, really detailed information, the option to do Reporter Reports is fantastic because you can search on any field. You can create really, really specific reports fairly easily. It’s very simple, very intuitive, but if you want really detailed information it’s pretty easy to get down to that information.
How has Axon Software changed the way you do your driver settlements?
We use the ticket system very heavily. We’ll do 600 to 700 tickets in a day, so we have a lot of data entry, and it automatically flows to the equipment statements.
At one time, we had a girl solely dedicated to owner operator equipment statements. She would spend probably a week of the month working on those. And there was a high potential for error because everything was manually input and it was transferred from spreadsheets, that sort of thing.
Now it’s more about just confirming that the information we’ve input is correct and then printing off the equipment statement and a check. So of course, it’s much more streamlined.
Since we invested in Axon Software, our revenues have tripled. We’ve grown from around 25 or 30 trucks to 80 trucks now, but our staff administering the lease operators and the ticket entry, and that sort of thing has pretty much stayed constant.
With Axon, every truck that you add doesn’t really add any incremental time because the system’s already set up. So, the time involved hasn’t really increased because once the ticket is entered everything flows off of that ticket. Nobody has to look at it again. It’s just a supervisory look to make sure that it was input properly the first time.
So, to do the equipment statement takes so much less time per truck compared to Excel and Simply and there’s way fewer errors.
And since that time, we’ve added our shop. We’ll do a couple hundred work orders a month. We had no inventory control with Excel and Simply. But now that’s another big benefit to us. We’ll spend 3 to 4 million dollars every year on parts for our shops, and we can control our inventory so much better with Axon. If there’s a fast-moving product, our procurement guy can go out and say ‘Look, we’re going to use 400 of these this year. What can you do for us for pricing?’ So that’s huge.
We’ve saved hundreds of thousands because we’re able to track our inventory, and our purchasing is so much better as well. And that’s not even the ticketing. That’s just the work order/inventory control part of it.
If you hadn’t upgraded to Axon Software, how would you have handled your growth?
You know what? We couldn’t have done it. We would have had to find some other way of doing it. There’s no way you can do that with Excel and Simply. There’d be too many errors. It would take too much effort to do it. There’d be too much duplication. You couldn’t do it.
How has Axon Software improved productivity in your office?
You know it’s been so many years, honestly, I think we take it for granted a little bit. If somebody was to rip away Axon – that would be a killer for us. That would be a tough, tough thing to deal with. Because it does flow very smoothly, and we’ve been very happy. Honestly, I can’t imagine what it would be like to go back.
Even in my job, the less time I spend on administering, the more I can spend on growing, right? And that’s the same with all of our staff.
That’s what Axon allows you to do. Spend as little time as possible with data entry and collecting information. Whereas, if you’re using Excel and Simply, even the quality of reports wouldn’t be comparable.
How has Axon Software helped you with your customer relations?
One of the nice things that we use quite a bit with every customer is the Activity record. We can go back, and it will have a record of every contact we make. If I phone somebody for whatever reason, I can put that contact information on the Activity screen and then it’s there forever.
If we talked to a customer about potential sales or rates or whatever, I can go back and look at it and say, ‘Okay. I know this staff member talked to this customer about this.’ I know exactly what happened, so that’s been huge.
Another nice thing with Axon is, if there is a mistake or if a customer says ‘Well, what about this?’ it’s very easy to drill down, right back to the ticket and you can tell when the ticket was entered, who entered it, who modified it, what the rate was at the time, who the driver was, the unit number, location—everything—and say, ‘Oh that was an error on our part,’ or ‘No it wasn’t. This is the way it’s supposed to be.’
We’ve got some customers now that we submit our invoices electronically to and get paid that way. That’s a huge saving for them. And it’s a very simple process to do that too.
Implementing a new system is a big undertaking. It’s been six years, but can you remember if there was a lot of resistance from your staff?
There actually was a lot of resistance to it initially because it’s new and people hate change. You’re losing the familiar, right? So, whenever there’s change, it makes people upset and a bit insecure.
So yes, there was a lot of angst when we started up and, within a couple months, everything settled down, everybody got into the routine, and now you don’t hear any complaints about it. It’s just seamless. I guess we take it for granted now.
How would you describe your experience with Axon Software to one of your industry peers?
You know I’ve recommended it often, whenever I talk to other CFO’s and other companies. I recommend it highly. I’ve given a lot of referrals for it.