“WE’VE REDUCED STAFF BY TWO… AND AXON HAS SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVED THE QUALITY OF WORK THAT WE GET OUT ON A DAILY BASIS.”
Santa Clara Transfer Service Inc. of Castroville, California had a problem. The software they used to run the business was going obsolete, and they needed to quickly ﬁnd a replacement. We spoke with Suzanne to learn about why they chose Axon Software and the results of that decision.
I’m Suzanne Johnson. The company I work for is Santa Clara Transfer Service Inc. and I am an accountant. I take care of payroll, accounts receivable, accounts payable, et cetera.
Can you talk about why you switched your software system?f
(In 2019), we had a very big dilemma where our computer system was completely shutting down in the middle of the year. Because we’d previously done some research, we were able to contact Axon and they immediately stepped up to the plate for us and gave us all the information we needed to get on board within three days. We were up and running with a huge support team from Axon. A bad situation turned into a great one, and we have not looked back one bit.
It also turned out that the following year was the pandemic, so we did ourselves a huge favor by doing it ahead of time. We are really happy that we went ahead and made the change. Our previous system was last updated in the year 2000, so it was definitely time to get into the new world so to speak.
Can you tell us about some of the things Axon helps you with?
Everything. It makes it simple to track things as far as payroll or accounts receivable.
If we want to know exactly where we stand financially, we can hit the trial balance. You can hit the income and expense report, and everything is right there for you.
For me as an accountant, with the fuel situation as it is, we are constantly charging enough to keep up with fuel, so we don’t become upside-down. I can provide that information to Steve, who directly works out the pricing. We’re sure that we are not in a deficit on that.
Another feature I really like is the fact that you can make attachments to accounts payable. Say I’m doing the trial balance and I need to send something to my accountant, and he requires the backup, I can just go to payables and pull up the attachment that is exactly what he needs and send it off. I don’t have to keep files any longer.
Not having to do all that filing anymore is a great timesaver. I can be at home on my laptop and decide I need to research something. I can just pull those attachments up and utilize them. To me, that has been really invaluable.
How do the drivers like their settlements?
We haven’t had any bad feedback, which is a good thing because they obviously understand the statement that they get. They have a direct deposit slip on the front that gives general information, and they have details on the back with all their truck tags. They can pull their copies and make sure they have all the material that they need. If they have any questions, they can bring it into the office, but they haven’t, so obviously it’s working great.
Do you run equipment revenue reports?
Yes, we generally run one at the end of the month to see where we’re at and compare and contrast with previous months, previous quarters, and previous years. We do that a lot just to make sure of where we are at.
How would you characterize your return on investment in the software?
We’ve had a reduction in staff that far outweighed the cost of the software. We’ve reduced staff by two, and because the software makes things so simple, dispatch was able to pick up additional work. It has even allowed me to do more in my areas. Axon has significantly improved the quality of work that we get out on a daily basis. It’s pretty significant.
How do you find customer support?
The monthly subscription fee lets us call and get immediate access. If the person on the phone doesn’t have expertise in a particular field, they get back to us, and that’s invaluable as far as I’m concerned.
When I’ve talked about Axon with anybody else, I have said the number one thing is the support. You have questions and answers in the software that you can look at yourself, but nobody in Support ever makes you feel like “Oh, you should go refer to that and call me back.” They never, ever say that. They just say they’re more than happy to help. Support is number one in my book.
You rushed through training to get started. How was that?
Our previous software was so old, I couldn’t really compare it at all. I can just say that being up and running at such a rapid pace was phenomenal, because I was the only one that was doing it. I’m the only one that really had access to all the data and information. The Axon team was very patient and set up times and schedules, and they just accommodated all of that, so I didn’t run into any major problems at all.
Do you find the software quite intuitive? Does it make sense?
It’s laid out very well, and you learn more the more you use it. It takes a bit of time. When you want reports, you have to locate them, and decide which you’re going to use and which you’re not. If I have a question about it, I can just call and say I’m looking for this process, is that here? Somebody will walk me through it.
If somebody in the industry asked about the software, what would you tell them?
What I’ve told them, and what I would say again, is that the support system is number one. Number two is that it has all the components you need to run a business, and you can tailor it to some degree. We don’t use everything on there, but somebody else could use a lot of the other aspects. There is a lot of relevant information that can be used, or you can add it at a later date. I also feel it’s very user-friendly.
IT'S THE SMALL THINGS THAT MAKE AXON GREAT!
Little things can make a big difference. Here are just a few small ways in which Axon Software simplifies your workload.
Numeric fields, such as Amount, Rate, and Quantity, can serve as calculators. For example, if you need to add two figures together to get the Freight Amount on the Orders > Billing tab, just type in the two numbers (e.g. 100 + 450), hit Enter, and the total will fill in automatically.
A small icon in the top right hand corner of each screen links you to a pop-up window where you can enter notes about the screen. It’s a convenient way to record tips and reminders as you’ll be able to find the information quickly the next time you use the screen. It’s also a good way to share information with your co-workers.
The Notes apply to the screen in general and not to a particular record. On some screens, you can use the Comments tab or field to record a note about a specific order, trip, or ticket.
Notes are visible to everyone using the system.
Enter the first 3 letters of the month followed by the day – it’s not necessary to type in the complete name of the month or to use capitals. You can enter the day or the month first. If you don’t specify the year, the year that is closest to the current date will be used.
You can enter shortcuts into the date field rather than using the pop-up calendar. For example, enter t for today and t+ for tomorrow or t- for yesterday.
OWNER OPERATOR LIABILITY REPORT
The Owner Operator Liability Report is a handy tool to make sure you haven’t missed any outstanding transactions. The report provides a breakdown of the total outstanding owner operator transactions (e.g. pay, fuel purchases) by piece of equipment and helps you to identify any transactions that have not yet been finalized on an equipment statement. It will also assist you in reconciling any discrepancies with your account activity report.
The report displays the date, type, and transaction# to help you find the original transaction.
Trip expenses are allocated to the individual orders on the trip. To help you reconcile trip expenses, the report indicates that the expense is from a trip and displays the order#.
A Detail report incorporates details about each transaction. A Summary report provides a one-line summary for each Owner Operator.
Contract Drivers: Similar information is available using the Contract Driver Liability Report.
Need more help with regular month-end tasks? The Axon Help provides you with a month-end checklist to help you stay on track. It also provides explanations for why each task is important.