AXON HELPED US DOUBLE OUR FLEET IN 3 YEARS
“We’ve had Axon now for 3 years. The number of trucks we have has almost doubled. We’ve gone from 33 to about 65 trucks now, and we’ve added only 2 more admin staff.”
Kansas Ridge Trucking is primarily a bulk liquids hauler out of Lacombe, Alberta. After evaluating some options about 3 years ago, they made a switch and now run their company using Axon Software.
We spoke with Garry Evernden to see how that has been working for them and to learn more about how their business operates these days.
I am Garry Evernden, president of Kansas Ridge Trucking here in Lacombe.
Can you tell us about your switch to Axon Software?
Our road with Axon started about 3 years ago. It was a function of us not being able to track and trace with the growth as good as we wanted. I looked at a few diﬀerent options, and we had some experience working with other trucking companies that were already using the Axon system. It was an easy solution for me to take it on.
It wasn’t completely cold turkey. I had looked at some of their reports and got some feedback from the people that were already using it, in addition to the sales staﬀ. I kind of hit the ground running with Axon when we started.
How is your experience with Axon Software?
The technical support that we’ve got from Axon is amazing. They run you through all the training like you would expect. Some of the things that we do here, I think, are a little bit different. We’ve got a few challenges just like everything, but we’ve worked through it. There isn’t anything we can’t do between us and the technical guys.
I think it’s great. We’re nowhere near using Axon to its capability, not even close. I’m just barely scratching the surface on the reports.
Can you talk about problems that Axon Software has solved for you?
What I like about it is that we have dispatchers in different locations. It had been a real struggle before Axon, trying to figure out how to manage in real-time 2 guys in 2 different places, looking after the same trucks. The Axon dispatch module has given us that ability.
The dispatcher that’s not here can remote-access our system. It’s only as good as the data that you’re putting in right? But both of those guys are looking at the same screen all the time and they can see what’s available immediately.
Tracking the history is very important to us. There aren’t too many projects that are straightforward. There are always things that go sideways. If you’re not tracking those details all day, every day, when it comes to invoicing, there is so much that can be missed if the guys aren’t writing it on their tickets.
“As far as the tickets go, our next step is to go paperless. Both on the ticket side and on the log side. It will definitely speed up our invoicing. We don’t have to wait for the guys to come by the shop and drop tickets off and do the process 2 weeks after the fact. It can be done daily.
Do you think you could increase your ﬂeet without adding more on the admin side?
I think so. I think that we would easily be able to add as many as 20 trucks this summer. I am pretty comfortable with the fact that we can look after that many more with the people we have in place now. Yeah, I don’t think it’s going to be an issue.
I think that we’re running pretty efficiently right now so that we could easily handle another 20 trucks. That’s a 25% increase over what we’re doing right now. I think we’re going to manage just fine with what we have.
Are you seeing a good return on investment with Axon Software?
We would need a couple more people without it, so just in that alone you’re saving. But it increases the efficiency of everything, and I like that about it. It’s not just the admin stuff – it’s everything. We’re trying to get to a point where the guys don’t have to mess with paper.
We’re trying to make it as easy as we can on the drivers. We’re trying to make it as easy as we can on the maintenance guys, to trace and track parts and inspections. All of that kind of stuff. Axon allows us to have a place to put all of that rather than file cabinets and file cabinets and file cabinets full of stuff.
Has Axon Software helped with your customer relations and invoicing?
I used to do things old school. I was dispatching myself and I had numerous coiled binders. When something happened in the field, I’d be making notes in the binders and I’d just keep them in a file cabinet.
Now we have Axon and we’re able to put all kinds of notes right on the driver’s ticket through to the booking number. Rather than me having to look it up in my own notes, once it’s entered into the system, everybody can look at it. The girls can look at it for invoicing. It’s way more efficient.
Do the drivers like the information they get with their statements?
Yeah, it’s very straightforward. We must not have any problems with it because no one is complaining – that’s usually what I go by.
I think everything is more trackable than what we had before. The integration into the software is the whole key.
If somebody in the industry asked about your experience with Axon Software, what would you say?
Overall, it’s really good. I think the price is fair. The support is good. I really don’t have any drawbacks at all.
We’ve had Axon now for 3 years and the number of trucks we have has almost doubled. We’ve gone from 33 to about 65 trucks and we’ve added only 2 more admin staff.