Flex Logisitics – South Australia, AUS
Learn how Flex Logistics brought greater visibility to job scheduling, saved a bucket load of time and improved cashflow with the help of MyTrucking.
Carting wine grapes from vineyards to wineries, primarily in the South Australian wine region of McLaren Vale, is core business for Flex Logistics.
Business owner and general manager, Sami Gilligan, explains the business is quite unique in that it’s seasonal, with trucks operating for three months of the year and then parked up for the remainder.
“The analogy I use is it’s no different to a grape or grain harvester. With my trucks and trailers, and the capital investment, they’re there to serve a purpose.”
Flex Logistics was originally a partnership between two couples, Sami and Robyn Gilligan, and Scott and Hannah Stone. The business ran seven of their own trucks and sub-contracted a further seven trucks. At the end of vintage 2021, Scott and Hannah decided to concentrate on their other businesses and Sami and Robyn decided to keep Flex going, downsizing to operating a fleet of three and sub-contracting three to four others during vintage.
Flex Logistics joined MyTrucking in 2018.
How was the workflow previously managed?
Sami used the good old Excel spreadsheet and a diary. “Now I look back and go, how did we get by? MyTrucking was a massive game changer for us, once we got used to it.”
What issues needed to be resolved?
The biggest issue Sami wanted to overcome was getting instructions out to drivers and being able to schedule loads in a visual, and timely, way.
“We were operating seven of our own prime movers and seven sub-contractors. We could be doing 50 loads a day and I was the only one co-ordinating it. I had all this stuff in my head and, on top of that, I was giving written instructions to all my drivers the day prior.
“My day started at 6am and I’d still be in the office at 10-12pm every night. We had to find a better way because it was killing us.”
Added to that, Flex Logistics had drivers and sub-contractors that sometimes didn’t come back to base for weeks on end, so getting paperwork back and billing out for jobs was a protracted process.
“We did it, and it was fine, but the time and headaches it (MyTrucking) has saved us is a game changer. I can’t even comprehend running a business without it now.”
Flex Logistics joined MyTrucking in 2018.
- Hard to keep track of jobs – constantly on the phone to drivers
- Paperwork could take weeks to come in, meaning slow invoicing
- Easy to see jobs and communicate with drivers
- Data capture/historic information on jobs stored
- Timely invoicing = improved cashflow
- Greater transparency for clients
- Increased productivity
Practicability is what stood out and drew Flex Logistics to MyTrucking initially, and continues to impress Sami.
“We looked at other systems and trialled one, but what stood out about MyTrucking really early on was the fact it’s so practical. It’s designed by people who do what we do.”
Sami says, while there were some teething issues, the software is user friendly, not just from an admin point of view, but for the drivers too. “Once we downloaded the app, it’s so intuitive the drivers were able to just work it out.”
Sami also found that with his business being slightly different in terms of its seasonal nature and the number of loads per day, the MyTrucking team were extremely accommodating and willing to work with them to find a solution.
“That willingness to accommodate our needs and take on suggestions, I feel valued as a client of MyTrucking. I feel I’m not just a number on their books, even though I’m not a big number.”
How easy was it switching to MyTrucking?
“On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being easy, I’d say an 8 or 9 in the grand scheme of things.”
Where has MyTrucking helped most?
“Organisation. It’s just helped us be a much more organised and efficient transport business. It gives the opportunity to organise everything in a timely fashion, and it’s saved us a bucket load of time.”
What are the key benefits that MyTrucking provides?
- Easy to see jobs – everything is so visual to schedule loads to my drivers, that’s a massive standout.
- Data capture – once I enter directions for a client, it sits there forever and a day. We go back to the same vineyards year after year, but it might be a different driver going there. I enter detailed notes from what the front gate looks like to where the key for the forklift is. Before, I would have had to re-type those notes every time. Now, that historic information is all there. I used to have drivers ringing me all the time, I’d be on the phone every two minutes throughout the day, no word of a lie. Now, I give them all the information they need and I get bugger all phone calls. The drivers like it too because they know where they stand.
- Timely invoicing/improved cashflow – the flow on benefit once the driver has finished the job and uploaded the dockets immediately is that you can charge that job straight away. We have improved cashflow because we can bill more regularly. We used to invoice once a month, now we do it once a week, just because the data is there. And as we all know, cashflow is king in transport.
- Greater visibility for clients – the clients like it because they know where they stand quicker too. There is greater transparency in a shorter timeframe. Being able to upload photos of the weigh dockets is great. They used to be filed manually – we can have hundreds of dockets for one client. With MyTrucking I can easily search and find out how many tonnes were delivered on a certain day, which is an advantage to our business because our clients trust that we can provide accurate information.
- Lifted productivity – because it’s so user friendly on a phone or tablet it’s increased my productivity, as I can now get out and drive a truck, as well as schedule things.