In 2006, an opportunity arose to expand significantly when the nearby quarry closed its gates, and the Franks seized the chance to step into the gap. Moving to a new site in the middle of the city, FTC established an operation to provide aggregates and associated products to public and private companies and individuals in the locality. The company obtained a truck scale from a third party, and teamed it with a GSE 355 indicator; but as reliable support and maintenance became more important to the operation, in due course this was brought under a service agreement with Chattanooga distributor, Industrial Scales and Systems, Inc.
Over the first two or three years, the business grew, with an increasing number of regular contracted customers, including departments of Walker and Chattooga Counties, and the local railroad. The indicator with its attached slip printer was used to produce a dual part gross / tare / net ticket, with one copy being given to the customer, and one filed for later processing.
Volumes of transactions increased, and the pressure on the day-to-day operations grew, with trucks often having to wait to collect their loads of graded limestone, “riprap”, gravel or mulch. Behind the scenes, with the increase in business, the workload meant that a solid two days at the end of every month was spent keying data from the tickets into a computer, sorting and totalling the results, and producing invoice paperwork for the account customers.
So in 2009, Franks Trucking turned to Industrial Scales and Systems, and asked them to provide a solution.
Industrial Scales suggested weighing management software from Avery Weigh-Tronix, and the software was duly installed on a new Dell PC with an attached laser printer. Michelle, the primary user of the system, is delighted with the results. “I love the point and click”, she declares. “Sometimes you have two or three trucks at a time; it makes it so much easier getting them in and out in a timely fashion.” The software’s contract feature has also allowed Franks Trucking to set up individual customer pricing and report on contract consumption.
The company also records the inventory impact of transactions that are either weighed or volume-based, and intends to make further use of this facility in the future as the business continues to thrive. The company has been impressed by the local support received from Industrial Scales and Systems, and by remote technical assistance from Avery Weigh-Tronix.
“It’s great how they can access your computer and sort things out if you have a problem,” says Michelle. “You can watch and see exactly what is happening on your screen as the issue is solved.” But best of all, Franks Trucking now produces invoices for cash customers immediately at the time of weighing and consolidated invoices at the end of the month, both directly from the software “It used to be so time-consuming. The software effectively has saved us more than twenty days a year of wasted effort. That’s over a working month of time saved every year!”
The Franks are obviously delighted, and Michelle sums up the company’s opinion. “With the software, it’s now so simple!”