Since 1996, Custom Pine Straw, Inc. has been a leader in the preparation, sale, and distribution of quality pine straw to homes and businesses across the United States. Through arrangements with Florida and Georgia timber landowners, Custom Pine Straw maintains the landowners’ tree crops and removes unwanted debris, also collecting pine straw for cleaning, raking, and baling at the home yard. They then distribute the finished product throughout the country via their reliable fleet of 49 trucks.
In the company’s early days, the office staff carried out all operations manually on spreadsheets and paper, making important tasks such as dispatching, payroll, and fuel tax reporting cumbersome. Owner and President Larry Thompson began searching for a software solution to improve the efficiency of these and other procedures, first selecting the best-selling Prophesy TaxTally solution to handle his fuel tax reporting. Upon implementing this new software tool, the staff immediately saw a major decrease in the time and steps needed to process quarterly fuel taxes.
Yet, Custom Pine Straw continued dispatching with spreadsheets until Prophesy Account Manager Jay Votzakis offered the team a live demonstration of what Prophesy Dispatch-Series trucking software could do for them. With a detailed view of the opportunities Prophesy Dispatch would provide for his company, Thompson confidently made the decision to implement the software. He purchased Prophesy Dispatch with an interface to his existing QuickBooks® software, which would provide a means to quickly process all accounting information directly from the dispatching software to the accounting software and eliminate the need to enter data multiple times. The company also obtained additional modules for importing fuel card transaction data, commercial mileage and routing, and driver qualification records management.
Several Custom Pine Straw employees visited the University of Prophesy Training Center to work with the Dispatch-Series software first-hand with guidance from expert Prophesy trainers. Upon completion of the comprehensive two-day course, the Custom Pine Straw Team felt ready to “hit the ground running” using the software. “Nothing could have prepared us more thoroughly than the hands-on training at the University of Prophesy,” said Office Manager Laurie Nazworth. “The instructors taught us everything we need to know to use the software and we found the classes engaging and fun. We were even able to use our actual company data during class so we would know exactly what to expect when we went live.”
One of the first improvements that Nazworth noticed was in the once laborious payroll processing. “Payroll used to take two full days and three major steps to complete. Now all the needed data is automatically sent from Dispatch to Quick-Books, and we are able to process payroll in a single morning by eleven a.m., in one easy step!”
For technical questions and issues, Nazworth says Prophesy’s Technical Support Team is top notch. “When we need help right away, they are there for us right away; and we have never had an issue they couldn’t solve. We also love that they use internet-based support to connect directly to our system and address our needs remotely. It’s like having a Prophesy customer support rep. right in our office. This improves the response time in addressing our needs, significantly.”
At a time when many companies are tightening their belts and even retreating, Custom Pine Straw continues to grow, now employing a fleet of 49 trucks and a workforce of 44 individuals. The company has also been very active in assisting their local community through such programs as donating storage containers to area flood victims in 2009. Nazworth states, “Prophesy Dispatch has tremendously improved every aspect of the dispatching and accounting workflow,” and expects her company to continue to flourish with Prophesy in its arsenal. “Simply put, Prophesy allows us to focus our efforts on areas that improve overall productivity. We are so happy with the Prophesy software solution, Prophesy’s training and support staff, as well as the continual improvements that enable us to stay ahead of our competition and keep our customers happy. I’d highly recommend Prophesy to anyone in the transportation industry.”Get Instant Access to the Full Case Study