Dickman Farms, LLC was established in 1903 in Auburn, N.Y., and has been a family-run business since. Today, brothers Dave and Jim Dickman run the overall operations of the sprawling greenhouse and garden center operation. Over the years, Dickman Farms has grown to include 400,000 square feet of covered land and six acres of outdoor production area. The company also employs more than 100 workers, including temporary and seasonal help.
Dickman Farms is a seasonal combination common carrier/private fleet with four tractor trailers, three straight trucks and one dump truck. The company primarily hauls plants and plant material during their high season and dairy products in the off-season. Among the plants that are hauled are self-grown specialty annuals, hanging baskets, designer container gardens and a wide variety of perennials. Aside from hauling goods, the company mainly grows young plants that are sold through the Ball Seed Co. to other growers as well as finished annuals and perennials that are sold to independent garden centers.
Before inquiring about Prophesy OnDemand, Dickman Farms had been using a competing product that they were not satisfied with-the current system did not offer the reporting features that they were looking for, had many “bugs” and was not intuitive to use. The company was even facing IFTA fuel tax issues due to inconsistencies within the program. They often had trouble finding states that used the program, therefore they had to wait for updates to finish their reporting.
Already being a user of Prophesy’s driver log auditing module, Bruce Custer, safety and compliance officer for Dickman Farms, received a number of electronic communications from Accellos, but one in particular caught his attention.
“When I saw that Accellos had started offering a one-month trial for Prophesy OnDemand, I knew it was time to call and inquire,” he adds. “When I found out that I could receive a discount for signing on for a full year, I was hooked.”
During this time, Custer looked at a number of competing solutions, but none caught his eye the way Prophesy OnDemand had.
“We weren’t impressed with any of the other solutions that we looked at. We knew that Prophesy is a respected name in the industry, the price was right and the functionality of Prophesy OnDemand was just what we were looking for,” he says.
After researching his options, Custer quickly decided to switch from the solution he had been using to Prophesy OnDemand.
Prophesy OnDemand is a web-based, pay-as-you-go dispatch solution geared toward smaller trucking companies and brokerages. Prophesy OnDemand’s robust functionality covers dispatch, accounting, rating, LTL, cross-docking, reporting, EDI, mileage, routing and IFTA fuel tax, among others. Prophesy OnDemand has the ability to handle multiple currencies, giving the end user the ability to use this program effectively in the United States and Canada.
Implementation and setup were easy for the Dickman Farms team. Custer worked with Kim Manzone, implementation consultant for Accellos, Colorado Springs, Colo., on the product. While setting up the software, they were able to integrate the commercial mileage and fuel tax interfaces with OnDemand, making the process simple and easy to pick up.
Dickman Farms signed on as an OnDemand customer in September 2011. Today, the company uses Prophesy OnDemand Carrier Version with added interfaces for commercial mileage and routing and IFTA fuel tax reporting.
“Our sales representative, Cheryl Boice, was very easy to work with and extremely understanding,” Custer says. “We ran into one hard drive issue, and the Prophesy team helped walk us through the problem and fix it. Everyone at Accellos has been very supportive and helpful.”
Overall, investing in Prophesy OnDemand has been a worthwhile experience for Dickman Farms. In fact, the revenue per mile report came as a pleasant surprise to the staff.
“We really like having the ability to pull reports that help keep track of everything our trucks are doing,” he adds. “We are also thrilled to know that other Accellos modules can be incorporated into our system at any time and at an affordable cost.”
In the future
Moving forward, Dickman Farms would like to expand their fleet at least one to two trucks per year.
“With Prophesy OnDemand, we are able to track our trucks with ease. This makes adding trucks and expanding the business a simple task,” Custer adds.
To learn more about Dickman Farms, go to www.dickmanfarms.com
For more information about Accellos’ Total Solution for Trucking, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-776-6706.