Arrow Transport’s motto is ‘Big enough to get the job done, but small enough to care’ – and it’s this commitment to top-notch service (plus a clever pricing strategy) that has seen the company quickly become a key player in the Australian transport and logistics industry.
Innovation runs in the veins of family business
Founded in Melbourne in 2011, Arrow Transport is a family-owned and operated business with over 250 employees across Victoria, NSW and Queensland. The goal is simple: deliver customer product on time, safely and securely – no matter how big the company or how small the job.
Managing director Craig Webster has been at the helm of the business since it started, and his father Steve Webster does a lot of design work for the company. You only have to look at the company’s fleet to recognise that the Websters, along with the rest of the Arrow Transport team, enjoy pushing the boundaries, and are leading the way with innovative technologies right across their industry.
Arrow Transport was the first transport company in Melbourne to introduce Super B combinations and A Doubles to rural areas, making the movement of containers easier and more efficient. They’ve also designed a combination rigid vehicle for customers with specific site limitations, as well as ten customised and multi-use 40-foot skels – which allow them to maximise fleet utilisation and versatility, and therefore service more customers.
Systems lacked power for growing business
Group financial controller Adam McLoughlin has seen first-hand the rapid growth of Arrow Transport over the past ten years. When he originally joined the team, the company was only Melbourne-based, and turnover was close to $20 million annually.
Today, they have a site in Sydney and Brisbane, and two sites in Melbourne – one of which includes a dairy-accredited facility. This year it’s looking like the company will hit $65 million turnover.
Like many rapidly growing businesses, Arrow Transport quickly realised its systems weren’t capable of handling an increase in transactional data. It’s at this point that Adam re-joined the team and was charged with implementing a new system that better matched their customer service and business goals.
Old system had limited reporting functionality
Running basic reports would often crash system
The company had been using Xero since the early days, and even though the system had served them well, it was beginning to slow the team down. It was taking far too long to run certain reports because of a significant increase in transactional data – sometimes even causing the whole system to crash.
“We were constantly chasing our tail and limited to month-end reporting. It would take us two weeks to finish and by that time, we were already two weeks into the following month – and the learnings weren’t relevant anymore,” Adam explains.
The business also required more sophisticated capabilities including comprehensive divisional reporting and budgeting.
Customised system will move with transport company
MYOB Advanced great value for money
Adam was the one to suggest an ERP system but admits he wasn’t familiar with MYOB Advanced. His biggest concern was making sure they found a system that would grow with the company – eliminating the need to move to a different system further down the track.
“We’d already used an out-of-the-box system and it didn’t have the right functionality for the size of our business, so we knew we needed a system that could be customised – especially for reporting.
"My job was to make sure we weren’t going to run into any issues. MYOB Advanced ticked the right boxes – and the price point was very attractive"
New system puts company on front foot
Streamlined reporting improves performance assessment
For Adam, it’s the simple changes that have yielded the greatest improvements. Being able to customise and run whatever reports he needs – and in real-time – means the business can assess performance at a granular level.
“From day one, the new system ran budget-versus-actuals for all our divisions. That may not seem ground-breaking to some, but it’s visibility that the company had never had before,” he says.
They’ve been able to streamline reporting processes, thereby reducing manual workarounds and removing any downtime that was a result of a crashed system. Monthly reporting has moved to weekly, and as Adam explains, “The impact is, people know what is going on as it's happening.”
While the team will always have “bread and butter tasks”, they can do the work efficiently and with accuracy.
“It just means we’re not spending time worrying about whether the report is correct, having to double or triple-check whether the report is compiled in the right way. There much less room for error,” Adam says.
Velixo integration a game-changer
After 12 months of getting used to the system, Adam says they decided to integrate Velixo.
“That has been a fundamental change to our reporting because we now spend no time compiling reports – we run the report, review and add any commentary that is required.”
With less manual work involved in running financial reports, Adam has more time for high-level tasks and managing his team, and that means improvements to other business processes too.
"You can see the knock-on effect – it flows through to accounts receivable (AR) and payable (AP). We’ve actually got time to hammer AR which we’ve never been able to do before – and debt control is the best it has ever been."
The story of Arrow Transport
- Founded in Melbourne in 2011, Arrow Transport is a family-owned and operated Australian business with over 300 employees across three states.
- An innovative leader in the transport and logistics sector, it provides services to the import, export and freight-forwarding industries, including transport, warehousing and distribution, logistics and CFS (container freight station) and quarantine wash and fumigation.
- With sites in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, the company is likely to hit $65 million turnover in 2020.
Real-time customised reporting with MYOB Advanced
- Increased reporting capabilities give the company better visibility of business performance
- Velixo integration provides custom, real-time reporting within minutes
- System gives staff tools to run comprehensive financial reports, reducing manual workarounds and improving worker productivity
- Increased efficiency and accuracy allow managers to focus on higher-level tasks