Amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, EFW Transport emerged with swift adaptability. Founded in 2020 by company director Craig Woodhead, the firm capitalised on the increased demand for transportation services during the pandemic era. EFW experienced rapid growth, today, the company boasts a fleet of seven trucks, strategically deployed for general haulage operations. The versatile haulier, based in Scunthorpe moves an array of commodities, ranging from refrigerators to curtains and everything in between.
EFW’s journey began the same as many others in the industry. In the early stages, they relied on an Excel spreadsheet and a job sheet to plan their work. In this interview with the company’s Operations Director, Phill Wray, we discuss the company’s triumph, his dogmatic view of transport technology and how that changed when he began to use a Transport Management System.
HaulTech: Can you tell us a little bit about what you do at EFW Transport?
Phill: I’m the Ops Director, so I oversee the whole transport division, ensuring all work is planned and we are running as efficiently as possible. A big part of my role is to ensure that we remain compliant with the rules and regulations set in our sector.
HaulTech: The business had rapid growth during the pandemic era when it was launched, how did you manage that?
Phill: It’s difficult when you experience such rapid growth, but being able to take control of the situation and realise how successful the firm had become really made the pain of growth worth the effort we put in. At this point, we managed all of our work with two Excel spreadsheets a planning one and a master job sheet for invoicing, so we could double check we were doing everything right.
HaulTech: You recently moved to a Transport Management System. Were the difficulties of growth and using Excel as well as a job sheet, the things that inspired the change?
Phill: No, if I am completely honest, I didn’t want to touch a Transport Management System. I have used one before elsewhere and hated it and aside from that one time, I’ve always used Excel and job sheets. We actually had a subscription to our HaulTech transport system for months before we began to use it. I was opposed to using it, but one day the boss (the company’s director, Craig) came in and told us we have to begin using the system the following week. So that’s what we did.
HaulTech: How did you find the move?
Phill: It went a lot better than I thought, I was so against it but as soon as we got trained with it by Lateef (one of HaulTech’s Training Operatives) things went smoothly. It probably took me a week or two to fully get a grasp of it. Once I did, I realised that we should have adopted this tech much sooner. I did keep around the job diary for a few weeks after just in case things went wrong but we’ve had no hiccups and now I only use the system.
HaulTech: How do you think using a system differs from using spreadsheets and a job diary?
Phill: I wouldn’t go without a system now. Honestly, it saves me so much time. Jobs are easy to add, we can invoice at the touch of a button. When we worked with paper, it was way too easy to lose PODs which would make things complicated when we came to invoices. We no longer have missing PODs, the driver takes their photo and it’s just instantly all on the system ready for us. And the drivers find the tech easy too, so it’s a win-win.
HaulTech: Where would you say you have seen the main benefits?
Phill: It used to take us 3 days to invoice. Now it takes us 30 minutes. We can essentially do invoicing with a push of a button. It’s mind-blowing, the system is worth it just for that reason alone in my opinion. HaulTech has freed up a lot of my time which is enabling me to build upon our customer base and continually grow the business.
HaulTech: What would you say to other hauliers looking at a system?
Phill: I would say it does take a lot of trust and I understand not wanting change, but once the step is taken you won’t regret it. HaulTech does a fantastic system and I fully recommend it to anyone in the industry.
If you are cautious of Transport Software but would like to learn more then contact the HaulTech team today by clicking here, calling 01782 662244 or saying firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help you with any queries you may have.