How Duncan and Son Lines Achieves Operational Excellence in the Back Office

Guest Blog by: Steele Roddick, Content Specialist at Microdea

This year Duncan and Son Lines is celebrating its 75th year in business. It’s a 4th generation trucking company and in an increasingly commoditized market with razor-thin margins, that’s no easy feat.

One of their secrets to success is a focus on operational excellence and continuous improvement. “We want our operation to run efficiently and effectively. We are constantly challenging each other to get better,” says Steve Hitchcock, COO at Duncan and Son Lines.

About eleven years ago, Duncan and Son Lines realized that they needed to improve their internal processes and decided to use a document imaging and automation software called Synergize.

Before Synergize, they would have to wait for drivers to return back to Phoenix from LA or Long Beach, and then manually start sorting through envelopes and envelopes of scale tickets, BOLs, PODs, and accessorial receipts. It was a painfully slow process.

All documents were kept in cabinets, and if someone needed to find a piece of paper they would have to go hunting through the haystack to find the needle.

The move to Synergize changed all that. Suddenly, documents were all filed digitally, where they could be found in seconds by typing in a simple search. Lots of the sorting and indexing of documents became automated, as did a lot of the billing, thanks to the strong integration Synergize has with TruckMate, Duncan and Son Lines’ Transportation Management System.

Staff who used to spend their days sorting through papers and keying in order numbers suddenly became free to do smarter, more engaging and more valuable work. Synergize has also helped Duncan and Son Lines scale their business, growing in size without hiring new back office staff.

More recently, Duncan wanted to find ways to add more value for their customers and further differentiate itself from the competition. “About 1.5 years ago, we decided internally to become an information management company,” says Steve Hitchcock, COO.

“Real time data and data management is our key to success.”

In addition to a mobile capture application, Duncan has leveraged Synergize to bring this vision to life. With a digital and automated system in place, Duncan is often able to get documents into customer’s hands in just 30 seconds. They’re also able to make better financial decisions, purchasing decisions, and be a better partner to everyone along the way.

You don’t survive 75 years in the trucking business without constantly striving to improve. Duncan and Son Lines is a shining example of how that’s done.

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