12.04
2019

Locate and Safeguard Your High-Value Equipment with Asset Trackers

Asset Trackers for Shipping Containers

As a business owner, have you run across a scenario that goes something like this? Your company is moving delicate, rare, or expensive equipment to another city. Each item is precisely packed into padded, tightly secured shipping cases. Then each case is numbered, its contents recorded and gently loaded into company vehicles, and carefully unloaded for storage at its destination. But somehow, despite all of these safeguards, one or more of the cases gets lost, ends up missing, or cannot be accounted for.

It may be hard to believe, but it happens every day. An employee steals a shipping case awaiting delivery. An office assistant assigns it to the wrong storage space. Maybe it never even leaves the loading dock. You may never know what went wrong initially, but in the end, the only questions you may have are: Where is it? What if it gets into the wrong hands?

Asset trackers can eliminate the worry of not knowing where your high-value assets are. When you attach them to your shipping cases, you can immediately pinpoint their location. While it’s win-win for any company who is responsible for shipping valuable goods, it also produces an immediate ROI when time is of the essence. When products are needed for a trade show, or technical instruments are required in an urgent situation, the time that a GPS asset tracker can save is invaluable.

Shipping cases get lost every day. But what if somebody gained access to your most valuable possessions or company information? Asset trackers can eliminate lost or stolen data. You’ll know exactly where the case has been stored and what road it is traveling on. With this information, you can contact law enforcement and have your assets, equipment, or valuables quickly returned.

But you can gain peace of mind by knowing where your equipment is supposed to be. Alerts are sent out when unauthorized movement is detected reducing theft or off-limit usage. The CalAmp LMU 600, 700, and 2800 series devices include powerful features including superior cellular and GPS quality, motion-sensing accelerometer, internal antennas, and simple installation. All three are designed to dramatically reduce cost while providing excellent field reliability for virtually any mobile asset.

Benefits

  • Vehicle Monitoring – Responds instantly to pre-defined threshold conditions: time, date, location, geo-zone, input.
  • Visibility – Tracks equipment, vehicles, heavy machinery, cargo, and shipments.
  • Asset Utilization – Locates equipment closest to job sites, and reduces transportation costs and downtime.
  • Property Protection Reduces theft, vandalism, and unauthorized use through automatic alerts.
  • Easy to Use – Portable; there’s nothing to install or configure.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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12.03
2019

Keep Parcels More Secure During Holiday Deliveries with Asset Tracking

As mentioned in a previous post, the number of parcels being delivered this holiday season is likely to increase from years past. With companies like Amazon making online ordering and residential delivery even more popular, it’s clear that accessibility and convenience are currently as important as ever to the average consumer during their shopping experience.

For companies needing to ship packages, especially around Christmastime, tracking the delivery vehicles is one thing, but if those vehicles become separated from the cargo they’re hauling, product security also becomes jeopardized. Luckily, with Actsoft solutions, your team can gain comprehensive knowledge on where its shipping containers and trailers are, with Alerts for tampering outside of specific hours. Easily attach compatible sensors to the doors of your semi-truck trailers to help keep parcels more secure, as you’ll know precisely when the shipping containers they’re in are opened.

Run a more secure and efficient delivery operation with Asset Tracking that works to keep your administrators informed in near real-time. Our software solutions function in tandem with many different types of tracking hardware to display GPS positions of all your business’s assets, allowing you to choose the devices that are best for your business’s specific trailer types. From the warehouse to the distribution zone, your team can also easily establish digital perimeters with Geofences and receive notifications any time a trailer with valuable cargo enters or exits their boundaries.

Save time and money and provide additional peace of mind to your customers by using Asset Tracking to help verify that the products your business ships remain secure at all times. The stress surrounding holiday season logistics can hurt your company’s reputation and bottom line if left to spiral out of control; make sure the parcels in your delivery vehicles’ trailers are reaching their destinations securely and expediently with our digital tracking solutions.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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11.13
2019

Is Your Heavy Equipment Protected?

What’s the problem?
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), heavy equipment theft is a growing problem throughout North America. Citing organized crime rings as the major perpetrator, the NICB explains that these criminals are generally sophisticated, precise and successful in their efforts to steal expensive equipment, usually targeting construction sites. According to The Globe and Mail, a Toronto-based newspaper, the oilfield industry is also losing millions of dollars in machinery and material. Everything, from copper wire to ATVs to whole drilling rigs, is a prime target for thieves looking to cash in on black-market sales. The Texas website StopOilfieldTheft.com reports that the U.S. oilfield industry estimates it loses almost a $1 billion a year to thieves.

Sgt. Jeff McBeth, detachment commander in the northwestern Alberta community of Fox Creek, said his detachment gets about one oilfield theft complaint a week.

What do thieves look for?
According to a report in The Glove and Mail, thieves look for a wide range of opportunities to steal equipment. Heavy equipment is an easy target because it’s left unattended in lots, remote locations, and in the field overnight.

“Thieves take advantage of spring breakup, when heavy vehicles are banned from muddy roads until they’ve dried up enough to withstand them,” Mark Salkeid, president of the Petroleum Services Association of Canada, told the Globe. Drilling sites are shut down for up to a month and attempts to harden the locks on equipment sheds haven’t worked, so some operators simply weld the doors shut.

Heavy equipment can be easy targets for thieves for a lot of reasons. It’s often left unattended in remote locations and single keys can start multiple machines. Not to mention, a lot of people simply don’t employ basic anti-theft measures.

Why are summer months prime for theft?
May through September are the busiest times for thieves; warmer months are more popular because they are the most active, in terms of construction, due to cooperative weather, longer days, and the end of crop growth cycles.

Where does the equipment go?
Once stolen, the equipment is shipped to other countries, leaving it untraceable and unrecoverable in most instances. According to the NICB, only around 10 percent of machinery is ever recovered. International law enforcement uses a standard worldwide 17-digit product PIN number to identify stolen vehicles. However, the best measure of protection is prevention.

Top 5 Prevention Tips
1. Make equipment immobile or difficult to move when it’s not attended.
2. Cluster equipment in a “wagon circle” with more easily transported equipment in the center, surrounded by larger pieces of equipment.
3. Keep a current database of all equipment serial or product identification numbers with accompanying photos.
4. Use sleeve locks to fix backhoe pads in an extended position, keeping wheels off the ground.
5. Install a tracking transmitter system, like the ones we offer, in each unit designed for construction and heavy-duty equipment.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

Call (888) 732-6638 or Receive a Live Webinar

 

11.12
2019

Shipping During the Holiday Season and Actsoft Solutions

In 2017, UPS estimated that they’d be shipping nearly 750 million packages during the course of the entire holiday season. This year, that number isn’t likely to drop. With a steadily increasing number of gifts being given around Christmastime, companies that are in charge of package transportation must use technology and precision to ensure that there are as few delivery hiccups as possible.

At Actsoft, we engineer digital solutions that help streamline operations for companies in industries like transportation for both the driver and the administrator. By making things easier for all employees involved in the shipping process, our solutions help delivery businesses maintain efficiency, even during their busiest quarters of the year. Two applications in particular that we offer are essential for transportation companies: ELD and GPS Tracking.

Powered by VisTracks, our Electronic Logging Device (ELD) solution enables delivery drivers to focus strictly on safe and efficient driving by automatically logging their active time behind the wheel. Rather than having to manually fill out nationally mandated forms for Hours of Service (HOS), semi-truck operators can reach their destinations as quickly and safely as possible with instant documentation preventing their attention from being diverted toward cumbersome paperwork tasks. Information about rest compliance that’s automatically logged on a driver-by-driver basis is readily available to administrators and can help reduce their business’s potential to incur regulatory fines.

On the administrative side, our solutions’ GPS Tracking feature enables location positioning to help keep cargo and trucks safe, even if they become separated from one another. Track semi-truck trailers, the vehicles themselves, and even employees during working hours with accuracy from our software’s live view map. Monitoring all mobile operations via GPS technology helps keep fuel usage optimized, package containers secure, and drivers accountable.

With the power of Actsoft solutions, transportation businesses can maintain ultimate control on their operations. Cut costs for your delivery company and keep efficiency high throughout the frenzied pace of the holiday season using our mobile management software.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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10.16
2019

Everyday Choices Companies Make That Waste Money

In our frenzy to bring in more money, drive business, create better marketing strategies, schedule more meetings, and hire more salespeople, we often forget the old adage: “It’s not always what you make, but what you save.” If for every dollar we earn, we blow two, then we’re spinning our wheels and running an inefficient operation. In a time when companies are fighting to succeed, we’ve identified the most common ways companies bleed money and how to avoid these pitfalls.

Everything Counts

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, “The small expenses add up quickly, so auditing basic costs, from travel expenses to utility costs, is essential … All the little things can really add up, and it is very easy to let it get away from you.” Daily tasks that could easily be automated turn into hours and months of manual labor over the long-term, costing businesses a lot of money that could have been better used in more meaningful ways.

A good example of this is payroll. Often the person in charge of payroll has to verify hours, spend time gathering data, make sure forms are filled out properly, and more. However, a simpler and more efficient solution would be to use mobile time-clock technology.

  • Moble Time Clocks: Actsoft has helped countless businesses integrate their payroll with a simple wireless time clock which allows employees to clock in from anywhere, use GPS verification to identify and time stamp their locations, as well send images and forms via email or text. After a brief and easy setup, this is a task that can be left to software so your employees can make more substantial contributions.
  • Automate Processes: Another common time drain is repeating processes that could be automated, such as work orders. Instead of manually inputting data each week, let Actsoft’s software auto-generate information with the frequency of your choice. It will also deliver these work orders, requests, or other information, and automatically send new order notifications. Plus, it can inform customers that a worker is on the way, and provide proof of delivery and work completion, including signature and pictures.

Paper Costs
It seems like a no-brainer: Eliminate paper costs and save money. But it’s easy to get stuck in a paper rut when there’s no clear alternative. Before you write off the idea of going paperless, think about the efficiency of the internet, providing the information you need instantly. You don’t have to have it delivered, mailed, or faxed; simply open a browser and you’re in!

  • Paperless Alternative: Actsoft’s Wireless Forms operates in just this way, by giving you the power to convert all your paper forms — from contracts and invoices to disclosures and other important documents — into digital ones that you can access from anywhere. Use your laptop or mobile device to fill out forms — complete with digital signatures and images — so business can be wrapped up on the spot. Think of all the saving in paper storage alone! Not to mention the risk you’re taking by using hard copy when a single digital form can live in several places, never to be misplaced again.

Wasteful Ways
Another major contribution to a shrinking bank account is maintaining a fleet that is operating poorly. This can include anything from bad driving habits that increase liability (speeding, hard accelerating and braking, etc.) to inefficient route planning. Actsoft provides solutions that can help curb bad habits and optimize routes, so that fuel costs are down, wear-and-tear on vehicles is lessened, and liability is reduced.

Our high-performance GPS tracking devices, combined with Actsoft’s reliable functionality, provide extensive visibility into the day-to-day activities of fleet vehicles, allowing you to:

  • Identify the locations of fleet vehicles or cargo
  • Review idle and stop times
  • Expedite dispatching
  • Improve fleet-routing efficiency
  • Reduce theft of high-value assets
  • Ensure equipment is located at the job site

Re-Buying What You Already Had
The ultimate in company wastefulness is re-buying costly equipment that was stolen due to lack of proper security measures. While alarms and cameras may deter a criminal, one of the best ways to prevent a theft from happening is to receive near real-time alerts when a door opens or a piece of equipment moves.

Furthermore, recovering stolen property is much easier when it’s tracked by a concealed GPS-enabled tracking device. With near real-time updates, you can see where your equipment is at all times.

08.07
2019

What the Cluck? What 37,000 Pounds of Frozen Chickens Can Teach Us

On September 27th, 2014, an Idaho trucking company was missing a truck filled with 37,000 pounds of frozen chickens. The company’s 42-year-old driver, Christopher L. Hall, allegedly abandoned the truck after being refused more money from his employer. Unfortunately, by the time they located the truck at a Montana truck stop, the chicken had already gone south — rotting and oozing liquids.

The chicken: worth $80,000.

The lesson: priceless.

What could the trucking company have done to prevent this loss? One option would have been to give the driver more money and have a potential criminal on their payroll — not to mention someone with little respect for frozen chicken.

The other, wiser option would have been to secure their assets — including both the cargo and the truck. With a simple tracking solution, this chicken situation could have gone a very different way. We provide a robust tracking solution used by thousands of trucks across the country, which would have prevented this loss with simple alerts and reporting tools that cost pennies a day.

For example, management can set perimeters for drivers so that there’s no risk of them taking vehicles out of designated areas. And if they do, an alert is sent to the main office and the GPS-enabled solution will let you know exactly where the truck is. Likewise, if you need to locate a truck, simply pull it up on the map and you can see its location in near real-time.

Another smart option when transporting expensive cargo is Asset Tracking. A discreet GPS-enabled device can easily be hidden anywhere in the shipment, so if it’s lost or stolen you can see where it’s at immediately.

This sort of protection is imperative when you’re dealing with costly equipment and shipments. Not only do you run the risk of losing big money, but you can also damage relationships and ruin a reputation you’ve worked long and hard to establish.

If you’re ready to see what options there are to meet your needs, give us a call today. We’re waiting for you!

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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07.23
2019

What Great Leaders Know: Understanding Weakness Leads to Success

From legendary coaches to the best teachers, the strategy is always the same: Understand the team’s weaknesses. It’s easy to identify star players and focus on the moments of glory, but without assessing the big picture, your team will only perform at a fraction of its potential. This is especially true for companies who are dealing with many moving parts, including fleet-based operations who have dozens of drivers spread out across the city, state, or country.

Understanding what seems like minutiae — such as driver behavior, gas usage, and time management — may seem like an impossible undertaking; how can you possibly track all of these activities every day? And the more important question: Is it worth it? The answers are surprisingly simple. With hardware and software solutions from Actsoft, your tracking is automated and reports are automatically compiled and sent to you as often as you need them. And the value is in the numbers. Most companies save thousands each month by monitoring fuel usage and route efficiency.

Actsoft, the maker of a suite of tools for remote management, puts all of the fleet information together on one platform to give our customers the power and knowledge to be able to make key strategic decisions.

With high-performance GPS-tracking devices and software like Encore, you can find the strengths and weaknesses of your entire driving team. Now you can accurately fine-tune performance, cut down on waste, and reduce liability.

Some of the key features include understanding driver behavior. By monitoring various aspects of driving habits — everything from speeding to fast braking — you can get a clear picture of your company’s health in that area. If you have several drivers who are in the habit of speeding and braking late, not only does your accident risk spike but so does your fuel costs and vehicle maintenance.

Likewise, if you have drivers who stay within the pre-set perimeters, stay within speed limits, and don’t idle, you can count that aspect of your business as healthy and a model for other areas. This allows you to re-focus your energy on departments that aren’t functioning as well.

Moreover, a workplace that rewards great performance is one that usually has less turnover and overall better ratings in employee satisfaction.

By using a mobile solution like Encore, which can be accessed on any smart device, you’re taking charge of what happens outside of your office walls. With a wide variety of additional features, you can choose from allowing mobile timekeeping and dispatching, giving you an upper hand on the competition. All this amounts to a healthy fleet that is driving responsibly, generating more revenue, and saving the company big bucks every year.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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07.16
2019

Managing a Construction Worksite with Encore

In any construction operation, it’s critical for the office to know what’s happening at its project locations in near real-time. However, managing workforce safety, asset security, and employee accountability all at once can prove to be a difficult task for supervisors to maintain if the right solutions aren’t being used. Actsoft’s flagship application Encore enables construction companies to get the most out of their operations by helping them better protect their equipment, stay in OSHA compliance, and remain on track with building project timelines. Here are just a few of the useful features Encore can provide to companies looking to enhance the ways they manage their construction worksites:

Intra-Company Messaging

Build stronger communication channels between your managers and construction workers in the field by using Intra-Company Messaging to relay new information on the fly. Desktop-to-handset integration allows your administrators at the office to message multiple employees at once, saving time and resources. Past conversations can also be reviewed for reference if need be, and your team members can relay project statuses or any new materials requests back to the office using this powerful tool.

GPS Tracking and Geofences

Communication between headquartered administrators and your remote teams is certainly valuable, but our solution takes workforce insight a step further than just Intra-Company Messaging. With GPS Tracking and Geofences, you can draw specified digital boundaries around your building sites on Encore’s live view map, see employee and equipment locations, and be notified any time the perimeters are breached by tracked points of interest. Enhance the transparency of your workforce by using this tandem of tools to help ensure tasks are being completed and that employees are at their assigned locations during working hours.

Asset Recovery

Leave the heavy machinery your company needs in the field overnight and monitor it with Encore’s GPS-enabled technology. If one of your tracked assets becomes lost, you can see its position via the solution’s live view map and easily recover it. In addition to helping prevent expensive costs to replace stolen or misplaced equipment, you can use asset tracking to make sure that no tools are being used improperly after working hours have ceased for the day. Encore’s proficiency in improving workforce, asset, and fleet efficiency makes it a powerful companion for any construction business.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

Call (888) 732-6638 or Receive a Live Webinar

 

07.03
2019

Construction Season: How to Avoid Theft and Damage

With construction season underway, it’s not uncommon to see heavy machinery, trailers, and sundry other tools left unattended on construction sites. And while signs like “No Trespassing” and the like may deter mischievous teenagers, it’s not going to do anything to stop thieves who want to cash in on the opportunity you left them.

According to research, a knowledgeable thief can enter a site, load the equipment, and be off within ten minutes. However, anything more than that and most thieves will move on to the next score. Additionally, many construction companies don’t have a simple loss prevention plan, so it may be days before they notice that tools are missing. This can result in a lot of wasted time and effort trying to recover and replenish tools, not to mention the time taken away from work.

Here are a few tips that can help construction companies, along with any company that deals in expensive inventory, keep track of their goods, save time and money, and keep on schedule with their projects.

Plan, Prevent, and Save

Simple software solutions can help your employees keep track and manage equipment easily and even automatically — without much effort. The solutions that we provide include GPS-enabled software that allows you to track and trace equipment in near real-time. So if your backhoe is moved from a site, you will be alerted via text and receive up-to-date positioning so you can see exactly where your equipment is.

Keeping track of your equipment through routine inventory checks can also be helpful for knowing where your tools and assets are and what’s missing. You can scan right from your phone and import that information via solutions like Wireless Forms.

Maine.gov also offers these helpful tips in preventing crime and securing your property.

  • Implement a documented check-out and -in system for all tools and equipment.
  • Establish an “end of shift” security inspection protocol.
  • Make unscheduled visits to work sites, including at night, on weekends, and on holidays.
  • Lock and immobilize equipment during non-work hours.
  • Utilize basic key control and specialized locks. Locks should be placed on all vehicles, portable equipment, storage sheds, trailers, and utility bodies when not in use. Use only high-security locks: pick-resistant, case-hardened, or laminated steel. If a chain is required, it should be case-hardened and thick enough to prevent easy cutting.
  • Attach anti-theft devices, such as steering wheel locks, kill switches, tire and wheel/axle locks, locked hood side plates, and locking fuel caps.
  • Whenever it is practical, all operating levers, handles, etc. should be stored under securely locked covers or lids.
  • Lock and protect equipment with an alarm system.
  • Avoid storing equipment overnight at the work site whenever possible.
  • In high crime areas and where values warrant it, consider hiring a security guard or using a surveillance system.
  • Fences are a good form of perimeter protection. Exits and entrances should be kept to a minimum. If it is not possible to fence an entire site, consider partially fencing it, including trailer, equipment, and storage areas.
  • Good lighting is extremely effective in deterring criminal activities. Keep storage areas well lit and free of hiding places, such as shrubbery and trees. Consider using motion-detecting floodlights.
  • Contact the local police before starting a job. Ask them to include the job site in their patrols. Ask neighbors to report suspicious activities.

To Aid in Recovery

  • Double-stamp all tools, equipment, and attachments with an identification number, one conspicuous and one hidden.
  • Display warning signs that indicate identification and serial numbers are recorded.
  • Paint your equipment with bright, easily recognizable colors to identify them from a distance.
  • Use aerosol-applied Microtaggants, thermostat plastic coatings that contain coded pigments or metal particles.
  • Stencil the state’s logo or other identifying marks on equipment.
  • Take photographs of your high-value pieces; catalog these photos and update them as equipment is purchased and sold.
  • Consider equipping each piece of high-value equipment with tracking devices.

After a Loss

  • Secure the scene.
  • Make a prompt and thorough report to a police agency and to the Risk Management Division.
  • Send theft alerts to equipment distributors.
  • Check eBay and used-equipment sales for your equipment.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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06.04
2019

The Benefits of Asset Tracking

Most businesses employing a mobile workforce also rely on at least a few pieces of vital equipment to conduct daily operations. With the power of Actsoft’s asset tracking technology, your team can keep constant tabs on its machinery and gain key benefits like these.

Theft prevention

Your assets, most likely, collectively add up to a high monetary value, making security crucial. Actsoft applications are able to provide you with an extra way to surveil any relevant equipment and protect it more effectively against being stolen. Return on investment comes in many different forms with our solutions; in addition to common benefits like better fuel efficiency and productivity, theft prevention helps companies like yours regularly receive additional savings.

Saved time

Leaving the assets your company regularly uses in the field overnight can reward your team with extra time to complete jobs. Rather than having to task your employees with returning equipment to the office before finishing a workday, you can allow staff to leave the machinery at the job site, giving them more time to complete work. Rest assured that assets remain safe while left behind, ready for use the following morning, as they’re being monitored via our GPS Tracking feature.

Increased accountability

Improper usage of assets by employees outside of working hours can be a big problem for businesses to deal with, especially if it’s a frequent occurrence. Implement a greater standard of workforce accountability through our GPS Tracking feature’s ability to pinpoint assets. If any pieces of equipment deviated from their specified locations after day’s end, you can see detailed reports of where they were taken, along with accompanying timestamps. You can even set up alerts to notify you if they move at unauthorized times.

Our asset tracking capabilities can help businesses in industries from construction to transportation improve their operations. Give your workforce an additional method of security by using Actsoft solutions to help safeguard the valuable equipment your business relies on today.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

Call (888) 732-6638 or Receive a Live Webinar