07.17
2019

What Telecommuting Tool Is Saving Companies Big Bucks?

Today almost all companies have a percentage of employees who work outside of the office. Whether they’re salespeople, delivery drivers, or specialists like plumbers and mechanics, this part of your workforce may never step foot into the office, but they’re an integral part of your success.

The major problems with this group are communication and observation. While you have email and mobile devices available to communicate, this may not be the most efficient method of making sure employees are logging the hours they’re supposed to or arriving at important meetings on time. Moreover, it’s time consuming for management or dispatchers to call or email a remote team member to make sure they’re available to take a call or make a delivery. A solution more and more companies are turning to is mobile timekeeping, which allows employees to clock in and out right from their mobile device.

This complete visibility and accuracy is enabled by GPS time-stamping so you can see both when and where you’re team member was when he or she clocked in. Did they make it to an important client meeting? You can see right away when they clock in, so management has total transparency and accountability for all employees both in and out of the office.

By using a simple and cost-effective solution like mobile timekeeping, you can eliminate guesswork from the equation. Additionally, if you want to see whether a delivery was made, the GPS feature shows precisely where your driver was and at what time — this information can then be sent to your customers if needed, in the event an arrival is disputed.

Another great benefit is that with each time punch you can capture photos; signatures; and data about current jobs, vehicles, and odometer readings.

Experts agree that companies who are adopting these ready-made solutions are more productive and ultimately better equipped for business in the future than companies who do not use this kind of technology designed for mobile employees.

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?

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07.12
2019

That Busy CEO Life and How Actsoft Can Help

Recently, while perusing the latest tech headlines, as I’m wont to do, I came across a headline that stood out to me for two reasons. One: Even though it was clearly labeled a sponsored post, I actually felt compelled enough by the headline to click through, which is a rarity for me. (Kudos, Mashable, you clever monkey.) Two: It promised to show the day of one New York City–based CEO in 60 seconds … a New York minute, if you will. Given the nature of the company I worked for, I thought it would be both interesting and insightful to get a little glimpse of what that life can be like.

If you’re a business owner, you’re more than familiar with the concept of nonstop busy days. Days where, between your personal responsibilities and your work obligations, your waking hours are pretty much spoken for. But as we’ve mentioned in the past, as important as it is to give your all in making sure your company is a thriving success, it’s just as vital that you carve out time to maintain some semblance of a work-life balance.That’s why it’s essential to find and implement the right tools that serve to streamline processes, cut out unnecessary steps, and improve efficiency in your day-to-day activities. That’s exactly where we come into the picture.

Using our suite of tools, business owners are given the ability to simplify many of the daily tasks they and their team undertake. Timely procedures are sped up, leaving your workers with more time during the day during which they can take on more work orders, increasing your company’s bottom line.

As a business owner, you can rely more on your management team to mold your field workers into a synergetic efficiency machine using these day-to-day tools. This lets you focus on the bigger picture, which our tools also help with while removing the necessity of being on-site as frequently as you would need to be otherwise.

Using our system, you can pull up top-level overviews of the goings on at your business, running reports on everything from timekeeping (to make sure employees aren’t clocking egregious amounts of overtime due to early/offsite punching in/out) to vehicle paths (to curb inefficiently long routes driven between job sites, as well as excessively wasteful idling times). Forms that require your signature, such as expense reports, can all be digitized and sent to your phone, letting you quickly sign off and pass them along to your accounting team for faster processing.

All of this — and so much more — can be done using our tools. Not to mention, our recently released Manager App gives you all of this functionality from your mobile device, so you don’t even have to be at a desktop anymore, giving you so much more flexibility to run your business without giving up your social life.

Our job is to make your job easier. Because part of owning a successful business is being able to make the time to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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07.10
2019

Talent Is Not the Key to Success

You might be surprised by what is. In a word: organization. The ability to assemble a variety of moving parts in such a way that they work efficiently is the key to any company’s success — whether you own an accounting firm or doughnut shop. Understanding and managing the flow of daily operations can save businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars. And with today’s user-friendly technology, more and more people are adopting software solutions to help them streamline their processes and manage employee activities, meetings, appointments, and projects.

“Time management isn’t just a personal productivity issue over which companies have no control. It has increasingly become an organizational issue whose root causes are deeply embedded in corporate structures and cultures,” says Aaron De Smet in McKinsey Quarterly, speaking on the necessity of sound time management throughout a company’s internal structure.

From Forbes to the Wall Street Journal to week-long trainings and seminars, there are countless articles citing top organizational applications while managers across the country attend high-ticket conferences on, you got it: How to get organized.

Actosft’s suite of solutions helps to optimize daily performance through a wide range of functions designed to make each minute count. They were also designed to help employees reduce the amount of busy work they do so that areas like innovation, customer service, and critical thinking–oriented issues can take precedence.

Features of these two solutions include meaningful ways to tackle some of the most common communication and administrative tasks of most companies and organizations, such as:

  • Instant Visibility View your entire workload and status updates for each job, assignment, stop, or project.
  • Drag-and-Drop Dispatching Assign work simply with a drag-and-drop interface and workers will be notified with each update.
  • No Lost Paperwork Attach Wireless Forms to orders and collect job updates, inventory utilized, before and after pictures, and signatures.
  • Calendars and Scheduling Sync workforce availability with customer schedules.
  • Detailed Profiles Create detailed profiles of your customers and employees while having complete access to current workload and job history.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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07.09
2019

Our Purpose at Actsoft

At Actsoft, our purpose is to do more than just create and support innovative business software. Our solutions are designed to help deliver the most possible return on investment to your company, giving it new ways to learn more about its field operations. By bringing your workforce’s various aspects closer together, Actsoft applications help connect, enhance, and organize how you can coordinate your mobile employees.

In addition to improving workforce management, our solutions collect and report useful data about how your employees are performing their jobs away from the office. With detailed reports that can be scheduled or produced at will, administrators can see intuitive graphs about driving behaviors and time spent at job sites to fine-tune their business practices.

“Actsoft’s purpose is to help businesses run more efficiently, productively, and profitably by leveraging our software solutions,” said Kevin Thigpen, Actsoft’s chief operating officer. “We empower customers by providing them with information on a near real-time basis, allowing them to proactively make business decisions that are more informed.”

The capability to run reports on the fly is one of the most powerful features that our products offer. Managers within a company can receive near real-time analytics about how things are going in the field, enabling them to craft better strategies during time-crucial situations. This feature ultimately adds an extra element of versatility to a workforce, providing additional ways to save in the process.

All of our solutions’ intuitive features work together to increase potential for organizations of any size. This defines our vision for our customers: to help them grow their businesses through greater savings, better communication, and stronger insight.

“We hope to build solutions that help customers evolve their business using the latest and greatest technology,” said Thigpen. “Our software delivers value through the vital information it collects and provides to our customers daily.”

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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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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06.28
2019

Summer Vacation Season and Workforce Management

Believe it or not, 2019 is already halfway over. That means business owners everywhere are beginning the processes of reviewing all the important numbers as we approach the end of Q2. As they do this, they’re also making any adjustments needed so they’re able to hit the ground running the second Q3 starts.

Kicking off Q3 with a bang can seem like a daunting task, because not only might there be huge expectations from a business point of view, but there’s also another major event taking place at the same time: the unofficial launch of the vacation season.

Just in time for schools across the country to wrap up classes, summer this year officially kicked off on June 21. With mercury levels rising, kids out of the classrooms, and parents itching to get away for some quality time with the family — not to mention vacation deals galore — this is when businesses everywhere tend to notice their teams may not be running at maximum capacity.

But running with a less-than-full staff doesn’t mean your numbers have to suffer. Vacations go hand-in-hand with operating a business. This time of year just happens to be when more people are out more frequently. So how do you go about making sure it’s business as normal all through the summer?

That’s when our software comes into play. With a proper workforce management software in place, like our flagship Encore solution, you’re able to maintain a bird’s-eye view of all the goings on at your business, no matter where you are or how many people are actively working.

Job Dispatching helps to make sure all of your work orders are being addressed in as efficient a manner as possible. Have projects mapped out well in advance and then in comes a vacation request? No problem! Reassign the work orders to team members who have the availability.

Wireless Forms helps to speed up processes whether you’re fully staffed or down to one person. Eliminating guesswork due to chicken-scratch handwriting is a huge timesaver. Decision logic helps workers zip through forms quicker than ever since the system automatically skips over sections deemed irrelevant to the job at hand. And with no need to drop off forms back at the office, “paperwork” can begin processing almost immediately.

Now, with fewer people helping to produce the same amount of work, it may be inevitable that some overtime comes into play. But with our easy-to-use Timekeeping feature, you can help to minimize the amount you’ll have to pay out. First, with GPS-based punch ins, you can make sure you aren’t paying your workers until they actually show up at a job site. Second, with on-call reporting, you can quickly review the number of hours each person has worked and assign new orders accordingly. Finally, if you do have to rely on some overtime, you can keep the peace by dispersing the work evenly.

Vacation is a necessary part of every business. Your workers do their best work when they are rested, both physically and mentally. And you’ll able to run a successful operation knowing that, thanks in part to our streamlining solution, while your hard-working team is off enjoying the fruits of their labor, it’s still business as usual on the work front.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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06.26
2019

How Small Business Is Helping the Environment

It’s easier than ever for entrepreneurs to start a business. With the low cost of setting up an LLC, creating websites, and other tools needed to market and do business, there are virtually no barriers to a new enterprise.

The one thing many of these businesspeople are doing right is cutting expenses and overhead in all the right places. Today, savvy entrepreneurs are using tools they already have to conduct business efficiently and affordably.

While larger enterprises with deeper pockets often waste money on unnecessary expenses, small businesses can’t afford to waste a penny on things like paper — especially when there are tools, like Actsoft’s Wireless Forms, that are more cost-effective and work better.

Along with eliminating paper waste, we’re seeing the small biz folks also eliminating employee waste by getting their remote workers to clock in and out from their phones and work from home. While many start-ups don’t have the budget for big offices, electric bills, and insurance, they’re employing freelance staff to work remotely — while using innovative tools to track time. This way they can keep track of hours without wasting a lot of time and money filling out paper forms.

Our software allows remote employees the ability to clock in from anywhere. All this adds up to a more environmentally friendly company that uses resources wisely and mitigates risk.

If you want to know how much you can save by cutting down on inefficient processes, call Actsoft today and we’ll do a free evaluation.

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06.25
2019

Fleet Safety 101 With Actsoft Solutions

Safety is the top priority for those tasked with managing a business fleet. As drivers operating business vehicles tend to be dispersed considerably far from one another, finding a fleet management solution that can provide details on the driving behaviors of each mobile employee is integral, no matter their distance from the office.

Two of the most important aspects of keeping a safe business fleet include being able to monitor driver habits and keeping tabs on vehicle locations. Too much hard acceleration and braking can increase vehicle wear and tear, putting your mobile employees and other users of the road at greater risk when it comes to accident potential. Being able to recognize excessive instances of dangerous driving habits like these and actively enforcing procedures to help curb them in your mobile workforce can help your staff implement safer driving styles. Vehicle tracking can also help you better pinpoint and dispatch out aid to any of your drivers that may need emergency assistance if an accident does occur.

Actsoft solutions are equipped to provide your fleet managers with all the tools they need to employ a safer fleet by blending versatility with robust features. Our premier solution Encore lets you see near real-time traffic patterns on a live view map, and it can integrate with some third-party software types for an even more detailed experience. Sync weather data with your Encore solution’s map to see where your drivers are located in relation to any inclement storms or blizzards, even on a nationwide scale. You can then use features like Job Dispatching to communicate out new protocols to your drivers nearly instantly, helping them stay safe and return to their tasks once it’s safe to begin driving again. Encore’s detailed reports about driver speeds also make it easy for you to see which of your drivers are going too fast too frequently.

Manage delivery delays and more using Actsoft technology to better prevent staff from driving in hazardous conditions. The power of our applications helps you see where specific drivers are, respond more efficiently to any breakdowns that might occur, and keep your team safer on the road as a whole.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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06.21
2019

Summer School and Fleet Tracking

Summer is upon us and, though that means school is out for most students across the country, that doesn’t mean school districts are coming to screeching halt. In fact, there are plenty that keep chugging along all summer without much of a break at all. In towns and cities everywhere, a plethora of programs — from summer camps to robotics courses to the oh-so-dreaded summer school — kick off in the warmer months, taking advantage of this would-be downtime to help students get ahead (or get caught up, as it were).

With these types of programs in full swing, it’s important to bear in mind the necessity to keep an extra vigilant watch over the students that are left in educators’ hands. Though their numbers may be vastly reduced from the droves they oversee during the regular school year, the propensity for worried parents wanting to keep tabs on their children is just as real as ever.

The summer is also the perfect time for school districts to make changes to their preferred solution for keeping parents updated, which is why we want to invite you to consider making the switch to Encore, our flagship suite of tools that can help educators always remain in the know.

Though summer programs rarely involve the traditional bus pickup route as kids can enjoy during the year, they do often involve a hefty amount of field trips. Equipping your bus or shuttle vehicles with our fleet-tracking GPS equipment means that you can assure parents of their children’s location in near real-time. If the class is running late, hits an unexpected pocket of traffic, or took a longer route home to avoid that delay (thanks to our Traffic Overlay feature), you can make sure everyone is kept up to date, rather than be left to face a torrent of angry parents demanding to know where their children are … and not having the answer.

In addition, though it’s traditionally used for keeping track of employee hours, you could get creative with our Barcode Scanning feature and scan school ID cards from students as they arrive at school in the morning and exit your facility’s care at night. As students leave for the day, educators can effectively clock students out, so to speak, as each one is released to their parents’ care.

As we mentioned, with fewer students at the schools over the course of the summer, these summer months are both the best time to try out our solution and see just how much it improves processes for you and your staff. Plus, with fewer resources (read: buses) being used, it’s the perfect opportunity to implement tracking devices to your fleet without any disruption to services. (Though even if in full swing, the simplistic design of our plug-and-play device options make installation a breeze.)

We’d love the opportunity to chat more with you and discuss all that we can do to help you improve processes in your school. Happy summer!

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