07.26
2019

What Are Geofences and How Do They Work?

One of the biggest issues that managers face when it comes to having a predominantly mobile staff is keeping track of their team to make sure they’re staying on task throughout the day. It’s impossible to have eyes on everyone at all times and this is especially true when your team is remote. While there is a certain level of trust administrators must put in their team, there are extra measures you can take to keep your team accountable.

We’ve discussed how our GPS-stamped Timekeeping feature helps to prevent mobile employees from preemptively punching in at the start of the day, prior to arriving at job sites. But how do you know they actually remain on-site for the duration of the day? It’s not feasible to continually check in throughout the day, using the live view map; as a business owner, there are much more important things you can (and should) be focusing on.

So what do you do? Enter: Geofences.

Simply put, geofences are virtual boundaries that define a designated area and can trigger a predetermined response whenever they are “breached.” With Encore, you can set up geofences around hotspots — such as work sites — in order to monitor both the arrival and departure of people, vehicles, and equipment.

What does this mean for you?

Once your workers are on the clock, our tracking solution helps assure that they will remain on-site for the duration of their shift. Because if for any reason they depart the geofence zone, you and/or whichever administrator you put in charge, will receive an alert letting you know about this departure. From there, you can determine if it was an authorized move or if it warrants a discussion.

Just knowing that this capability exists is typically enough to keep your workers on-site and accountable for their actions. For those that still feel the need to wander, you’re left with indisputable proof that documents their departure from the worksite and the length of time they were gone. (And you can still track where they went, if they’re still on the clock.)

In addition to keeping your team in check, geofences can also be used to make sure your important (and costly) equipment and vehicles remain where they should be. This added layer of protection helps to prevent both theft and unauthorized use by employees for personal business.

This is just one example of how we embrace the power of GPS to help you make the most of your business. Give us a call and we’ll set up a demo to show you all the other ways our solution can help maximize your workforce.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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07.24
2019

The Customization Abilities of Encore

Actsoft’s premier mobile resource management solution, Encore, offers multiple customization options, allowing users to craft a version of it that works best for their business practices. Three of the most powerful customizations possible with Encore are being able to brand the application to your business, choose certain modules over others, and run selected reports that have specialized data sets.

Branding

Make our solution truly yours by altering its look and feel to fit your business’s brand. Select different color schemes for your interface and easily import your company’s logo into the application to integrate Encore with your business’s message and existing employee workflows. Having an application that’s in compliance with your company’s brand can also help staff become acclimated with the solution more expediently.

Module Customization

Encore gives companies the ability to choose only the features they can benefit from the most with module customization. With options for Timekeeping, Wireless Forms, GPS Tracking, Job Dispatching, and more, Encore helps your team improve upon the biggest weaknesses in your mobile workforce’s operations, ensuring you’re only paying for the capabilities you need.

“Companies today are looking for an adjustable, bespoke business application like Encore,” said Xavier Charles, Actsoft’s director of marketing. “Encore is built in a modular format, allowing organizations to truly tailor the solution’s features strictly to what their businesses require and nothing they don’t. While many other solutions offer too many unnecessary features at too high of a price, our affordable-but-powerful solution puts the business owner in control by letting them customize its functionalities to their company’s specific needs.”

Custom Reporting

Focus solely on the metrics that you need and nothing else using Custom Reporting. Having to sift through irrelevant information while reviewing generalized reports can slow down productivity for your team, make it harder to pinpoint analytics that directly impact revenue, and drain bandwidth; Custom Reporting eliminates these issues by allowing your admins to send reports to selected individuals and tailor them to only include key data points.

Encore’s customization abilities work to make versatility achievable for your workforce. Contact us today to find out more about how your organization can gain benefits like increased revenue, more informed decision-making, and streamlined productivity using the power of our ultra-tailorable solution.

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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07.19
2019

Heat Waves and Bad-Weather Management

It sure looks like it’s gonna be another hot one out there, eh?

Ah, weather. That go-to, default topic reserved especially for workplace conversations when, well, frankly you aren’t sure what else to talk about in a given situation. (Think: when you’re waiting for the elevator to finish its slow crawl to your floor so you can finally be on your way.)

Well, that’s typically the case anyway. But if you’ve been paying attention to the news in recent days (or years, really), then you know the weather is actually a hot-button topic. Right now, Europe is not-so-eagerly awaiting its second bout of record-breaking temperatures expected to hit next week. This comes just three weeks after the first heat wave of the year, which saw an all-time high temperature in France.

Stateside, the Midwest and East Coast are both bracing for impact, so to speak, as temperatures are expected to soar into the 90s and 100s over the weekend, with the possibility of surpassing even 110 degrees in some areas, and there is little expected relief to look forward to even after the sun dips below the horizon. (It’s so bad, New York City actually canceled its much-anticipated triathlon this weekend, the first time its ever had to do this.)

Of course, this is on par with an apparent influx in severe weather many have been experiencing in recent years, whether it’s storms hitting harder and more frequently than they ever have before, or sparse amounts of regular rainfall helping fuel rampant wildfires.

Depending on your business, weather can have a severe impact on your day-to-day operations. If you’re flying blind, so to speak, you might find yourself at a bit of a loss when chaos throws your plans into disarray. But you’ll find yourself in a much better position if you have a management system in place that helps you easily oversee your employees’ activities throughout the day.

For example, should the weather result in one or more emergencies warranting immediate attention, you can use GPS Tracking to determine which team member(s) are best positioned to handle the situation. Then use our Job Dispatching feature to send the new work order(s) and reprioritize so your workers can change course.

If severe weather is impacting your company’s ability to do its job due to safety concerns, you can quickly disperse a secure, team-wide message to the masses, giving them important updates — such as telling them to pack up and seek shelter — that help to make sure everyone receives the same message across the board.

Timekeeping will help you keep track of all those odd hours your workers might be pulling due to weather-related shifts in duties. The GPS stamp on each time punch verifies their locations while on the clock, and you can run ad hoc reports to keep on top of overtime to help make sure it’s evenly dispersed, if necessary.

Next time you find yourself at a loss for original conversation, at least you now know that weather can actually be the jumping-off point for bigger, business-related conversation. And hopefully, that conversation eventually leads to further discussion about a solution — our solution — to your weather-related business conundrums.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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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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