11.08
2019

Radio Waves and Data Security

If, like me, you have a propensity for following tech blogs, you may have heard about a recent snafu that occurred across the pond. The incident I’m referring to involves an amateur radio enthusiast who set up an automatic feed that picked up stray radio waves and converted these transmissions into text. This text was then displayed on a computer screen and its content was broadcast via webcam onto a live feed that was open to anyone who stumbled across it.

The biggest issue here: This setup was picking up messages from the pagers — yes, those seemingly archaic devices we all wanted back in the 90s still do exist — used by medical professionals and, as such, the information that was being recorded and transmitted included sensitive patient information from emergency ambulatory calls. Names, addresses, and injuries were being put on display for anyone to see.

Upon discovering this, the radio enthusiast’s internet provider was contacted and the user — who said he was unaware of the type of information that was actually being recorded and shared — ended the webcam feed. But who knows just how many patients had their personal information splashed across the page of an otherwise innocuous, automated web feed? And it begs another question: How many more patients will have their personal information broadcast over an unsecured network? The UK’s National Health Service said that medical facilities have until 2022 to convert from pagers to a more secure system. That’s a long time to wait for patient confidentiality!

Stateside, however, healthcare providers are governed by regulations set forth by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. With HIPAA, patient confidentiality takes center stage. There are serious repercussions here if it’s discovered that a patient’s private information is leaked, including hefty monetary penalties.

Data security — particularly within the healthcare industry — is a big part of why we developed the Vault version of our Encore solution. With Encore Vault, you get a solution with end-to-end data encryption that guarantees all information recorded is fully secure while at rest and when being transmitted to the home office. We even enlisted a neutral third-party company to verify that our software meets the standards of HIPAA compliance.

Whether you’re an at-home care provider and simply need a secure digital form that allows you to satisfy the requirements of Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) as mandated by the 21st Century Cures Act, or you need the benefits that come with the more robust, complete version of our software — which includes Job Dispatching, Timekeeping, near real-time GPS Tracking, and much more — we can help bring greater efficiency to your company while keeping all of your important information leak-free.

Don’t let your healthcare company become a front-page headline for all the wrong reasons. Give us a call and let’s chat about the ways Encore Vault can boost your efficiency and keep your private information secure.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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11.06
2019

What Makes Encore’s Wireless Forms Feature Dynamic?

Encore’s Wireless Forms feature offers a much more robust experience to companies than what traditional paperwork offers. By allowing your mobile employees to document and submit form data from a smartphone or tablet, the feature is able to harness all the capabilities of mobile technology to increase efficiency and detail with every form submission. Here are three specific ways Wireless Forms offers a more dynamic documentation process than traditional paperwork.

Dynamic fields

Perform anything from mathematical equations to signature captures with dynamic fields on Wireless Forms. These portions of a digital form provide more versatility and functionality than traditional paper documents, making the form completion process simpler, smarter, and more detailed. Four types of dynamic fields include:

  • Signature Capture (with a touchscreen device)
  • Photo Capture
  • Audio Capture
  • Barcode Scanning

Data analysis

Form data submitted back to the office from the field is formatted and collected on our Encore solution’s dashboard, making it easy for your administrative team to see and analyze graphical representations of all submitted data from your company’s mobile staff. Manual data entry is eliminated from paper forms to desktop computers, increasing your team’s productivity and providing it with extra insight on your workforce’s activities.

Faster information reception

Instead of having to drive truckloads of paperwork to and from the office, or worse, paying for security companies to transport it far distances, rely on Wireless Forms to transmit information nearly instantly on a highly safeguarded digital platform from mobile devices back to the office. Encore Vault’s heightened security levels are able to help keep document data secure at rest and in transit, allowing you to receive document submissions quickly and confidentially.

Reduce paper costs, damage from handwriting or mathematical errors, and wasted time with Wireless Forms. By providing your team with additional savings avenues, this feature of Encore adds documentation that’s truly dynamic to your workforce’s processes.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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11.06
2019

Truck Safety: Tips and Tools to Promote Good Driving Habits

As the amount of freight transportation activity increases, so do the chances of traffic accidents. Today, trucks carry the majority of freight, about 65 percent, from the United States into Canada and Mexico. With all this movement, there are bound to be accidents. But how many are preventable? What, if anything, can companies do to curb bad driving habits? Experts agree that implementing a proactive program in the workplace is a crucial factor in mitigating traffic incidents. Before we explore possible incentives employers can provide to promote safe driving, let’s look at what commercial truck drivers can do when they get behind the wheel.

  • Get plenty of rest before driving.
    Eat well and stay fit. Driver fatigue and lack of attention can significantly increase your risk of a crash.
  • Slow down in work zones.
    Stay alert. Almost one-third of work zone fatal crashes involve large trucks. Most of these crashes occur during the day. Take your time going through work zones, give yourself plenty of room, and expect the unexpected.
  •  Be aware of your “No Zone.”
    Other drivers may not be aware of the size of your blind spots. One-third of all crashes between large trucks and cars take place in the No-Zone areas around a truck. Adjust your mirrors and be vigilant in watching out for vehicles.
  • Always keep your distance.
    Leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you. In rear-end collisions, regardless of the situation, if you hit someone from behind, you are considered at fault. Large trucks, given their mass, have much greater stopping distances than 4-wheelers. Take advantage of your driving height and anticipate hard braking situations.
  • Always maintain your vehicle.
    It can save your life. Inspect your vehicle before each trip and check your brakes regularly. Brake defects are the most frequently cited out-of-service inspection violation. Learn how to inspect your brakes, identify safety defects, and get them repaired before risking your life and the lives of others.
  • Drive defensively.
    Avoid aggressive drivers and maintain a safe speed. Two-thirds of all traffic fatalities may be caused by aggressive driving behaviors. The only thing excessive speed increases is your chance for a crash.
  • Always fasten your seatbelt.
    Buckle up for safety and vehicle control. If you are in a crash, a seat belt will save your life. It will keep you in your seat and allow for you to maintain control of your truck. Increasing seat belt use is still the single most effective thing we can do to save lives and reduce injuries on our roadways.

Keeping Track of Your Drivers: How You Can Help?
Now that you know what your drivers should do, how do you know that they’re practicing good driver behavior throughout their shifts? From minor collisions to major accidents, your business depends on safe, conscientious drivers who will mitigate risk and represent your business with integrity. Actsoft offers incredible, affordable, and reliable software solutions for tracking and monitoring driver behavior. Through detailed reports (which you control the frequency of, from daily to monthly to ad hoc and more), you’ll get a full picture of your drivers. Some of the things you can monitor are:

  • Speed
  • Rapid acceleration and deceleration
  • Arrival and departure times

You may also receive vehicle maintenance reminders and alerts informing you when drivers are in restricted or unauthorized areas. This is especially useful when the law prohibits certain freight from entering certain areas, such as neighborhoods and school zones.

If you’re ready to take a step toward a safe, low-risk approach to vehicle management, then give us a call! We can help you choose solutions right for your needs and budget.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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

11.01
2019

Professional Services Spotlight: QuickBooks Integration

Last week, we introduced you to the world of our Professional Services team, a group of talented individuals who are responsible for spearheading the more labor-intensive integration projects that some of our customers don’t have the resources to execute for themselves.

While we continue to explore the various projects that our Professional Services team takes on, you’ll quickly see that their capabilities are quite extensive. Last time, we showed you how they were able to save one company a lot of time and money by creating a custom business intelligence dashboard. This week, we’re going to take a look at how they handled QuickBooks integration with another of our customers.

Order Integration with QuickBooks

The Challenge: This delivery service was using QuickBooks Online (QBO) as their invoicing tool to keep track of orders that needed to be delivered. Historically, they would print out the invoices for their drivers at the beginning of each workday, which drivers used to appropriately load their vehicles and then refer to at each delivery site.

Rather than continue to rely on this tedious process, the customer wanted to have invoice information automatically feed into Encore via the Dispatching tool. This would allow the back office to save time and resources by cutting back on so much printing. Plus, drivers wouldn’t have to haul piles of paperwork around every day.

The Solution: Our Professional Services team was able to create a workflow that synced the customer’s QuickBooks Online account with our Encore solution. So now, whenever the customer creates an invoice using QBO, the integration our team put together — using Microsoft Flow — automatically generates an order in Encore.

Taking it a step further, they also added a feature that would create a PDF of each QBO invoice. These invoices can be uploaded to a Dropbox account, with a sharable URL included on each order form, allowing drivers to easily view the full invoice, as the customer would receive it, right on their phones.

The solution that Professional Services came up with for this customer greatly sped up their processes and ultimately saved them both time and money. It’s just another example of the innovative thinking this team puts forward and demonstrates the potential return for your business if you were to take advantage of their expertise.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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10.29
2019

Using Encore’s Timekeeping Feature to Make Payroll Management Easier

Payroll doesn’t have to be complicated for your mobile workforce. With Encore, your employees can clock in and out from the app that they already use for everyday operations, giving them an intuitive new way to manage their time schedules while on the job.

Even though our solutions can’t entirely take the place of your team’s payroll software, API integration allows Timekeeping data your employees have recorded to seamlessly sync with the system you currently have. This ability simplifies the payroll management process and consolidates things for your company.

Additional benefits of taking your timesheets mobile include reduced overtime, neater organization, and enhanced productivity. By giving your staff a way to register time-punches directly from a smartphone or tablet, they’re equipped with the tools they need to stop working as soon as their days are up, without having to drive back to the office first to clock out while still on company hours. This can also help increase the amount of work each individual on your team can accomplish daily by giving them more available time in the field, resulting in a boost to your business’s bottom line. Fit in more customer requests per day by using Timekeeping to help eliminate unnecessary drive time as a routine task for your mobile employees.

Electronic timesheets are also able to improve your business’s processes by enhancing its level of organization. Smarter storage and an absence of illegible handwriting throughout the timekeeping process both work to improve accuracy, as there’s less points for errors to potentially occur when timecards aren’t having to be regularly filled out by hand and manually delivered to the office.

With the power of Encore’s Timekeeping feature, your business can embrace all the benefits that mobile technology has to offer to the remote workforces of today. Find out more about what integrating timesheets with your existing payroll system can do to help your company save by scheduling a live, customized webinar here.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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10.25
2019

Professional Services Spotlight: Business Intelligence Dashboard

Here at Actsoft, we pride ourselves not only on our ability to provide companies with affordable, easy-to-implement solutions that help them reshape the way they do business every day, but also in being able to offer additional services that go one step further and help implement our software in ways that companies may never have realized was possible, nor would have had the ability to execute themselves.

For these types of projects, our Professional Services team is available to take on the intricate back-end work on your behalf, handling all the development work necessary to get you up and running as fast as possible with a more powerful, time- and money-saving system in place, to help make your company realize its true potential.

So what types of projects can our Professional Services team handle? Glad you asked. We’re going to start sharing a selection of use cases — all from real Actsoft customers — to give you a better understanding of just what our talented team can do.

Creating a Custom Business Intelligence Dashboard

The Challenge: This customer, who operates a refrigeration service business, needed an easy way for their technicians to quickly review customer history and know what tasks had previously been performed. Historically, their method was inefficient and required techs to call the office, relay equipment serial numbers, request that an on-the-spot report be pulled, and then have the service history relayed.

Making matters worse, there was no way for the office to pull reports based on serial numbers. They could only search by user and date range and since there was no way to know when the equipment was last serviced and by whom, they had to pull a much broader report and scour through significantly more results for the serial number in question in order to find the needed information.

To say the least, it was not efficient.

The Solution: Our Professional Services team was able to create an integration that automatically saved all of the company’s equipment history forms, which then fed into a business intelligence dashboard that displays all submissions. They built a search filter that allows users to search specifically for the serial number. From there, they could review the history specifically for that unit.

To make it even easier, our team generated a URL for the dashboard, meaning that technicians can easily access the database from the field (as long as they have mobile service) and search for the equipment history themselves … without having to call the office.

Just imagine all the time this company is now saving from this easy-to-use feature. That’s the kind of game-changing solution our Professional Services team excels at delivering to our customers. Think about what they could do for your business.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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10.22
2019

Actsoft’s Strategic Partnership With Geotab

As a strategic partner of ours that supplies top-notch fleet tracking devices and fleet technology, Geotab is the perfect complement to Actsoft’s solutions. Our alliance with Geotab allows us to pair ultra-advanced hardware and fleet diagnostics with the workforce management capabilities of our solutions to give your team a truly robust digital management platform.

Through Geotab GO9 devices, the MyGeotab software, and Actsoft integration, companies can have a rich and detailed fleet management experience, gaining tools for advanced collision detection, driver reports, and more, as well as the features they need to effectively manage all other aspects of their workforces.

After employees have exited their business vehicles and begin working, insight can sometimes become lost; this is where handset tracking comes in. Our solutions provide device monitoring technology, allowing you to keep tabs on each member of your team during working hours in the field. In addition to handset tracking, we also provide solutions for Timekeeping, Job Dispatching, Intra-Company Messaging, and Wireless Forms, allowing your team to take its processes fully digital and control its operations with higher efficiency. When paired with Geotab’s proficiency in the fleet management sphere, our solutions can provide even greater potential for your business.

Use Actsoft and Geotab to gain full insight on both your fleet and remote workforce in near real-time. Our strategic partnership with Geotab allows us to expand the capabilities of our mobile management solutions, help our existing customers continue to succeed, and create meaningful new relationships both now and in the future.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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10.21
2019

How to Make Data Work For You

Every day companies are collecting data, whether intentionally seeking it out or as a byproduct from conducting business as usual. This information is usually varied and potentially meaningful, from customer service queries and sales information to ethnographic and geographic statistics. All of it can make an impact on your business if its properly understood and used to inform strategy. According to “Hypotheses in Marketing Science: Literature Review and Publication Audit” by J. Scott Armstrong, Roderick J. Brodie, and Andrew G. Parsons, marketing research uses the scientific method in that data is collected and analyzed to test prior notions or hypotheses. Experts in marketing research have found that studies featuring multiple and often competing hypotheses yield more meaningful results than those featuring only one dominant hypothesis. Therefore, objective analysis coupled with a few hypotheses and a structured series of tests may be the smartest way to yield positive results.

With so many avenues from which companies are receiving information, figuring out how to capture that information, or even how much of it to capture can be daunting. (Do we need to figure out how many clients with red trucks are purchasing a particular product, and if there’s a trend?) However, the good news is that with the acceleration of technological progress, there’s also more access to data-capturing tools, and at more affordable costs. Who knows? You may even have those tools now, but don’t realize it.

Actsoft’s Wireless Forms is a perfect example of a solution that provides various functionality, including data capture and analysis. Many clients use these forms, which replace cumbersome paper variations, simply for placing orders. This is fantastic as it saves them time, energy, and tons of money on paper costs and storage. But many are missing out on leveraging all that data they’re collecting to spot trends among their customers. And what’s more, this component of Wireless Forms is included in the monthly costs, so it costs nothing extra to get reports, charts, graphs, and more. All you need to do is set the parameters and let our software do the rest.

In this day and age, when more and more people are competing for business, it’s necessary to take advantage of every opportunity to gain insight into your customer base to hit that sweet spot others might be missing … even if just barely.

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.

10.15
2019

Help Keep Fleet Maintenance Costs Under Control with Actsoft

Fleet management comes at a cost. In addition to fluctuating fuel expenses, the price of maintenance on even a small group of vehicles can add up over time and worsen if no attention is paid.

And while wear and tear is inevitable on your business’s fleet vehicles, with necessary maintenance coming up at times, Actsoft solutions can help reduce the frequency at which your fleet may need repairs with alerts for routine maintenance, aggressive driving, and more. Our applications integrate with easily installed hardware in each of your fleet’s vehicles to report vital data about the ways they’re being operated, so that you can stay updated on maintenance schedules and damaging driving habits.

As routine check-ups can help prevent even costlier repairs down the line for your vehicles, our applications work to keep your administrative team updated about each individual truck or car in your fleet. Past maintenance schedules can be reviewed from our solutions’ interfaces, and you can receive reminders about when specific vehicles are due for a tune-up on the fly. As certain vehicles in your fleet may be driven more than others, diagnostics on individual usage provide you with a more detailed experience that allows you to save time and money. For example, rather than changing the oil on all of your fleet vehicles at the same time, you can pinpoint which ones are approaching the recommended 3,000-mile limit since their last oil change, and only replace the fluids on those particular cars.

Aggressive driving behaviors can also speed up wear-down, particularly for engines, the power steering, and the brakes in each of your vehicles; however, nearly instant notifications through Encore’s dashboard can help you identify and curb excessive instances of harsh braking or hard accelerations by your employees while they drive company vehicles. Designate specific thresholds for speed, accelerations, and slowdowns to track staff driving behaviors and optimize the lifespan of your fleet.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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