03.21
2016

Create Dynamic Content for your Company’s Facebook Page

Communicating to customers in today’s world is different than it was a few years ago. Back then, sending out emails to customers was one of the ways to get exposure, but now it’s just one of the many ways you have to connect with your customers.

Social media makes communicating faster, and in some ways tailored to the crowd you aim to reach. Platforms like Facebook have billions of users scouring the internet every second looking for something new, fun, or trending to share with their personal network.  Business owners, need to know how they can create compelling content to engage their customers and market their products.

Successful business owners know their audience. In order to master reaching consumers, they have  to understand their customers pain points and needs. Meltwater.com says that when developing content for Facebook don’t make the content all about you, instead, cover  topics like these that are relevant to your industry:

  •          Breaking news
  •          Tips
  •          Hacks
  •          Insights
  •          Problem solvers

For instance, taking a breaking news story and developing it into social media content could pique the interest of your audience. Another way to find what your consumers are reading is by using Google Analytics, which helps you understand your consumers’ behaviors and interests online, so you can provide engaging content from your brand.

Don’t only use visual elements and pictures to convey your message; relying on corporate logos or repetitive robotic sounding messaging is a bad idea.  Content producers want to tell stories from actual people that have used your company’s products or services. Posting content that gives sneak peeks on new updates or special events that your company is hosting could be a great teaser to keep your audience coming back for more.

Quality content is one way to get engagement, but it’s not the only way. Posting schedules are just as important, if not more so. Posting every second of the day can actually do more harm than good to audience engagement levels.  A study done by Hubspot.com found that Facebook pages with over 10,000 + followers were the only ones where clicks-per-post peaked at 31-60 post per month. These same companies didn’t see an increase in clicks when they posted 61 times or more per month. Another finding by Hubspot.com showed that organizations with fewer than 10,000 followers posted more than 60 times a month receive 60% fewer clicks per post than the companies that post 5 or fewer times a month. So as it turns out, less can equal more when it comes to your posting schedule.

Below is a chart from Hubspot.com that analyzes the amount of monthly Facebook posts in relation to the number of clicks by visitors per post. 

Spending some extra money could help boost the reach your posts have. Meltwater.com suggests that with a budget as small as  you can ensure that your Facebook content is doing  the job when it comes to marketing and selling your band.

Actsoft understands the power social media has and the benefit it can provide to potential business clients.  Understanding customer pain points, concerns, and needs when developing content for social media sites, results in content that means more to consumers. Pairing content with customer testimonials is a strategy that adds a relatable touch to content for potential partners. Blending a creative vision with a strategic and consistent posting strategy can create dynamic content companies can use to inform and market their products to a wide audience.

 

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03.15
2016

Successful Negotiations and Your Business Plan

Negotiation is something we all have in common. Sometimes we negotiate with others, sometimes with ourselves; it all depends on where we are and what the subject matter is. In business, negotiation is vital to current and future opportunities. Employees who prove to be poor negotiators can cripple a business plan, in a single meeting. When it comes to negotiation, there’s an undeniable truth: what you say and how you say it matters.

Keep the following in mind as you look to improve your negotiation skills:

  • Act Quickly: In negotiations, time is always of the essence. Choosing the right course of action and striking while the iron is hot often become a careful balancing act. Sometimes waiting until cooler heads prevail allows conflict to spread to more people than originally intended. The key is diagnosing problems quickly and acting confidently to reach quick, effective solutions.
  • Remain Neutral: No one wants to feel like their perspective isn’t as valued as the opposing view. Conflict negotiators need to be balanced and fair (even if they have a bias towards a particular point of view). Negotiations should always be respectful towards both sides and create an air of transparency and unrestricted communication.

Even though negotiations sometimes span complex, nebulous topics, they’re usually restricted to a few possible outcomes:

  • Win-Lose: Based on a highly competitive mindset, this scenario is focused on a reward that’s in limited supply. The loser is the one who compromises.
  • Lose-Lose: All parties involved are very competitive and they need to win at all costs. Ultimately, neither get what they are looking for because they’re unwilling to come to a consensus.
  • Win-Win: Both parties win. In theory, this solution creates the most value for all involved parties. It might sound counterintuitive, but win-win scenarios can be very bad for business.

Consider this example:

Suppose you and a friend are preparing a separate dish for a dinner party. Your recipe requires one orange. However, your friend’s recipe also requires one orange. For argument’s sake, there is only one orange in the entire house and purchasing more isn’t an option.

A win-win would involve cutting the orange in half, that way you get half of the orange and your friend gets the other half. However, as it turns out, you were baking a cake and needed the orange’s zest. Your friend was making a smoothie that required the orange’s juice. Neither of you got what you really needed because you settled for a “win-win” scenario. Sometimes compromise isn’t the best option.

Before commencing negotiations of any sort, always make sure the other party has the authority to make commitments their company can stick to. You don’t want to discover you’ve made successful negotiations with someone who still needs approval from his or her supervisor.

Actsoft and Employee Negotiations

Actsoft can give you a powerful bargaining chip when negotiating salaries with your employees. Comet Tracker allows system administrators to track workers’ locations in near real-time, with GPS positioning. As an administrator, you can document employees’ moves and work habits, providing valuable information that can be used to negotiate promotions or pay increases when the time comes. You can see which employees work quickly and efficiently in the field, while properly utilizing company assets. That information can help differentiate the exceptional employees from the average workers.

Whether for a performance bonus, raise negotiation, or even the occasional disciplinary action; full transparency into your employees work habits can help you effectively negotiate each instance with the proper documentation to support your claims.

Actsoft provides the software needed to remove some of the potential guesswork from employee negotiations. However, negotiation is a skill requiring constant practice. As you encounter people with different backgrounds and viewpoints, your conversations with them will change. Use the tips discussed to help you stay at the top of your game as a negotiator.

 

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03.11
2016

What Effective Recruiting Can Do For Your Business

If you’re looking for the cream-of-the-crop, when comes to hiring new employees, you’ll have to do some serious searching, and you’ll need an eye for talent. It might be tough at first, but in order to discover the best candidates, you’ll need to invest some legitimate time and money into finding them.

Help from a skilled staffing agency can take some of the fear out of the recruiting process, as you search for the perfect candidate. Robert Half.com says you should look for a staffing firm that offers specialization, industry recognition, stability and a wide enough reach to meet your specific recruitment needs.

Ensuring that the staffing agency you select specializes in your particular field of service is critical to successful recruiting. According to Robert Half.com, non-specialized or generalist staffing agencies work with a broad variety of candidates, so finding someone with the exact skills and qualifications you need will be more difficult and take longer if you work with a firm that’s not necessarily focused on your field.

A lot of times, staffing agencies that are specialized in your industry know more about the skills and experience successful candidates need to be the right match for your company.

Don’t forget that communication is key when using a staffing agency to look for candidates. You want to make sure that the recruiter knows your particulars when it comes to the job description, work policies, dress code, overtime etc. Don’t expect the recruiter to innately know the procedures and processes of your company.

As you search for the right staffing agency, don’t get caught up with the glitz and glam of the name of the agency. Make sure that the agency’s reputation is as respected as its name. According to Robert Half.com, working with a well-established agency also gives you a “behind the scenes” advantage: Recruiters who are confident they’re working for a stable company won’t feel pressure to make a placement just to help keep the staffing firm afloat.

Consider the market that the staffing agency is tapping into. You’ll want to make sure that they’re not covering the same locations you have already tried. The best firms have access to candidates you can’t reach, suggested Robert Half.com. When you hire a staffing agency, find out if they have a global reach when searching for new candidates. If they do, it will give your business quick access to highly skilled candidates in other markets.

Finding the right staffing agency might take some time, especially with all the nuances that go into the candidate search. The pressures of searching for new candidates, while running your business can be taxing and stressful.

Actsoft knows the pressures businesses face, as they search for the right candidate. With Actsoft’s Comet Tracker, you can manage everyday business, while meeting with staffing agencies.

Comet Tracker helps you keep track of the clock-in and clock-out time punches of your mobile employees while on-the-go. All time punches are date and GPS location stamped. As you’re running from one meeting to the next, stay up-to-date with your workers in the field with Comet Tracker’s worker status updates. The updates give instant information on worker availability, job assignments and dispatching activity. System Administrators can also use Comet Tracker’s dispatching feature to send out new work assignments electronically.

Actsoft technology makes it easy to manage your mobile workforce, while you meet with recruiters to bring in new talent. The applications give you the flexibility to keep things running smoothly, while you focus on your company’s future.

 

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03.07
2016

The Advent of Networking in the Business Arena

In the business realm, successful networking can make or break potential partnerships. New business venues are often chaotic and riddled with underlying pressures as professionals look to make connections. Those who show networking prowess can potentially forge new relationships in foreign territory that can potentially change the direction of their entire business.

Here are some tips to make you an even more effective networker:

  • Keep Your Questions Simple- A simple, direct approach can often prove effective. For instance, opening with “Hello, what brings you to this event?” could prove to be a great ice-breaker. Once you have a better grasp of who you’re speaking with and why they’re at the event, you can come up with more specific questions to ask them.
  • The Art of Conversation- Truth be told, when some people get nervous, they overcompensate by talking too much. Try to avoid this at all costs. Holding the conversation hostage ensures you label yourself as overly aggressive and a poor listener.  The best networkers are masters at making other people feel good about themselves. Active listening is key for successful networking.
  • Always Follow Up- Networking is where the conversation begins, but not where it ends by any means. At networking events, potential partners are speaking with sometimes hundreds or even thousands of suitors all vying for their business. If you’ve had a great exchange, ask for the best way to follow up with them after the event. It’s a good practice to reach out within 48 hours.

We All Network Differently

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to networking. Your success will depend on your comfort with communicating in unfamiliar environments. The reality is that people handle those scenarios differently. Introverts and extroverts react differently to the stimuli encountered during networking events. Extroverts tend to want the focus of the discussion on themselves, while introverts generally prefer listening and questioning.

The key is understanding the type of person you are and focusing on your strengths in networking environments. When it comes to networking, the emphasis should always be on quality, rather than quantity. In her book Poised for Success: Mastering the Four Qualities That Distinguish Outstanding Professionals, Etiquette Expert Jacqueline Whitmore says “One quality conversation is more beneficial than 20 superficial ones.”

Regardless of your personality type, doing your due diligence before a networking event can make a world of difference. Discovering who will be attending an event and researching them will make your questions more logical and effective.

Actsoft Can Help Facilitate Networking

Networking is about proficiency and time management. Professionals usually have a very limited amount of time to make connections before they’re heading to the next opportunity. Actsoft’s Comet Ez can keep track of how long it takes professionals to reach each networking event with GPS tracking. The application can help professionals create the most direct and efficient routes, reducing travel distances, while maximizing the amount of time professionals spend building relationships.

When events are in progress, it’s easy to lose track of time, especially if the conversations are flowing. Networking professionals can use Comet Tracker to set alerts notifying their management teams of when they’ve spent too much time at any single event. With the help of Actsoft technology, it’s possible to create networking game plans that focus on speed and efficiency.

Effective networking is often linked directly to personal and professional growth; as people improve at it, they gain confidence that they can use to advance their own careers. For business professionals, mastering it can be both challenging and time consuming. The proper networking techniques can build trust and understanding; two foundational pillars lasting relationships are built on.

The more you network, the easier it becomes, but practice and repetition are key. Try practicing it by starting short, impromptu conversations with your co-workers around the office.

 

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02.29
2016

Is the Zero-Emissions Vehicle Initiative Picking Up Speed?

A zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) is an automobile that releases zero tailpipe pollution from its’ onboard source of power. The need for zero-emission vehicles is apparent, as we look to protect our environment. The International Zero-Emission Vehicle Alliance (ZEV Alliance) is a conglomeration of several national governments who’ve come together to develop and promote ZEV technology. Their goals are progressive and ambitious, but never too far out of reality’s reach. ZEV alliance members act independently in pursuit of their individual goals, yet as a collective when it comes to general advancement of ZEVs.

The Driving Force Behind ZEVs

Powered by an electric motor, battery powered vehicles are rechargeable and eco-friendly. These vehicles don’t require traditional combustion engines. Rather, they function by passing electrical energy from the battery through wire coils located in the engine creating magnetic fields. This magnetic reaction rotates rotors, moving the wheels and thus propelling the vehicle. When the vehicle decelerates, the process runs in reverse. The motor is used to slow the vehicle down, essentially operating as a miniature generator using the vehicle’s own inertia to charge the battery. The process is called regenerative braking and it can add up to 10 miles to the vehicle’s fuel range. Since electric vehicles use magnetic fields to create their own power, they don’t produce tailpipe emissions. Currently, most ZEVs offer traveling ranges of over 100 miles.

ZEVs in the Market

There’s more to the zero-emission initiative than imagination and idealism; there have been some tangible results as the vehicles skyrocket in popularity. In November of 2014, the Renault-Nissan Alliance sold it’s 200,000th zero-emission car. The Nissan LEAF is the top selling electric vehicle worldwide with sales steadily increasing annually. Renault-Nissan ZEV’s have collectively been driven about 4 billion kilometers, so people are buying ZEV’s and getting them on the road. ZEVs can offer businesses new alternatives for reducing transportation costs and Actsoft technology can help protect their eco-friendly investments.

Keeping Track of Assets with Actsoft

Actsoft’s Comet Fleet technology provides accurate GPS tracking, which reveals vehicle locations, traveling directions and historical routes to decision makers back in the office. When analyzed, this information makes dispatching more efficient and that can raise your company’s overall productivity. Actsoft’s Asset Tracker uses GPS positioning and motion-based technology to keep an eye on company vehicles for security purposes. As efficient as they are, ZEVs aren’t currently topping lists for most stolen vehicles, but it’s always a good business practice for supervisors to know where their assets are. Comet Fleet can also be used to review the time ZEVs spend stopped during routes and that can improve travel efficiency in addition to keeping company vehicles on roads longer.

Management can set alerts and reports to let them know when high-value assets are on the move. Trackers can be installed in vehicles to immediately reveal their locations and supervisors can choose to receive real-time updates on asset movement daily, or they can set specific notification parameters.

ZEVs can potentially save companies thousands of dollars in fuel costs annually if they’re used as fleet vehicles. Even though the savings could be ludicrous, the vehicles still require routine maintenance to remain operational. Actsoft’s Comet Suite applications can provide detailed insight into vehicle statuses, keeping them functional and safe for drivers.

 

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02.26
2016

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Sales Team?

Getting more out of your sales team can sometimes be like pulling teeth, but if sales reps understand the company’s scope and their product, meeting daily goals can become more attainable. According to Saleswise, sales teams need to know what is expected from them in order to achieve success. Business News Daily suggests that laying out expectations of your sales team can go a long way.

Prioritizing daily activities is important to getting your sales teams geared up for success. The day-to-day hustle can get convoluted with different tasks throughout the day. Tony Yenug, Principal at ZS Associates, quoted in SellingPower says “Salespeople are an extremely expensive resource, and many sales forces need to look for ways to streamline noncore activities or offload them to a lower-cost resource.”

A major way to get more out of your sales team is ensuring they aren’t tasked with other things not associated with sales such as: administrative tasks, analyzing data and customer support.  Although these positions are important to have within a company, the sales team shouldn’t beworried about them.

Another tip to keep the momentum going is to ensure that your sales teams is motivated and ready to focus on monthly goals. Inc.com found that sales kickoff meetings or SKOs provide your sales team with a place to learn, collaborate, motivate, inspire and define goals. You also want to make sure that your sales team gets learning opportunities that convey the message that success doesn’t happen overnight. Encouraging breakout sessions that discuss sales tactics and coaching techniques can help leverage new ways to sell.

Being transparent and making sure that everyone on the sales team can see what happens when they reach their monthly quotas, shows each person on the team where they stand. According to Inc.com, managers can become metrics-driven coaches, and not everyone knows what needs to happen to reach their goals.

You can’t have a successful sales team without recognizing and boosting the confidence of your sales reps. After each achievement, there should be some sort of “recognition ceremony.” You can do this any way that you want, for instance, you can give monetary rewards or gift cards. Nima Noori, CEO & founder of Toronto Vaporizer says “I’ve found that the ‘Master’ incentive, coupled with bonuses for targets reached, encourages the already active, friendly competition between my sales reps. It keeps their motivation high and keeps them hungry to be the ‘Master’.”

Keep the competitive drive in your sales team going with Actsoft’s Comet Mobile Worker. With it, you’ll have the ability to create recurring follow-up schedules for your sales reps, so that they can constantly engage with customers.  If you need access to see the availability of your sales reps, then the calendar feature makes it possible to see the schedules and availability of your sales team. With the dispositions feature in Comet Mobile Worker, easily see the locations of your sales team in the field. Comet Mobile Worker provides color coded alerts, so that you can view the status of a worker and re-route them if necessary.

Building a successful sales team starts with having great customer experience. When your customers are satisfied then your company’s identity can expand to new business opportunities. Yenug suggested in SellingPower doing account reviews and checking in with existing customers reinforces the value of the relationship and can potentially drive higher customer satisfaction. Yenug also believes that adopting these habits to engage customers can increase sales by 20 to 25 percent.

Most sales reps want to see an increase in their monthly quotas. They can do that by providing great customer service, defining monthly goals, sharing new sales tactics, and being motivated to exceed their daily expectations. When you keep team performance front and center, it motivates people to pick it up a notch and also shows them who they can learn from, according to  Inc.com.

 

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02.15
2016

Job Site Inspections Bring Workplace Safety Front and Center

Careers in the utilities industry can be lethal due to their volatile nature, so safety is always paramount. Workplace safety often starts with job site inspections. A job site inspection involves examining work location conditions, reviewing safety policies and documents and sometimes speaking with the personnel who will be on-site to ensure the right people are assigned.

Why Inspections Matter

Safety inspections ensure the tools and equipment used have the expected effects in the workplace. In the utilities industry, inspections are some of the most effective ways of uncovering hidden dangers at the worksite. Job sites demand constant surveillance and monitoring as people come and go, to make sure they remain safe.

Typically, workplace inspections look to uncover:

  • Safety hazards- Examining faulty machine guards, unsafe workplace conditions, and outdated work practices are common when it comes to safety hazards.
  • Biological hazards- Job sites can be breeding grounds for organisms like bacteria, viruses and fungi.
  • Chemical hazards- These are often caused by various vapors like gas, dust or toxic mists.
  • Physical hazards- They can be caused by noise, extreme weather, pressure, energy and electricity. The occurrence of physical hazards is directly linked to the job site environment.

Job site inspections are often meticulous and complex, since oversights can have disastrous results. Here are some common topics you’ll find in a comprehensive workplace inspection:

  • Work Area Diagram- Composed of drawings or floor plans. This process is used to segment the work place into areas or zones. The work area diagram can be used to mark locations of heavy machinery, equipment or potentially hazardous materials. You can also use this plan to mark emergency exits or designated work zones for employees.
  • Equipment Inventory- Knowing the type of equipment you’re working with can prevent needless on-the-job injuries. Equipment inventory is where you can review the technical specifications and manufacturer’s safety manuals.
  • Chemical Inventory- It’s important to know which chemicals will be used during the job and whether workers have received the necessary training for handling them. Chemicals also need to be labeled appropriately with information pertaining to handling, storing and disposing of them.
  • Checklists-  A checklist can clarify inspection obligations, control inspection related activities and give updates on those activities. Checklists make it easy to record potential hazards in the field, but they can create a narrow view and should only be used as a supplement.

Making Safety Easy with Actsoft

Actsoft Advanced Wireless Forms (AWF) can be instrumental for helping safety inspectors make sense of complex inspection forms. AWF allows users to build specialized forms they can use to quantify and organize what they encounter in the field. Drop downs, radio buttons and decision logic all come together to provide comprehensive forms that accurately document whether safety protocols have been identified and completed.

Here’s how forms and reports can come together in any industry to ensure expectations are always met with accuracy:

Safety training and work-site inspections are necessary to build a successful safety program. A thorough workplace inspection can potentially identify hazards to be addressed before projects ever start; something that could potentially save lives. The best defense against injury and loss is a proactive approach, one where employees understand the risks and deficiencies that exist during their project and are taking the proper measures to be prepared.

 

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02.12
2016

Transitioning from an Employee to an Entrepreneur

 

Today, more and more people are finding that starting their own business is extremely difficult, but it can be both beneficial and rewarding. In recent studies conducted by the Small Business Administration, only half of new businesses will survive to see their fifth year, but the right tools can make the process of owning a business realistic and attainable.

A key component for starting a new business is shifting your mindset to thinking like an entrepreneur, rather than an employee. The thinking patterns you adopt can largely govern the results you achieve, according to the findings from the 9 ‘Mindsets’ You Need to Switch from Employee to Entrepreneur.

In some moments, you might feel that your decisions you’ve made may cost you more money than you can afford to lose. However, as a new business owner, taking risks are a part of the game. Try to save a considerable amount (perhaps 3-6 months’ salary) to give yourself a cushion for the rainy days.

Managing a new business can be a challenge, but with a plan and determination anything is possible. New business owner, James Roberson, recently transitioned from being a truck driver to owning his own trucking business. He started his business out of his love for traveling and a desire to teach new truck drivers the rules of the road. “[I wanted] to give back to someone what I’ve learned [from my truck driving experience],” Roberson said. Most of what he knows about running his business comes from the years of work that he did in the trucking industry.

Actsoft provides some of the products that he’ll probably need, as Roberson works on getting his business off the ground. Roberson, like other new business owners might need to track drivers’ activities, run reports, or get maintenance alerts on vehicles. Actsoft’s Comet EZ gives business owners the tools to run their business smoothly. GPS tracking provides complete visibility to current locations, proximity to jobs and customer locations, all available through a mobile or vehicle-mounted device.

The ability to run reports at any time helps new business owners manage their employees and fleet, while improving customer service. In the trucking business, knowing when vehicles need to be serviced saves time and money. With the Comet EZ Alerts feature, owners like Roberson can manage driving behaviors and productivity by setting up alerts for speeding or excessive idle times.

The transition from being an employee to business owner comes with its own set of responsibilities. New business owners should look to create a business plan that covers the important parts of a day-to-day operation. The benefits of having a well-structured business plan ensures the idea that there’s a functional plan in place, so when employees are hired each department can run smoothly.

The business plan doesn’t have to be too formal, but it should briefly discuss the operating procedures, products, delivery systems, and potential expansion plans. Entrepreneur suggests testing a small scale of your business plan on the side, while still working your current job. That way, you can test your ideas without leaving the security of your current job.

 

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02.05
2016

Is a Shorter Healthcare Workday on the Horizon?

A new healthcare initiative might be picking up speed in Sweden. Some Swedish healthcare institutions have started rolling out six-hour work days for their employees. The experiment, which began in February of 2015, is looking to shorten the average work day from eight hours, down to six, hopefully raising employee productivity, health and job satisfaction.

So far, early findings look promising. Lise-Lotte Pettersson (an Assistant Nurse at Svartedalens care home) said, “I used to be exhausted all the time, I would come home from work and pass out on the sofa. But not now. I am much more alert. I have much more energy for my work and also for family life.” in an interview with Swedish newspaper the Guardian.

In the U.S. healthcare industry, long hours are traditionally thought to be a prerequisite for success. Employers and their workers alike, are finding that might not exactly be the case. Longer days at work have been shown to actually be counterproductive, as employees might be weary, and unfocused on their tasks.

Market research firm Harris Interactive conducted their third annual Work Stress Survey on behalf of Everest College, polling 1,019 American working professionals. The findings revealed that more than eight out of ten professionals consider themselves “actively stressed” by their jobs. 

The International Labor Organization collected data and found that “Americans work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than British workers, and whopping 499 more hours per year than French workers.” Shorter workdays could be a welcome sight for employees constantly grappling with fatigue.

Keep in mind, fewer hours don’t necessarily mean less gets accomplished or that the quality of work will suffer. Many Nurses said the care they give has actually improved and that they’re happier while they work. The real issue is managing the efforts of healthcare professionals on the clock, since shorter shifts will drastically reduce margins for error in the workplace.

Actsoft understands the importance of effective workforce management, especially with shorter work days potentially on the table. Workforce management and timekeeping technologies can operate in tandem, encouraging the most productivity possible from employees spending less time on the clock.

Comet Tracker can increase efficiency by streamlining several processes. For instance, the software lets nurses and other healthcare practitioners clock in and out on-the-go from mobile devices, freeing up more time for them to tend to patients.  All of the logged timekeeping information is then transmitted to managers, so they can monitor employee habits and patterns to better allocate tasks during a shorter work day.

With Comet Tracker software, healthcare supervisors can instantly see where nurses are, what they’re working on and gauge their availability for the next assignment. Advanced Wireless Forms can also help keep patient files and other sensitive information organized and available at all times.

Shorter working hours won’t be a magic pill for the Healthcare Industry. Deadlines will be tighter, and employees will become more accountable for what they do while they’re clocked in. Actsoft technology can help save time between tasks while letting supervisors manage a mobile workforce.

 

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02.01
2016

Hard Hat Heroics; Keeping Utilities Industry Workers Safe

Some of the most critical services needed to keep our society operating come from the Utilities Industry. Professions in Utilities range from electricians to wind turbine managers, with a host of different types of civil engineers and project managers included. We can all agree that the work they do is important to keeping the lights on, but we can also all agree that people in these fields work some of the most dangerous jobs in existence.

Accidents in the Utilities Industry can be costly. The National Safety Council estimated that in the United States, the annual cost of workplace injuries in 2006 was well over $160 billion. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) conducted a National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (2014) and found that the most dangerous career path goes to logging workers, who died at a rate of 127.8 per 100,000 full-time employees.

Electrical installers and maintenance workers are regulars on the BLS list as well, proving that while the work they do is essential, it’s definitely hazardous. For electrical workers in the United States, an average of about 45 people lose their lives annually, according to findings from the Fallen Linemen Organization.

Occupational injuries often affect more than just the injured workers. When employees miss time due to injury, they indirectly affect the following business aspects negatively:

  • Productivity
  • Cost of hiring new employees
  • Group health insurance costs

Protecting Employees in the Utilities Industry

Physically demanding industries like construction and logging come with a host of issues regarding employee safety. Constantly working with volatile power tools, coupled with long hours in addition to operating in precarious positions can become a perfect storm for injuries or even death. Proper work scheduling is a very serious matter, with employees often working long and inconsistent hours. Supervisors need to ensure that people on the clock have had enough time off to rest between jobs.

Actsoft provides a number of different technologies that can be used to efficiently schedule employees and monitor them while they work in the field. Comet Tracker  gives employers the ability to manage their employees on-the-go, making sure they don’t over exert themselves on more jobs than they can safely handle.

Robust Timekeeping features allow users to see who is on the clock and what their current job statuses are. In the Utilities industry, often times multiple projects occur simultaneously, so it’s critical to ensure the right personnel are properly allocated, both for efficiency and safety. Timekeeping can also be used to minimize overtime, keeping employees from pushing themselves past their limits and saving company dollars. Alerts can be set, notifying employers of when people have worked too much and then they can adjust schedules accordingly. Making sure employees take adequate breaks during jobs is also paramount to safety in the workplace. Fatigue is cumulative, so using mobile timekeeping technology can be a powerful tool in revealing who is on break and who needs to step away from a job to managers.

Advanced Wireless Forms (AWF) can be used to create forms with an easy-to-use, yet intuitive web-based form creator. The simplicity minimizes distractions, keeping workers focused on the task at hand and safe. Forms can also be accessed offline and even stored until a stable internet connection is reached, so workers can pause the process at any time, depending on what’s happening around them.

At the end of the day, it takes the concerted efforts of workers and supervisors alike to create and maintain safe workplaces in the Utilities Industry. Actsoft technology can give employees the tools they need to properly document their actions and work with management responsibly to ensure accidents are reduced or avoided altogether.

 

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