10.09
2019

Barcode Scanning: What’s Your Inventory IQ?

Do you rely on humans to keep track of inventory by counting units or making lists of what’s missing, low, or out of stock? If so, then you’re missing out on a simple piece of technology that can raise your inventory IQ exponentially: barcode scanning. This simple and inexpensive tool is one of the easiest and most reliable ways to keep your business running efficiently while saving you the big three: time, money, and headaches.

There’s no doubt that most inventory mistakes are made through simple human error. Over time these errors can lead to big problems, like customer service issues or lost revenue. With technology becoming more advanced and less expensive, the same smartphones that are being deployed across your enterprise also have scanning capabilities now so you don’t need to purchase additional equipment.

Companies such as Actsoft have the capability of importing barcodes into the mobile form solution which they are using to their customers’ advantage, even for small things, like keeping track of tools for plumbers or consumables such as toilet paper or hair dye in salons.

“Barcode scanning cuts down on training time; anyone can scan a barcode. In contrast, teaching someone complex manual inventory methods is a time-consuming endeavor that can take months for someone to execute efficiently. And even then there is the possibility, if not probability, of human error,” says Xavier Charles, director of marketing and training at Actsoft.

Mark Trumper of Maverick Label says, “Barcodes are easy to use for any collection of data that is necessary for your company. They can be used for pricing or for inventory collection information.  Codes can be attached to any product, and can therefore be used to identify any products or shipments that come in or out of your place of business.”

This versatility is one of the many priceless benefits of barcode scanners. Companies can use the exact same software to price items as they can to receive alerts for low stock or to find out exactly what equipment has been taken out of the office.

Precision, quickness, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness are compelling reasons to consider using barcode scanners in place of two hands and ten fingers. If you’re ready to make the switch, give Actsoft a call we can help you tighten up your operations and start scanning.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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10.08
2019

How Actsoft Solutions Help Improve Your Bottom Line

With every new innovation we add to our solutions, we’re continuing to make things easier, more efficient, and more connected for your business. And all three of these aspects working together result in a major boost to your company’s bottom line annually, with reductions in costs such as:

Fuel

Managing a cost-conscious workforce isn’t exactly simple, but it’s easier to do with GPS Tracking. Our solutions provide near real-time updates on your fleet vehicles’ activities, allowing you to be notified of any instances of excessive idling or speeding by your drivers. Equipping your vehicles with devices like the Geotab GO9 also remains a great way to integrate Encore, our flagship solution, with intuitive hardware that provides diverse insight on how your vehicles are routinely being operated. When it comes to fleet management, use this tandem of software and hardmount technology to identify and curb costly practices your mobile employees may be unintentionally conducting.

Paper

Antiquated processes like filling out paper documents and manually delivering them can be largely eliminated with Wireless Forms. Our applications provide the tools you need to go completely digital with all of your company’s documentation, helping to reduce potential costs associated with paper usage like errors from manual data entry, high purchasing expenses, and time spent driving paperwork back to the office.

Overtime

Actsoft’s Timekeeping feature gives businesses like yours the ability to clamp down on unnecessary overtime payouts with mobile time-punches. Your remote employees can clock in and out using a smartphone or tablet from our Encore solution’s single integrated portal, allowing them to track start and stop times while working with greater accuracy. Over the course of weeks and years, all those saved minutes from more accurate time-punches can have a sustainable positive impact on your company’s bottom line.

To find out more about how our solutions can help carve a path to savings for your workforce, check out our interactive return on investment calculator here, or schedule a demo today to gain an in-depth look at what our applications can do.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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10.04
2019

The Scary Side Effects of Poor Mobile Management

Summer is finally in the rear-view mirror and, as we look ahead, crisp fall weather is on the horizon. Though autumn is a little different for us here at Actsoft’s home office in Florida than it is elsewhere, we still look forward to (slightly) dipping temperatures and all things autumnal: seasonal beverages — sorry PSL, apple cider is the clear winner here — chilly(ish) mornings, and (best of all) the anticipation of the pending (and seemingly never-ending) holiday season.

This month in particular marks the official countdown to Halloween, the frightful holiday that kicks off the whole season. Haunted houses and visages of ghosts and goblins begin to pop up all over the place. It seems that no matter where you turn, you’re faced with visions of terror and the stuff of nightmares.

Of course, this type of scariness is all in good fun. But what isn’t a fun scare — and one we all like to avoid, no matter what time of year it is— is the idea that you’re losing a ton of money every single day from the inability to properly manage your team for the simple fact that they’re all off-site.

Encore can be the safety net that reels you in and gives you access to all the insight you need about your team and equipment, whether it be where tools and vehicles are located, how they’re used, and whether they need to be serviced; employee locations when they clock in or out; and how many customers they’ve tended to that day. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Don’t believe us? Let’s look at the numbers based on a fleet operation of 10 vehicles running on diesel fuel. If your drivers are selecting less-than-direct routes to and from each job and then allowing their trucks to idle needlessly for extended periods of time at each job site, this burns fuel excessively. Now let’s say, on average, this behavior wastes one gallon of diesel fuel each week, per truck. Given a current national average of $3.06 per gallon, that’s $30.60 each week. It may not seem like much, but over the course of the year, your crew’s behavior has effectively thrown away $1,591.20 of your money.

Scary.

Now, let’s consider that the same 10 vehicles in your fleet are staffed by two workers at any given time, and they each make $20 an hour. If the less-than-direct routes they opt to drive waste, say, an hour of each worker’s time every day, that’s $400 a day, which works out to be $20,800 every single year. Just because your drivers aren’t taking the most efficient routes between jobs.

Terrifying.

Think that’s bad? What if your team, unbeknownst to you, is submitting timesheets that aren’t entirely truthful? Maybe they fudge 15 minutes here, 10 minutes there. This could add up to another hour of worker time that you’re paying for, though no actual work is being done. That’s another $20,800 taken out of your pocket annually.

Absolutely horrifying.

(And we’re not even getting into the lost revenue from potential customers that could have been seen if you were able to ensure that your team was operating as efficiently as possible.)

So with just these seemingly innocent, almost unnoticeable behaviors, your company is out $43,191.20 … every year.

About to faint, yet?

As petrifying as this scenario is, there’s a simple solution to it all: Encore. With our Fleet Tracking capabilities, you can make sure that your vehicles are taking the most optimized routes at all times. Plus, you can arrange to have alerts sent your way whenever vehicles are left idling for an excessive period of time, as determined by you. No more burning through fuel (and your wallet) needlessly. Driving the optimized routes will also save you from paying your workers for driving around instead of being at actual job sites.

Our Timekeeping functionality gives you digital verification of not just the times your team clocks in, but also their physical locations. This means there’s no more saying they were working when they were, in fact, just rolling out of bed. Or claiming to be finished with lunch, but hanging around offsite for another 20 minutes. The GPS Tracking capabilities can work in tandem with Timekeeping to help keep your employees accountable.

With the implementation of an easy-to-use, affordable solution, you just saved yourself $43,191.20 every year, plus your team now has time to fit more customers into each workday.

Not so scary, anymore.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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10.02
2019

Check-Engine Light: Get on the Road to the Code

The check-engine light is probably most drivers’ least favorite feature, signaling not only problems with your vehicle but money, time, and potential headaches down the road. While it’s tempting to ignore it for a few days or even weeks, experts warn that failing to address the light can make problems more costly and even hazardous. Also known as the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL), the light is triggered by your car’s engine computer. The problem is it doesn’t actually tell you what is wrong, just that something is wrong.

Decoding the Signal
Since 1996, automakers have standardized the check-engine codes under a protocol called OBD-II, mandating that cars are equipped with a universal connector to communicate these codes. Usually located under the steering column, this connector is easy to use and access. Nowadays you can purchase an inexpensive code reader but you still have to decipher it.

Actsoft now has a convenient solution for drivers and fleet managers: Comet Fleet, a GPS Tracking solution, now has code reading capability that will alert you in real-time. This information is invaluable when managing several vehicles because drivers and fleet managers now have the chance to make informed decisions on whether a driver can continue on his route or if the vehicle needs immediate attention.

Common Codes and What They Cost (and Save) You
According to Edmund’s, an automotive research center, the five most common reasons for the check engine light to come on are:

  • Faulty oxygen sensor (part of the emissions system, monitoring and helping adjust the air-fuel mixture)
  • Catalytic converter
  • Ignition coil and spark plugs
  • Loose gas cap
  • Mass air flow sensor (monitoring the amount of air mixed in the fuel injection system)

The oxygen sensor, which monitors the amount of unburned oxygen in the exhaust and tells your car’s computer when there is either too much, or not enough fuel, is a common problem among vehicles. This repair can cost an average of $258, according to CarMD. However, it can save hundreds or even thousands in the long run since a faulty sensor can reduce gas mileage by a whopping 40 percent. The same is true for the mass air flow sensor, which calculates the amount of air coming into the car and determines how much fuel to shoot into the engine. CarMD reports that when this malfunctions, it can drop fuel efficiency by 10–25 percent which, over time, will cost you much more than the $378 (on average) it costs to fix right away.

While your check engine light may just be screaming for a new spark plug, don’t be one of the nine million drivers who have a habit of ignoring their lights for three months or more.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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10.01
2019

Celebrating CX Day 2019 at Actsoft

Today, companies around the globe are taking part in an annual celebration of all things customer experience–related. CX Day takes place each October and was created as a way for employees to take a moment and show their appreciation for the customers that are such a huge part of their daily lives and their company’s success.

This morning, we kicked off our own CX Day celebration and will continue to host mini-events throughout the day which are intended to be both fun and a reminder to the importance it is to always deliver excellent service to our customers.

We started off with a heartfelt thank you and virtual toast to our customers, delivered through each of our social platforms. (You’ll also see it at the top of this post.) You, our customers, are why we’re here and we want to make sure you know just how much we appreciate you.

Staff activities include:

Educational Workshop
Team members are encouraged to break up into groups and create various customer personas. Using these personas as training tools is an effective way for us to learn how to best serve the many personalities we interact with on a daily basis.

Meme Contest
Taking our love of memes — who doesn’t love these? — representatives craft fun plays on some of the popular templates we’re all familiar with. They have to represent or reinforce quality customer relationships. Afterward, everyone votes on their top three favorites.

Closing Celebration
This is when we get to review the lessons learned from the day’s activities. What did our team take away from the persona exercise? What did the meme generation remind us about our responsibilities as customer experience representatives? We top it off with a toast to our team after handing out awards.

We were excited to see so many other companies taking part in their own activities to show customers how much we truly appreciate them. Thank you for being a part of our celebration and our everyday lives.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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10.01
2019

How Football Player Speed Tracking Is Similar To Fleet Analytics

This past Sunday, Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb ran for 165 yards and three touchdowns, helping his team secure a 40-25 win over the Baltimore Ravens. On his most explosive run of the day, an 88-yard bolt to the end zone, Chubb reached a ridiculous top speed of 21.95 miles per hour, per Next Gen Stats.

The National Football League has been experimenting with new ways to track player performance, measuring advanced statistics using cutting-edge technology. Thanks to concepts like ultra-accurate speed clocking and catch percentage measurements on tight-window throws, insightful data is readily available on how players are performing, and as a result, the performance analysis process is more detailed than it’s ever been.

At Actsoft, our applications’ GPS Tracking feature mirrors many of the innovative technologies the NFL uses to track routes and top speeds by its players on long touchdown runs. Our tracking solutions are able to record the top speeds and route histories of each individual vehicle in your organization’s fleet using a combination of hardware and software, providing a powerful new way for you to regulate operations in the field. From your Actsoft solution’s dashboard, see a live view map of your vehicles in near real-time, as well as the directions they’re traveling. Advanced statistics on stop times, route histories, and speeds traveled by your mobile employees in company vehicles are also available to managers, allowing your business team to enhance quality, safety, and efficient fuel usage. If certain staff members are traveling faster than you’d like for them to while en route to an assignment, use Alerts to receive  notifications any time your customized thresholds for speeding are exceeded.

With advanced technology that collects and reports data on your fleet’s activities, Actsoft solutions are designed to help your managers stay in control of the mobile workforce they employ. Use our tools to increase team accountability by identifying excessive speeding and unnecessary stops by members of your remote teams while they’re on their way to scoring you more business.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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09.25
2019

Preventing the Overheating of Your Fleet

Vehicle maintenance is a huge pain in the neck for fleet owners during the summer months. Oil-changes, brake replacement, engine performance, the list could go on depending on the vehicle and the particular issues associated with the repairs. As the temperature climbs, it’s better to be prepared in advance than to wait until after the company vehicle overheats in the middle of a job.

According to CarMD, two common check engine repairs are “replace thermostat” and “replace fuel injectors.” The grim truth is that vehicle repair lurks around the corner for companies that are transportation based, and in the summer months when travel is more frequent and temperatures are higher than usual the need for vehicle maintenance also rises.

Although vehicle repairs will be a situation that is addressed as it arises for some companies, there are always proactive solutions. One big way to avoid a maintenance-related issue that can keep vehicles out of commission is to have reliable maintenance safety programs.

With Actsoft, company owners can set up maintenance alerts on vehicles. Having the ability to set up notifications for vehicle maintenance eliminates the guesswork for which vehicle needs to be serviced, when it needs to be serviced, and what specifically needs to be serviced. These maintenance alerts are a part of the reporting feature and can be included in a regular report emailed to management.

The alerts can be set up far in advance or edited as needed. The maintenance alerts become even more helpful when used in conjunction with other alerts in that keep management aware of driving behavior. Administration receives alerts when vehicles are excessively idling, speeding, hard accelerating or braking, in use away from where it should be, and if vehicles are used off-hours.

Knowing all the details of a vehicle’s usage helps decision makers know if vehicle A should get a tire rotation, or if vehicle B should be in line for a battery check, and if vehicle C needs more coolant. Having access to these alerts, give company owners the maintenance information before the check engine light comes on.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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09.23
2019

Practical Uses for Form Workflows

As one of the most dynamic tools that our Wireless Forms feature has to offer, Form Workflows* is an essential way for companies using our solutions to streamline their documentation processes. This is done through employees digitally sending incomplete forms from one mobile device to the next, allowing them to fill out any relevant information in a seamless chain of command. In addition to helping your staff save time, Form Workflows can also help enhance the accuracy of your documents’ data, as well as allow you to implement authorization processes for submitted forms. Personnel who have greater permissions are able to reject and send back an electronic document once it’s been submitted to them to the previous user if there are certain portions missing or if the data is incorrect. Here are a few practical ways that Form Workflows can be used in three different industries:

Construction

A construction company can rely on Form Workflows to track the near real-time progress of their building projects with documentation routing. As certain aspects of a project gradually become finished, the teams that were responsible for their completion can fill in details about the construction site’s timeline and send them back wirelessly for management at the home office to review.

Healthcare

For healthcare organizations, monitoring medical services delivered remains key for quality control and verification purposes. Using Form Workflows, these companies can store and transmit data back to headquarters in a highly secure environment, giving individuals on their administrative teams extra abilities to sign off on and evaluate details about conducted patient visits.

Transportation

Moving cargo is easier to do by using Form Workflows to help trace vehicle stops and shipment statuses. Truck drivers who are taking goods from the warehouse to the airport for worldwide distribution can use a tandem of Form Workflows and Signature Capture to ensure that deliveries are successfully handed off. As a result, customer service can remain optimized, as increasingly efficient workflow tracking provides more realistic package arrival times for the clients awaiting them.

Find out more about how Form Workflows can help your organization implement accuracy checklists, save your company time and money, and improve its service levels to customers today.

*Form Workflows is a feature exclusively available to users of Encore’s Ultimate tier.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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09.20
2019

How to Reduce Your Fleet’s Carbon Emissions

What do you think is the most important issue facing fleet operators today? According to a recent study, 88 percent of fleet industry experts believe that cutting emissions ought to be a top priority. This should come as no surprise since nowadays there is a strong emphasis on all things environmental. Any way companies can cut carbon emissions is seen as a win, both from a green standpoint, but also many times from a financial standpoint, because it typically means decisions are being made to proactive cut down on wasted resources.

But how do you go about making such a big change? You’ll be hard-pressed to find any business owner that is willingly throwing money out the window and encouraging the waste of resources. So why then is it such a huge issue and what can be done about it?

Depending on your budget, you could make the switch to an all-electric fleet, as we’ve discussed in the past. This is the most straightforward solution when it comes to virtually eliminating carbon emissions created by your vehicles. In fact, retail giant Amazon is so committed to the idea, it recently announced a multi-billion dollar deal in which it will purchase 100,000 electric delivery trucks that will eventually be responsible for dispersing billions of items to their customers around the world. It’s a game-changing move that is expected to be fully implemented by 2030.

Of course, the move to an electric fleet is not exactly feasible for many companies. Not right now, anyway. Very few have Amazon-rich resources to draw from — not to mention, even for such a giant, it will take more than a decade to bring full circle — so the solution for most has to be a little more practical.

That’s where we come into the picture. Using our affordable software, fleet managers can easily establish close monitoring of their fleet vehicles and, using metrics pulled via our easy-to-customize reporting tool, make better-informed decisions that can positively impact fuel consumption. You’ll be able to track driver routes to ensure that the most efficient roads are taken, direct drivers away from dense traffic conditions, monitor how long vehicles are being left needlessly idling, and even receive alerts if drivers are habitually hard accelerating each time they move forward.

All of these behaviors contribute to the excessive, wasteful burning of fuel, but they’re also easy to remedy … if you know about them. Once you have a foolproof way to coach drivers into taking on smarter driving practices, you’ll start to notice an increase to your bottom line and you’ll be doing your part to reduce your company’s carbon emission output. That’s more money in your pocket and fresher air to breathe, with almost no effort on your part.

And this just barely scratches the surface of what Encore can do for your business. If waste reduction is high up on your priority list, we’d love to set up a time to speak with you and show you all that we can do to maximize your potential.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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09.19
2019

Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports Go Wireless

Since the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), fleets have had to be diligent if not vigilant about logging in their hours of service information as well as reporting problems with their vehicles. The act requires a daily audit by the driver on vehicle parts and systems that affect maintenance and operation, which include:

  • Emergency equipment
  • Parking brake
  • Coupling devices
  • Wheels and rims
  • Steering mechanism
  • Service brakes, including trailer brake connections
  • Lighting devices and reflectors
  • Tires
  • Windshield wipers
  • Rear vision mirrors
  • Horn

Part of the fleet owners’ responsibilities involves ensuring the safety of their vehicles by maintaining their equipment and addressing problems, including anything a driver may note in a report.

As the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) advises, “Prior to requiring or permitting a driver to operate a vehicle, every motor carrier or its agent shall repair any defect or deficiency listed on the driver vehicle inspection report which would be likely to affect the safety of operation of the vehicle.”

The accuracy of these reports is crucial, but manual reporting can cause mistakes, which may lead to big problems down the road.

We have developed reliable and accurate FMCSA-compliant fleet solutions that will automatically keep track of inspections and defects. This is a huge weight lifted from fleet owners and drivers. Managers can ensure that their fleet is staying in compliance with the law, and drivers can stay focused on driving, safety, delivery, and so many other important responsibilities throughout the day. With Actsoft’s premier mobile solution, you can simply complete your Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR) with the information from your mobile device, and it will be available in the cloud in near real-time.

In addition to DVIRs, Actsoft’s solutions, including vehicle tracking devices, have a wide variety of features you are sure to find useful, from driver scorecards (Is your driver going dangerously fast and making liabilities a probability?) to idling reports (Could you be wasting hundreds of dollars on idling fuel and not even know it?). Capturing speed, driver location, and even whether a car door is open can make all the difference in optimizing your business over the long haul.

Still have questions? FMCSA has you covered. Take a look at these frequently asked questions and you’ll be an expert in no time.

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