06.28
2019

Summer Vacation Season and Workforce Management

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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06.26
2019

How Small Business Is Helping the Environment

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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06.25
2019

Fleet Safety 101 With Actsoft Solutions

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

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

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

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

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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06.21
2019

Summer School and Fleet Tracking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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06.18
2019

Ways to Enhance Your Company’s Brand

One of the most effective ways to increase customer loyalty is to focus on enhancing your organization’s brand. However, developing a powerful name in your respective market can be challenging to do when you’re just starting out, and even once your company has achieved this, it’s still a constant process to maintain.

Every aspect of your business should be optimized to help you effectively address the needs of your customers. Here are a few tips to help your company do just that, and craft a sterling brand at the same time.

Redefine your company’s mission

If it’s been a while since your organization has realigned its focus and business strategy, you may want to think about giving it some attention. As the market is constantly changing, it’s important to take note of any changes in interest by your target customer base, and tailor your business practices to meet their new needs. Redefining goals also helps to unify your team and give them a clearer understanding of what new strategies they can implement to better address customer requests.

Focus on timely and attentive customer care

Build a brand backed by an excellent reputation to foster repeat business. Delivering timely, attentive service remains one of the best ways to retain customer loyalty, garner new opportunities, and build up a quality standing in the market, so make sure that the positive experiences of your clientele are highly emphasized. Highlighting these will allow your company to generate a brand that has the wellbeing of customers as its top priority.

Consider a brand makeover

If your business’s logos, color schemes, or overall visual representations to customers are outdated, you could be falling behind your competition. Brand makeovers serve as adaptations to the marketplace of the 21st century; stay relevant by ensuring that your organization’s appearance reflects both modernity and reliability to its prospective customers.

Just like these tips can help you enhance your company’s brand, Actsoft solutions can assist your organization with increasing its performance. You can even customize your Actsoft application to include attributes of your brand such as updated logos and color palettes to truly drive home your message. Use our solutions today to improve punctuality, efficiency, and productivity across your entire workforce, boosting the potency of your brand in the process.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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06.14
2019

Uber Elevate and Business Innovation

Uber unveiled this week that the third test city to be added to the list of its long-anticipated “flying taxi” service will be on the other side of the globe, in Melbourne, Australia. (The first two being stateside, in Los Angeles and Dallas.) If you haven’t been following the story, the hugely popular ride-sharing company — which revolutionized the way we all think about taxi services — has long been touting its plans to take to the skies, offering users a virtually traffic-free ride experience. (As it stands, Uber is already set to whisk people to and from JFK Airport.)

The designs for the taxi, recently unveiled at the company’s annual Elevate conference, reveal what can only be described as an airplane-helicopter hybrid, with a sleek, futuristic vibe that channels everyone’s favorite space toon: the Jetsons. It’ll be at least four years before we even see this innovative new option take flight, according to Uber, but it’s still exciting to know changes like this are on the horizon.

This type of thinking — never being satisfied with the status quo — is what catapulted Uber from a “nobody” startup to a major tech leader. The company developed a genius way to completely change an industry that was virtually untouched for decades and its popularity sparked like wildfire. Where other companies may be satisfied at the rapid success, the powers that be at Uber know that real success comes from constant innovation, from always looking for ways to push their business in new directions.

In that same line of thought, our software serves as a means to help push already successful businesses forward. With our suite of solutions, we don’t purport to provide expertise in every single industry. Rather, what we do is give businesses in virtually every industry imaginable the means to vastly improve their processes. We give you a way to maximize your efficiency — through use of features such as Wireless Forms, Job Dispatching, Timekeeping, and others — in order to make the most of what you’ve already built on your own.

One of the great benefits from our solutions is their ability to help you shave precious time off each of your tasks. This saved time creates the opportunity for you to take on even more business, which helps to boost your bottom line. But in addition, some of that saved time can be devoted to ideating, crafting new ways to take your business to an entirely new level, much in the same way the folks at Uber continue to do.

We never stop working on ways to improve our software and roll out even more features that exist to help you make more money. We hope that our role in helping you simplify everyday tasks can also play a part in the greater evolution of your business.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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06.12
2019

Top Reasons to Go Paper-Free

Saving money by going paper-free can mean saving the environment.

Most companies with any kind of foot in today’s world — even if it’s a dial-up foot wearing a 10-year-old computer — knows that paper is no longer necessary. Or, at least, not as necessary as it once was. In fact, if you look at it from Earth’s point of view, it may be the opposite of necessary; it might be downright destructive.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that the primary greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted by the pulp and paper manufacturing industry include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O), all contributing factors in climate change. Basically, these GHG emissions accumulate in the air eventually warm up the climate and affect the atmosphere — in the air and on the ground — all around the world.

Because these emissions are preventable, scientists and environmental organizations are working hard to reduce emissions and educate consumers and companies. The Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) is one of those organizations. They’re working diligently to get the word out about what a mess paper is making in our modern world. In fact, it’s estimated that approximately 300 million tons of paper produced each year, resulting in almost four billion trees cut down annually.

John Mancini, president of the Silver Spring, Maryland-based AIIM estimates that if people around the world act then 821,918 tons of paper and 10,958,904 trees could be saved. “That’s got to be worth thinking about,” says Mancini.

Going paper-free is one of the easiest and most effective ways for companies of all sizes to impact the environment in a positive way. And the benefits for your bottom line are pretty good too — many of Actsoft’s Wireless Forms users report savings of hundreds and sometimes thousands each month. From paper costs and storage to streamlining operations and ensuring paperwork is accurate and on time, these savings really add up.

So what’s in it for Mother Earth? Let’s look at some facts:

  • Major greenhouse gases can remain in the atmosphere for tens to hundreds of years after being released. They become globally mixed in the lower atmosphere, reflecting contributions from emissions sources worldwide.
  • Each year more than 20 million trees are consumed for the production of book papers and about 95 million trees are consumed for newsprint.
  • Deforestation is the source of 25 percent of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Over 40 percent of the global industrial wood harvest is used to make paper.
  • Forests that have been cleared and allowed to regrow do not store as much carbon as an undisturbed forest. In one study in Ohio, a forest that was cleared and allowed to regrow for 70 years stored only half as much carbon as a nearby forest that had never been disturbed.

To learn more about how you can replace your paper forms with easy-to-use electronic versions that can be deployed on your smart phone or tablet, call Actsoft today. We’ve helped countless companies make the transition. Let’s get together and create a smarter planet!

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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06.11
2019

Setting the Pace for Your Workforce

High productivity doesn’t necessarily mean just staying constantly busy. In fact, time management is perhaps the most crucial aspect to keeping productivity optimized for your workforce. Without a plan of how your team needs to be spending its working hours, you could actually end up setting your organization backwards a few steps.

To enhance time management and productivity, first start by outlining the jobs that your workforce needs to complete. Whether they’re revenue-based, retention-based, or internal, the importance level of each will be vital in helping your administrative team delegate its tasks. Arrange these initiatives by priority to help your entire company target its most pressing goals and better achieve them through clear, concise communication with the staff members that will complete them.

It’s also important to set a good pace for how realistic it will be for your team to finish each task. Do this by reviewing past projects, how long it took for those to get done, and evaluating any new steps that your current ones will require accordingly. Establishing realistic, flexible timeframes allows your employees to experience less pressure, effectively switch to new initiatives on the fly, and even deliver more consistently on deadlines.

Actsoft solutions are able to help you carve out a path to streamlined business strategy execution using a wealth of tools. Our products provide near real-time analytics about your mobile workforce’s daily operations, assisting your management team with tracking ongoing job progress, keeping productivity optimized, and adjusting timelines if need be. Features of Actsoft applications like GPS Tracking and Timekeeping can even help you pinpoint areas of your employees’ workflows that could be further optimized for greater efficiency, like certain prohibited driving behaviors using company vehicles or instances of breaks taken too frequently.

With the power of our mobile resource management innovations, poise your organization for more reliable pacesetting, additional savings, and greater growth.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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06.07
2019

Dark Phoenix and Rapid Business Growth

This weekend, comic book fans everywhere will flock to theaters to see the big-screen interpretation of beloved X-Men character Jean Grey as she descends into the chaotic, out-of-control Dark Phoenix. In the movie, the good-natured Grey finds herself unexpectedly wielding immense amounts of psychic powers that quickly compound exponentially, causing her to rapidly spiral out of control.

By now, you may be asking yourself: What the heck does any of this have to do with managing my remote workforce?

Work with me here. In the movie, Jean Grey struggles to maintain control of her powers as they expand way beyond her wildest expectations. While she always knew she was capable of great things, never before did she think her mutant abilities would grow to such levels. Because she hadn’t expected it, she never prepared for it, and so she was ill-equipped to manage it.

Similarly, when you’re running a business and you experience a burst in growth, you may find yourself struggling to keep up. The trick, of course, is to prepare yourself ahead of time. Implement the proper tools that give you the right kind of control over your business’s processes so that, if you do experience that sudden boost from out of the blue, you’re already in a good position to field the influx of necessary work to keep everything running smoothly.

That’s where our solution comes into play.

Implementing Encore into your company’s day-to-day operations gives you an additional level of control and organization, making the process of expansion — even if it comes from out of nowhere — much more manageable than if you were on your own.

Take our Job Dispatching feature. Using our software, you’re able to see the status of every available worker, including the number of work orders on their plates, as well as their current locations, whether they’re at a job site or on the road. Having access to this information, it’s much easier to make an educated decision when new work orders come in and you have to determine who to assign them to.  You can do so right in the application, without ever having to pick up the phone or require the worker to come back to the office to retrieve new assignments.

Once those work orders are disseminated to the crew, they can power through on-site paperwork faster than ever, thanks to our Wireless Forms. With such time-saving features as calculations (with no risk of math errors from trying to add things up in their heads) and decision logic (which skips over unnecessary sections or shows relevant ones based on previous responses), workers can fill these out quickly, freeing up more time to take on additional jobs. Plus, when your forms are digitized, you don’t have to worry about back-office mistakes made from misinterpreting chicken scratch handwriting or forms being lost in transit.

If your sudden business boom means you’ll be dealing with the production and/or distribution of a lot of inventory, you’ll really love Barcode Scanning. This is used in conjunction with our Wireless Forms feature and can really speed up the act of checking products in or out of the warehouse. Rather than manually count each box that comes or goes, simply scan barcodes as they are loaded or offloaded from the delivery truck. You’ll greatly reduce the risk of human error and have a much more accurate accounting of your inventory.

And of course, as you grow, so will your team. It’s inevitable. That’s when our Messaging feature comes into play. With it, you can quickly and easily send group (or individual, if need be) messages in order to make sure important updates are received by all, regardless of whether or not they’re in the office or out in the field. This helps keep everyone on the same page and, depending on the update, can also keep your workers safe.

We’ve barely begun to scratch the surface here, but one thing is for certain: Bringing Encore into your life is a surefire way to streamline your day-to-day operations so that, when the unexpected arises, you don’t spiral out of control like Jean Grey.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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06.05
2019

Can Eliminating Clutter Make Your Workforce Better?

According to scientists at Princeton University, the answer is a resounding, “Yes.”

Results of a study conducted by researchers at Princeton University Neuroscience Institute published in The Journal of Neuroscience concluded that clutter may restrict one’s attention, the ability to process information and the ability to focus on a task.

The report reads: “Multiple stimuli present in the visual field at the same time compete for neural representation by mutually suppressing their evoked activity throughout visual cortex, providing a neural correlate for the limited processing capacity of the visual system.”

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and other physiological measurement tools, researchers were able to observe the brains’ responses while they were performing tasks in both a cluttered and uncluttered environment. The results were clear, showing that if you want to function at your highest level, be most efficient, and complete tasks accurately and thoroughly, then a de-cluttered space is the optimal environment.

How can offices around the world use this research to create a more productive environment? One way is to get rid of unnecessary paper, tablets, notebooks, and calendars in favor of software solutions. Aaah … your desk feels better already.

Imagine a dispatcher using notebooks to keep track of drivers’ phone numbers, schedules, vehicles, deliveries, and more. It’s easy to visualize a desk overflowing with clutter. By cutting through this mess of papers, binders, and calendars, you’ll foster a space that allows your team to get their work done smoothly.

Smart, reliable, inexpensive, and — most importantly — clutter-free tools like those found in our suite of tools are ideal alternatives to messy paperwork. Plus, your team can communicate in near real-time, making dispatching, scheduling, and delivering an orderly process.

Features you’ll love:

  • Create recurring schedules for work to auto-generate assignments to be dispatched directly to your workers.
  • Automatically send new order notifications, inform customers that a worker is on the way, and provide proof of delivery/work completion, including signature and pictures.
  • Make changes with ease. Order sequencing allows you to add new jobs to existing schedules or make adjustments on the fly. Simply drag orders up or down to rearrange as needed. Workers will receive notifications and schedules will instantly reflect changes.
  • Easily see the schedules and availability of your workforce, with calendars to see scheduled work for your employees and customers.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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