07.16
2019

Managing a Construction Worksite with Encore

In any construction operation, it’s critical for the office to know what’s happening at its project locations in near real-time. However, managing workforce safety, asset security, and employee accountability all at once can prove to be a difficult task for supervisors to maintain if the right solutions aren’t being used. Actsoft’s flagship application Encore enables construction companies to get the most out of their operations by helping them better protect their equipment, stay in OSHA compliance, and remain on track with building project timelines. Here are just a few of the useful features Encore can provide to companies looking to enhance the ways they manage their construction worksites:

Intra-Company Messaging

Build stronger communication channels between your managers and construction workers in the field by using Intra-Company Messaging to relay new information on the fly. Desktop-to-handset integration allows your administrators at the office to message multiple employees at once, saving time and resources. Past conversations can also be reviewed for reference if need be, and your team members can relay project statuses or any new materials requests back to the office using this powerful tool.

GPS Tracking and Geofences

Communication between headquartered administrators and your remote teams is certainly valuable, but our solution takes workforce insight a step further than just Intra-Company Messaging. With GPS Tracking and Geofences, you can draw specified digital boundaries around your building sites on Encore’s live view map, see employee and equipment locations, and be notified any time the perimeters are breached by tracked points of interest. Enhance the transparency of your workforce by using this tandem of tools to help ensure tasks are being completed and that employees are at their assigned locations during working hours.

Asset Recovery

Leave the heavy machinery your company needs in the field overnight and monitor it with Encore’s GPS-enabled technology. If one of your tracked assets becomes lost, you can see its position via the solution’s live view map and easily recover it. In addition to helping prevent expensive costs to replace stolen or misplaced equipment, you can use asset tracking to make sure that no tools are being used improperly after working hours have ceased for the day. Encore’s proficiency in improving workforce, asset, and fleet efficiency makes it a powerful companion for any construction business.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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07.03
2019

Construction Season: How to Avoid Theft and Damage

With construction season underway, it’s not uncommon to see heavy machinery, trailers, and sundry other tools left unattended on construction sites. And while signs like “No Trespassing” and the like may deter mischievous teenagers, it’s not going to do anything to stop thieves who want to cash in on the opportunity you left them.

According to research, a knowledgeable thief can enter a site, load the equipment, and be off within ten minutes. However, anything more than that and most thieves will move on to the next score. Additionally, many construction companies don’t have a simple loss prevention plan, so it may be days before they notice that tools are missing. This can result in a lot of wasted time and effort trying to recover and replenish tools, not to mention the time taken away from work.

Here are a few tips that can help construction companies, along with any company that deals in expensive inventory, keep track of their goods, save time and money, and keep on schedule with their projects.

Plan, Prevent, and Save

Simple software solutions can help your employees keep track and manage equipment easily and even automatically — without much effort. The solutions that we provide include GPS-enabled software that allows you to track and trace equipment in near real-time. So if your backhoe is moved from a site, you will be alerted via text and receive up-to-date positioning so you can see exactly where your equipment is.

Keeping track of your equipment through routine inventory checks can also be helpful for knowing where your tools and assets are and what’s missing. You can scan right from your phone and import that information via solutions like Wireless Forms.

Maine.gov also offers these helpful tips in preventing crime and securing your property.

  • Implement a documented check-out and -in system for all tools and equipment.
  • Establish an “end of shift” security inspection protocol.
  • Make unscheduled visits to work sites, including at night, on weekends, and on holidays.
  • Lock and immobilize equipment during non-work hours.
  • Utilize basic key control and specialized locks. Locks should be placed on all vehicles, portable equipment, storage sheds, trailers, and utility bodies when not in use. Use only high-security locks: pick-resistant, case-hardened, or laminated steel. If a chain is required, it should be case-hardened and thick enough to prevent easy cutting.
  • Attach anti-theft devices, such as steering wheel locks, kill switches, tire and wheel/axle locks, locked hood side plates, and locking fuel caps.
  • Whenever it is practical, all operating levers, handles, etc. should be stored under securely locked covers or lids.
  • Lock and protect equipment with an alarm system.
  • Avoid storing equipment overnight at the work site whenever possible.
  • In high crime areas and where values warrant it, consider hiring a security guard or using a surveillance system.
  • Fences are a good form of perimeter protection. Exits and entrances should be kept to a minimum. If it is not possible to fence an entire site, consider partially fencing it, including trailer, equipment, and storage areas.
  • Good lighting is extremely effective in deterring criminal activities. Keep storage areas well lit and free of hiding places, such as shrubbery and trees. Consider using motion-detecting floodlights.
  • Contact the local police before starting a job. Ask them to include the job site in their patrols. Ask neighbors to report suspicious activities.

To Aid in Recovery

  • Double-stamp all tools, equipment, and attachments with an identification number, one conspicuous and one hidden.
  • Display warning signs that indicate identification and serial numbers are recorded.
  • Paint your equipment with bright, easily recognizable colors to identify them from a distance.
  • Use aerosol-applied Microtaggants, thermostat plastic coatings that contain coded pigments or metal particles.
  • Stencil the state’s logo or other identifying marks on equipment.
  • Take photographs of your high-value pieces; catalog these photos and update them as equipment is purchased and sold.
  • Consider equipping each piece of high-value equipment with tracking devices.

After a Loss

  • Secure the scene.
  • Make a prompt and thorough report to a police agency and to the Risk Management Division.
  • Send theft alerts to equipment distributors.
  • Check eBay and used-equipment sales for your equipment.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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06.04
2019

The Benefits of Asset Tracking

Most businesses employing a mobile workforce also rely on at least a few pieces of vital equipment to conduct daily operations. With the power of Actsoft’s asset tracking technology, your team can keep constant tabs on its machinery and gain key benefits like these.

Theft prevention

Your assets, most likely, collectively add up to a high monetary value, making security crucial. Actsoft applications are able to provide you with an extra way to surveil any relevant equipment and protect it more effectively against being stolen. Return on investment comes in many different forms with our solutions; in addition to common benefits like better fuel efficiency and productivity, theft prevention helps companies like yours regularly receive additional savings.

Saved time

Leaving the assets your company regularly uses in the field overnight can reward your team with extra time to complete jobs. Rather than having to task your employees with returning equipment to the office before finishing a workday, you can allow staff to leave the machinery at the job site, giving them more time to complete work. Rest assured that assets remain safe while left behind, ready for use the following morning, as they’re being monitored via our GPS Tracking feature.

Increased accountability

Improper usage of assets by employees outside of working hours can be a big problem for businesses to deal with, especially if it’s a frequent occurrence. Implement a greater standard of workforce accountability through our GPS Tracking feature’s ability to pinpoint assets. If any pieces of equipment deviated from their specified locations after day’s end, you can see detailed reports of where they were taken, along with accompanying timestamps. You can even set up alerts to notify you if they move at unauthorized times.

Our asset tracking capabilities can help businesses in industries from construction to transportation improve their operations. Give your workforce an additional method of security by using Actsoft solutions to help safeguard the valuable equipment your business relies on today.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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05.29
2019

How Construction Companies Can Step Up Their Game

From contractors to field employees to the office staff, there are so many moving parts in building new homes, keeping everything straight — especially important paperwork and documents — can be a grueling and expensive task.

We’ve all been around that colleague who’s mired in stacks of papers and can never seem to find the document he or she needs. The hours spent searching for an important contract or form are valuable — so imagine doing this every day. After a month the time and money definitely add up. But even worse, what if that important contract is never found? Imagine having to ask a client to re-sign and redeliver something they already turned in. Not only is this behavior unprofessional but it can cost you big money in the future if it’s not taken care of today.

A tool like our Wireless Forms can help transform a day’s work from a total failure to an easy process that helps eliminate human error. Instead of relying on paper — which can get lost or ruined,  these digital documents allow you to send and receive your paperwork via your smartphone, tablet, or computer. You can even have your clients sign the forms electronically. It’s clear to see how much easier life is without messy, inconvenient paper.

According to Denver Transit Partners (DTP), a collaboration of several construction companies that are worked on a mass transit railway system in Denver, Wireless Forms increased efficiency exponentially. “Actsoft has trimmed a four-hour process down to an hour,” said Craig Clairmont, DTP’s construction safety manage. To see the full case study, go here.

With the construction boom on the horizon, we highly recommend using Wireless Forms to get faster, easier results all around.

To learn more about Actsoft’s Wireless Forms, call today.

(888) 732-6638 or Receive a Live Webinar

 

01.23
2019

Practical Ways to Keep Track of Your Employees’ Hours

Managing a large or small business can be hard and sometimes stressful. There are many factors for management to prepare for on a daily basis. For many businesses, managing and keeping track of employees’ hours can be tedious and irritating for the person that’s working alone in the back office. But if timekeeping is left untouched or unnoticed, businesses can collectively lose millions or even billions a year to the Department of Labor (DOL).

Not having a realistic approach to timekeeping may result in overpaying employees for hours that were not worked. Paychex.com reports that for many businesses, the idea of lost time refers to employee vacations and sick days. But what managers and business owners often fail to consider is that it’s also possible to lose time in much smaller increments that can add up significantly throughout the year. Employees can “steal” time in a variety of ways and for a plethora of reasons. They might ask another employee to “buddy punch” their time card; they may take a few extra minutes for breaks or lunches. It’s estimated that up to 10 minutes per day is lost due to tardiness, early departures, and long breaks or lunches.

Although timekeeping can be a hard job, there are ways to make this task simple. Developing a feasible method for timekeeping can keep employers on their toes. The most reliable method to track hours worked is to have a time-clock system. Depending on the industry, it may not be the easiest solution to tackle; plus, it is not legally required that you have a system in place.

However, implementing an easy-to-use payroll software is the best combination of efficiency and cost for businesses. The benefits of using a single-use tool are that it works better with existing business software, and it saves both time and money.

Timekeeping with Actsoft allows workers to increase daily productivity by reducing the amount of data entry needed for daily tasks. And it validates time by having field workers clock in and out for shifts, breaks, and lunches directly from their mobile devices. All time punches are time-, date-, and GPS location–stamped, and all information is transmitted to the back office almost instantly. Managers also have easy access to employees’ timesheets to review, approve, or correct content on the timesheets at any time.

If you’re working in the construction industry, for example, we can help you eliminate wasted time and trips to the office to submit timesheets. And with the supervisor time entry feature, crew leaders can capture time of their teams on their mobile device to input manually. And you can get instant updates on worker availability, job assignments, and dispatching activity.

Not having the proper timekeeping software could potentially cost you more than a few thousand dollars is mispaid wages. There isn’t any company that wants to waste precious money on something that can be prevented. But we can help safeguard your company’s assets and worth by having efficient timekeeping.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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12.04
2018

Handling the Inefficiencies of Harsh Winter Weather

The biting cold of winter can bring with it a slew of inefficiencies for organizations that must regularly deploy a mobile workforce. From icy roadways causing driving hazards to snowstorms affecting work performed outdoors, the toll that harsh winter weather imposes on operations should always be accounted for in any business’s game plan.

Construction and transportation companies in particular must deal with some of the worst symptoms of bad winter weather. As either road travel or working outdoors are essential to both of these industries, safety remains a major concern. And while our software can’t prevent bad weather from occurring, it can help your team stay on its feet during these kinds of less-than-ideal conditions. Features of Actsoft solutions like GPS Tracking make navigating roads simpler to do, especially when icy conditions have impacted available routes. In the case of an emergency situation, pinged positions of your employees’ mobile devices and fleet vehicles help your business know the whereabouts of its workforce’s various pieces on the fly. These positions also assist your administrators with finding the best routes for company drivers to take to job locations in the field.

Building delays from blizzards or other forms of inclement seasonal weather can also pose threats to your business’s success. However, our applications can help you communicate more efficiently with your staff during times like these, and find a more intuitive method to convey crucial information about project statuses. Save time and money by coordinating your workforce from the convenience of a single digital solution, and connect your team across distanced locations, even in the midst of bleak conditions outside.

Through the power of Actsoft, fight the inefficiencies that harsh winter weather can create for your company’s objectives. Our products make gaining insight into field operations and employee communication easy, no matter the amount of forecasted snowfall.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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09.25
2018

Industry Spotlight: Actsoft Solutions in Construction

Actsoft solutions help to power forward the construction industry by bringing dispersed workforces together. Three of the most important things for effective building strategies are consistently meeting deadlines, ensuring that worker safety remains accounted for, and protecting assets around the clock. All of these critical objectives can be attained using the capabilities of our software.

Stay right on schedule

Once a building project has been planned and announced, the clock is immediately ticking on its completion. One of the best ways for contractors to establish a sterling reputation with their customers is to consistently deliver on project timelines, and features of our solutions like Wireless Forms and Mobile Timekeeping make it easy to do. By allowing workers to complete more of their daily tasks while away from the home office, these tools help companies save time and money effectively.

Enhance work site safety

Construction work often times requires heavy machinery, which can carry a certain degree of danger. Actsoft’s GPS Tracking tool makes the pinpointed locations of employees readily available to see, so companies know exactly where their staff are in case of a critical situation. Dispatching is another powerful feature of our software that can help to keep employees safe, as it enables construction businesses to send out requests for assistance nearly instantly via wireless notifications, whenever an emergency might occur.

Keep important equipment secure

Heavy machinery like bulldozers, cranes, and crawler excavators can cost thousands of dollars to replace if lost. Thankfully, contracting companies can use Actsoft’s Asset Tracking technology to be constantly in-the-know about where their important construction equipment is. The ability to leave machinery dispersed in the field overnight gives businesses an immense amount of extra potential for savings, and with custom alerts for unauthorized movements, contracting businesses can rest assured that their assets are monitored around the clock.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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08.17
2018

Useful Tips for Avoiding Traffic

As a regular factor for many commuters, heavy traffic can put a strain on mental health, car lifespans, and time management abilities. It can also end up costing drivers significantly more on fuel over time.

At Actsoft, we’ve realized that these negative factors of roadway congestion can hinder operations for companies with mobile workforces in particular. And while dealing with traffic is inevitable at times, there’s plenty of cases where it could’ve been avoided entirely by simply taking a better route, or getting equipped with smarter tools for planning ahead. Here’s three ways that our solutions can help businesses like yours circumvent the hassles of packed streets on a daily basis.

GPS tracking in near real-time

While traffic may be worsening in some developing areas and urban centers due to increasing amounts of cars on the road, the power of technology continues to advance. GPS tracking solutions like the ones we engineer now allow you to analyze, strategize, and optimize the daily processes of your workforce on the fly. With our GPS Tracking feature, you can see the locations of your dispersed workers, and find the most efficient ways to direct certain employees to new job sites in the field digitally. Traffic can certainly play a factor in how quickly an employee can get to a new job assignment, regardless of how far away they are. Use our applications to accurately monitor the positions of your mobile team members, and manage roadway congestion with ease.

Traffic Overlay

The toll of heavy traffic can cause your business to lose money in more ways than one. Prolonged instances of idle time accelerate vehicle wear-and-tear, stall productivity, and unnecessarily burn gasoline, making them something to consider reducing. Now, we’ve made it simpler than ever to keep vehicle idling at a minimum using our new Traffic Overlay feature.

As one of our latest enhancements to Encore, our flagship solution, Traffic Overlay gives you the ability to see near real-time traffic patterns on top of your dashboard’s live view maps. Look at which intersections or interstates have the heaviest amounts of traffic prior to sending out employees to work zones, and make smarter route decisions that will conserve more resources.

Optimize schedules

Rush hour remains one of the most constricted times of the day for traffic patterns, as commuters depart from their jobs all at once. Thankfully, our Timekeeping feature enables your remote employees to clock in and out directly from their mobile devices, eliminating any need for them to drive to the office and register time punches before starting or ending work. Get your staff to job assignments quicker, and allow them to get a head start on common rush hour traffic times using our powerful solutions.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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08.14
2018

Natural Wonders: World’s Most Stunning Mountains

As we’ve discussed over the past few weeks, one of the lasting benefits from our solutions is the ability to dramatically reduce your company’s carbon footprint. Casting aside archaic paper forms in exchange for more efficient, eco-friendly digital forms; better choosing which employee to dispatch to job assignments based on proximity; and getting control of unnecessary idling time from your drivers all cut back on unnecessary waste. Plus, making these seemingly small changes also puts a lot of money back into your pocket.

This week, in continued celebration of the environmental impact our solutions help to impart on the world, we’re taking a look at some of the most stunning mountains from around the globe. These soaring peaks have provided a never-ending supply of inspiration, for artists and adventurers alike, and it’s no surprise why.

Vinicunca, Peru
Also known as Rainbow Mountain, it doesn’t take long to figure out where its moniker hails from. Its terrain is “painted” in a vibrant array of colors not commonly found on a mountainside; we’re talking stripes of lavender, turquoise, yellow, and maroon. Buried deep within the Peruvian Andes, it can be surprisingly difficult to find, despite its unique coloring, so hiring a local guide is probably the best bet. Spend a few days in Cusco, just four hours north, ahead of time to help acclimate to the altitude before embarking on the trek to the peak.

Matterhorn, Switzerland and Italy
Straddling the border of Switzerland and Italy, this bluff is most recognizable from the Swiss side, where its snowy peak towers above the rolling green hills below. Often said to be the most-photographed mountain in the world, it’s advised that you do so from a safe vantage point. (Read: from the ground.) Trekking to the top is only for the most-experienced climbers with top-notch equipment. However, there are lifts in the area that scoop visitors up to an elevation of more than 12,700 feet, for some truly breathtaking, up-close views of the goliath.

Mount Fuji, Japan
The tallest mountain range in Japan, this peak is almost instantly recognized by all as it’s become an iconic symbol of the region. (Plus, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2013.) While impressive in scope, Mount Fuji is actually easily accessible for hikers of all skill levels, though it’s suggested that those with less experience stick to the official climbing season, which runs from early July through mid-September, when conditions are safest. Huts line the trails and, for a nominal fee, travelers can break for meals, brief rests, or sleep.

Mù Cang Chải, Vietnam
Never before has rice been so beautiful. The name actually references an entire region filled with rice terrace fields carved into the sides of mountains, rather than one specific ridge. The resulting effect — during grain season, from mid-September through mid-October, when the rice is fully ripe — are mountainsides covered with vibrant, perfectly manicured steps of yellows and greens. It’s a sight unlike any other and draws in thousands of visitors each year. Conversely, visit earlier in the year during the rainy season (May and June), to see the mountainside steps flooded, resembling mirrored steps ascending the cliffs.

Ama Dablam, Nepal
The less-famous sibling to Mount Everest, this Himalayan peak holds its own. The 22,349-foot-tall mountain’s name translates to “mother’s necklace”; its name comes from the extended peaks on each side, which resemble a mother’s open arms, and a hanging glacier on the southwest side, which bears a resemblance to a sacred pendant traditionally worn by Sherpa women. Climbing to the summit is no easy task, but we’re perfectly happy admiring its splendor from the comfort of the ground.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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08.01
2018

Geofences and City Construction

Constructing the megalopolises of today requires some of the most cutting-edge technology available. In a time where space in downtown areas is limited and building strategies have been trending upward rather than outward, the importance of modern tools to contractors can’t be understated.

These state-of-the-art tools come in many different forms, including both digital and mechanical ones. Workforces that are tasked with the responsibility of putting together an entire city’s infrastructure from the ground up need everything from heavy machinery to workforce management solutions continuously at their disposal, in order to complete projects in timely fashion.

On the workforce management side, Actsoft can help construction companies pinpoint the locations of their assets, fleet vehicles, and mobile workers in crowded urban environments. Features of our digital solutions such as Geofences allow for the establishment of up to 30 customized points around remote work zones, clearly defining the perimeters of job sites via GPS.

Using the power of Geofences, contracting workforces can further optimize their productivity levels, and provide near real-time information on what’s truly happening in the field back to their headquartered administrators. Once geofence boundaries have been set, businesses are able to use them in conjunction with other Actsoft features such as Alerts and Asset Tracking.

Companies dealing predominantly in high-rise and downtown construction in particular significantly benefit from our asset monitoring systems, because they’re versatile. Any time a piece of equipment enters or exits a geofence’s set boundaries, Alerts will automatically notify designated individuals within their organizations. And, as the shapes of geofences are highly customizable, any obstacles to plotting accurate site boundaries are out of sight and out of mind. Irregularly-shaped geofences in space-deficient city construction can be precisely drawn to contain everything that a business needs, and nothing it doesn’t.

Allow Actsoft to help your construction company improve the security of its valuable equipment, and ensure that your team is where it needs to be during routine workdays. With our solutions’ Geofences feature, explore all of the benefits that modern GPS technology is readily offering to your workforce.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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