01.22
2020

Encore’s Dispatching Scheduler: The Solution to Work Order Inefficiencies

In one of last week’s blog posts, we discussed some of the difficulties a field service company faced without having a tool to plan out their mobile employees’ work orders in advance. In addition to productivity and brand reputation suffering due to confusions in scheduling, the company was also spending too much money on paper documents to instruct staff that were handwritten and, at times, illegible.

Our flagship workforce management software Encore now enables businesses to manage workloads ahead of time with its Dispatching Scheduler feature. Available exclusively to users of the solution’s Ultimate tier, the Dispatching Scheduler provides an easy, yet intuitive way for your team to plan out customer visits and increase its efficiency.

Features of Encore’s Dispatching Scheduler:

  • A color-coded dashboard that provides easy identification for work order progress.
  • The ability to create service delivery windows for employees dispatched to new customer locations.
  • A feature for reassigning pending orders to new workers on the fly.
  • Calendar and Schedule rows that display availabilities, last known employee locations, and current assignments.
  • The ability to see lists of unassigned orders and drag and drop them onto user schedules.


Encore’s Dispatching Scheduler dashboard.

Benefits of Encore’s Dispatching Scheduler:

  • Distribute workloads more evenly.
  • Optimize employee schedules for higher efficiency.
  • Save time and money with intuitive scheduling that helps to keep employees informed.
  • Provide customers with more accurate service delivery times.
  • Graphics-based scheduling allows your staff to work faster and more interactively.

When applied to the field service use case, it’s easy to see how this powerful new capability could instantly improve the company’s processes. Encore’s Dispatching Scheduler allowed the business’s mobile employees to have easy access to their daily schedules, eliminating unnecessary back-and-forth communication from the office to the field and giving them a much more accurate timeframe for service deliveries. Due to both an increase in productivity and efficiency with the Dispatching Scheduler, their business was able to save significant revenue and also increase its opportunities from a strengthened reputation amongst its customer base.

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01.21
2020

Communication is Key!

Actsoft aids in utility company response times.

As much as we would like to avoid it, accidents happen. Trees and power lines fall on roads, water pipes burst, and traffic lights go out. There isn’t much we can do about it except hope that the utility companies that handle the messes are well prepared. Responding quickly to emergencies, as well as communicating information efficiently, are two extremely important factors that make up a successful utility company. They’re both essential to help assure a timely response, and guarantees they have all the information needed to correct the problem.

Communication is key! Our solutions help utility companies by bridging the gap between the accident and the solution.

Actsoft combines GPS and wireless technology to maximize productivity.

  • Reduce response times in critical situations.
  • Date, time, and GPS location–stamped reports give indisputable proof of service.
  • Collect timely and accurate field data.
  • Provide factual data for regulatory and compliance reporting.
  • Send and receive accurate, up-to-the-minute updates and changes.
  • Reduce unproductive trips to the office.
  • Panic button notifies the office immediately in case of an emergency or dangerous situation.

Sometimes when we see the utility trucks on the side of the road with employees fast at work, we assume they just magically appear there. Not true. It takes a coordinated effort between the dispatchers and drivers to get each truck where they need to be. And that effort is made much easier with our software.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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01.15
2020

Field Service Scheduling: Dispatchers Hold The Keys To Success

In order for a business to be successful, employees need to work together as a unit. For field service companies, the dispatcher plays a vital role, fulfilling customer expectations while monitoring operations and workflow. Dispatchers must respond to critical situations, ensuring that every job site has an available worker and that all units are functioning at maximum efficiency and all services are performed in a timely manner.

One way dispatchers can stay organized is to incorporate a field service planning or scheduling technology. Automating the scheduling process enables dispatchers to support more workers and deliver a better overall experience for the customer.

Field Technologies Online explains how the role of automation and its three associated technologies can be summed up:

“Three technologies are required to provide first-class service and allow a single dispatcher to support up to 100 service techs. First, there must be an enterprise software system in place that contains critical data, including work order information, customer and contract details — including SLAs — and information about the technicians themselves. Second, service technicians whose routes may change during the day need a mobile device (smartphone, pad, or specialized device). Finally, there must be a scheduling optimization engine that is as responsive to schedule changes as your business needs it to be. If routes change dynamically or in instances where you have very demanding SLAs, then a scheduling optimization engine that cannot respond in near real-time or plans the route in batch, is simply inadequate.”

The work of a dispatcher is multi-faceted. Routes and schedules are ever changing, resulting in the need for an automated process. The use of a scheduling tool significantly decreases the amount of time it would take even the most experienced dispatcher to deploy a work crew. This increase in efficiency markedly improves customer service and provides critical support to technicians in the field.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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11.22
2019

Using Actsoft Solutions to Sustain Your Business

Reliability is a big part of what we develop our applications for at Actsoft. We place a heavy emphasis on making our solutions ultra-dependable in order to help your business ingrain every feature of them into routine operations for consistent, sustained support that continues to elevate the power of your workforce.

Versatility is another philosophy we’ve made essential to the design process of our solutions. For our customers, having a single application to address many of the challenges associated with managing mobile employees, assets, and vehicles is critically important. Michael Courter, Actsoft’s vice president of product management, knows the value of consolidation and adaptability as two essential traits for our software, and he’s continuously learning about new ways in which they’re improving processes for our clients.

“One of my favorite things to do is to go out and visit with customers. It’s important to see how they are using the product and gain feedback on how we can make things even better,” said Courter. “As part of this, it’s always amazing to see how leveraging Actsoft solutions has made an impact on so many businesses. From using forms to capture information, leveraging GPS Tracking and Job Dispatching to save time and money, or using geofence alerts or other methods of communication throughout the software, companies have transformed how they do business.”

Courter believes in the power of what Actsoft solutions can do for organizations of any size. Through systems integration that provides adaptability to workforces, as well as a suite of features to streamline communication, our products bring dispersed staff closer together and reduce gaps in their teams’ productivity, efficiency, and transparency.

“Implementing technology that connects the office to the field not only saves our customers money,” Courter said. “It also continues to help them truly provide better service in order to gain and retain more of their own customer base.”

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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10.22
2019

Actsoft’s Strategic Partnership With Geotab

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

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

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

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

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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08.21
2019

Encore’s Capabilities During Mission-Critical Situations

When emergencies strike for a mobile workforce, the ability to retain connectivity is crucial. Organizations that are tasked with disaster recovery efforts in particular need ways to efficiently communicate more than ever when bandwidth is stretched thin and communication channels are limited. With the power of Encore, Actsoft’s premier solution, organizations can have an easier time directing their mobile employees, collecting data in the field, and restoring order during emergency situations.

Encore provides multiple ways for departments to send and receive data with their mobile employees through features like Wireless Forms, Job Dispatching, and Intra-Company Messaging; plus, the solution’s ability to operate over Wi-Fi and cellular networks alike gives your workforce the versatility it needs to stay in tune with itself during periods of connectivity shortage. Data collection is able to remain even more secure throughout the entire process with Encore Vault, our newest solution tier.

In addition to helping facilitate strong communication between the office and the field, Encore can provide your team with even more ways to increase its safety protocols through greater insight. Organizations in remediation services, the public sector, and waste collection can rely on our solution’s GPS Tracking functionality to see all aspects of their mobile workforces at once and keep their personnel safer through positional data that’s brought straight to their solution’s live view map. If an employee is injured on the job while performing work, their pinpointed location can be easily identified, allowing dispatchers to send out assistance to them quickly and efficiently.

Encore remains a valuable tool for organizations that are called upon during mission-critical situations because of its ability to enhance communication and visibility for their mobile workforces. With features for location monitoring, secure instant messaging, and versatile dispatching, your organization can be better prepared for the next emergency event and save time and money throughout the entire process.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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08.13
2019

What a Company Mission Statement Should Accomplish

As we’ve discussed in previous posts, effective communication is essential to success in the world of business. How your message comes across to both prospective customers and your internal team alike matters, and perhaps one of the best ways to send a powerful and meaningful one to all is through a thoughtful mission statement that sticks. Your organization’s mission statement should:

Unite the company toward a common goal

One crucial benefit of a good mission statement is its ability to get everyone on the same page internally. The primary purpose of your organization should be carefully reflected in the diction used within the statement, and it should also be readily available to employees, especially those who interact with customers on a daily basis. Another important thing to do is to welcome feedback from all of your staff regarding the message. This helps to ensure that everyone is onboard, ready to start collectively moving in the direction that company leadership has outlined. Requesting input can even foster more effective collaboration amongst your personnel once the statement’s concept has been established.

Provide an accurate, professional description of your corporate identity to customers

Start with an identification process that considers everything your organization does, and then try to whittle it down into a few simple statements. What is your corporate identity? Asking this question first can help your team pinpoint the sheer scope of everything your company hopes to provide to its customers, and then find greater clarity when going about formulating the best way to convey that to them.

Express the values that your organization upholds in a concise but powerful manner

Above anything else, make sure your team’s mission statement encompasses your business’s key principles and ethics points. However, try to keep brevity and consistency in mind when beginning to compose the statement, especially when including your company’s values. Too many words or unrelated ideas can be confusing, defeating the purpose of having a mission statement in the first place. Lastly, verify that the message passes compliance with any and all branding guidelines as a final litmus test before publishing. With these tips in mind, feel free to craft a renewed mission statement that offers a fresh new perspective and refocused company vision for your team heading into the second half of the year.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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08.07
2019

How Excellent Communication Enhances Project Management

For any team project, effective communication is essential. Coordinating various tasks that need to be accomplished is much easier when there’s open communication between staff members and supervisors; however, this can be a struggle to maintain consistently at times.

Requesting feedback from your staff regarding how much work they’ve got on their schedules is an excellent way to encourage honesty, reduce overwhelming feelings for individuals in your organization, and pinpoint the objectives at hand with laser focus. It can also give you the best idea of who has additional availability to take on more work. However, there’s no way to gauge expendable bandwidth without solid communication. David Knight, Actsoft’s vice president of customer experience believes that without clear connectivity, collaborative efforts will become limited for a workforce.

“The key to teamwork is collaboration, which can only be achieved with effective communication,” said Knight. “Effective communication keeps teams on the same page at the same time, but more importantly, helps teams avoid conflicts and misunderstandings, which reduce collaboration.”

If everyone in your company is on the same page, meeting deadlines also becomes infinitely easier. A mission statement is a great way to communicate your business’s vision, uniting your workforce around a central theme that keeps staff up to date with the values and objectives that your organization is striving to accomplish during project execution.

Actsoft’s solutions offer intuitive features to make project management easier through enhanced communication. Intra-Company Messaging and Job Dispatching help keep all aspects of your company in the know by providing platforms to securely transmit key information about jobs in the field, regardless of how far away your mobile employees may be. With the power of our applications, strengthen your business’s communication channels and improve the ways that your team collaborates on its daily projects.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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07.19
2019

Heat Waves and Bad-Weather Management

It sure looks like it’s gonna be another hot one out there, eh?

Ah, weather. That go-to, default topic reserved especially for workplace conversations when, well, frankly you aren’t sure what else to talk about in a given situation. (Think: when you’re waiting for the elevator to finish its slow crawl to your floor so you can finally be on your way.)

Well, that’s typically the case anyway. But if you’ve been paying attention to the news in recent days (or years, really), then you know the weather is actually a hot-button topic. Right now, Europe is not-so-eagerly awaiting its second bout of record-breaking temperatures expected to hit next week. This comes just three weeks after the first heat wave of the year, which saw an all-time high temperature in France.

Stateside, the Midwest and East Coast are both bracing for impact, so to speak, as temperatures are expected to soar into the 90s and 100s over the weekend, with the possibility of surpassing even 110 degrees in some areas, and there is little expected relief to look forward to even after the sun dips below the horizon. (It’s so bad, New York City actually canceled its much-anticipated triathlon this weekend, the first time its ever had to do this.)

Of course, this is on par with an apparent influx in severe weather many have been experiencing in recent years, whether it’s storms hitting harder and more frequently than they ever have before, or sparse amounts of regular rainfall helping fuel rampant wildfires.

Depending on your business, weather can have a severe impact on your day-to-day operations. If you’re flying blind, so to speak, you might find yourself at a bit of a loss when chaos throws your plans into disarray. But you’ll find yourself in a much better position if you have a management system in place that helps you easily oversee your employees’ activities throughout the day.

For example, should the weather result in one or more emergencies warranting immediate attention, you can use GPS Tracking to determine which team member(s) are best positioned to handle the situation. Then use our Job Dispatching feature to send the new work order(s) and reprioritize so your workers can change course.

If severe weather is impacting your company’s ability to do its job due to safety concerns, you can quickly disperse a secure, team-wide message to the masses, giving them important updates — such as telling them to pack up and seek shelter — that help to make sure everyone receives the same message across the board.

Timekeeping will help you keep track of all those odd hours your workers might be pulling due to weather-related shifts in duties. The GPS stamp on each time punch verifies their locations while on the clock, and you can run ad hoc reports to keep on top of overtime to help make sure it’s evenly dispersed, if necessary.

Next time you find yourself at a loss for original conversation, at least you now know that weather can actually be the jumping-off point for bigger, business-related conversation. And hopefully, that conversation eventually leads to further discussion about a solution — our solution — to your weather-related business conundrums.

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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