10.16
2019

Everyday Choices Companies Make That Waste Money

In our frenzy to bring in more money, drive business, create better marketing strategies, schedule more meetings, and hire more salespeople, we often forget the old adage: “It’s not always what you make, but what you save.” If for every dollar we earn, we blow two, then we’re spinning our wheels and running an inefficient operation. In a time when companies are fighting to succeed, we’ve identified the most common ways companies bleed money and how to avoid these pitfalls.

Everything Counts

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, “The small expenses add up quickly, so auditing basic costs, from travel expenses to utility costs, is essential … All the little things can really add up, and it is very easy to let it get away from you.” Daily tasks that could easily be automated turn into hours and months of manual labor over the long-term, costing businesses a lot of money that could have been better used in more meaningful ways.

A good example of this is payroll. Often the person in charge of payroll has to verify hours, spend time gathering data, make sure forms are filled out properly, and more. However, a simpler and more efficient solution would be to use mobile time-clock technology.

  • Moble Time Clocks: Actsoft has helped countless businesses integrate their payroll with a simple wireless time clock which allows employees to clock in from anywhere, use GPS verification to identify and time stamp their locations, as well send images and forms via email or text. After a brief and easy setup, this is a task that can be left to software so your employees can make more substantial contributions.
  • Automate Processes: Another common time drain is repeating processes that could be automated, such as work orders. Instead of manually inputting data each week, let Actsoft’s software auto-generate information with the frequency of your choice. It will also deliver these work orders, requests, or other information, and automatically send new order notifications. Plus, it can inform customers that a worker is on the way, and provide proof of delivery and work completion, including signature and pictures.

Paper Costs
It seems like a no-brainer: Eliminate paper costs and save money. But it’s easy to get stuck in a paper rut when there’s no clear alternative. Before you write off the idea of going paperless, think about the efficiency of the internet, providing the information you need instantly. You don’t have to have it delivered, mailed, or faxed; simply open a browser and you’re in!

  • Paperless Alternative: Actsoft’s Wireless Forms operates in just this way, by giving you the power to convert all your paper forms — from contracts and invoices to disclosures and other important documents — into digital ones that you can access from anywhere. Use your laptop or mobile device to fill out forms — complete with digital signatures and images — so business can be wrapped up on the spot. Think of all the saving in paper storage alone! Not to mention the risk you’re taking by using hard copy when a single digital form can live in several places, never to be misplaced again.

Wasteful Ways
Another major contribution to a shrinking bank account is maintaining a fleet that is operating poorly. This can include anything from bad driving habits that increase liability (speeding, hard accelerating and braking, etc.) to inefficient route planning. Actsoft provides solutions that can help curb bad habits and optimize routes, so that fuel costs are down, wear-and-tear on vehicles is lessened, and liability is reduced.

Our high-performance GPS tracking devices, combined with Actsoft’s reliable functionality, provide extensive visibility into the day-to-day activities of fleet vehicles, allowing you to:

  • Identify the locations of fleet vehicles or cargo
  • Review idle and stop times
  • Expedite dispatching
  • Improve fleet-routing efficiency
  • Reduce theft of high-value assets
  • Ensure equipment is located at the job site

Re-Buying What You Already Had
The ultimate in company wastefulness is re-buying costly equipment that was stolen due to lack of proper security measures. While alarms and cameras may deter a criminal, one of the best ways to prevent a theft from happening is to receive near real-time alerts when a door opens or a piece of equipment moves.

Furthermore, recovering stolen property is much easier when it’s tracked by a concealed GPS-enabled tracking device. With near real-time updates, you can see where your equipment is at all times.

10.15
2019

Help Keep Fleet Maintenance Costs Under Control with Actsoft

Fleet management comes at a cost. In addition to fluctuating fuel expenses, the price of maintenance on even a small group of vehicles can add up over time and worsen if no attention is paid.

And while wear and tear is inevitable on your business’s fleet vehicles, with necessary maintenance coming up at times, Actsoft solutions can help reduce the frequency at which your fleet may need repairs with alerts for routine maintenance, aggressive driving, and more. Our applications integrate with easily installed hardware in each of your fleet’s vehicles to report vital data about the ways they’re being operated, so that you can stay updated on maintenance schedules and damaging driving habits.

As routine check-ups can help prevent even costlier repairs down the line for your vehicles, our applications work to keep your administrative team updated about each individual truck or car in your fleet. Past maintenance schedules can be reviewed from our solutions’ interfaces, and you can receive reminders about when specific vehicles are due for a tune-up on the fly. As certain vehicles in your fleet may be driven more than others, diagnostics on individual usage provide you with a more detailed experience that allows you to save time and money. For example, rather than changing the oil on all of your fleet vehicles at the same time, you can pinpoint which ones are approaching the recommended 3,000-mile limit since their last oil change, and only replace the fluids on those particular cars.

Aggressive driving behaviors can also speed up wear-down, particularly for engines, the power steering, and the brakes in each of your vehicles; however, nearly instant notifications through Encore’s dashboard can help you identify and curb excessive instances of harsh braking or hard accelerations by your employees while they drive company vehicles. Designate specific thresholds for speed, accelerations, and slowdowns to track staff driving behaviors and optimize the lifespan of your fleet.

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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10.01
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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09.20
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

08.07
2019

What the Cluck? What 37,000 Pounds of Frozen Chickens Can Teach Us

On September 27th, 2014, an Idaho trucking company was missing a truck filled with 37,000 pounds of frozen chickens. The company’s 42-year-old driver, Christopher L. Hall, allegedly abandoned the truck after being refused more money from his employer. Unfortunately, by the time they located the truck at a Montana truck stop, the chicken had already gone south — rotting and oozing liquids.

The chicken: worth $80,000.

The lesson: priceless.

What could the trucking company have done to prevent this loss? One option would have been to give the driver more money and have a potential criminal on their payroll — not to mention someone with little respect for frozen chicken.

The other, wiser option would have been to secure their assets — including both the cargo and the truck. With a simple tracking solution, this chicken situation could have gone a very different way. We provide a robust tracking solution used by thousands of trucks across the country, which would have prevented this loss with simple alerts and reporting tools that cost pennies a day.

For example, management can set perimeters for drivers so that there’s no risk of them taking vehicles out of designated areas. And if they do, an alert is sent to the main office and the GPS-enabled solution will let you know exactly where the truck is. Likewise, if you need to locate a truck, simply pull it up on the map and you can see its location in near real-time.

Another smart option when transporting expensive cargo is Asset Tracking. A discreet GPS-enabled device can easily be hidden anywhere in the shipment, so if it’s lost or stolen you can see where it’s at immediately.

This sort of protection is imperative when you’re dealing with costly equipment and shipments. Not only do you run the risk of losing big money, but you can also damage relationships and ruin a reputation you’ve worked long and hard to establish.

If you’re ready to see what options there are to meet your needs, give us a call today. We’re waiting for you!

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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07.23
2019

What Great Leaders Know: Understanding Weakness Leads to Success

From legendary coaches to the best teachers, the strategy is always the same: Understand the team’s weaknesses. It’s easy to identify star players and focus on the moments of glory, but without assessing the big picture, your team will only perform at a fraction of its potential. This is especially true for companies who are dealing with many moving parts, including fleet-based operations who have dozens of drivers spread out across the city, state, or country.

Understanding what seems like minutiae — such as driver behavior, gas usage, and time management — may seem like an impossible undertaking; how can you possibly track all of these activities every day? And the more important question: Is it worth it? The answers are surprisingly simple. With hardware and software solutions from Actsoft, your tracking is automated and reports are automatically compiled and sent to you as often as you need them. And the value is in the numbers. Most companies save thousands each month by monitoring fuel usage and route efficiency.

Actsoft, the maker of a suite of tools for remote management, puts all of the fleet information together on one platform to give our customers the power and knowledge to be able to make key strategic decisions.

With high-performance GPS-tracking devices and software like Encore, you can find the strengths and weaknesses of your entire driving team. Now you can accurately fine-tune performance, cut down on waste, and reduce liability.

Some of the key features include understanding driver behavior. By monitoring various aspects of driving habits — everything from speeding to fast braking — you can get a clear picture of your company’s health in that area. If you have several drivers who are in the habit of speeding and braking late, not only does your accident risk spike but so does your fuel costs and vehicle maintenance.

Likewise, if you have drivers who stay within the pre-set perimeters, stay within speed limits, and don’t idle, you can count that aspect of your business as healthy and a model for other areas. This allows you to re-focus your energy on departments that aren’t functioning as well.

Moreover, a workplace that rewards great performance is one that usually has less turnover and overall better ratings in employee satisfaction.

By using a mobile solution like Encore, which can be accessed on any smart device, you’re taking charge of what happens outside of your office walls. With a wide variety of additional features, you can choose from allowing mobile timekeeping and dispatching, giving you an upper hand on the competition. All this amounts to a healthy fleet that is driving responsibly, generating more revenue, and saving the company big bucks every year.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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