07.10
2019

Talent Is Not the Key to Success

You might be surprised by what is. In a word: organization. The ability to assemble a variety of moving parts in such a way that they work efficiently is the key to any company’s success — whether you own an accounting firm or doughnut shop. Understanding and managing the flow of daily operations can save businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars. And with today’s user-friendly technology, more and more people are adopting software solutions to help them streamline their processes and manage employee activities, meetings, appointments, and projects.

“Time management isn’t just a personal productivity issue over which companies have no control. It has increasingly become an organizational issue whose root causes are deeply embedded in corporate structures and cultures,” says Aaron De Smet in McKinsey Quarterly, speaking on the necessity of sound time management throughout a company’s internal structure.

From Forbes to the Wall Street Journal to week-long trainings and seminars, there are countless articles citing top organizational applications while managers across the country attend high-ticket conferences on, you got it: How to get organized.

Actosft’s suite of solutions helps to optimize daily performance through a wide range of functions designed to make each minute count. They were also designed to help employees reduce the amount of busy work they do so that areas like innovation, customer service, and critical thinking–oriented issues can take precedence.

Features of these two solutions include meaningful ways to tackle some of the most common communication and administrative tasks of most companies and organizations, such as:

  • Instant Visibility View your entire workload and status updates for each job, assignment, stop, or project.
  • Drag-and-Drop Dispatching Assign work simply with a drag-and-drop interface and workers will be notified with each update.
  • No Lost Paperwork Attach Wireless Forms to orders and collect job updates, inventory utilized, before and after pictures, and signatures.
  • Calendars and Scheduling Sync workforce availability with customer schedules.
  • Detailed Profiles Create detailed profiles of your customers and employees while having complete access to current workload and job history.

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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.

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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.

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05.10
2019

6 Tips for Going Green at Work

As a business owner, making a conscious effort to incorporate eco-friendly decisions into day-to-day operations has a ton of benefits, outside of the obvious positive environmental impact. In addition, it’s a good look (i.e. it makes for great PR) for any company, which in turn is excellent for business. Plus, most times cutting out unnecessary waste requires little effort (other than a different way of thinking), while simultaneously saving you money.

If you want to take the plunge but aren’t sure where to start, here are a few helpful tips to get you going.

Put it in your mission statement.
Make it official, so it’s no surprise to anyone. When adhering to as many eco-friendly practices as possible is a part of your company’s official plan of action, it’s a draw for like-minded employees, which means it’s a lot easier getting your whole team on board.

Replace your lights.
Energy efficient LEDs cost a little more than your average bulb, but they last a heck of a lot longer and use significantly less energy.

Support local vendors.
If you’re a small business yourself, you know the importance of people showing you their support. When you do the same, you aren’t just increasing the potential for taking advantage of a word-of-mouth marketing strategy; supporting local vendors also contributes to a reduced carbon footprint, since many don’t have to rely on long-haul transportation.

Eliminate disposable products.
Do you have an office kitchen that’s fully stocked with disposable plates, cups, and plasticware? Make the switch to reusable. It may require a slightly more expensive up-front cost, but you’ll be saving money in the long haul.

Make better printing choices.
While we like to help companies drastically reduce paper waste (see below), we know that it’s difficult (if not impossible) to completely eliminate. When you do need to print something out, just make sure to print on both sides of the paper whenever possible.

Enlist the help of Actsoft’s solutions.
You may not realize it, but just by considering Actsoft to help manage your mobile workforce, you’re taking a step toward becoming more eco-friendly. How? Our solutions focus on helping you increase efficiency while cutting costs, and a number of our methods also help you reduce your carbon footprint while doing this. Our fleet management techniques focus on maximizing routes, cutting unnecessary idling, and adhering to safer driving speeds, all of which help you scale back your emissions. Eliminating the need to require each employee to come into the office just to punch in further scales back emissions. Making the switch from paper to digital forms (besides creating far more manageable “paperwork”) dramatically reduces the amount of paper waste you create.

So what do you say? Let’s start saving the planet (and money).

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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05.03
2019

7 Office Etiquette Tips

Some say proper etiquette is a lost art. While we may not be embracing the over-the-top refinement of the days of yore today, there will always be a need for basic manners. And that holds true while at work. We’re calling the following list office etiquette tips, but the reality is, they’re useful no matter where it is you go to work. Because when you keep simple tips like these in mind, you make the workplace more enjoyable for everyone around you.

Don’t interrupt.
We get it. You have something really important to add to the conversation. But not only is it rude to cut people off when they’re in the middle of speaking, you’re also sending the message that what they’re saying is unimportant. (Or, in the least, less important than what you have to say.) Learn to hold your tongue and speak up when there’s an appropriate break in the conversation.

Be punctual.
Nobody likes to be kept waiting needlessly. It’s a waste of their time, plus — especially if you are notoriously tardy — it’s a signal that you feel other people’s time isn’t as precious as your own. (Are you seeing a pattern here? Nonverbal cues are important in the workplace.) If you are late, apologize right out the gate. But don’t let it become a habit. The last thing you want is for your colleagues to anticipate that you will inevitably be late for any meeting.

Silence that phone.
Speaking of meetings, a phone’s ringer loudly going off in the middle of a meeting is the professional equivalent to one going off in a crowded movie theater. So keep your phone on silent whenever you’re in a meeting. In fact, you may even consider leaving it that way — or at least on vibrate — for the duration of the workday … if you’re in an office, at least.

Share the credit.
Who doesn’t love the feeling of praise at the completion of a job well done? But amid basking in all that glory, don’t forget to share the wealth (if applicable) and give a shout-out to anyone that played a role in helping out.

Work with others.
In order to share the credit, you have to be willing to work well with others. Of course, sometimes one-off projects are easy enough to do solo. But more often than not, anyone can benefit from at least some input from their colleagues. You’re a team, so take advantage of each other’s strengths. In the end, it’s going to result in a strong performance overall.

If you’re sick … stay home.
We’ve discussed this at length before, but it always warrants a reminder. Nothing is more respectful than putting the health of your coworkers first. If you think the office will come to a screeching halt because you’re out (it won’t), imagine how bad it actually would be if you came in, spread your germs, and a handful of people had to stay home.

Welcome new employees.
You don’t have to be the welcome wagon and official tour guide, but the first day at a new job — regardless of how old you are — can be a little unnerving for people. Extend basic courtesies and help make them feel like less of an outcast as they transition into their new work environment.

Simple enough, right? Just keep these in mind and you’ll start to see a huge difference in your workplace.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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04.30
2019

Can Natural Gas Fleets Save Money?

Managers of any business that owns a fleet of vehicles are always on the search for options that will save money. It’s crucial to always be on the cutting edge of technology. Especially with fuel prices steadily climbing, finding thrifty fuel alternatives is a must. Perhaps a company could save some green by converting their fleet to go green.

In recent years, Ford started to offer compressed natural gas and propane-ready gaseous prep packages for V8 engines in its F-150s. According to FleetOwner, this was done as a response to customers reaching out to Ford requesting alternative-fuel capabilities, even for its larger 5.0-liter V8 engines.

But what does this mean money-wise? Can natural gas vehicles actually save companies money?

Manufacturers for the vehicles estimate up-fitting for pickups and vans can cost up to $13,000 per vehicle. In the short run, alternative fuels are an investment. Reports by The Tulsa World and FOX 13 of Salt Lake City see that about three cents per mile driven is saved for a vehicle.

The vehicles in the Tulsa World and FOX 13 reports (transit buses and a news van) are a bit different than the Ford vehicles, which will come with the upgrades and the costs included in the vehicle price. But at three cents per mile, it may take a while to offset the estimated $13,000 of costs and start saving money. For a vehicle that drives 25,000 miles per year, it would take nearly 18 years to begin saving money.

Alternative fuel might not be the best option to save money at the moment, but as technology improves it will become a more realistic option. FleetOwner’s article urged that performance doesn’t drop off with these alternative fuel vehicles, which will be able to tow the same amount of cargo as a traditional gasoline vehicle.

Alternative fuel may not save money for your fleet of vehicles this year or next, but natural gas fleets are a growing trend that fleet owners will want to keep an eye on.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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04.24
2019

3 Ways to Make Your Commutes From Work Less Stressful

Those dreaded red brake lights illuminating the interstate for miles on end at 5 p.m. every day are something that no one looks forward to. As heavy rush-hour traffic can be especially stressful after having just completed a full eight hours at the office, it’s important to do whatever you can to experience smoother trips home from work. Here are three tips to make those lengthy commutes from the office a little more manageable.

Listen to audio

Whether it’s music, a podcast, or the radio, having something to listen to while you’re on your way home can be immensely beneficial. Education-based audio may help you pass lengthy bouts of idle time by teaching you new things or helping you become a more well-rounded person. However, there’s still something to be said about relaxation and entertainment, and through avenues like music, you can experience both while driving home safely.

Optimize your schedule

Are there particular times of the day where you regularly notice traffic to be at its worst?  If so, it’ll help to tailor your daily schedule outside of the office a bit more toward avoiding driving far distances during those times. Choosing to meet a friend for dinner nearby after work or exercising at a gym close to your job are just two examples of activities that can help you dodge the worst of rush-hour’s snails-pace congestion, while also being beneficial to your well-being. It may not seem like that big of a difference at face value, but even delaying your usual departure home from the office by an additional 30 minutes to work out or eat first could end up saving you an hour of time that would’ve been spent in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Find better routes

If a backroad route is longer mileage-wise than a commute home via the interstate is, consider it as an option if it offers less congestion. Even still, if that route takes you five minutes longer to get home when compared to traveling on a jammed highway, it may be less stressful for you to have a drive where there’s as little stop-and-go as possible.

Through these tips, we hope that you’ll be able to experience safer, more manageable commutes during the work week. For solutions to the traffic inefficiencies that your mobile workforce may be regularly dealing with, see how Actsoft can assist.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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04.19
2019

7 Tips for Being Successful

Success is the ultimate goal in life. No matter the endeavor you pursue, the ultimate goal at the end of the day is to be successful in whatever it is you’re doing. No journey is without its fair share of bumps (or potholes) along its path, but through any trials and tribulations, the end goal is always the same: thwart failure and achieve success.

There are plenty of paths you can take along your journey to success and, while outcomes for everyone may vary, there are certain patterns of behavior followed by those who are (almost) universally regarded as successful in the business world. Deciding to follow these may be the key to guiding you along a similar road while avoiding as many obstacles as possible.

Become a problem solver.
It’s one thing to be able to identify problems. Anyone can do that, really. It takes an adept, forward-thinking leader to craft a working solution to these issues.

Speak up.
Being a wallflower never helped anyone get ahead. When opportunities to speak up arise, take hold of them and speak your mind. Engage in conversations with your colleagues and, in doing so, you demonstrate to everyone that you have something to contribute and you have the gumption to put it out there.

Focus on results.
Rather than just calling attention to actions you’ve taken, take heed of the actual benefits that came about as a result. Don’t oversimplify your endeavors with blanket statements. Instead, home in on any measurable effects that you were directly responsible for (e.g. cost savings).

Commit to learning.
It doesn’t matter how far you’ve come in life. There is always room to learn more. Education is a lifelong commitment, and the most successful people know this and constantly strive to consume more knowledge or learn a new skill.

Own your mistakes.
Nobody is perfect. Once you not only accept that you’re bound to make mistakes (and plenty of them), but that you embrace those missteps as learning experiences, you’ll be leagues ahead of those who would rather feign perfection.

Learn to say no.
Sure, you may think it’s a good look agreeing to help whenever someone reaches out, but there are a couple of problems with this. You run the risk of stretching yourself too thin and not being able to follow through with your commitments. and because of this, you may fast find yourself losing focus on the bigger picture, failing to complete major tasks that are ultimately much more important.

Never stop.
When you reach a goal you set for yourself, even if that goal seemed so out of reach at the start of your journey, that doesn’t mean you’re done. Truly successful people use each major milestone as a jumping-off point to begin the trek to the next level.

Success is achievable by anyone who has the drive and determination to continue pushing toward it. Keeping these tips in mind just may help you get there a little bit faster.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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04.12
2019

5 Tips for Efficient Telecommuting

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that some (if not all) of your team is at least partially mobile. Nowadays, it’s becoming more and more commonplace for industries of all types to make the shift from traditional office-style environments to those that are mobile friendly. For some, this consists of a crew of telecommuters who are able to successfully execute their responsibilities from satellite locations (wherein that satellite may very well be a home office). For others, the nature of their work requires them to be largely in the field, whether it’s drumming up new business or servicing customers’ needs.

As a manager, it’s your task to oversee these employees and help keep them on track. Luckily for you, the solutions provided by our software help ease the stress that inherently comes with this type of responsibility, by giving you detailed insight into their daily work-related activity through a slew of tools like GPS Tracking, Wireless Forms, and Timekeeping.

These tools are extremely helpful to your remote staff as well, allowing them to cut precious minutes from their tasks, enabling them to take on even more responsibility. But on top of these tools, it’s also important to make sure your remote employees have all the resources they need to effectively manage themselves when they don’t frequent the home office very often … or at all. The following tips will help your team take on the day full-throttle, no matter where they are.

Create a workspace.
Sure, the benefit of working from home means that you can, theoretically, meander from room to room at your leisure. But carving out a dedicated workspace helps you get in the right headspace to start off a productive day of work, and it helps keep you organized. Plus, it sends the message to others (e.g. your family) that you’re “at work” and that you need to focus.

Keep regular hours.
You may think one of the biggest perks about working at home is having more of a fluid schedule. But what happens if someone else on your team needs something, reaches out, and you’re M.I.A.? It’s not a good look. Instead, make sure you keep the same hours as everyone else and if something comes up and your schedule needs to change, make sure the right people know.

Get dressed.
This one may sound a little odd but think about it. If you’re a telecommuter, it may be overwhelmingly tempting to spend your days comfortably lounging around your home in your favorite pair of cozy pajamas while you plug away. We’re not saying you have to put on a three-piece suit, here. But sticking to a normal routine — one that includes ditching your PJs and getting dressed for work in the morning — puts you in the right frame of mind to get the day started.

Check in regularly.
You know the phrase, “Out of sight, out of mind.” Don’t let that be the case for you. Yes, your management team has access to insights related to your daily activity, but you still want to make known your presence and progress in whatever projects are on your plate. Schedule regular times to either call or email managers (and even colleagues) with updates. It reinforces the message that, while you may not be seen, you’re still hard at work.

Make time for face-to-face interaction.
If you’re reasonably close enough to a physical home office (or have the option to fly), make an effort to put in some face time when you can. For those you don’t interact with frequently, it reminds them of your presence. More importantly, it gives you that in-person connection with colleagues that you can’t really get, even with video calls. Use these opportunities to discuss current projects, brainstorm new ideas, and solidify relationships on a more personal level.

Working remotely certainly requires an entirely different approach than the traditional office setting. But with a few adjustments (and a much-needed boost from our software), you’ll see your team’s productivity reach entirely new limits.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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04.09
2019

The Importance of Driver Safety

The weather is warmer, school is coming to a close for the kids, and vacation season is nearly upon us. It’s a happy time of year with the snow just about all melted away. It only means one thing: more activity on the roadways.

Anyone who drives on a regular basis, whether it’s to and from work, or someone who drives a vehicle for a living, knows it’s imperative to be safe on the roadways. Make sure the tires are at a good grade, make sure the oil is fresh, and everything else with your vehicle is completely safe.

Still, the biggest component of driving safely is, well, driver safety. Things become tougher on the roadways with more and more vehicles clogging up lanes. This is especially true in areas that have high volumes of traffic and less than three lanes on each side for traffic.

Driving in an area with smalltown design, but big city aspirations can be a nightmare. In Allentown, Pennsylvania, as many as 100,000 people will clog the roadways during the day in certain spots of the highway. Despite the large volume of drivers, there are only two lanes in each direction for traffic. Add onto that about 100 yards for entry ramps, which is not a ton of room to merge, it’s not a great situation for hundreds of vehicles to go from two and one-half lanes to two.

The four-lane highway that may be better served as a six-lane roadway is not unique to Allentown. It may seem silly for experienced drivers, but it never hurts to have a reminder of safe driving habits for roadways that are difficult to maneuver. Anyone from an urban area is used to crowded roadways, but with plenty of lanes to get around. Anyone from a rural area is used to dealing with tight roads. Combining the two may not be a daily occurrence for every driver out there. Make sure you’re taking every precaution necessary to make it home at the end of the day.

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