02.19
2019

Baseball Spring Training and Vehicle Tracking on Truck Day

What do you associate with spring? Punxsutawney Phil? Daylight Savings Time? Warmer weather? Maybe the thought of spring coming should be associated with fleets of trucks headed south.

Truck Day is the day Major League Baseball teams load up their equipment and other player essentials on trucks to head for spring training. For teams, these spring training homes are in Florida for some and Arizona for others. As you can imagine it’s a long way from Boston to Ft. Myers, Florida, or Cleveland to Goodyear, Arizona.

These drivers have the responsibility of transporting a major league organization’s equipment safely and in a timely manner. Baseball players and managers can have the smallest mishap revert them from a 30-year-old man to a 12-year-old. Seriously. It’s ideal to make the driver’s job as easy as possible to save everyone from a player or manager tirade.

Drivers are familiar with pre-trip inspections for safety, but imagine how much easier his job would be if he could do a pre- and post-trip check of the baseball equipment, too. 300 tubs of sunflower seeds? Check. 100 ash bats and 75 maple bats? Check. Keeping the skipper happy? Check.

Whether checking vehicle equipment for safety or going through a rundown of the baseball equipment, the driver’s checklist is simplified with Actsoft. A list of what drivers need to check before and after the journey can be loaded to a mobile device. These lists can contain fields that require photos of the equipment and driver signature to ensure a thorough inspection.

Wireless Forms is the ideal solution for ensuring the equipment makes it intact. A team would have the ability to make it necessary for drivers to take pictures before and after the trip. This would make it so that it’s known by each team the status of the equipment upon arrival at spring training.

Another way to ensure the equipment gets to the spring training site is with a solution like GPS Tracking that makes it easy to manage everything. Our solutions make tracking the trucks simple, alerts management of poor driving habits, and can improve efficiency to the point that reduces the amount of fuel needed for the journey. The team doesn’t need to wonder if the equipment will get to the park on time or if there will be any surprise costs for the trip. Instead, management knows the status of the truck throughout the entire trip.

Baseball, warmer weather, and sunshine are great indicators of spring. Truck Day is what truly kicks it all off and it’s essential that everything gets to its destination on time and securely.

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01.11
2019

Tips for Improving Your Company’s Efficiency

Now, more than ever, distractions abound and it’s increasingly easier to find ourselves veering off our planned trajectories. In our day-to-day lives, this isn’t always such a big deal. But when it comes to being at work, staying focused and working on the project(s) at hand is imperative. Efficiency plays a big role in making sure your business stays profitable. So what can you do to remain focused and moving everything forward? Here are some of our top suggestions.

Follow a routine.
We are creatures of habit. While some may suggest routines can swerve into the lane of the mundane, at the office, they can also help keep you on top of your game, operating like a fine-tuned machine. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to map out your entire day and function like a robot of sorts. Rather, have a regularly scheduled plan for knocking out the things you know need to be addressed on a daily basis (e.g. read and respond to emails in the morning, run daily reports, etc.).

Make lists and sort by urgency.
Is there a ton on your to-do list and you’re pretty sure it can’t all be tackled in a single day? Prioritize everything based on urgency to make sure you address the bigger projects that need to be tended to sooner than later.

Stop multitasking.
Hear us out with this one. Yes, the ability to multitask is often touted as a favorable attribute during the interview process. But, juggling a ton of projects at the same time may not be the most effective way to get them done. Often times it’s better to focus your energies on a single project and see it through to completion — or at least as far as you’re able to take it — before moving on to something else. Stopping mid-task, switching directions, and then going back can cause you to lose your focus and momentum, effectively taking up a lot more time.

Minimize meetings.
Does your company have endless numbers of meetings? Ask yourself if they’re all 100 percent necessary or if you can scale them back and combine some when possible. Regular interruptions can hamper workflow, prolonging the amount of time it takes to get things done. Dialing back the number of meetings you regularly hold lets your employees focus on pressing assignments.

Implement a professional service.
Solutions like the ones we provide are a more official means to increase productivity in the workplace. With functionality like GPS Tracking, workers can be held more accountable for their behavior while on the clock. They need to be where they say they are, and there’s no question about the time it takes to get from point A to point B — and whether they took the most efficient route. Wireless Forms allows them to collect important information, including photos and signatures, much quicker than traditional paper forms, so they can proceed on to the next job sooner than before. Plus, the back office receives all the information almost instantly, giving them a chance to process way ahead of schedule. And with Mobile Timekeeping, your crew can clock in no matter where they are, so instead of wasting time going into the office when they don’t need to, they can immediately start the day by focusing on their responsibilities.

As you can see, with just a few adjustments that are easy enough to implement, you can transform your already successful business into an efficiency machine.

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01.09
2019

Commercial Motor Vehicle Medical Certificates

Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers have long had to comply with various safety precautions to ensure they’re alert on the road during long drives and amid poor driving conditions. One of these mandates is a clean bill of health.

The National Registry of Medical Examiners was created to reduce highway accidents according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Requiring CMV drivers to have up-to-date medical certificates is based on various reports, such as National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) crash investigations, which indicates that improper medical certification of CMV drivers with serious disqualifying medical conditions has directly contributed to fatal and injury crashes.

A school bus and truck collision in New Jersey illustrates the importance of certified medical examiners, according to the NTSB. The school bus driver involved in the crash received his medical certification in January 2012, before medical examiners were required to have training. The FMCSA had no regulatory authority over the examining doctor, there were no federal training or certification programs to ensure that examiners were familiar with the regulations, and there was no national registry of examiners. However, examiners were expected to exercise good medical judgment and carefully evaluate each person on whom they performed a physical examination (Herner, Smedvy, and Ysander 1966).

According to the investigation, in this case, the medical examiner, a chiropractor, never saw the school bus driver before and did not obtain medical records or consults from the driver’s primary care and specialist doctors. The extent to which the medical examiner verbally discussed the driver’s chronic low back pain and diagnosis of alcoholism (and alcohol abuse), which are underlying potentially disqualifying conditions, is not known. Moreover, it is unknown to what extent he discussed the prescription medications he was aware of, even though he wrote on the commercial driver’s license (CDL) form that they do not interfere with driving. Therefore, the NTSB concludes that the CDL medical examiner did not thoroughly evaluate the school bus driver for medical conditions that could have disqualified him from receiving a CDL. The NTSB also concludes that based on the school bus driver’s combination of medical conditions and use of multiple prescription medications, it is likely that he would not have been medically certified to drive a school bus if he had fully disclosed his medical history on the CDL medical certification.
While it’s impossible to know what a driver’s habits are on a daily basis, it’s crucial to put measures in place to ensure the safety of vehicles and passengers on roadways, as illustrated by the New Jersey crash.

Along with required medical examinations by now-certified medical examiners, as well as the newly passed Hours of Service legislation, there are other measures companies themselves can institute to ensure driver safety. GPS tracking has long been a popular tool to maintain watch of driver behavior — which would have been impossible pre-technology. Now, for pennies a day, fleet-based companies, or any business who uses drivers to deliver services or goods, can monitor a host of behaviors.

What can I monitor?

  • Driver speeds
  • Idling
  • Fast braking
  • Travel outside of authorized areas
  • Rapid acceleration

Each of these behaviors can be set up to alert managers and office personnel so that a driver can be notified that they are breaking a rule and must modify their behavior before an accident or other liability happens. Moreover, weekly or monthly reports can be created to get a snapshot of driver activity, to compare behavior from month-to-month or to compare drivers with each other.

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01.08
2019

Corporate Growth and Motivating Employees

As any corporation experiences growth, the need to cultivate new leaders within it will naturally exist. For many employees, the prospect of eventually rising to a management role is something that they strive for, and if your organization is continuing to expand, there’s nothing but positive trajectory for everyone.

With corporate growth, however, comes the need to develop the skills of staff. Over time, the valuable traits that each of your employees bring to the table for your business’s success should be identified, refined, and highlighted. Effective management starts with empowering those around you, and routinely motivating them through the progression of their abilities.

If there’s potential for growth within your company, better candidates may be more enticed to take open positions, allowing you to hire only the most impactful people. Individuals that truly make a difference for your organization typically all have strong work ethics, and new positions created during times of expansion can help to put in place additional structure for your organization.

By using Actsoft solutions to help your team flourish, you can provide your employees with clearer paths to success. Features of our digital products like GPS Tracking, Dispatching, and Wireless Forms all continue to play an active role in helping countless businesses reduce the costs of their operations, and maintain higher standards of efficiency. As any company’s bottom line must be in good standing before more employees can be brought on, our solutions can help to increase workforce productivity and efficiency, saving additional funds. New hiring is a huge benefit, and a great sign that growth is occurring. It also leaves room for tenured staff to potentially achieve positions of leadership.

If staff feel empowered to ascend in their careers, the ramifications for your business are huge. Employee productivity as a whole can increase, and you’ll be able to continue effectively growing your company. To gain a better handle on growth, bring down operational costs, and make promoting your team members easier, allow Actsoft’s suite of applications to help.

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01.04
2019

New Year’s Resolution for Your Workforce

If there’s anything that can be said about the year’s end, it’s that December 31 is almost indisputably the biggest party night of the year. One needs to look no further than the hordes of people that flock to New York City’s Times Square (roughly one million were anticipated for the close of 2018) to watch a shimmering crystal ball descend a pole perched atop One Times Square. Others, looking for (slightly) smaller crowds, gather at bars and clubs. For those really averse to the throngs of partygoers that are unavoidable at public New Year’s Eve celebrations, house parties are where it’s at.

Regardless of the venue, hundreds of millions of people around the globe devote the last night of each year to celebrating, often times with a smorgasbord of food and stockpile of libations. Many parties last well into the wee hours of the following morning which, in addition to being a deciding factor in many businesses staying closed for the day, also likely plays a hand in another annual tradition: the New Year’s resolution.

It’s no surprise that, after an evening of over-indulgence and debauchery, January 1 is used as the jumping off point for people to pledge to make positive changes in their lives. (“New year, new me,” as the popular phrase goes.)

Resolutions can be tough for people to stick with for the long haul. It’s not always easy to make major changes, and many times they’re simply abandoned after just a few weeks. But, if you’re a business owner who’s looking to ring in the New Year by introducing new ways to help bolster your bottom line, implementation of our software is a simple, cost-effective way to get started.

Wireless Forms let you digitize even the most complicated of paper forms, eliminating the need for costly hard copies and reducing the amount of time they take to fill out. Plus, your workers have no reason to take precious time out of their work days to shuffle back and forth from the field to the office so paperwork can be filed. Instead, they can take on additional jobs with all that time saved.

With employees less tethered to the home office, our Mobile Timekeeping functionality allows them to punch in from anywhere. Plus, not only can you accurately track their hours, you can make sure they’re where they should be when they punch in (e.g. at a job site). This way, if an employee is running late (or attempting to be deceptive) you know without a shadow of a doubt, letting you adjust their pay accordingly and take any action that may be necessary. (Long story short: It keeps your staff honest and holds them accountable.)

Job Dispatching is a means to disperse new work orders that come in during the day. But it’s not merely an assignment tool; it lets you choose the right person for the job, based on factors like current workload and proximity. This way, your staff is able to visit more customers each day, while also reducing the amount of fuel consumed traveling between job sites.

Speaking of fuel consumption, have you ever wanted assurances that your drivers are doing everything they can to treat fuel as the precious, costly commodity that it is? We can help with that, too. Track driver behavior for things like hard braking and quick accelerating, excessive idling, and routes taken to make sure they’re following best practices to use as little fuel as possible.

These are just four ways that our solutions can help you keep your business-forward resolution this year. We take care of all the hard work, meaning this is one resolution you’ll have no problem keeping up with. You’ll reap all the rewards with minimal effort on your part.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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12.21
2018

Reinventing Disney Classics and Mobile Workforces

The year is almost at an end and, though there is ostensibly no discernable difference between December 31 and January 1, many of us opt to use the New Year to signify new beginnings. We make promises to improve various aspects of our lives and hope that, with the coming year, we can usher in better versions of ourselves.

Likewise, in Hollywood, the creatives behind all the biggest blockbusters are constantly trying to one-up the last hit. Sometimes that involves breathing new life into something older. In 2019, we’ll see the masterminds from Disney reintroduce three of the biggest classics from yesteryear, implementing new technologies that let them retell the same story in a completely new light.

In “The Lion King,” we’ll see Simba as we’ve never seen him before, as though he’s a real, living, and breathing feline. “Aladdin” promises to take us on a magic carpet ride to the mythical land of Agrabah brought to life. And everyone’s favorite floppy-eared, flying elephant is bound to win the hearts of a whole new generation in “Dumbo.”

Now, whether or not these modernized versions of the classics are actually upgrades or not is a subject of contention for many. But the fact of the matter is: Technology today allows the storytellers to dazzle audiences with a new, upgraded look that they simply were not capable of when these films were first introduced.

Likewise, introducing our software to your business allows you to complete the same tasks that you are now, but in a much more efficient manner. And unlike the reimagined movies that are coming to the big screen next year, there’s really no disputing the benefits you’ll see from upgrading to our solution.

If you’re constantly dealing with massive amounts of paperwork, particularly with forms that need to be filled out at each job site, there is so much waste (both resources and expenses) that comes from needlessly using so much paper product. Plus, with decision logic, your digital modules automatically know to skip to certain questions based on your responses, saving your crew time.

Companies with fleets can use our solution to reduce the amount of fuel used. Vehicle monitoring lets management know if drivers are allowing their trucks to idle needlessly, burning fuel that could be saved simply by switching off the engine. Additional driver behavior (e.g. hard braking or accelerating and speeding) is tracked so you can make sure your crew is driving as safely as possible. When they’re following safe practices, there’s a reduced risk in accidents, which can be costly both to your bottom line and reputation.

And when you have employees that work in the field, you can save time wasted by letting them punch in and out from the field, rather than having them come all the way into the office. Plus, with GPS Tracking tied into their time punches, there’s an added level of accountability, since you know they’re exactly where they’re supposed to be when you start paying them.

So while everyone may not be all on the same page when it comes to the reimagining of classic movies, it’s okay; we don’t always have to agree. But when it comes time to reinvent your business, it’s hard to argue with the results.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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12.18
2018

Optimizing Your Fantasy Football Team for the Playoffs

If your fantasy football team is fortunate enough to still be relevant this time of year, consider yourself blessed. Maybe you’ve been combing through every last shred of fantasy football advice you can find, scouring the waiver wire for players that can give your team the competitive edge it needs. Or, maybe you’ve barely paid attention to it and have somehow lucked your way into the postseason. Regardless, it’s a privilege to be one of the final teams left standing, no matter if there’s a cash prize or simply water cooler bragging rights to be had for winning.

As obvious as it sounds, having an optimized roster for the fantasy football postseason will put your team in the best possible situation to come away with a win. Don’t overcomplicate or overthink your starter choices, and make sure you’re closely monitoring the injury reports. There’s nothing worse than one of your players potentially registering a zero when all the chips are on the line. Also, when choosing your championship roster, analytics can help, but I’ll always be a firm believer in going with the safe option: sticking with whatever lineup you’ve been able to most consistently win with thus far. There’s no point in trying to drastically reengineer something that was never broken to begin with.

Much like how optimizing your fantasy football lineup will give you the best shot at winning your playoff games, Actsoft solutions can help to optimize your business’s mobile workforce, and give it a competitive advantage over other companies in its market. For example, our products’ GPS Tracking and Dispatching features both provide boosts to productivity by saving employees time in the field, and helping them stay accountable. By using our software to manage and streamline operations, you’ll be able to save money, and empower a winning workforce.

While no amount of fantasy football research can fully predict what will happen come game time, our software remains consistently reliable at enhancing your business. Actsoft can provide you with steady returns on investment by helping your team save resources, stay punctual, and become more productive. Good luck in the playoffs!

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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.

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11.30
2018

Holiday Travel and Fleet Tracking

As we discussed recently, Thanksgiving is the holiday that ushers in the unofficial start to the end-of-year holiday travel season. And it’s no secret that, particularly during this exceptionally busy travel season, you can expect to pay a premium when it comes to air transportation. This year, travelers can expect to pay nearly $400 for domestic round-trip airfare, a pretty steep price to pay (especially this time of year) when budgets are stretched thin by the spirit of giving.

So it should come as no surprise that many travelers choose to seek out alternative modes of travel during the winter months, all in the name of saving money. (Not to mention, for relatively local travel, it can be a time-saver and it alleviates you of the added stress of dealing with airports when crowds are at their worst.)

Because of this, bus travel has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years. With new, growing numbers of passengers taking to the road instead of the air, the industry quickly realized it had to adapt to a wide variety of travel preferences. This resulted in a whole slew of enhancements being made, including the addition of amenities like Wi-Fi, on-screen entertainment, satellite radio, and even meals served. Travelers can now even choose between ultra-affordable, middle-of-the-road, and luxury buses.

What does all of this mean for you, as a transportation provider? Passengers have come to expect a lot more, and they want you to deliver. Just like the airlines some now use as a backup plan, they want to know that their bus will pick them up, depart, and arrive at the intended destination on time.

Our solution means that you can keep track of every bus in your fleet, so you know exactly where each vehicle is, in near real-time. Because of the flexibility of our software and its ability to integrate with other programs, you can feed this information into tools that then relay it to your customers, keeping them as up-to-date as possible.

Additionally, during a time when congestion on the roads (particularly highways) can be at peak levels, we can help you relay alternative route suggestions to drivers that can allow them to bypass as much as possible. You’ll save on the expense from gas wasted while needlessly idling in potentially avoidable traffic and keep all those eager travelers appeased. (Trust us. Even as passengers, anxiety while stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic is a real thing.)

Driver safety is another factor that directly impacts both your bottom line and customer satisfaction. With our tracking devices, you can keep a record of your driver’s behavior, including speeding, hard accelerating, and hard braking. Speeding puts your driver, your fleet, and your customers at risk, which can then lead to major expenses, whether from a damaged reputation or (worse) actual injuries suffered. Hard acceleration is a great way to waste gas. And hard braking is dangerous and makes your passengers uncomfortable.

If you haven’t implemented any vehicle tracking into your fleet before now, you’re doing yourself, your company, and your customers a great disservice. We can help you deliver a tremendous experience while also putting money back into your pocket. And there’s no better time to take your company to the next level than right now, as we approach one of the biggest travel times of the year.

You’ll thank us. And then your customers will thank you.

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11.28
2018

Three Things Successful Fleet Managers Never Do

Managing a fleet of vehicles is a grand task for whoever decides to take it on. In addition to propelling their workforce to specific levels of productivity and efficiency, managers must also ensure the safety of their workforce and encourage the development of positive habits. Below are a few things successful fleet managers never do.

Complicate Fleet Maintenance
In order to maintain the integrity of your fleet, you have to ensure that vehicular maintenance is a simplified process. Complicated processes discourage employees from engaging in them. In this instance, overcomplicating a process will yield the negative result of not servicing your vehicles appropriately.

Make maintaining vehicles nearly effortless for your drivers. Set up reminders to communicate that the vehicles need to be attended to, therefore ensuring a properly maintained fleet.

Be Reactionary to Safety Hazards
Doing this, you assume a great deal of liability on your vehicles, their drivers, and your company as a whole. Not properly educating your drivers on how to address safety issues, or failing to equip them with safe vehicles, increases your company’s susceptibility to the fallout following an accident.

Instead, take a proactive approach toward safety issues. A multi-faceted endeavor, proactivity toward fleet safety includes the tracking of vehicle locations and the scheduling of maintenance alerts prior to service issues occurring. Setting clear guidelines for drivers to follow when facing an event that compromises their vehicle’s safety ensures their response is both quick and direct, reducing the negative impact these issues can have on your processes.

Establish Unclear, Vague, or No Expectations for Fleet Drivers
Failure to set attainable goals for your drivers is a surefire way to inhibit your company’s growth. Without clearly defined productivity expectations, your drivers have greater leeway to misuse company time and you have little-to-no means of holding them accountable.

It is in your best interest to convey what is expected of your driver’s performance. Setting up daily, weekly, and monthly goals give drivers a benchmark to accomplish while on the clock. Communicating that driver behaviors will also be measured is another way to ensure your fleet is operating at optimum efficiency. Speeding, hard accelerations, and hard braking all compound to negatively affect the vehicles within your fleet.

Acknowledging which approaches to fleet management work or not is crucial to the continued success of your own fleet. Learning from the mistakes and achievements of those around you is a proven method for circumventing the obstacles and losses your business can encounter without any form of guidance. Make sure to avoid these three things, and you are that much closer to success.

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