04.30
2018

Welding: A Trade That’s Becoming More Valuable Than Ever

Welding is a profession that makes everything from wrought-iron fencing to skyscraper infrastructure possible, and in today’s ever-modernizing world, it couldn’t be more important. The process of transforming raw metals into specialized objects is a fascinating one to watch, and with torches often times reaching temperatures in excess of 5,000 degrees when heating up metals, welding requires a unique skillset of close attention to detail and prolonged stamina.

Within the realm of manufacturing, welding as a trade has grown and developed significantly. The scope of sectors that this valuable profession now has a part in is wide-ranging. Construction, modern art, aviation and aerospace technologies are just a few of the industries that rely on skilled welders for different aspects of their respective operations, making it a trade that’s certainly booming in the 21st century.

Machinery’s rise has given further fuel to the trade of metal-working’s explosive growth, and as mechanical power becomes increasingly commonplace, the demand for skilled welders continues to skyrocket. At Actsoft, we understand the importance of manufacturing and welding jobs to the world’s economy of today. As a result, we’ve taken steps to design cutting-edge applications that can assist in facilitating ideal operations for businesses in these spheres.

Welding can be a dangerous job, with torches heating metal to thousands of degrees and showers of scalding hot sparks frequently peppering the work zones of employees. GPS and Asset Tracking alike let companies in this line of work know exactly where their remote employees are in near real-time, leaving no emergency situation to chance. Any expensive or potentially dangerous work equipment belonging to a company is also able to be closely monitored using Asset Tracking and geofencing within our suite of solutions. Trucks that are stocked with valuable equipment can cost tens of thousands of dollars to replace, and if they’re constantly being monitored for unapproved activities, administrative teams in welding and manufacturing can enjoy true peace of mind when it comes to managing the placement of their business assets.

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04.27
2018

The Woes of Remote Management & How to Remedy Them

Though it seems a lifetime ago, we really don’t have to look too far back to remember a time when the traditional workweek was considered Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Of course there were always exceptions to the rule, depending on the industry and demands, but that was long held to be the standard. (I mean, c’mon, there was even a song written about it.)

But over the years, that standard workweek (and subsequently the workday itself) has continued to evolve and transform into a more fluid, amorphous entity, so to speak. More flexibility was introduced to accommodate individuals’ personal situations. One of the biggest — and increasingly more popular and rapidly adopted — changes is the concept of remote employment and, by proxy, remote management.

Once upon a time, this type of arrangement was only found sporadically, in special situations; but today, thanks in part to all the advancements in digital communications, it is becoming de rigueur. It’s not unusual for businesses to be almost exclusively staffed by work-from-home employees who may not even live in the same state (or country) as the company headquarters.

There are so many benefits to this type of business model: Employers can cast a wider net when it comes to staffing the best, brightest people for the job; office-space rentals are smaller since they don’t need to be large enough to accommodate everyone; the customer base, for services requiring in-person visits, isn’t restricted to just locals; and so much more!

With those perks, however, come some challenges. How does a business owner, or even a manager, keep a staff in line when they’re never around each other or, quite possibly, they’ve never met in person? Who’s to say a remote worker is doing what they should be doing, for sure? Are they making the most of their time?

That’s where we come into play.

Actsoft’s robust suite of tools was designed for exactly this purpose. Whether all of your employees are local but spend the bulk of their days on the go, or you staff remote workers in distant regions around the country or world, we’ve got your back.

Fleet Tracking One of the bigger industries where remotely working is the norm, naturally, is in the trucking industry. Back in the day, truckers were depended upon to accurately report their hours and distances traveled in paper logs. Today, those paper logs no longer suffice; everything must be digital. We partnered with VisTracks to provide state-of-the-art ELD tracking of hours to make sure your long-haul drivers are keeping compliant with the law and therefore not costing you needless dollars in fines. Couple that with our fleet-tracking devices and, just as easily as if you were sitting in the passenger seat, you can follow your drivers’ routes, safe-driving practices, and vehicle idling, among other things.

GPS Tracking This is particularly helpful when you have employees who are not only remote, but also work in the field. With our service tracking staff members, you can always be certain they’re actually with the right client/at the proper location when they say they are, for how long they say. This keeps your team honest about their schedules, and also comes in handy when dealing with any potential customer service issues down the road.

Wireless Forms Dealing with paper forms is a hassle no matter what, never mind when the forms being filled out are hundreds of miles from the office. Relying on hard copies, especially with remote staff, is the easiest way to introduce unnecessary delays and errors into your everyday work. Going digital, you eliminate that problematic wait period and instead, all of your formerly-paper forms make their way home instantly. Plus, with our latest Form Workflows option, colleagues across the country can seamlessly collaborate on the same project, quickly passing a single document between each other as needed.

Mobile Timekeeping We’d all like to think that every person on our team, remote or otherwise, is completely trustworthy. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. (Plus, sometimes honest mistakes happen.) Merging GPS tracking with mobile timekeeping capabilities lets you know exactly where your employees are when they punch in; so you know your staff is at a job site, rather than en route, and you’re only paying people for time they actually spend working.

With those four features alone, managing a remote staff of any size or proximity becomes that much easier. And that’s just scratching the surface of what Actsoft and its array of services can do to help your business reach a new, more efficient state.

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04.23
2018

Managing the Effects of Severe Weather Using Modern Solutions

In Tampa, Florida, Actsoft’s home city, intense weather can at times be commonplace. During the spring and summertime especially, pulses of violet-colored lightning frequently slice across the waterfront’s horizon, illuminating the bay’s rippling water at the edges of Tampa’s Riverwalk district. The city is commonly referred to as the “lightning capital of the USA” due to its high frequency of thunderstorms, but it’s more of a marketing phrase, as another Floridian city, Fort Myers, currently holds the science-backed title of America’s most lightning-struck city.

Regardless, the Tampa Bay region still receives more than its fair share of inclement weather on a yearly basis. Tampa’s National Hockey League team is even named after the bolts of electricity that accompany the torrential downpours and growling, charcoal-colored thunderclouds that characterize an average Gulf of Mexico–fueled storm.

These run-of-the-mill thunderstorms typically don’t last very long and only have minimal wind gusts accompanying them, which is something that Tampa Bay residents have grown accustomed to dealing with regularly in everyday life. Any widespread devastation that larger, more powerful weather phenomena like hurricanes and tornadoes can cause obviously isn’t typical for these types of routine showers. However, if and when a brutal natural disaster does make landfall on a major metropolis, Actsoft is there to help its businesses restore, repair, and assist those who are in need.

In disaster-stricken areas where maintaining clear communication is a constant challenge, our solutions can especially help companies in utilities, construction, and field service foster strong systems of workforce cohesiveness. With elements such as downed power lines and catastrophic flooding causing glaring safety concerns for both workers and civilians alike, tools within our software such as GPS Tracking allow for the positions of mobile employees to be reported back to a company’s home office in near real-time. This keeps administrators constantly in-the-know about their employees’ whereabouts during working hours, and makes pinpointing their locations easier in the context of emergency situations. A powerful tandem of GPS Tracking and Mobile Dispatching also makes sending out assistance as streamlined and efficient as possible, particularly for businesses that are tasked with cleanup efforts after a catastrophic weather event.

During critical situations where restoring power grids and infrastructure are the highest priority, companies in construction, utilities, and field service can all lean on Actsoft solutions to optimize the productivity and efficiency of their mobile employees. While certain factors such as severe storms will never be completely unpreventable, the developments that we’ve made in management technology can help workforces with mitigating aftermath and restoring cities faster than ever to regular sustainability.

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04.16
2018

Actsoft in the Healthcare Industry

New technology is continually transforming the ways in which companies are conducting daily operations in the healthcare industry. Emergency situations are becoming much more manageable due to breakthroughs in mobile resource management (MRM) software, and Actsoft stands as a leader in pioneering some of these practical innovations for companies to use.

Our solutions allow businesses in patient transport, pharmacy, and hospice care know where their employees and assets are in near real-time by equipping them with tools that let them receive data back from the field nearly instantly. Gaining vision on field operations allows administrators to have an extra measure of insight into their mobile workforces, and helps them ensure that employees are getting to job sites on time and in the most efficient ways possible.

Multiple companies in healthcare already benefit on a daily basis from using Actsoft to streamline their information flows and enhance the productivity of their workforces. Two primary features of our solutions that these businesses rely on daily to provide quality care are Wireless Forms and GPS Tracking.

With Wireless Forms, companies can eliminate their organization’s use of paper documents altogether. Using this feature, a healthcare business’s mobile workers can fill out and pass off digital forms from mobile devices while they’re at remote locations. Lessening data errors, clearing illegible handwriting, and reducing high annual paper costs are all easily possible with a fluid system of digital documentation in place.

GPS Tracking is another powerful tool from Actsoft that businesses can use in everyday operations. In healthcare, safety is paramount, and by allowing management teams to see the near real-time locations of ambulance drivers, GPS Tracking helps them ensure that patients, EMTs, and drivers are all secure during critical situations. Further benefits of better routing and increased fuel efficiency are also available with the help of this feature, and any potential for vehicle theft can be mitigated if the locations of valuable assets are being constantly monitored.

Managing crises using 21st century tools is something that many of today’s healthcare companies strive to do, as they seek out more efficient ways to provide excellent care to their patients and clients. Actsoft takes pride in being able to help businesses in the healthcare vertical and many other industries take their daily operations to a next-level gear of efficiency.

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03.27
2018

Efficient Ways for Your Company to Go Green and Save Money

Helping to conserve the environment and also saving your company money don’t have to be two mutually exclusive things. While both of these separate ideas can seem unrelated at face value, there are many different practices that your business can do to become a green, environmentally-conscious company that witnesses saved funds as a direct result. Unnecessary energy expenditure is often times the common denominator in wasted money for many companies, and this can also pollute the environment over time. Here are three ways to reduce instances of waste from occurring, and in turn make your business a greener, more efficient industry presence.

Optimize company vehicle routes

There’s a fine line between what the quickest route to a destination is, and what the most fuel-efficient route to a destination is. Factors such as speed limits, inclines, and traffic light amounts can all play huge roles in differentiating these two from one another. If your company vehicles are driven to common job sites frequently, acquiring a solution that can help them routinely use as little fuel as possible can help save money and cause your fleet to emit fewer carbon monoxide molecules into the atmosphere over time.

Eliminate paper

Paper is regularly one of a company’s biggest budgeted expenses on an annual basis. Each year, businesses spend thousands of dollars on reams of paper for work orders, expense forms, and other types of documents. When a corporation decides to make all of its forms and documents digital, money that would’ve previously been spent on paper is saved, waste is reduced, and less natural resources are used. The future of business is trending heavily toward the automation of certain processes like form filling, and the benefits of doing this can actually extend even farther beyond just saved money and environment conservation. Wireless forms are also typically able to be processed and sent to a company’s home base quicker than paper forms, adding saved time into the mix of positives from trimming down paper usage.

Use mobile time punches for your employees in the field

Does your business have mobile employees that regularly use company vehicles to come to the office and clock in before starting their work days? If so, you could be missing out on an opportunity to save even more revenue, while also having your vehicles create less fuel emissions over time. If your employees were equipped with a way to punch in remotely and immediately begin traveling to job sites, your business potentially could complete more jobs per day, reduce fuel consumption, and become a greener company all at once.

Actsoft’s digital solutions are designed to pave the way into a greener, more efficient future for businesses of many different sizes and specializations. Wireless Forms, GPS Tracking, and Mobile Timekeeping are just a few features that can enable your company to see improvements in resource management and stand as a leader in keeping our planet clean.

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03.19
2018

3 Must-See National Parks in North America

North America is home to some of the most breathtaking national parks in the entire world. Sculpted mountains, idyllic lakes, and diverse flora span as far as the eye can see, drawing in travelers craving a taste of serenity from all around the globe. At locations such as these, feeling awestruck is a routine occurrence, and becoming truly in touch with nature’s sheer tranquility alters perspectives forever. Here are three of our favorite national parks in the entire continent.

1. Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Rising from the misty, snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park is one of Canada’s most valued natural treasures. The park lies west of Calgary, Alberta, and contains bodies of water such as Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, whose crystal blue shades resemble those of a tropical Caribbean shoreline. Complementing these shimmering pools with a backdrop of mountainous, snowy cliffs and lush alpine foliage, Banff truly is one of the most beautiful destinations to visit in the northern hemisphere.

2. Yosemite National Park, California, United States

Yosemite National Park is nestled within California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. Here, massive slabs of rock and cascading waterfalls dot the horizon, which is home to a diverse range of wildlife such as coyotes, American black bears, Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, and mountain lions. Nearly 90 different mammal species inhabit Yosemite National Park, and some of the park’s premier landmarks include Mount Dana and Cathedral Rocks. Yosemite’s encompassment of a glacier pairing also allows for its rivers and lakes to constantly be fed with fresh water. Respectively named the Lyell Glacier and the Maclure Glacier, they’re the only two that are still left at Yosemite, and both play an essential role in keeping the surrounding ecosystems healthy.

3. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, United States

Grand Canyon National Park is situated in northern Arizona, but the entirety of the canyon technically stretches across six states: California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. This massive geological phenomenon is visited by millions of people every year, with each visitor hoping to get a premier glimpse at some of nature’s finest handiwork. The Colorado River slices through the Grand Canyon’s rust red–colored gorge, crafting spectacular views that leave guests speechless from nearly 8,000 feet up. Being one of the most iconic national parks in the world, Grand Canyon National Park is a must-see destination for seasoned travelers and novice voyagers alike.

Resource Conservation Meets 21st Century Efficiency

As some of the most beautiful places on Earth, it’s crucial that our civilization does everything it can to protect these national parks for future generations to enjoy. At Actsoft, we take pride in doing our part to keep habitats clean by equipping companies with practical solutions designed to help them conserve time, money, and natural resources all at once.

Features of our digital solutions such as Wireless Forms eliminate any hassles associated with traditional documents like high annual paper costs, risks in losing vital paperwork, and rising amounts of material waste. The average pine tree produces around 80,500 sheets of paper, and if a business has 250 employees who each individually use around five pieces of paper per business day, that can result in the loss of just over four trees on a yearly basis. After multiplying this number of annually used trees by every single 250-person company in the U.S. alone, it’s easy to see how going wireless can slash costs and natural resource consumption drastically. By transitioning your company’s data onto a single electronic system, simplify your information flows, gain enhanced efficiency, and stand as an industry leader in making our planet a cleaner place to live.

GPS Tracking from Actsoft also allows you to better plan your business vehicles’ routes to and from job sites in the field. Strategically routing company vehicles for the most fuel-efficient and money-saving paths to work locations reduces your fleet’s carbon footprint, while also lessening gasoline expenses.

In next Monday’s blog post, we’ll take a more detailed look at how positively contributing to a cleaner world can save your business time and money. In turn, we’ll demonstrate how specific features of Actsoft solutions can greatly assist companies who are looking to achieve all of these things.

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03.08
2018

How Can I Prevent Expensive Repairs to My Car?

Routine car maintenance is an important thing that a lot of people tend to neglect or forget about altogether. An illumination of the dreaded “Check Engine” light is often times a scary thing for a car owner to see, and they may put off necessary vehicle checkups related to this occurrence out of fear of a potentially large repair bill. What isn’t often realized, however, is that failing to take reparative action in a timely manner could exacerbate the problems, calling for even more expensive repairs later on down the road. To prevent expensive and inconvenient transportation issues like this from happening to you, it’s best to always pay close attention to what messages your car is sending, and in turn give it plenty of preventative maintenance.

How Can I Take Care of My Car?

The importance of routine oil changes for your vehicle cannot be stated enough. According to Firestone Complete Auto Care, a good guideline of how often your oil should be replaced is either about once every three months or once every 3,000 miles driven. By doing this on a regular basis, you can ensure that only clean, proper levels of oil are helping your engine operate, and that as little wear-and-tear as possible is being put on the pistons inside it. Engine repairs are easily able to fetch thousands of dollars in price, so making sure that your motor remains healthy by routinely changing your oil should always be a priority.

Idling is another common practice of many drivers that can wear vehicles down over time. When a car is turned on and subjected to a lengthy standstill, the engine continues to run, burning fuel, expelling carbon monoxide, and in effect having its total lifespan chipped away at. To reduce instances of idling, something as simple as turning your car off every time you’re stuck waiting for a train to pass at a railroad crossing can positively add up over multiple years. While it’s impossible to completely eliminate all instances of idling, maintaining a conscious effort to reduce this practice as much as possible could end up paying off huge in the long run when it comes to the longevity of your car’s lifespan.

In addition to reducing idle times, getting your brakes checked regularly is another way to prevent expensive repairs later on and maintain a vehicle that is safe to drive. Grinding or squealing sounds when slowing your car down should be an immediate sign that there is an issue with your brakes, and that they should be examined at a repair center as quickly as possible. As delaying brake repairs could result in putting both yourself and other drivers on the road in danger, never take your car’s warning signs of a problem lightly.

If you’re in charge of multiple cars, finding a method of managing the maintenance needs of each individual vehicle can pose quite a challenge. Thankfully, Actsoft’s fleet management solutions can provide a way for you to receive instant alerts about when your vehicles are due for an oil change, when a “Check Engine” light in one of your vehicles activates, or when a driver is idling for too long. With our simple but powerful solutions, never feel uncertainty about your fleet’s maintenance schedules ever again.

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02.13
2018

Freight and Farming: Two Essential Roles in the Food Industry

The next time you take a bite out of a slice of pizza from your favorite local eatery, you might consider taking a step back and pondering the sheer logistics that had to take place in order to allow it to be sitting in front of you. Long before the food was even first placed into an oven, industries such as trucking and farming were working seamlessly together to harvest and transport its ingredients efficiently.

It’s no secret that transportation and farming are two of the strongest vertebrae in the backbone of the United States’ food supply operation. With the tiniest mistake easily able to derail business for multiple delivery-dependent restaurants and supermarkets across the nation, the pair’s impact on America’s economy at large is huge. Due to this, high expectations of the farming and transportation industries are always prevalent, and workers from both verticals know how important it is to provide customers with fresh goods in a timely manner. As being stocked with adequate supplies is one of a food vendor’s biggest priorities when it comes to managing business, the tandem of farming and freight is often times left with very little margin for error.

At Actsoft, we take pride in being able to alleviate some of the difficulties that companies in these industries can face on a daily basis. For many farmers, their harvesting machinery is a crucial part of their livelihood, and these tools often times aren’t cheap. For example, a John Deere combine harvester, a common machine for harvesting grain can end up costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase brand new. However, using our wireless solutions, lucrative machinery like this can be monitored and tracked via GPS and geofence setting, serving as a digital security blanket that actively protects against misuse and theft.

Furthermore, Actsoft’s solutions are able to help ensure that climate-sensitive goods are monitored carefully while being transported in trucks with refrigerated trailers. If a cooling unit deviates from a set temperature threshold while storing and transporting foodstuffs, alerts detailing the changes in climate will automatically be sent to company staff. As perished items can’t be used or served to customers, these cargo alerts from Actsoft remain an incredibly powerful tool for food transportation companies to take advantage of.

Moving and supplying millions of tons of food on an annual basis is no easy feat. However, to help companies in both farming and trucking achieve increased efficiency and saved revenue, Actsoft’s solutions are readily available to make these productivity goals a reality.

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01.30
2018

Tampa Hosts NHL’s 2018 All-Star Weekend

The National Hockey League’s All-Star Weekend was held in Tampa, Florida this past weekend, allowing some of the league’s brightest stars to display their skills on a global showcase. The itinerary of the much-anticipated weekend included fan events outside the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Amalie Arena on Friday night, a skills competition that individual players participated in on Saturday, and a tournament-style set of three games between each division’s All-Star athletes on Sunday.

At Saturday’s 2018 GEICO NHL All-Star Skills Competition, six different showcases were featured this year, according to NHL.com. Some of these included a fastest skater competition, a passing challenge, a save contest between goalies, and a variety of shooting exercises for players to compete in that measured everything from precision to sheer slap-shot power. Among some of the standouts in the shooting competitions were the Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin, who had a slap-shot that came in at a blistering 101.3 miles per hour, and the Vancouver Canucks’ Brock Boeser, who hit all five of his accuracy targets with wrist shots in just 11.136 seconds.

Logging the speeds of All-Star-caliber skills like Ovechkin’s and Boeser’s requires some of the most precise tracking technology available, as the deltas in prowess between hockey’s best players are often times in mere decimal points. However, just like in these competitions, a mandate of precision can be instrumental in the business world. Companies with mobile assets can miss out on optimizing productivity and increasing their overall efficiency if the right tools aren’t being accessed.

At Actsoft, we take pride in engineering accurate technology that businesses can use to reap huge savings of both time and money. Using our GPS Tracking solutions, companies with vehicle fleets or workers in the field can become empowered with better understandings of what work statuses are, how corporate vehicles are being used, and exactly where employees are at any given time.

Geo-fencing is one of our solutions’ flagship features that showcases our affinity for precision. Using this unique tool, customized shapes can be drawn on a live view map in order to designate specific work zones. After creating the boundaries for a job site, the system can then easily be set up to instantly notify supervisors back in a business’ home office of any activities regarding entrances and exits by company assets.

Precise tracking technology is what makes the fun of NHL’s All-Star challenges possible year in and year out, due to its ability to designate winners by fractions of a second. Similarly, companies with mobile assets can always rely on Actsoft’s tracking solutions for unparalleled accuracy, better efficiency, and MVP-worthy savings.

 

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06.05
2017

Wisconsin Mill Explosion – Actsoft in Emergencies

An explosion tore through a corn and ethanol mill in Cambria, Wisconsin late on Wednesday, June 1 2017. The subsequent fire claimed the lives of three employees within the plant and wounded over a dozen more.  The cause of the explosion remains unknown, but medical helicopters and several fire departments quickly responded to the blaze.

While the cause of the explosion is still a mystery, its effects are severe and long lasting. As with any emergency, the aftermath always begs one question from those involved: How can we do better next time?

While an ideal world would see no emergencies, we must realistically assume they will happen and prepare ourselves accordingly. In an environment like the corn mill, an efficiently coordinated response in the face of an emergency is the difference between a successful evacuation and a tragedy. While every organization has established plans “in case of emergency,” it is commonly believed that most plans go out the window in the face of a crisis. In order to combat the inevitable confusion that follows the collapse of a plan, transparency is key in the event of an emergency.

Actsoft facilitates transparency between workers and managers in a factory environment with its mobile device solutions. From a web portal, managers can relay messages across their workforce in order to coordinate their movements during an emergency. Furthermore, managers can establish groups of workers in order to deliver instructions that are more specific to intended groups of workers.

The tracking capabilities of Actsoft’s solutions enable constant visibility of employees in near real-time. During an emergency where workers are unaccounted for and/or trapped, the speed at which rescue teams can find them becomes imperative to their survival. As long as their mobile devices maintain their transmission and remain on their person, the tracking features will help ensure that any lost employees are found.

Emergencies are both unfortunate and unavoidable. We can plan a reaction to them, but plans are rarely adhered to when tensions are through the roof. The next best thing to do is to plan for the confusion following a crisis and figure out ways to reduce it, while realigning everyone involved with the initial plan. Actsoft provides the software to create a safety net underneath a plan that has fallen through.

 

For greater insight into what Actsoft can do to help manage your company’s risk feel free to explore more of www.actsoft.com or click below to speak to us directly.

 

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