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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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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09.23
2019

Practical Uses for Form Workflows

As one of the most dynamic tools that our Wireless Forms feature has to offer, Form Workflows* is an essential way for companies using our solutions to streamline their documentation processes. This is done through employees digitally sending incomplete forms from one mobile device to the next, allowing them to fill out any relevant information in a seamless chain of command. In addition to helping your staff save time, Form Workflows can also help enhance the accuracy of your documents’ data, as well as allow you to implement authorization processes for submitted forms. Personnel who have greater permissions are able to reject and send back an electronic document once it’s been submitted to them to the previous user if there are certain portions missing or if the data is incorrect. Here are a few practical ways that Form Workflows can be used in three different industries:

Construction

A construction company can rely on Form Workflows to track the near real-time progress of their building projects with documentation routing. As certain aspects of a project gradually become finished, the teams that were responsible for their completion can fill in details about the construction site’s timeline and send them back wirelessly for management at the home office to review.

Healthcare

For healthcare organizations, monitoring medical services delivered remains key for quality control and verification purposes. Using Form Workflows, these companies can store and transmit data back to headquarters in a highly secure environment, giving individuals on their administrative teams extra abilities to sign off on and evaluate details about conducted patient visits.

Transportation

Moving cargo is easier to do by using Form Workflows to help trace vehicle stops and shipment statuses. Truck drivers who are taking goods from the warehouse to the airport for worldwide distribution can use a tandem of Form Workflows and Signature Capture to ensure that deliveries are successfully handed off. As a result, customer service can remain optimized, as increasingly efficient workflow tracking provides more realistic package arrival times for the clients awaiting them.

Find out more about how Form Workflows can help your organization implement accuracy checklists, save your company time and money, and improve its service levels to customers today.

*Form Workflows is a feature exclusively available to users of Encore’s Ultimate tier.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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09.04
2019

Trucking Troubles: Two Major Fleet Hurdles and How to Handle Them

Every year, the trucking industry faces the same problems which can pose huge threats to business if they’re not tackled properly. From ever-changing regulations to unpredictable fuel prices, there are a wide variety of factors fleet owners must deal with on a day-to-day basis, leaving less time to grow business.

First, let’s take a look at the most common stumbling blocks for fleets today:

  1. Fuel price volatility
  2. Driver safety

Fuel Price Volatility
According to The Gazette, America’s 2.2 million freight trucks get about six miles per gallon on average hauling cargo, which can amount to $500 per day or more. Depending on the driver’s speeding habits, that cost can rise significantly.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that total world consumption of marketed energy is expected to increase by 44 percent from 2006 to 2030. Because of decreases in spare oil production capacity, there’s no way to make up for sudden supply gaps or more demand, which drives the price up. This situation is further complicated when you factor in the problems of political instability in oil-rich countries.

Because fleet owners have no control over the cost of fuel, they must rely on other means to save money on fuel, such as driver behavior, route optimization, idling reports, and GPS tracking.

The average long-haul truck travels 4,000 miles a week, so even small reductions in fuel consumption can amount to a lot of cash saved by year’s end. By changing driving habits, like slowing speeds down by 10mph, will boost fuel mileage by a mile per gallon or more. This is a huge gain in savings for trucks that are getting six miles per gallon hauling heavy cargo.

Idling is another gas hog, as it uses about a gallon of diesel per hour. If your driver is letting the truck run while he drinks coffee and reads the paper versus turning it off to go inside a restaurant for that time, fleet owners are looking at an expensive cup of coffee.

Saving fuel (and money) is as easy as using basic devices and software that can monitor driver behavior, such as speed, idling, and even where they’re at in near real-time. These reports are emailed immediately, or as often as a manager chooses, so businesses can have a clear picture of how much money is going out during the course of a day and where savings can be had.

Driver Safety
In 2016, there were approximately 475,000 large truck and bus crashes. Of those, 3,864 were fatalities while 104,000 ended in injuries, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA). The estimated cost of all truck and bus crashes is estimated at about $100 billion per year.

  • The average cost of a large truck crash involving a fatality is $3.6 million per crash
  • A crash with injuries costs almost $335,000 per crash
  • The average cost of all large truck crashes is about $148,000 per crash

Not only are crashes devastating to victims, but they make enormous dents in a company’s bottom line. The worst part is, the majority of crashes are preventable. The majority of fatal crashes involving large trucks are attributed to speeding and driver fatigue. Thankfully, there are incredibly effective solutions to monitor and curb this behavior, giving fleet managers more control over what’s happening on the road.

Our easy-to-install tracking devices record driver speeds so you can make sure each employee is adhering to your standards. And ELDs monitor drivers’ hours, helping to assure that they don’t go over their legal time limit, thereby reducing ability for fatigue to factor in Both are crucial pieces of information in understanding how drivers are performing, and experts agree that making drivers accountable is an easy and powerful way to get better results on the road so there are fewer crashes, less costly citations, and reduced liability. By encouraging good driver behavior, there can even be a reduction in vehicular insurance, which is an easy way to cut costs and fatten up your earnings.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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08.16
2019

Electric Fleets: Is Now the Time?

We’ve discussed at length the various ways you can transform your company into a green machine. From the ways small businesses are leading the pack in environmentally sound practices and tips for helping your company follow suit, to ways you can reduce wasteful vehicle idling and the benefits of going paper-free, how we treat our planet is very front-of-mind for an increasing number of people.

And why shouldn’t it be?

In addition to that warm, fuzzy feeling that comes with making decisions that reduce your carbon footprint and help ensure a hospitable environment for future generations, there can also be an array of financial benefits from making eco-friendly decisions.

One of the biggest changes — one that also includes the largest potential environmental impact — that your company is (or soon will be) faced with is the decision as to whether or not to upgrade your fleet from traditional internal combustion engines to the newer, cleaner electric vehicles. Before taking the plunge, there are a few things to consider to make sure it’s a decision that’s right for you at this point.

How far does your fleet travel each day and what do the routes look like?
If you operate a fleet that travels long stretches, you need to determine whether there are any outposts at which you can recharge along the way if that route goes beyond your vehicle’s single-charge limit. Plus, you’ll want to factor in the length of time it will take to charge a nearly drained battery. (This varies from vehicle to vehicle and the output of each charging port.) If there are no viable options, now may not be the right time to make the switch. But, if your drivers can make the full or roundtrip journeys without the fear of fizzling out, you may want to proceed.

Where will you house vehicles?
One detail that’s easy to overlook is, when you have electric vehicles, you need to have a place to plug them in while they’re not in use. It’s important to maximize your daily range in between charges, so what better way than to start at 100 percent charge at the beginning of each day? If you have a smaller fleet, regular old outlets may suffice wherever you park them at night. But as the number of electric vehicles you incorporate grows, you may want to consider the cost-benefit of installing charging stations.

How will you deploy new vehicles?
Once you determine the benefits of making the switch to electric, you have to decide a rollout plan. Are you going to replace your entire fleet at once? Or implement a multi-year (or -month) plan to slowly make the switch over time? Consider the fiscal impact you expect from the introduction of these new vehicles (i.e. money saved over time from less dependency on gasoline), the return you’ll receive from the sale of your current fleet, and your level of comfort/ability to spend.

There’s no way around it: Making the switch to electric is an eventual inevitability. But it’s up to you to determine when the best time to begin that transition is.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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

08.14
2019

Do You Know Your Fuel-Saving Facts?

Are you still “myth-ified” on how to save gas money? Every day our Actsoft team talks to huge fleet companies as well as local delivery businesses about how to save fuel, cut costs, and keep their vehicles running smoothly and efficiently. We’ve developed some of the most dependable software in the industry that helps managers do everything from monitor driving behavior (including fast braking and acceleration) to providing optimal routes for drivers in near real-time based on robust GPS technology, all with an eye on keeping gas costs down.

All of this adds up to millions of dollars in fuel savings each year. You may be surprised at what avoidable driving habits are costing your company big bucks each month — and you might even be more surprised at how easy it is to fix it.

FACT: Pay attention to your check engine light, because if it’s the oxygen sensor (which is a common cause of that scary little light flashing), replacing it can improve fuel economy by as much as 40 percent.

MYTH: Aggressive driving (fast braking and accelerating) doesn’t really affect fuel economy. Reality: Slow down and chill out — you’re wasting 31 percent more gas when you drive aggressively than your more relaxed and polite counterparts.

MYTH: Being stuck in traffic is better for fuel than taking a longer, less-congested way. Reality: An hour of idling uses up to a half gallon of fuel, so if you’re in a traffic jam (and sitting idly for even a minute) you’re better off taking the scenic route and moving.

FACT: Oil affects your fuel. Using the wrong type of oil in your vehicle can lower mileage as much as 2 percent.

MYTH: Using the air conditioner always wastes more gas than having windows rolled down. Reality: On highways, it’s more fuel efficient to roll windows up and use the A/C so the car is more aerodynamic.

MYTH: The shortest route is always better on gas. Reality: If you’re using a shorter, but hillier, route, you’ll be seeing the results on your gas gauge. Going uphill — even if the distance is a little shorter — is far worse on your gas tank than driving on flat land.

FACT: A tune-up can improve gas mileage by up to 4 percent.

MYTH: Car heaters use as much fuel as air conditioning. Reality: Car heaters recycle heat from the engine, so they don’t use any extra fuel.

Want the scoop on which solutions will save your company the most money each month? The Actsoft team is here to show you how.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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?

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

06.25
2019

Fleet Safety 101 With Actsoft Solutions

Safety is the top priority for those tasked with managing a business fleet. As drivers operating business vehicles tend to be dispersed considerably far from one another, finding a fleet management solution that can provide details on the driving behaviors of each mobile employee is integral, no matter their distance from the office.

Two of the most important aspects of keeping a safe business fleet include being able to monitor driver habits and keeping tabs on vehicle locations. Too much hard acceleration and braking can increase vehicle wear and tear, putting your mobile employees and other users of the road at greater risk when it comes to accident potential. Being able to recognize excessive instances of dangerous driving habits like these and actively enforcing procedures to help curb them in your mobile workforce can help your staff implement safer driving styles. Vehicle tracking can also help you better pinpoint and dispatch out aid to any of your drivers that may need emergency assistance if an accident does occur.

Actsoft solutions are equipped to provide your fleet managers with all the tools they need to employ a safer fleet by blending versatility with robust features. Our premier solution Encore lets you see near real-time traffic patterns on a live view map, and it can integrate with some third-party software types for an even more detailed experience. Sync weather data with your Encore solution’s map to see where your drivers are located in relation to any inclement storms or blizzards, even on a nationwide scale. You can then use features like Job Dispatching to communicate out new protocols to your drivers nearly instantly, helping them stay safe and return to their tasks once it’s safe to begin driving again. Encore’s detailed reports about driver speeds also make it easy for you to see which of your drivers are going too fast too frequently.

Manage delivery delays and more using Actsoft technology to better prevent staff from driving in hazardous conditions. The power of our applications helps you see where specific drivers are, respond more efficiently to any breakdowns that might occur, and keep your team safer on the road as a whole.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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06.04
2019

The Benefits of Asset Tracking

Most businesses employing a mobile workforce also rely on at least a few pieces of vital equipment to conduct daily operations. With the power of Actsoft’s asset tracking technology, your team can keep constant tabs on its machinery and gain key benefits like these.

Theft prevention

Your assets, most likely, collectively add up to a high monetary value, making security crucial. Actsoft applications are able to provide you with an extra way to surveil any relevant equipment and protect it more effectively against being stolen. Return on investment comes in many different forms with our solutions; in addition to common benefits like better fuel efficiency and productivity, theft prevention helps companies like yours regularly receive additional savings.

Saved time

Leaving the assets your company regularly uses in the field overnight can reward your team with extra time to complete jobs. Rather than having to task your employees with returning equipment to the office before finishing a workday, you can allow staff to leave the machinery at the job site, giving them more time to complete work. Rest assured that assets remain safe while left behind, ready for use the following morning, as they’re being monitored via our GPS Tracking feature.

Increased accountability

Improper usage of assets by employees outside of working hours can be a big problem for businesses to deal with, especially if it’s a frequent occurrence. Implement a greater standard of workforce accountability through our GPS Tracking feature’s ability to pinpoint assets. If any pieces of equipment deviated from their specified locations after day’s end, you can see detailed reports of where they were taken, along with accompanying timestamps. You can even set up alerts to notify you if they move at unauthorized times.

Our asset tracking capabilities can help businesses in industries from construction to transportation improve their operations. Give your workforce an additional method of security by using Actsoft solutions to help safeguard the valuable equipment your business relies on today.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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05.29
2019

How Construction Companies Can Step Up Their Game

From contractors to field employees to the office staff, there are so many moving parts in building new homes, keeping everything straight — especially important paperwork and documents — can be a grueling and expensive task.

We’ve all been around that colleague who’s mired in stacks of papers and can never seem to find the document he or she needs. The hours spent searching for an important contract or form are valuable — so imagine doing this every day. After a month the time and money definitely add up. But even worse, what if that important contract is never found? Imagine having to ask a client to re-sign and redeliver something they already turned in. Not only is this behavior unprofessional but it can cost you big money in the future if it’s not taken care of today.

A tool like our Wireless Forms can help transform a day’s work from a total failure to an easy process that helps eliminate human error. Instead of relying on paper — which can get lost or ruined,  these digital documents allow you to send and receive your paperwork via your smartphone, tablet, or computer. You can even have your clients sign the forms electronically. It’s clear to see how much easier life is without messy, inconvenient paper.

According to Denver Transit Partners (DTP), a collaboration of several construction companies that are worked on a mass transit railway system in Denver, Wireless Forms increased efficiency exponentially. “Actsoft has trimmed a four-hour process down to an hour,” said Craig Clairmont, DTP’s construction safety manage. To see the full case study, go here.

With the construction boom on the horizon, we highly recommend using Wireless Forms to get faster, easier results all around.

To learn more about Actsoft’s Wireless Forms, call today.

(888) 732-6638 or Receive a Live Webinar