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

07.23
2019

What Great Leaders Know: Understanding Weakness Leads to Success

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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

06.28
2019

Summer Vacation Season and Workforce Management

Believe it or not, 2019 is already halfway over. That means business owners everywhere are beginning the processes of reviewing all the important numbers as we approach the end of Q2. As they do this, they’re also making any adjustments needed so they’re able to hit the ground running the second Q3 starts.

Kicking off Q3 with a bang can seem like a daunting task, because not only might there be huge expectations from a business point of view, but there’s also another major event taking place at the same time: the unofficial launch of the vacation season.

Just in time for schools across the country to wrap up classes, summer this year officially kicked off on June 21. With mercury levels rising, kids out of the classrooms, and parents itching to get away for some quality time with the family — not to mention vacation deals galore — this is when businesses everywhere tend to notice their teams may not be running at maximum capacity.

But running with a less-than-full staff doesn’t mean your numbers have to suffer. Vacations go hand-in-hand with operating a business. This time of year just happens to be when more people are out more frequently. So how do you go about making sure it’s business as normal all through the summer?

That’s when our software comes into play. With a proper workforce management software in place, like our flagship Encore solution, you’re able to maintain a bird’s-eye view of all the goings on at your business, no matter where you are or how many people are actively working.

Job Dispatching helps to make sure all of your work orders are being addressed in as efficient a manner as possible. Have projects mapped out well in advance and then in comes a vacation request? No problem! Reassign the work orders to team members who have the availability.

Wireless Forms helps to speed up processes whether you’re fully staffed or down to one person. Eliminating guesswork due to chicken-scratch handwriting is a huge timesaver. Decision logic helps workers zip through forms quicker than ever since the system automatically skips over sections deemed irrelevant to the job at hand. And with no need to drop off forms back at the office, “paperwork” can begin processing almost immediately.

Now, with fewer people helping to produce the same amount of work, it may be inevitable that some overtime comes into play. But with our easy-to-use Timekeeping feature, you can help to minimize the amount you’ll have to pay out. First, with GPS-based punch ins, you can make sure you aren’t paying your workers until they actually show up at a job site. Second, with on-call reporting, you can quickly review the number of hours each person has worked and assign new orders accordingly. Finally, if you do have to rely on some overtime, you can keep the peace by dispersing the work evenly.

Vacation is a necessary part of every business. Your workers do their best work when they are rested, both physically and mentally. And you’ll able to run a successful operation knowing that, thanks in part to our streamlining solution, while your hard-working team is off enjoying the fruits of their labor, it’s still business as usual on the work front.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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

06.21
2019

Summer School and Fleet Tracking

Summer is upon us and, though that means school is out for most students across the country, that doesn’t mean school districts are coming to screeching halt. In fact, there are plenty that keep chugging along all summer without much of a break at all. In towns and cities everywhere, a plethora of programs — from summer camps to robotics courses to the oh-so-dreaded summer school — kick off in the warmer months, taking advantage of this would-be downtime to help students get ahead (or get caught up, as it were).

With these types of programs in full swing, it’s important to bear in mind the necessity to keep an extra vigilant watch over the students that are left in educators’ hands. Though their numbers may be vastly reduced from the droves they oversee during the regular school year, the propensity for worried parents wanting to keep tabs on their children is just as real as ever.

The summer is also the perfect time for school districts to make changes to their preferred solution for keeping parents updated, which is why we want to invite you to consider making the switch to Encore, our flagship suite of tools that can help educators always remain in the know.

Though summer programs rarely involve the traditional bus pickup route as kids can enjoy during the year, they do often involve a hefty amount of field trips. Equipping your bus or shuttle vehicles with our fleet-tracking GPS equipment means that you can assure parents of their children’s location in near real-time. If the class is running late, hits an unexpected pocket of traffic, or took a longer route home to avoid that delay (thanks to our Traffic Overlay feature), you can make sure everyone is kept up to date, rather than be left to face a torrent of angry parents demanding to know where their children are … and not having the answer.

In addition, though it’s traditionally used for keeping track of employee hours, you could get creative with our Barcode Scanning feature and scan school ID cards from students as they arrive at school in the morning and exit your facility’s care at night. As students leave for the day, educators can effectively clock students out, so to speak, as each one is released to their parents’ care.

As we mentioned, with fewer students at the schools over the course of the summer, these summer months are both the best time to try out our solution and see just how much it improves processes for you and your staff. Plus, with fewer resources (read: buses) being used, it’s the perfect opportunity to implement tracking devices to your fleet without any disruption to services. (Though even if in full swing, the simplistic design of our plug-and-play device options make installation a breeze.)

We’d love the opportunity to chat more with you and discuss all that we can do to help you improve processes in your school. Happy summer!

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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

05.08
2019

The Cost of Idling

We all know that idling is very costly, but is there an actual dollar amount attached to letting a car sit with the engine on for extended periods of time? We found out in a recent case study that idling can cost up to $20,000 per year in fuel for companies with a fleet of vehicles. That’s a lot of money, but if your business operates in New York City, idling could cost you nearly that much in an afternoon. Plus, citizens could be motivated to report when your vehicles are idling.

New York City recently enacted legislation that would pay citizens up to 50 percent of the summons revenue for turning in vehicles in violation of idling. According to an article in the New York Post, the bill stipulates that citizens be trained by the Department of Environmental Protection in order to profit for their help. Citizens would then need video evidence of a vehicle idling to receive compensation.

Under the proposed bill a first-time violation is punishable by warning, but second offenses would be between $350 and $1,500 and subsequent fines could cost as much as $2,000 for vehicles.

However, those fines are nothing compared to the Heavy Duty Vehicle Idling Laws currently in place in the state of New York. Heavy-duty vehicles, including diesel trucks and buses, can be fined from $500 to $18,000 in the case of a first violation after five minutes of idling.

Those are some shocking numbers for fleet owners knowing that one vehicle’s fines from idling can cost nearly as much as an entire fleet may waste in fuel in a year due to idling. With that much money on the line can your company afford to not have a solution for idling?

We can definitely help save money wasted on idling. With our solutions, companies can set up alerts that reports idling in vehicles to stop the habit before it becomes an issue.

These laws in New York are meant to help the economy and your company can contribute by tracking idling and cutting the engine before your business is forced to cut a check. Idling can cost $20,000 a year in fuel and nearly that much per idling offense, now potentially with citizens incentivized to report violations. Don’t let idling cost your company a load of money.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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

04.03
2019

April Fools’ Day

Hopefully, no one got you too good this year. The unofficial holiday of pranksters passed with the shift of the calendar from March to April. Sometimes pranks are fun, like in this list Forbes put together to celebrate the day. Other times — not so much.

As fun as the spaghetti incident from that Forbes article may have been, with pranks there is the potential for an Orson Welles–style scaring. We’re sure the percentage of people who were fooled by Welles’ radio hoax didn’t appreciate the ruse then nearly as much as the rest of us who know of it today. Being deceived isn’t always a laughing matter, but that holds even truer when money is on the line.

A company with a fleet of vehicles certainly can’t afford to be deceived by what’s happening in the field. While Orson Welles’ radio performance of “War of the Worlds” may have caused panic among some of his listeners, the ramifications for a business can be much more costly. As we learned from Jeff Boone of Napa Auto Parts in Louisiana, a large fleet can waste as much as $20,000 a year in gas by idling. You can’t let yourself get fooled into wasting that much money.

When it comes to your business, a sure way to guard against being caught off guard is by having clear visibility into your company. With Actsoft, we can offer management the ability to track a fleet of vehicles with precision. It allows companies to plan the optimal routes for drivers and monitor vehicles on a map via GPS. Businesses can receive scheduled reports that let you know if users spend too much time idling, constantly go off route, clock in or out at undesired times, and if drivers are speeding. Knowing these metrics streamlines the efficiency of your business’s fleet.

A little prank here or there isn’t the worst thing in the world; no Martians have landed in New Jersey. However, it’s imperative to know exactly what is happening behind the scenes of your business or else risk being bamboozled by your bottom line, which is no laughing matter. Make sure your company is making the most of each day and running as efficiently as possible.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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

04.02
2019

Feature Study: GPS Tracking on Encore

Companies employing a mobile workforce are faced with a need to monitor their remote teams during working hours and ensure that operations remain productive. However, keeping tabs on dispersed staff, vehicles, and other assets can be difficult to do all at once. Encore’s GPS Tracking feature is able to eliminate this problem by providing a live view map that displays each relevant position in an intuitive, easy-to-understand format.

What are the benefits of GPS Tracking?

Managing a team of remote employees poses challenges in and of itself, no matter the industry. How can productivity be efficiently monitored by administrators back at a company’s headquarters? Encore’s GPS Tracking feature helps supervisors and executives ensure that their employees are where they need to be during working hours by reporting their near real-time locations.

Many companies also have valuable assets that they require to facilitate routine operations. GPS Tracking helps to bring down costs from wasted time and unnecessary fuel expenditure by making it easier for businesses to leave these pieces of equipment in the field overnight. Due to around-the-clock tracking, your team can experience additional potential benefits such as theft prevention and asset recovery, if something gets misplaced or improperly used.

The versatility of GPS Tracking is another aspect that provides return on investment. As one of the core features of Encore, GPS Tracking works in tandem with multiple other tools that the solution offers, like Job Dispatching, Alerts, and Wireless Forms. Use the near real-time locations of employees to reroute nearby workers to new jobs, receive notifications any time assets enter or exit specified parameters, and even see location-stamped markers whenever a digital form is submitted from the field.

GPS Tracking is Encore’s bedrock feature and remains one of the most important mobile resource management tools available today. Modern-day businesses like yours can use our location-enabled application to enhance productivity, optimize workflows, and manage with ease.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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

 

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.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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

 

10.23
2018

Industry Spotlight: Actsoft Solutions in Healthcare

Much like the public sector, healthcare is often times a mission-critical industry. Mere minutes and seconds can have life-saving implications, especially when it comes to emergency response. Because of this, organizations that provide medical services need solutions that can keep them better in tune with their mobile employees. Crucial situations that call for clear, open lines of communication are more easily managed through Actsoft’s workforce management applications, and we take pride in being able to assist organizations that help those in need find greater efficiency.

Fleet Tracking

Ambulance fleets that are monitored using our solutions’ GPS tracking capabilities are better equipped to operate safer and more efficiently. Our fleet tracking applications go even further than traditional solutions by displaying data charts about the activities of each of your respective fleet vehicles, allowing you to make better, more informed decisions about your mobile workforce. Let Actsoft solutions help your team regularly reduce its ambulances’ fuel consumption and wear-and-tear today.

Dispatching

Easily make on the fly adjustments to your workforce using Actsoft’s Dispatching tool. Both palliative care services and EMS can use the power of mobile technology to strategically direct the different parts of their workforce in near real-time, as employee positions in the field help administrators dictate who should get routed to a new location. With Dispatching, your workers can receive nearly instant notifications of procedural adjustments to their handsets, making your team better-rounded and more versatile than ever before.

Wireless Forms

A system for digital documentation takes the guesswork out of filling out and submitting paperwork, and is an especially useful asset in a time-sensitive industry like healthcare. Wireless Forms lets healthcare companies fill out forms electronically, and aspects of the feature such as decision logic help to reduce entry errors by showing employees only relevant portions of a document to complete, based on their previous answers.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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

 

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.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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