07.20
2018

Natural Wonders: 5 Secluded Beaches to Escape the Crowds

Sometimes, the very thought of “going green” can sound the alarm for business owners as a practice that, while noble, requires a huge investment of finances that not only will affect their bottom lines, but that they just don’t have the resources to put forward, even if they wanted to.

But that’s not always the case. At Actsoft, we give business owners the tools to cut down on unnecessary waste, namely paper and fuel. Just by cutting back on the use of both resources, you’ll be putting money back into your pocket and reducing your carbon footprint.

For example, our Wireless Forms tool gives you the ability to significantly reduce the amount of paper you use both in the field and in the office. To boot, in addition to the financial savings and eco-positive results from dialing back paper use, you’ll also see gains in terms of your team’s ability to turn around more work in the field.

When you switch from paper to digital forms, your remote crew can process “paperwork” much faster and, instead of having to take the time to bring all physical forms back to the office for processing, they can zip it off instantly and be off to the next assignment without missing a beat. And your office team can work faster to process it since there are no discrepancies resulting from poor handwriting or damaged papers.

It’s an all-around win-win solution: money in your pocket and a reduced carbon footprint. And it’s why we’re continuing to celebrate our green solutions by paying tribute to some of our favorite natural wonders from around the world. This week, we’re traveling to some of the greatest secluded beaches. These are the ones to hit up when you want a beachy retreat but without all the noisy crowds.

Dry Tortugas, Florida
It doesn’t get much more secluded than this. First, you have to get all the way down to Key West, in the Florida Keys. From there, you’ll hop on a ferry (or charter a seaplane) and travel some 70 miles west, where you’ll arrive at the 100-square-mile national park. Pack everything you need, including food and drink, since there are few amenities on the island. Four calm, crowd-free beaches can be found along either side of the cloistered paradise. In the center, serving as a backdrop, is Fort Jefferson. Built as a military fortification and then later used as a prison, this massive structure takes up an expansive portion of the island and is a must-see site for any history buff. If a day trip to the island isn’t enough for you, there are a limited number of campsites available to rent, on a first come, first serve basis.

Second Beach, Washington
Part of the La Push trio of beaches, the only way to get to this stretch of surf is through a hiking trail full of switchbacks and an array of trail conditions, including a worn (but fully functional) wood-framed “staircase.” A cabinet tree (which some hikers opt to drop keepsakes inside of, despite the “leave no trace” rule inherent for most naturephiles) marks the near-end of the path. Once at the beach, you’re treated to a stunning view of towering sea stacks in the distance, plus a natural rock arch you can often hear the wind whistling through on stormier days. Oh, and if this all looks familiar, it’s because it was featured in the movie, “Twilight.”

Cumberland Island, Georgia
Georgia’s southernmost (and largest) barrier island is only accessible via a ferry, so don’t plan to drive there, despite the island’s close proximity to the mainland. The eastern side is where you’ll find some 17 miles of beach stretching from the top to the bottom of the island. While the beaches are a peaceful respite from throngs of crowds, and devoid of litter and debris, you may find yourself sharing the space with a potentially rowdy group … of horses. Cumberland Island is home to a number of feral horses that roam its grounds, including the beach, so be on the lookout for a congregation of the majestic creatures potentially frolicking in the surf. Hotel accommodations are available on the island or, if you’d rather be a little closer to nature, you can reserve a campsite from the National Park Service.

Roque Bluffs Beach, Maine
In the sleepy town of Roque Bluffs, you’ll find a duality of waterfronts. On the north side of the road are the serene, still freshwaters of Simpson Pond. In stark contrast, across on the street is where saltwater waves lap at a half-mile stretch of sandy beach. Pack a picnic, since there isn’t much in the way of accommodations along this sleepy stretch of coastal Maine road, found nearly 90 miles east of Bangor, the closest “large” city. Then enjoy the views of Englishman Bay as you while the afternoon away.

Awahua Beach, Molokai, Hawaii
With a long history of isolation, thanks to its past use as a colony for those with leprosy, the entire island of Molokai remains the least developed of the Hawaiian chain. This is especially true of Awahua Beach. The beach is only accessible by hiking, but only with a local tour group, since you’ll pass through the abandoned remnants of a historic leper colony. Once you arrive, you’re treated to a quiet, stunning black-sand beach, surrounded by some of the tallest cliffs to be found on the island. Because of the unpredictable, strong currents, swimming is prohibited, but there’s nothing to stop you from enjoying the one-of-a-kind views.

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05.18
2018

Exploring Disney World’s Behind-the-Scenes Secrets

Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner, which means families everywhere will be firing up their grills to cook up feasts as they tip their hats in salute to all those who have served the country. This weekend also marks the unofficial start of the summer holiday travel season.

With the kids out of school and the weather universally warmer all over, it makes sense that more people — particularly families — hit the road this time of year. One of the most popular destinations in the country is none other than Orlando’s Disney World. Magic Kingdom alone hosts some 20 million visitors every single year, with the peak season being the weeks that fall between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

As you traverse the winding paths of the various parks that make up Disney World, imagine for a minute just how much goes into making your experience go off without a hitch. As they say, the devil is in the details; following are just a few of the lesser-known things Disney officials do in order to maintain all of the illusions put forth at the Happiest Place on Earth.

Cookies in the Air
Ever noticed how, no matter where you are in the Magic Kingdom, smells of fresh-baked cookies or popcorn are constantly assaulting your senses in the best way possible? That’s not exactly coming from the food shops scattered around the park. Instead, contraptions called Smellitzers actually pump these scents into the air, evoking a sense of childhood nostalgia in guests. (And they also probably, to an extent, help keep guests in line. Who’s gonna misbehave in grandma’s kitchen?)

Trashy, Trashy, Trashy
Fun fact: When planning the design for his parks, Walt Disney was such a perfectionist, he actually visited other parks to survey guest behavior. One thing he noticed? People will hold onto garbage for an average of 30 steps before dropping it on the ground. As such, you never have to walk more than 30 steps without finding a trash can. Speaking of waste, ever wonder where the detritus from all those daily thousands of visitors goes? Trash is whipped through pneumatic tubes at about 60 mph, transported to a designated location where it is sorted, and then shipped off to a landfill or recycling plant. Talk about efficient.

Keeping the Illusion
Under the parks are a series of utilidors (utility corridors) that are used, in part, to help keep the fantasy alive. The story is that, back in the day, Walt saw a cowboy cast member waltzing through Tomorrowland at the California park and it upset him. (What would a cowboy be doing in a futuristic landscape?) So when the much grander Florida park was being built, he ordered that a network of underground tunnels be built, so “off-duty” characters could get around the park without being spotted in the wrong section.

Book ‘em, Pluto
Unfortunately, even at the Happiest Place on Earth, shenanigans happen. But the last thing Disney officials want is to cause a scene and disturb more park guests than necessary. So when a guest is excessively out of hand, or discovered to be shoplifting, it’s said that security will enter quickly and discreetly escort the perpetrator through one of the many doors leading “backstage.” At that point, they’re kept in a holding room until police arrive, or they may simply be escorted out of the park altogether. Park bans may also result, the length of which is reflected by the severity of the infraction.

While Disney may officially be pretty tight-lipped about many of the secrets that transport guests to a fantasy world, it’s all to help maintain the illusion. All that work behind the scenes is for the benefit of their customers.

Similarly, the software we offer helps businesses complete their tasks by adding a deeper level of efficiency behind the scenes. Your customers don’t necessarily need to know every step you take in order to get from point A to point Z; what matters is that the experience of taking them from start to finish is as pleasant an experience, and with as few hiccups, as possible.

For example, our latest feature — Form Workflows — allows colleagues to collaborate on projects, with different people taking responsibility for various sub-tasks. This creates a seamless transition between workers, complete with the ability to reject tasks if not completed correctly.

With GPS Tracking, office managers can always keep tabs on, say, drivers on the road, so if customers are wondering when their serviceperson is expected to show up, it’s easy to pinpoint their location and give an estimate. Plus, as new jobs come up, the nearest technicians can be assigned, shortening the amount of time before they show up.

And by opting to get rid of paper forms in lieu of going digital, processes are sped up and information is collected much more accurately than when dealing with potentially illegible handwriting.

These are just a small sample of the ways our software can help smoothen out the everyday activities your company does. By making a few changes to your daily processes, you’ll quickly start to see big changes in productivity and efficiency. What’s more is that your customers will also start to notice these improvements, without needing to know any of the changes made to improve their experience with you.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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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.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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