01.21
2020

Communication is Key!

Actsoft aids in utility company response times.

As much as we would like to avoid it, accidents happen. Trees and power lines fall on roads, water pipes burst, and traffic lights go out. There isn’t much we can do about it except hope that the utility companies that handle the messes are well prepared. Responding quickly to emergencies, as well as communicating information efficiently, are two extremely important factors that make up a successful utility company. They’re both essential to help assure a timely response, and guarantees they have all the information needed to correct the problem.

Communication is key! Our solutions help utility companies by bridging the gap between the accident and the solution.

Actsoft combines GPS and wireless technology to maximize productivity.

  • Reduce response times in critical situations.
  • Date, time, and GPS location–stamped reports give indisputable proof of service.
  • Collect timely and accurate field data.
  • Provide factual data for regulatory and compliance reporting.
  • Send and receive accurate, up-to-the-minute updates and changes.
  • Reduce unproductive trips to the office.
  • Panic button notifies the office immediately in case of an emergency or dangerous situation.

Sometimes when we see the utility trucks on the side of the road with employees fast at work, we assume they just magically appear there. Not true. It takes a coordinated effort between the dispatchers and drivers to get each truck where they need to be. And that effort is made much easier with our software.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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12.18
2019

Mobile Technology: 5 Ways Mobile Devices Can Improve Field Services

Nowadays, it de rigueur to see people of all ages walking around with the latest mobile device in tow. Little Johnny is busy playing games on his new tablet, while grandma is Facetiming with her loved ones. These devices are increasingly becoming more powerful, sleek, and easy to use. So why not use what’s hot and apply it to your business?

Chances are, if you own a service company, your techs in the field already own a smartphone, tablet, or both. Even if they’re one of the few that don’t own one, odds are they at least know how to use one. With mobile technology booming, why not utilize the power of these devices to increase your daily productivity?

1. Don’t Get Lost in the Shuffle
Route optimization is key when dispatching mobile workers. It is vital that drivers know both the address of their destination and a clear-cut way to get there. A good mobile device can intuitively provide driving directions and route alternatives which will get techs to job sites with ease.

2. The Early Bird Gets the Worm
No one likes to sit around and wait for the cable guy or electrician. Knowing exactly when a driver reaches a job site is imperative to a dispatcher’s workflow. With mobile technology, the home office has a bird’s-eye view of what is going on in the field. So when a customer calls, they can receive an accurate estimated time of arrival rather than a dreaded five-hour estimate.

3. Communication is Key
Every service company knows that jobs are not always cut and dry. Unexpected issues can arise, no matter the size of the job. With an effective mobile solution, workers can quickly alert the office of a new update in the schedule. Being able to communicate in near real-time is a benefit to both customer and technician. The office is alerted of the issue and can assist the technician by providing a resolution on the spot.

4. Clipboards are a Thing of the Past
Gone are the days of the bulky clipboard. No one wants to manage stacks of paperwork. Digital technology can eliminate paperwork and maximize efficiency. Can you imagine doing away with unnecessary trips to the office to pick up and drop off work orders? Now you can create wireless versions of your paper forms and take them on the road using something your company already has: mobile devices. This way, workers can collect information and signatures from customers and transmit data back to the office, without any delays or the worry of errors due to illegibility.

5. Prove It
The customer may always be right, but having the ability to prove the whereabouts of a technician through GPS check-in helps keep everyone honest. If a customer mentions that a tech was late to a job site, the dispatcher can quickly validate the exact arrival and departure time. Mobile devices also allow workers to capture photos, signatures, and proof of delivery and service.

It’s safe to say that smartphones and tablets are game changers in the world of field service. When technicians are armed with the tools that mobile devices offer, they are able to complete tasks more quickly, respond to customers more efficiently, and stay focused on their daily workload. If mobile devices make all that and more possible, isn’t it time that you tried one to help increase the efficiency of your business?

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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12.03
2019

Keep Parcels More Secure During Holiday Deliveries with Asset Tracking

As mentioned in a previous post, the number of parcels being delivered this holiday season is likely to increase from years past. With companies like Amazon making online ordering and residential delivery even more popular, it’s clear that accessibility and convenience are currently as important as ever to the average consumer during their shopping experience.

For companies needing to ship packages, especially around Christmastime, tracking the delivery vehicles is one thing, but if those vehicles become separated from the cargo they’re hauling, product security also becomes jeopardized. Luckily, with Actsoft solutions, your team can gain comprehensive knowledge on where its shipping containers and trailers are, with Alerts for tampering outside of specific hours. Easily attach compatible sensors to the doors of your semi-truck trailers to help keep parcels more secure, as you’ll know precisely when the shipping containers they’re in are opened.

Run a more secure and efficient delivery operation with Asset Tracking that works to keep your administrators informed in near real-time. Our software solutions function in tandem with many different types of tracking hardware to display GPS positions of all your business’s assets, allowing you to choose the devices that are best for your business’s specific trailer types. From the warehouse to the distribution zone, your team can also easily establish digital perimeters with Geofences and receive notifications any time a trailer with valuable cargo enters or exits their boundaries.

Save time and money and provide additional peace of mind to your customers by using Asset Tracking to help verify that the products your business ships remain secure at all times. The stress surrounding holiday season logistics can hurt your company’s reputation and bottom line if left to spiral out of control; make sure the parcels in your delivery vehicles’ trailers are reaching their destinations securely and expediently with our digital tracking solutions.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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10.28
2019

Why Telematics Is More Than a Buzzword

Now that we have all this information at our fingertips — from GPS positioning and driver behavior, to consumer trends and asset locations, what do we do with it? For the last few decades, we’ve gotten ever more sophisticated at collecting and tracking data, but the latest goal is developing systems to act on that information in a meaningful and valuable way.

This is precisely why the notion of telematics is not just a passing blip in the Twittersphere or in techy magazines. Telematics, which integrates information with telecommunications, is now ubiquitous in the M2M industry, including GPS technology and even satellite radio.

In the past, one of the major concerns for many companies was not only having all this information, but also multiple platforms from which to assimilate and act upon it. In short, it seemed less of an advantage and more of a headache, so there’s been a huge push for single-management platforms for multiple tasks, such as dispatching and route optimization — a single control panel to rule them all.

So companies, like Actsoft, are at the forefront of this industry by offering a wide range of telematics services to solve multiple problems through a single interface. By consolidating data from multiple touch points into a single stream, information has the potential to become richer, and patterns even more apparent. Once you have this piece of the puzzle in place, the fun begins: What do you do with all this information?

Because the impressive ROI of telematics-enabled services has been proven for years, more companies who depend on a wide variety of M2M operations – from asset locating devices to cloud-based wireless forms — want to know how they can add even more value to existing software. We offer an effective and full-scope suite of M2M, integrated mobile solutions that work in tandem with third-party clients, creating specialized, unique uses. This type of customization is becoming more popular in the telematics world as the data that’s meaningful to one company may not be to another. An example would be adapting an asset-protection device, meant to prevent theft of heavy machinery, by sending alerts to a marketing research situation where two items are being A/B tested. The researcher would know which item is picked up more, moved, and inspected. This stream of data could also be integrated with information from other telematics solutions such as wireless forms in understanding how many forms are filled out in relation to how often a product was moved and so on.

The data insights are limitless and as technology advances more rapidly, these solutions become surprisingly affordable — so much so that it becomes costly not to have them.

Whatever the trends are in today’s more complex world of systems and analysis, one thing is for certain: Having even a base level telematics-meets-big-data software solution will be the norm from which every competitive business will be operating. What you do with the information is another system altogether.

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07.26
2019

What Are Geofences and How Do They Work?

One of the biggest issues that managers face when it comes to having a predominantly mobile staff is keeping track of their team to make sure they’re staying on task throughout the day. It’s impossible to have eyes on everyone at all times and this is especially true when your team is remote. While there is a certain level of trust administrators must put in their team, there are extra measures you can take to keep your team accountable.

We’ve discussed how our GPS-stamped Timekeeping feature helps to prevent mobile employees from preemptively punching in at the start of the day, prior to arriving at job sites. But how do you know they actually remain on-site for the duration of the day? It’s not feasible to continually check in throughout the day, using the live view map; as a business owner, there are much more important things you can (and should) be focusing on.

So what do you do? Enter: Geofences.

Simply put, geofences are virtual boundaries that define a designated area and can trigger a predetermined response whenever they are “breached.” With Encore, you can set up geofences around hotspots — such as work sites — in order to monitor both the arrival and departure of people, vehicles, and equipment.

What does this mean for you?

Once your workers are on the clock, our tracking solution helps assure that they will remain on-site for the duration of their shift. Because if for any reason they depart the geofence zone, you and/or whichever administrator you put in charge, will receive an alert letting you know about this departure. From there, you can determine if it was an authorized move or if it warrants a discussion.

Just knowing that this capability exists is typically enough to keep your workers on-site and accountable for their actions. For those that still feel the need to wander, you’re left with indisputable proof that documents their departure from the worksite and the length of time they were gone. (And you can still track where they went, if they’re still on the clock.)

In addition to keeping your team in check, geofences can also be used to make sure your important (and costly) equipment and vehicles remain where they should be. This added layer of protection helps to prevent both theft and unauthorized use by employees for personal business.

This is just one example of how we embrace the power of GPS to help you make the most of your business. Give us a call and we’ll set up a demo to show you all the other ways our solution can help maximize your workforce.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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07.19
2019

Heat Waves and Bad-Weather Management

It sure looks like it’s gonna be another hot one out there, eh?

Ah, weather. That go-to, default topic reserved especially for workplace conversations when, well, frankly you aren’t sure what else to talk about in a given situation. (Think: when you’re waiting for the elevator to finish its slow crawl to your floor so you can finally be on your way.)

Well, that’s typically the case anyway. But if you’ve been paying attention to the news in recent days (or years, really), then you know the weather is actually a hot-button topic. Right now, Europe is not-so-eagerly awaiting its second bout of record-breaking temperatures expected to hit next week. This comes just three weeks after the first heat wave of the year, which saw an all-time high temperature in France.

Stateside, the Midwest and East Coast are both bracing for impact, so to speak, as temperatures are expected to soar into the 90s and 100s over the weekend, with the possibility of surpassing even 110 degrees in some areas, and there is little expected relief to look forward to even after the sun dips below the horizon. (It’s so bad, New York City actually canceled its much-anticipated triathlon this weekend, the first time its ever had to do this.)

Of course, this is on par with an apparent influx in severe weather many have been experiencing in recent years, whether it’s storms hitting harder and more frequently than they ever have before, or sparse amounts of regular rainfall helping fuel rampant wildfires.

Depending on your business, weather can have a severe impact on your day-to-day operations. If you’re flying blind, so to speak, you might find yourself at a bit of a loss when chaos throws your plans into disarray. But you’ll find yourself in a much better position if you have a management system in place that helps you easily oversee your employees’ activities throughout the day.

For example, should the weather result in one or more emergencies warranting immediate attention, you can use GPS Tracking to determine which team member(s) are best positioned to handle the situation. Then use our Job Dispatching feature to send the new work order(s) and reprioritize so your workers can change course.

If severe weather is impacting your company’s ability to do its job due to safety concerns, you can quickly disperse a secure, team-wide message to the masses, giving them important updates — such as telling them to pack up and seek shelter — that help to make sure everyone receives the same message across the board.

Timekeeping will help you keep track of all those odd hours your workers might be pulling due to weather-related shifts in duties. The GPS stamp on each time punch verifies their locations while on the clock, and you can run ad hoc reports to keep on top of overtime to help make sure it’s evenly dispersed, if necessary.

Next time you find yourself at a loss for original conversation, at least you now know that weather can actually be the jumping-off point for bigger, business-related conversation. And hopefully, that conversation eventually leads to further discussion about a solution — our solution — to your weather-related business conundrums.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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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?

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08.17
2018

Useful Tips for Avoiding Traffic

As a regular factor for many commuters, heavy traffic can put a strain on mental health, car lifespans, and time management abilities. It can also end up costing drivers significantly more on fuel over time.

At Actsoft, we’ve realized that these negative factors of roadway congestion can hinder operations for companies with mobile workforces in particular. And while dealing with traffic is inevitable at times, there’s plenty of cases where it could’ve been avoided entirely by simply taking a better route, or getting equipped with smarter tools for planning ahead. Here’s three ways that our solutions can help businesses like yours circumvent the hassles of packed streets on a daily basis.

GPS tracking in near real-time

While traffic may be worsening in some developing areas and urban centers due to increasing amounts of cars on the road, the power of technology continues to advance. GPS tracking solutions like the ones we engineer now allow you to analyze, strategize, and optimize the daily processes of your workforce on the fly. With our GPS Tracking feature, you can see the locations of your dispersed workers, and find the most efficient ways to direct certain employees to new job sites in the field digitally. Traffic can certainly play a factor in how quickly an employee can get to a new job assignment, regardless of how far away they are. Use our applications to accurately monitor the positions of your mobile team members, and manage roadway congestion with ease.

Traffic Overlay

The toll of heavy traffic can cause your business to lose money in more ways than one. Prolonged instances of idle time accelerate vehicle wear-and-tear, stall productivity, and unnecessarily burn gasoline, making them something to consider reducing. Now, we’ve made it simpler than ever to keep vehicle idling at a minimum using our new Traffic Overlay feature.

As one of our latest enhancements to Encore, our flagship solution, Traffic Overlay gives you the ability to see near real-time traffic patterns on top of your dashboard’s live view maps. Look at which intersections or interstates have the heaviest amounts of traffic prior to sending out employees to work zones, and make smarter route decisions that will conserve more resources.

Optimize schedules

Rush hour remains one of the most constricted times of the day for traffic patterns, as commuters depart from their jobs all at once. Thankfully, our Timekeeping feature enables your remote employees to clock in and out directly from their mobile devices, eliminating any need for them to drive to the office and register time punches before starting or ending work. Get your staff to job assignments quicker, and allow them to get a head start on common rush hour traffic times using our powerful solutions.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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08.07
2018

Encore Updates: Manager App, Security Enhancements, and More

At Actsoft, we’re constantly creating new ways to advance the power of our business solutions, and our latest product update is just another example of how we’re continuing to elevate the bar in both telematics and workforce management alike. Here’s everything that our latest release has to offer to users of Encore, our flagship solution.

Manager App

This new feature is designed to bring an extra measure of versatility to your mobile operations. With our Manager App, your company’s administrators can view the near real-time locations of dispersed employees and assets from a mobile device, eliminating any need for them to be tied down to a desktop computer. The Manager App view is directly accessible from within Encore’s mobile application, and it’s a powerful way to stay in touch with your workforce while on the go.

GPS APIs

Your company’s developers are now able to access important locational data, and then integrate it with third-party systems such as GIS or weather mapping software. By providing another avenue of consolidation to the way your business manages its information, experience even greater efficiency when it comes to managing and analyzing the GPS positions of your employees.

Don’t have on staff developers? Let our Professional Services Team help you integrate Encore data with your existing software.

Tracking Schedules

We’ve recently engineered features that help your company comply better with union concerns about tracking employees outside of working hours. Using GPS tracking schedules, feel free to set specific time periods for when tracking will occur, aligning them to fit with the shift times of mobile workers. The Encore application can also easily be set to monitor worker positions only while they’re clocked in, allowing management to further respect of the privacy of staff members when they’re not at work.

Traffic Overlay

Reduce the negative impacts of roadway congestion on your team’s operations with Traffic Overlay. When dispatching mobile employees to job locations, use this feature to monitor traffic patterns on the fly, and strategically pick the best routes for your drivers to take.

Additional Alerts

Instances of logins and logouts of the Encore application by employees can now trigger alerts to administrators. Any time the Encore application is launched or crashed on a mobile device, supervisors will also be made aware, and they’re now able to know when an employee disables or enables the GPS Tracking feature on a handset via digital notifications.

With all of these exciting new updates to our Encore solution, go forward with a revamped application that provides continual peace of mind regarding your mobile workforce’s routine operations. Save your business time, money, and resources with our latest host of improvements leading the way.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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08.01
2018

Geofences and City Construction

Constructing the megalopolises of today requires some of the most cutting-edge technology available. In a time where space in downtown areas is limited and building strategies have been trending upward rather than outward, the importance of modern tools to contractors can’t be understated.

These state-of-the-art tools come in many different forms, including both digital and mechanical ones. Workforces that are tasked with the responsibility of putting together an entire city’s infrastructure from the ground up need everything from heavy machinery to workforce management solutions continuously at their disposal, in order to complete projects in timely fashion.

On the workforce management side, Actsoft can help construction companies pinpoint the locations of their assets, fleet vehicles, and mobile workers in crowded urban environments. Features of our digital solutions such as Geofences allow for the establishment of up to 30 customized points around remote work zones, clearly defining the perimeters of job sites via GPS.

Using the power of Geofences, contracting workforces can further optimize their productivity levels, and provide near real-time information on what’s truly happening in the field back to their headquartered administrators. Once geofence boundaries have been set, businesses are able to use them in conjunction with other Actsoft features such as Alerts and Asset Tracking.

Companies dealing predominantly in high-rise and downtown construction in particular significantly benefit from our asset monitoring systems, because they’re versatile. Any time a piece of equipment enters or exits a geofence’s set boundaries, Alerts will automatically notify designated individuals within their organizations. And, as the shapes of geofences are highly customizable, any obstacles to plotting accurate site boundaries are out of sight and out of mind. Irregularly-shaped geofences in space-deficient city construction can be precisely drawn to contain everything that a business needs, and nothing it doesn’t.

Allow Actsoft to help your construction company improve the security of its valuable equipment, and ensure that your team is where it needs to be during routine workdays. With our solutions’ Geofences feature, explore all of the benefits that modern GPS technology is readily offering to your workforce.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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