08.07
2019

How Excellent Communication Enhances Project Management

For any team project, effective communication is essential. Coordinating various tasks that need to be accomplished is much easier when there’s open communication between staff members and supervisors; however, this can be a struggle to maintain consistently at times.

Requesting feedback from your staff regarding how much work they’ve got on their schedules is an excellent way to encourage honesty, reduce overwhelming feelings for individuals in your organization, and pinpoint the objectives at hand with laser focus. It can also give you the best idea of who has additional availability to take on more work. However, there’s no way to gauge expendable bandwidth without solid communication. David Knight, Actsoft’s vice president of customer experience believes that without clear connectivity, collaborative efforts will become limited for a workforce.

“The key to teamwork is collaboration, which can only be achieved with effective communication,” said Knight. “Effective communication keeps teams on the same page at the same time, but more importantly, helps teams avoid conflicts and misunderstandings, which reduce collaboration.”

If everyone in your company is on the same page, meeting deadlines also becomes infinitely easier. A mission statement is a great way to communicate your business’s vision, uniting your workforce around a central theme that keeps staff up to date with the values and objectives that your organization is striving to accomplish during project execution.

Actsoft’s solutions offer intuitive features to make project management easier through enhanced communication. Intra-Company Messaging and Job Dispatching help keep all aspects of your company in the know by providing platforms to securely transmit key information about jobs in the field, regardless of how far away your mobile employees may be. With the power of our applications, strengthen your business’s communication channels and improve the ways that your team collaborates on its daily projects.

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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.

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06.14
2019

Uber Elevate and Business Innovation

Uber unveiled this week that the third test city to be added to the list of its long-anticipated “flying taxi” service will be on the other side of the globe, in Melbourne, Australia. (The first two being stateside, in Los Angeles and Dallas.) If you haven’t been following the story, the hugely popular ride-sharing company — which revolutionized the way we all think about taxi services — has long been touting its plans to take to the skies, offering users a virtually traffic-free ride experience. (As it stands, Uber is already set to whisk people to and from JFK Airport.)

The designs for the taxi, recently unveiled at the company’s annual Elevate conference, reveal what can only be described as an airplane-helicopter hybrid, with a sleek, futuristic vibe that channels everyone’s favorite space toon: the Jetsons. It’ll be at least four years before we even see this innovative new option take flight, according to Uber, but it’s still exciting to know changes like this are on the horizon.

This type of thinking — never being satisfied with the status quo — is what catapulted Uber from a “nobody” startup to a major tech leader. The company developed a genius way to completely change an industry that was virtually untouched for decades and its popularity sparked like wildfire. Where other companies may be satisfied at the rapid success, the powers that be at Uber know that real success comes from constant innovation, from always looking for ways to push their business in new directions.

In that same line of thought, our software serves as a means to help push already successful businesses forward. With our suite of solutions, we don’t purport to provide expertise in every single industry. Rather, what we do is give businesses in virtually every industry imaginable the means to vastly improve their processes. We give you a way to maximize your efficiency — through use of features such as Wireless Forms, Job Dispatching, Timekeeping, and others — in order to make the most of what you’ve already built on your own.

One of the great benefits from our solutions is their ability to help you shave precious time off each of your tasks. This saved time creates the opportunity for you to take on even more business, which helps to boost your bottom line. But in addition, some of that saved time can be devoted to ideating, crafting new ways to take your business to an entirely new level, much in the same way the folks at Uber continue to do.

We never stop working on ways to improve our software and roll out even more features that exist to help you make more money. We hope that our role in helping you simplify everyday tasks can also play a part in the greater evolution of your business.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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06.07
2019

Dark Phoenix and Rapid Business Growth

This weekend, comic book fans everywhere will flock to theaters to see the big-screen interpretation of beloved X-Men character Jean Grey as she descends into the chaotic, out-of-control Dark Phoenix. In the movie, the good-natured Grey finds herself unexpectedly wielding immense amounts of psychic powers that quickly compound exponentially, causing her to rapidly spiral out of control.

By now, you may be asking yourself: What the heck does any of this have to do with managing my remote workforce?

Work with me here. In the movie, Jean Grey struggles to maintain control of her powers as they expand way beyond her wildest expectations. While she always knew she was capable of great things, never before did she think her mutant abilities would grow to such levels. Because she hadn’t expected it, she never prepared for it, and so she was ill-equipped to manage it.

Similarly, when you’re running a business and you experience a burst in growth, you may find yourself struggling to keep up. The trick, of course, is to prepare yourself ahead of time. Implement the proper tools that give you the right kind of control over your business’s processes so that, if you do experience that sudden boost from out of the blue, you’re already in a good position to field the influx of necessary work to keep everything running smoothly.

That’s where our solution comes into play.

Implementing Encore into your company’s day-to-day operations gives you an additional level of control and organization, making the process of expansion — even if it comes from out of nowhere — much more manageable than if you were on your own.

Take our Job Dispatching feature. Using our software, you’re able to see the status of every available worker, including the number of work orders on their plates, as well as their current locations, whether they’re at a job site or on the road. Having access to this information, it’s much easier to make an educated decision when new work orders come in and you have to determine who to assign them to.  You can do so right in the application, without ever having to pick up the phone or require the worker to come back to the office to retrieve new assignments.

Once those work orders are disseminated to the crew, they can power through on-site paperwork faster than ever, thanks to our Wireless Forms. With such time-saving features as calculations (with no risk of math errors from trying to add things up in their heads) and decision logic (which skips over unnecessary sections or shows relevant ones based on previous responses), workers can fill these out quickly, freeing up more time to take on additional jobs. Plus, when your forms are digitized, you don’t have to worry about back-office mistakes made from misinterpreting chicken scratch handwriting or forms being lost in transit.

If your sudden business boom means you’ll be dealing with the production and/or distribution of a lot of inventory, you’ll really love Barcode Scanning. This is used in conjunction with our Wireless Forms feature and can really speed up the act of checking products in or out of the warehouse. Rather than manually count each box that comes or goes, simply scan barcodes as they are loaded or offloaded from the delivery truck. You’ll greatly reduce the risk of human error and have a much more accurate accounting of your inventory.

And of course, as you grow, so will your team. It’s inevitable. That’s when our Messaging feature comes into play. With it, you can quickly and easily send group (or individual, if need be) messages in order to make sure important updates are received by all, regardless of whether or not they’re in the office or out in the field. This helps keep everyone on the same page and, depending on the update, can also keep your workers safe.

We’ve barely begun to scratch the surface here, but one thing is for certain: Bringing Encore into your life is a surefire way to streamline your day-to-day operations so that, when the unexpected arises, you don’t spiral out of control like Jean Grey.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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03.11
2019

Feature Study: Job Dispatching on Encore

To continue our series of feature studies, next we’ll look at Encore’s Job Dispatching feature, and what it can do for businesses of any size. This aspect of the solution helps employees make the most of their time in the field during working hours by making communication and team coordination easier to accomplish.

Administrators at company headquarters can use Job Dispatching to reroute mobile staff on the fly. They’re able to see the near real-time positions of workers in the field and direct the nearest ones with open availability to new tasks. In addition to strengthening connectivity, this feature helps businesses save money by helping them improve time management. Making efficient use of the hours in a typical workday is a balancing act, and it’s one that directly impacts productivity. By using Job Dispatching to direct, change workflows, and stay in contact with mobile employees, businesses with remote workforces can ensure that their scheduling remains optimized.

If your employees are able to reach new work locations quicker, customer satisfaction can also increase. Job Dispatching works in tandem with GPS Tracking to make finding and sending out the nearest available worker simpler, allowing them to accelerate their response times to new tasks. Use these features together to help enhance the reputation of your brand to customers even more, while potentially increasing revenue at the same time.

The task of communicating out new instructions effectively to remote workers can be difficult if the right tools aren’t being used, but for all things mobile resource management, there’s Job Dispatching on Encore. See how this feature can help companies like yours today with a free live demo.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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01.04
2019

New Year’s Resolution for Your Workforce

If there’s anything that can be said about the year’s end, it’s that December 31 is almost indisputably the biggest party night of the year. One needs to look no further than the hordes of people that flock to New York City’s Times Square (roughly one million were anticipated for the close of 2018) to watch a shimmering crystal ball descend a pole perched atop One Times Square. Others, looking for (slightly) smaller crowds, gather at bars and clubs. For those really averse to the throngs of partygoers that are unavoidable at public New Year’s Eve celebrations, house parties are where it’s at.

Regardless of the venue, hundreds of millions of people around the globe devote the last night of each year to celebrating, often times with a smorgasbord of food and stockpile of libations. Many parties last well into the wee hours of the following morning which, in addition to being a deciding factor in many businesses staying closed for the day, also likely plays a hand in another annual tradition: the New Year’s resolution.

It’s no surprise that, after an evening of over-indulgence and debauchery, January 1 is used as the jumping off point for people to pledge to make positive changes in their lives. (“New year, new me,” as the popular phrase goes.)

Resolutions can be tough for people to stick with for the long haul. It’s not always easy to make major changes, and many times they’re simply abandoned after just a few weeks. But, if you’re a business owner who’s looking to ring in the New Year by introducing new ways to help bolster your bottom line, implementation of our software is a simple, cost-effective way to get started.

Wireless Forms let you digitize even the most complicated of paper forms, eliminating the need for costly hard copies and reducing the amount of time they take to fill out. Plus, your workers have no reason to take precious time out of their work days to shuffle back and forth from the field to the office so paperwork can be filed. Instead, they can take on additional jobs with all that time saved.

With employees less tethered to the home office, our Mobile Timekeeping functionality allows them to punch in from anywhere. Plus, not only can you accurately track their hours, you can make sure they’re where they should be when they punch in (e.g. at a job site). This way, if an employee is running late (or attempting to be deceptive) you know without a shadow of a doubt, letting you adjust their pay accordingly and take any action that may be necessary. (Long story short: It keeps your staff honest and holds them accountable.)

Job Dispatching is a means to disperse new work orders that come in during the day. But it’s not merely an assignment tool; it lets you choose the right person for the job, based on factors like current workload and proximity. This way, your staff is able to visit more customers each day, while also reducing the amount of fuel consumed traveling between job sites.

Speaking of fuel consumption, have you ever wanted assurances that your drivers are doing everything they can to treat fuel as the precious, costly commodity that it is? We can help with that, too. Track driver behavior for things like hard braking and quick accelerating, excessive idling, and routes taken to make sure they’re following best practices to use as little fuel as possible.

These are just four ways that our solutions can help you keep your business-forward resolution this year. We take care of all the hard work, meaning this is one resolution you’ll have no problem keeping up with. You’ll reap all the rewards with minimal effort on your part.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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02.06
2018

How Has Communication Evolved?

Communication is one of the most important things to society, and it has continued to transform as time has churned forward. In contemporary times such as these, advances in technology have played huge roles in improving people’s access to one another, as they have simplified the logistics of communicating across far distances significantly. Cell phones and computers allow people to talk to one other nearly instantly even if they are thousands of miles apart, which is a fascinating concept, especially once the broader context of communication’s history is taken into account.

If you could go back in time and talk to a person from the year 1750 in a face-to-face setting, they’d probably look at you like you’re crazy if you tried to explain to them how the iPhone X’s new Animoji feature works. In fact, even if we sped things up two more centuries to the 1950s and conducted the same exercise, you’d still get a bewildered and confused reaction from a person living in that era. Nevertheless, the advances that older societies like these made to the concepts of communication as a whole were instrumental in building what we currently have at our disposal.

The beginnings of communication took the form of cave drawings by some of our earliest ancestors, and later the ancient Phoenicians developed the first universal alphabet in order to trade with multiple cultures. Soon, ancient Egyptians began creating early forms of paper to write on using papyrus, further advancing the known world’s adaptations of communication. Much later, all of these early developments would help culminate in the first computers, but these machines filled up entire buildings and provided only minimal functionality. Now, in terms of processing power, cutting-edge engineering has allowed for machinery that used to take up whole rooms to fit snugly into the size of your pocket. This is a key factor in what allows us to instantly communicate with people on the other side of the globe today.

The present-day business world in particular heavily relies on communication to accomplish work and function on a daily basis. Internal memos, customer interactions, and employee collaboration on projects are just a few examples of where communication is a necessary tool in a corporation-style setting. In fact, communication is so vital to a business that if a company actively puts extra emphasis on improving its internal and external communication, its productivity, clarity, and profits could all experience significant rises.

At Actsoft, equipping businesses with modern mobile resource management (MRM) solutions to effectively communicate is one of our biggest proficiencies. For example, our Wireless Forms feature in many of our solutions grants employees in the field with an easy but intuitive method of completing paperwork and sending it back to the home office via mobile phone or tablet. This can streamline work flow from the field back to company headquarters, saving time, money, and resources. Job Dispatching is another service Actsoft provides that can prove to be a vital asset to a company’s workers in the field. Using this, employees can receive and immediately respond to new work assignments from the tap of a screen while they are out in the field.

For companies located in many different industries, Actsoft’s MRM products will continue to blaze a trail into the future of business communication for years to come. With advancement and user convenience at the forefront of our development priorities, companies who are searching for a new type of communicative solution are in luck.

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