10.29
2019

Using Encore’s Timekeeping Feature to Make Payroll Management Easier

Payroll doesn’t have to be complicated for your mobile workforce. With Encore, your employees can clock in and out from the app that they already use for everyday operations, giving them an intuitive new way to manage their time schedules while on the job.

Even though our solutions can’t entirely take the place of your team’s payroll software, API integration allows Timekeeping data your employees have recorded to seamlessly sync with the system you currently have. This ability simplifies the payroll management process and consolidates things for your company.

Additional benefits of taking your timesheets mobile include reduced overtime, neater organization, and enhanced productivity. By giving your staff a way to register time-punches directly from a smartphone or tablet, they’re equipped with the tools they need to stop working as soon as their days are up, without having to drive back to the office first to clock out while still on company hours. This can also help increase the amount of work each individual on your team can accomplish daily by giving them more available time in the field, resulting in a boost to your business’s bottom line. Fit in more customer requests per day by using Timekeeping to help eliminate unnecessary drive time as a routine task for your mobile employees.

Electronic timesheets are also able to improve your business’s processes by enhancing its level of organization. Smarter storage and an absence of illegible handwriting throughout the timekeeping process both work to improve accuracy, as there’s less points for errors to potentially occur when timecards aren’t having to be regularly filled out by hand and manually delivered to the office.

With the power of Encore’s Timekeeping feature, your business can embrace all the benefits that mobile technology has to offer to the remote workforces of today. Find out more about what integrating timesheets with your existing payroll system can do to help your company save by scheduling a live, customized webinar here.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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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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08.09
2019

The Importance of Accurate Timekeeping

“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” — William Penn

Dating back some 300 years, this quote is as true today as it was when first penned. As it pertains to someone’s personal life, time is what you make of it, and you have nobody to answer to but yourself. But when it comes to running a business, it’s up to you to make sure everyone on your team is making the most of their time when on the clock. Every minute counts, from both a financial and productivity standpoint, so it’s essential that you take extra measures to assure that your team is on-site when they say they are, helping you take your business to the next level.

When you have a mobile team — whether it’s a construction crew, delivery drivers, or team members working in the field — it’s impossible to always have your eyes on them. It also can make it difficult to effectively monitor their time cards for both accuracy and transparency.

If a team member is running a little late one morning, what’s to stop him or her from fudging their time card to make it appear as though their day started right on time? If you’re using archaic paper timesheets, the answer is simple: nothing.

Now, starting a day 15 minutes late may not seem like a big deal at first, but when it becomes habitual, it starts to add up. The name of the game is maximizing efficiency so ideally each worker’s day is scheduled in a way that a certain amount of jobs fit in perfectly. Let’s assume that 15-minute late start results in an extra 15 minutes tacked on to the end of the day, now necessary in order to complete all required jobs. That 15-minute late start becomes 15 minutes of overtime pay.

Given an hourly rate of $20 and an overtime rate that comes in at time and a half, if a single employee does this every day of the week, that’s an extra $1,950 you’re paying out every single year. All from one person being dishonest with their timesheets. Imagine if your whole crew followed suit? If a team of 20 people did the same, you’ll soon find yourself paying out $39,000 in unnecessary overtime every year … that’s another person’s full salary!

This is where our Timekeeping feature comes into play. We give you the ability to not only record your team’s hours digitally but to include a GPS stamp with every single time punch. So when they’re clocking in for the day you can see, clear as day, that they are in fact at the job site and not just rushing out the door of their home.

Having this functionality and making sure workers are aware of its features are surefire ways to reinforce accountability. Your team is a lot less likely to attempt to pull a fast one when they know it’s easy to check up on them.

This is just one of the ways we can help your business improve its bottom line and start to bring in more profits that can be further invested in making your company even better.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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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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07.23
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?

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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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07.17
2019

What Telecommuting Tool Is Saving Companies Big Bucks?

Today almost all companies have a percentage of employees who work outside of the office. Whether they’re salespeople, delivery drivers, or specialists like plumbers and mechanics, this part of your workforce may never step foot into the office, but they’re an integral part of your success.

The major problems with this group are communication and observation. While you have email and mobile devices available to communicate, this may not be the most efficient method of making sure employees are logging the hours they’re supposed to or arriving at important meetings on time. Moreover, it’s time consuming for management or dispatchers to call or email a remote team member to make sure they’re available to take a call or make a delivery. A solution more and more companies are turning to is mobile timekeeping, which allows employees to clock in and out right from their mobile device.

This complete visibility and accuracy is enabled by GPS time-stamping so you can see both when and where you’re team member was when he or she clocked in. Did they make it to an important client meeting? You can see right away when they clock in, so management has total transparency and accountability for all employees both in and out of the office.

By using a simple and cost-effective solution like mobile timekeeping, you can eliminate guesswork from the equation. Additionally, if you want to see whether a delivery was made, the GPS feature shows precisely where your driver was and at what time — this information can then be sent to your customers if needed, in the event an arrival is disputed.

Another great benefit is that with each time punch you can capture photos; signatures; and data about current jobs, vehicles, and odometer readings.

Experts agree that companies who are adopting these ready-made solutions are more productive and ultimately better equipped for business in the future than companies who do not use this kind of technology designed for mobile employees.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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07.12
2019

That Busy CEO Life and How Actsoft Can Help

Recently, while perusing the latest tech headlines, as I’m wont to do, I came across a headline that stood out to me for two reasons. One: Even though it was clearly labeled a sponsored post, I actually felt compelled enough by the headline to click through, which is a rarity for me. (Kudos, Mashable, you clever monkey.) Two: It promised to show the day of one New York City–based CEO in 60 seconds … a New York minute, if you will. Given the nature of the company I worked for, I thought it would be both interesting and insightful to get a little glimpse of what that life can be like.

If you’re a business owner, you’re more than familiar with the concept of nonstop busy days. Days where, between your personal responsibilities and your work obligations, your waking hours are pretty much spoken for. But as we’ve mentioned in the past, as important as it is to give your all in making sure your company is a thriving success, it’s just as vital that you carve out time to maintain some semblance of a work-life balance.That’s why it’s essential to find and implement the right tools that serve to streamline processes, cut out unnecessary steps, and improve efficiency in your day-to-day activities. That’s exactly where we come into the picture.

Using our suite of tools, business owners are given the ability to simplify many of the daily tasks they and their team undertake. Timely procedures are sped up, leaving your workers with more time during the day during which they can take on more work orders, increasing your company’s bottom line.

As a business owner, you can rely more on your management team to mold your field workers into a synergetic efficiency machine using these day-to-day tools. This lets you focus on the bigger picture, which our tools also help with while removing the necessity of being on-site as frequently as you would need to be otherwise.

Using our system, you can pull up top-level overviews of the goings on at your business, running reports on everything from timekeeping (to make sure employees aren’t clocking egregious amounts of overtime due to early/offsite punching in/out) to vehicle paths (to curb inefficiently long routes driven between job sites, as well as excessively wasteful idling times). Forms that require your signature, such as expense reports, can all be digitized and sent to your phone, letting you quickly sign off and pass them along to your accounting team for faster processing.

All of this — and so much more — can be done using our tools. Not to mention, our recently released Manager App gives you all of this functionality from your mobile device, so you don’t even have to be at a desktop anymore, giving you so much more flexibility to run your business without giving up your social life.

Our job is to make your job easier. Because part of owning a successful business is being able to make the time to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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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?

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06.26
2019

How Small Business Is Helping the Environment

It’s easier than ever for entrepreneurs to start a business. With the low cost of setting up an LLC, creating websites, and other tools needed to market and do business, there are virtually no barriers to a new enterprise.

The one thing many of these businesspeople are doing right is cutting expenses and overhead in all the right places. Today, savvy entrepreneurs are using tools they already have to conduct business efficiently and affordably.

While larger enterprises with deeper pockets often waste money on unnecessary expenses, small businesses can’t afford to waste a penny on things like paper — especially when there are tools, like Actsoft’s Wireless Forms, that are more cost-effective and work better.

Along with eliminating paper waste, we’re seeing the small biz folks also eliminating employee waste by getting their remote workers to clock in and out from their phones and work from home. While many start-ups don’t have the budget for big offices, electric bills, and insurance, they’re employing freelance staff to work remotely — while using innovative tools to track time. This way they can keep track of hours without wasting a lot of time and money filling out paper forms.

Our software allows remote employees the ability to clock in from anywhere. All this adds up to a more environmentally friendly company that uses resources wisely and mitigates risk.

If you want to know how much you can save by cutting down on inefficient processes, call Actsoft today and we’ll do a free evaluation.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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