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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01.28
2019

Running Your Business While Employees are on Vacation

At some point, every individual working full time needs the ability to take a few days off for relaxation and rejuvenation, as it enables them to pursue a high level of long-term productivity at work. However, if you’re running a business, juggling your employees’ vacation time requests can be difficult, especially if many of them are submitted for the same timeframe. Here are three ways that Actsoft solutions can help you remain in control of your business, whenever it might be short-staffed.

Mobile Timekeeping

Allow your employees to clock in and out from their mobile devices, and save time. Our solutions are equipped to help mobile workforces like yours spend less time on unnecessary trips to and from the office, and more at work sites instead. Despite any staffing shortages you might have to deal with during peak vacation seasons, you can still ensure that the employees you do have working are given additional time to be productive by letting them start their days as soon as they enter their work vehicles.

Wireless Forms

With Actsoft’s Wireless Forms feature, your staff can submit documents wirelessly and fill them out from mobile devices. Enhance the efficiency of your operations by using a digital system to manage and store PTO requests for vacation, as well as many other types of documents that can be customized to your organization’s needs. Through the power of this feature, benefit from streamlined information flows and a modernized approach to workforce management.

Job Dispatching

Job Dispatching makes team coordination easier than ever to accomplish, because it lets you see the near real-time positions of your remote employees during working hours and communicate new instructions to them. Make adjustments on the fly to various job assignments, and ensure that there’s enough staff at each respective point of interest. Effectively rerouting employees with this feature helps your company save revenue over time, and continuously make the most of your available labor.

As important as it is for employees to take advantage of their allotted vacation days, the show must still go on for your business, no matter how many team members are away from the office at a given time. Use Actsoft solutions to optimize productivity, coordinate with simplicity, and remove the stress from managing during times of worker scarcity.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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11.16
2018

Thanksgiving, the Holidays, and Managing Your Business

It’s hard to believe, but Thanksgiving is just around the corner. With it marks the unofficial start of the holiday season. It’s a time when we all — even those of us down here in the Sunshine State — start to break out the warmer clothes as the mercury levels perpetually drop. It’s when you and your family come together to celebrate, catch up, and enjoy a plethora of hearty home-cooked meals (while dodging the uncomfortable questions about your life choices that inevitably come your way from that one distant relative you only see this time of year).

Beyond the gathering of friends and family, the roasted turkeys and hams, the piles of sugar cookies, and the exchange of gifts, there are still businesses to be run. And as a business owner, you know by now that, similar to the slew of vacation requests that come in each and every summer, this is another time when work crews tend to be working at half capacity due to all the time off requests.

What does this mean for you? Simply that, during the holiday season, you need to make some adjustments in order to allow your staff the time off they’ve earned, while keeping up with business as normal. (Not to mention, you may actually be even busier than usual, so slowing down is not an option.)

That’s where our software comes in. When you have our solutions in place, the level of efficiency you’re able to run your business at increases exponentially. How? Here are a few examples.

Wireless Forms
Ditching those cumbersome paper forms is the easiest way to save time on the job. All the information your workers need to collect from customers, including signatures and photographs, is done and sent back to the home office in near real-time, directly from the field. With only pertinent information included on the forms and no illegible handwriting to decipher, this is processed much quicker. Plus, since workers no longer have to go back to the office to turn in stacks of paper, they can easily fit more customers into their daily schedules.

Dispatching
It’s one thing to have a carefully orchestrated schedule set up ahead of time, so you can prepare your team to tackle each days’ work in a way that makes the most sense. But as we all know, the unexpected is almost always bound to pop up. Customers cancel. New customer requests come in. People call out sick. Using our dispatching feature, you can see a top-level overview of each person’s schedules, availabilities, and current locations. So when new orders need to be assigned, you’re able to send it to the right people, fitting in as many as possible.

Timekeeping
With decreased staff numbers come increased hours for the ones holding the fort. Our mobile timekeeping solution not only lets staffers make the most of their workdays by eliminating the need to stop by the office before heading to the first job site, but also by letting management review hours worked no matter where they are. This helps administrators make smarter decisions when distributing tasks so that unnecessary overtime is avoided when possible, or at least minimized when unavoidable.

These are just three of the many tools in our suite of solutions. As you can see, there’s already so much they can do to help you run a more efficient business and, in doing so, increase your bottom line. Whether your business is in peak vacation season, or it’s just another normal workweek, you’re going to get the most out of your workers the minute our software becomes a part of your daily procedure. It will allow you to approach the holiday season — and every other time of the year — with far less stress, and more confidence that it will be business as usual … always.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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

 

05.24
2018

5 Must-Visit Theme Parks Perfect for Family Vacations

With Memorial Day weekend upon us, now is the time of year when families begin to pack up their suitcases and take to the road for their annual vacations. And really, this is the ideal time for it. The weather is at its best, the kids are out of school, and most seasonal destinations are finally open and ready for business.

More specifically, it’s during this time that our favorite type of summertime venue opens up nationwide: theme parks. What better way to bond with your family than a trip to some fantastical wonderland replete with thrill-inducing rides, games galore, and all the indulgent food you could dream of?

From a business perspective, with summer getaways comes the issue of coverage, since so many people regularly request to be away from work during this time period. Of course, vacations are extremely important for the betterment of any employee, but you still have a business to run. So how do you manage your workload with just a fraction of your crew?

That’s where our software comes into play. It’s an ideal means of keeping track of who is available at any given time. With the Timekeeping feature, it’s easy to see what workers are clocked in at a glance, so delivering work orders in advance is simple and can be done without question. For last-minute requests that may come in from your customers, simply track which employees are actively on duty at the moment and dispatch assignments according to availability. Or, if you’re at capacity for the day, you can easily manage your customer’s expectations and schedule them at the soonest time possible. And, if your team is responsible for keeping valuable equipment and/or vehicles at home, our asset and fleet tracking capabilities can give you peace of mind while folks are out of town.

Now that you can rest a little easier as vacation season begins, we wanted to share some of our favorite theme parks from across the country. Each one is delivers something different and unique to satisfy any family’s taste.

Cedar Point
Where: Sandusky, Ohio
Who It’s For: Thrill seekers with an affinity for roller coasters
Season: May–October
The self-proclaimed “roller coaster capital of the world,” Cedar Point isn’t just giving lip service with that moniker. The 364-acre theme park is home to a whopping 18 coasters of various intensities, making it a bucket-list destination for any enthusiast.
Don’t Miss: Though it’s over in a flash — 17 seconds to be exact — don’t forgo the high-speed Top Thrill Dragster. The ride launches with instant force, quickly climbing to, and almost immediately dropping from, a height of 420 feet, reaching a speed of 120 mph.

Dollywood Splash Country
Where: Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Who It’s For: Anyone looking to cool down
Season: May–September
Whether you want to lounge around poolside after a morning of excitement at the adjacent Dollywood (think: more traditional theme park), or want to keep up with the thrills by going on one of the plunging waterslides, this is the place to go for respite from the intense summer heat.
Don’t Miss: Tennessee’s first and only water coaster, RiverRush seats up to four guests on a single float and carries you along nearly 1,200 feet of track, through dark tunnels, hairpin turns, and steep drops.

Santa’s Village
Where: Jefferson, New Hampshire
Who It’s For: Families whose love for Christmas is year round
Season: May–October
Tucked away in a tiny town in northern New Hampshire’s White Mountains, this is a prime theme park for parents with younger children wanting to get a taste of what it’s like to visit Santa’s home at the North Pole.
Don’t Miss: Little ones will love the opportunity to chat with the one and only Rudolph, Santa’s lead reindeer. This furry animatronic has been a staple at the park for more than 25 years and can actually carry on full conversations. (Or, if you’d prefer the real thing, swing by Reindeer Rendezvous and hand feed live animals.)

LEGOLAND
Where: Winter Haven, Florida
Who It’s For: Lovers of the classic build-it-yourself toys
Season: All year
What child — or, let’s be honest, adult — isn’t a fan of LEGO? At this sprawling 150-acre park, the beloved building blocks come to life through a series of LEGO-themed rides, activities, and even larger-than-life characters roaming the grounds.
Don’t Miss: Want to see what can be done with 32 million LEGO bricks? Stroll through Miniland USA to see giant recreations of famous U.S. destinations, like New York City, Las Vegas, and Kennedy Space Center. There’s even an homage to the classic Star Wars film series, including a replica of the Millennium Falcon.

Hersheypark
Where: Hershey, Pennsylvania
Who It’s For: Chocoholics
Season: March–January
What better way to satisfy your sweet tooth than an entire park built around everyone’s favorite childhood candy supplier? Of course, chocolate can be found around every corner but you’ll also find all the staple rides you’d expect at any theme park.
Don’t Miss: Learn all about the company that is the reason this theme park even exists. Hershey’s Chocolate World is right next door and explores all things chocolate, including the process of transferring cocoa beans into the tasty treats we all know and love. You can even create your own candy bar!

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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03.19
2018

3 Must-See National Parks in North America

North America is home to some of the most breathtaking national parks in the entire world. Sculpted mountains, idyllic lakes, and diverse flora span as far as the eye can see, drawing in travelers craving a taste of serenity from all around the globe. At locations such as these, feeling awestruck is a routine occurrence, and becoming truly in touch with nature’s sheer tranquility alters perspectives forever. Here are three of our favorite national parks in the entire continent.

1. Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Rising from the misty, snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park is one of Canada’s most valued natural treasures. The park lies west of Calgary, Alberta, and contains bodies of water such as Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, whose crystal blue shades resemble those of a tropical Caribbean shoreline. Complementing these shimmering pools with a backdrop of mountainous, snowy cliffs and lush alpine foliage, Banff truly is one of the most beautiful destinations to visit in the northern hemisphere.

2. Yosemite National Park, California, United States

Yosemite National Park is nestled within California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. Here, massive slabs of rock and cascading waterfalls dot the horizon, which is home to a diverse range of wildlife such as coyotes, American black bears, Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, and mountain lions. Nearly 90 different mammal species inhabit Yosemite National Park, and some of the park’s premier landmarks include Mount Dana and Cathedral Rocks. Yosemite’s encompassment of a glacier pairing also allows for its rivers and lakes to constantly be fed with fresh water. Respectively named the Lyell Glacier and the Maclure Glacier, they’re the only two that are still left at Yosemite, and both play an essential role in keeping the surrounding ecosystems healthy.

3. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, United States

Grand Canyon National Park is situated in northern Arizona, but the entirety of the canyon technically stretches across six states: California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. This massive geological phenomenon is visited by millions of people every year, with each visitor hoping to get a premier glimpse at some of nature’s finest handiwork. The Colorado River slices through the Grand Canyon’s rust red–colored gorge, crafting spectacular views that leave guests speechless from nearly 8,000 feet up. Being one of the most iconic national parks in the world, Grand Canyon National Park is a must-see destination for seasoned travelers and novice voyagers alike.

Resource Conservation Meets 21st Century Efficiency

As some of the most beautiful places on Earth, it’s crucial that our civilization does everything it can to protect these national parks for future generations to enjoy. At Actsoft, we take pride in doing our part to keep habitats clean by equipping companies with practical solutions designed to help them conserve time, money, and natural resources all at once.

Features of our digital solutions such as Wireless Forms eliminate any hassles associated with traditional documents like high annual paper costs, risks in losing vital paperwork, and rising amounts of material waste. The average pine tree produces around 80,500 sheets of paper, and if a business has 250 employees who each individually use around five pieces of paper per business day, that can result in the loss of just over four trees on a yearly basis. After multiplying this number of annually used trees by every single 250-person company in the U.S. alone, it’s easy to see how going wireless can slash costs and natural resource consumption drastically. By transitioning your company’s data onto a single electronic system, simplify your information flows, gain enhanced efficiency, and stand as an industry leader in making our planet a cleaner place to live.

GPS Tracking from Actsoft also allows you to better plan your business vehicles’ routes to and from job sites in the field. Strategically routing company vehicles for the most fuel-efficient and money-saving paths to work locations reduces your fleet’s carbon footprint, while also lessening gasoline expenses.

In next Monday’s blog post, we’ll take a more detailed look at how positively contributing to a cleaner world can save your business time and money. In turn, we’ll demonstrate how specific features of Actsoft solutions can greatly assist companies who are looking to achieve all of these things.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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02.02
2018

Why Taking Vacations is Essential for Productivity

Are you in the habit of making sure your staff is regularly taking their earned vacation time before it disappears at the end of the year? Because chances are — according to a recent survey conducted by Glassdoor — they’re not. The average U.S. employee eligible for paid time off only takes about half their earned time each year. Not only that, but when they are on vacation, 66 percent say they continue to work while away from the office.

On the one hand, that kind of dedication to one’s job is pretty impressive and good to have on your side. But on the flip side, foregoing much-needed vacation time can have a negative impact, not just on your staff’s personal health, but on their ability to adequately fulfill their job responsibilities. This is why some companies have actually begun to institute mandatory vacation policies; some even take it one step further and forbid those employees from checking in or exchanging emails during a time they should be relaxing and unplugging.

This is a topic that strikes us, in particular, because the technology we provide helps to streamline your business’s workflow processes — from device and vehicle tracking to Advanced Wireless Forms to timekeeping, and beyond — and, in doing so, can return significant savings and profit. But it all starts with the people you’ve entrusted to keep your business running, so you want to make sure they are on top of their game.

A study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies took a look at the effects of extended vacations on people, monitoring their health and wellness throughout the time spent away from their responsibilities. In addition to vacations in general having a positive impact, the longevity of those benefits was prolonged for those who fully immersed themselves in vacation experiences while away from work.

Workers that are too tired and/or stressed can easily find themselves falling into unintentionally sloppy habits. According to Advantage Behavioral Health, vacations actually “shrink stress and anxiety.” Not to mention, some extra time in the sun promotes physical wellbeing, in the form of vitamin D which they say can help to prevent various forms of cancer.

There are also some cardiovascular benefits to regularly taking a break from the hustle and bustle. A Framingham Heart Study reported that men who let several years lapse without taking any vacations are 30 percent more likely to experience heart attacks than those who take at least one week each year. And women who only vacation once every six years are eight times more likely to experience the same, or develop coronary heart disease, than women who take at least two a year.

Happy, healthy employees are the key to keeping your business running like a well-oiled machine. So do encourage your staff to take that time off. And then maximize their efficiency on the job with our suite of tools. Your fully energized team will not only be in tip-top shape, but will have the resources at their fingertips to optimize their time.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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