25.09
2018

Industry Spotlight: Actsoft Solutions in Construction

Actsoft solutions help to power forward the construction industry by bringing dispersed workforces together. Three of the most important things for effective building strategies are consistently meeting deadlines, ensuring that worker safety remains accounted for, and protecting assets around the clock. All of these critical objectives can be attained using the capabilities of our software.

Stay right on schedule

Once a building project has been planned and announced, the clock is immediately ticking on its completion. One of the best ways for contractors to establish a sterling reputation with their customers is to consistently deliver on project timelines, and features of our solutions like Wireless Forms and Mobile Timekeeping make it easy to do. By allowing workers to complete more of their daily tasks while away from the home office, these tools help companies save time and money effectively.

Enhance work site safety

Construction work often times requires heavy machinery, which can carry a certain degree of danger. Actsoft’s GPS Tracking tool makes the pinpointed locations of employees readily available to see, so companies know exactly where their staff are in case of a critical situation. Dispatching is another powerful feature of our software that can help to keep employees safe, as it enables construction businesses to send out requests for assistance nearly instantly via wireless notifications, whenever an emergency might occur.

Keep important equipment secure

Heavy machinery like bulldozers, cranes, and crawler excavators can cost thousands of dollars to replace if lost. Thankfully, contracting companies can use Actsoft’s Asset Tracking technology to be constantly in-the-know about where their important construction equipment is. The ability to leave machinery dispersed in the field overnight gives businesses an immense amount of extra potential for savings, and with custom alerts for unauthorized movements, contracting businesses can rest assured that their assets are monitored around the clock.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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

 

17.08
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?

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

 

14.08
2018

Natural Wonders: World’s Most Stunning Mountains

As we’ve discussed over the past few weeks, one of the lasting benefits from our solutions is the ability to dramatically reduce your company’s carbon footprint. Casting aside archaic paper forms in exchange for more efficient, eco-friendly digital forms; better choosing which employee to dispatch to job assignments based on proximity; and getting control of unnecessary idling time from your drivers all cut back on unnecessary waste. Plus, making these seemingly small changes also puts a lot of money back into your pocket.

This week, in continued celebration of the environmental impact our solutions help to impart on the world, we’re taking a look at some of the most stunning mountains from around the globe. These soaring peaks have provided a never-ending supply of inspiration, for artists and adventurers alike, and it’s no surprise why.

Vinicunca, Peru
Also known as Rainbow Mountain, it doesn’t take long to figure out where its moniker hails from. Its terrain is “painted” in a vibrant array of colors not commonly found on a mountainside; we’re talking stripes of lavender, turquoise, yellow, and maroon. Buried deep within the Peruvian Andes, it can be surprisingly difficult to find, despite its unique coloring, so hiring a local guide is probably the best bet. Spend a few days in Cusco, just four hours north, ahead of time to help acclimate to the altitude before embarking on the trek to the peak.

Matterhorn, Switzerland and Italy
Straddling the border of Switzerland and Italy, this bluff is most recognizable from the Swiss side, where its snowy peak towers above the rolling green hills below. Often said to be the most-photographed mountain in the world, it’s advised that you do so from a safe vantage point. (Read: from the ground.) Trekking to the top is only for the most-experienced climbers with top-notch equipment. However, there are lifts in the area that scoop visitors up to an elevation of more than 12,700 feet, for some truly breathtaking, up-close views of the goliath.

Mount Fuji, Japan
The tallest mountain range in Japan, this peak is almost instantly recognized by all as it’s become an iconic symbol of the region. (Plus, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2013.) While impressive in scope, Mount Fuji is actually easily accessible for hikers of all skill levels, though it’s suggested that those with less experience stick to the official climbing season, which runs from early July through mid-September, when conditions are safest. Huts line the trails and, for a nominal fee, travelers can break for meals, brief rests, or sleep.

Mù Cang Chải, Vietnam
Never before has rice been so beautiful. The name actually references an entire region filled with rice terrace fields carved into the sides of mountains, rather than one specific ridge. The resulting effect — during grain season, from mid-September through mid-October, when the rice is fully ripe — are mountainsides covered with vibrant, perfectly manicured steps of yellows and greens. It’s a sight unlike any other and draws in thousands of visitors each year. Conversely, visit earlier in the year during the rainy season (May and June), to see the mountainside steps flooded, resembling mirrored steps ascending the cliffs.

Ama Dablam, Nepal
The less-famous sibling to Mount Everest, this Himalayan peak holds its own. The 22,349-foot-tall mountain’s name translates to “mother’s necklace”; its name comes from the extended peaks on each side, which resemble a mother’s open arms, and a hanging glacier on the southwest side, which bears a resemblance to a sacred pendant traditionally worn by Sherpa women. Climbing to the summit is no easy task, but we’re perfectly happy admiring its splendor from the comfort of the ground.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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

 

01.08
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?

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

 

24.07
2018

Dispatching’s Important Role in Directing a Mobile Workforce

Effective communication between remote employees and management remains an essential ingredient to the upkeep of virtually any company’s daily business operations. For organizations with mobile workforces in particular, these connections are even more important. Administrators at corporate headquarters must conduct a symphony of efficiency when it comes to managing their remote employees, and a better way to orchestrate it is with Mobile Dispatching.

This tool allows businesses to send out new directives to remote workers wirelessly, all from the comfort of a centralized location. By tapping into the power of cell phones and other forms of mobile technology, Mobile Dispatching is able to notify employees in the field about new job instructions through web portal integration. At Actsoft, it’s an integral component to our powerful suite of business solutions.

We’ve carefully engineered one of the most effective Mobile Dispatching applications, taking into account both practicality and ease of use within our development process. Actsoft’s Mobile Dispatching system even displays the availabilities of dispersed staff members, giving administrators greater insight into their workforce’s daily activities.

Coordinating resources and employees alike is also easier than ever using our solutions’ Closest To feature. As new work locations are confirmed in the field, you’ll be able to identify the nearest workers to them and route labor based on proximity. With a tandem of Mobile Dispatching and Closest To, increase the efficiency of your business’s responsiveness to new customers, and save money on fuel costs by reducing unnecessary trips.

The advent of mobile workforces has created a need for smarter, simpler business solutions that remove confusion from the task of managing scattered staff. Allow Actsoft to help your business improve its on-the-fly communication through Mobile Dispatching, and eliminate the need for employees to return to your home office any time new instructions are given.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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

 

30.04
2018

Welding: A Trade That’s Becoming More Valuable Than Ever

Welding is a profession that makes everything from wrought-iron fencing to skyscraper infrastructure possible, and in today’s ever-modernizing world, it couldn’t be more important. The process of transforming raw metals into specialized objects is a fascinating one to watch, and with torches often times reaching temperatures in excess of 5,000 degrees when heating up metals, welding requires a unique skillset of close attention to detail and prolonged stamina.

Within the realm of manufacturing, welding as a trade has grown and developed significantly. The scope of sectors that this valuable profession now has a part in is wide-ranging. Construction, modern art, aviation and aerospace technologies are just a few of the industries that rely on skilled welders for different aspects of their respective operations, making it a trade that’s certainly booming in the 21st century.

Machinery’s rise has given further fuel to the trade of metal-working’s explosive growth, and as mechanical power becomes increasingly commonplace, the demand for skilled welders continues to skyrocket. At Actsoft, we understand the importance of manufacturing and welding jobs to the world’s economy of today. As a result, we’ve taken steps to design cutting-edge applications that can assist in facilitating ideal operations for businesses in these spheres.

Welding can be a dangerous job, with torches heating metal to thousands of degrees and showers of scalding hot sparks frequently peppering the work zones of employees. GPS and Asset Tracking alike let companies in this line of work know exactly where their remote employees are in near real-time, leaving no emergency situation to chance. Any expensive or potentially dangerous work equipment belonging to a company is also able to be closely monitored using Asset Tracking and geofencing within our suite of solutions. Trucks that are stocked with valuable equipment can cost tens of thousands of dollars to replace, and if they’re constantly being monitored for unapproved activities, administrative teams in welding and manufacturing can enjoy true peace of mind when it comes to managing the placement of their business assets.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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

 

23.04
2018

Managing the Effects of Severe Weather Using Modern Solutions

In Tampa, Florida, Actsoft’s home city, intense weather can at times be commonplace. During the spring and summertime especially, pulses of violet-colored lightning frequently slice across the waterfront’s horizon, illuminating the bay’s rippling water at the edges of Tampa’s Riverwalk district. The city is commonly referred to as the “lightning capital of the USA” due to its high frequency of thunderstorms, but it’s more of a marketing phrase, as another Floridian city, Fort Myers, currently holds the science-backed title of America’s most lightning-struck city.

Regardless, the Tampa Bay region still receives more than its fair share of inclement weather on a yearly basis. Tampa’s National Hockey League team is even named after the bolts of electricity that accompany the torrential downpours and growling, charcoal-colored thunderclouds that characterize an average Gulf of Mexico–fueled storm.

These run-of-the-mill thunderstorms typically don’t last very long and only have minimal wind gusts accompanying them, which is something that Tampa Bay residents have grown accustomed to dealing with regularly in everyday life. Any widespread devastation that larger, more powerful weather phenomena like hurricanes and tornadoes can cause obviously isn’t typical for these types of routine showers. However, if and when a brutal natural disaster does make landfall on a major metropolis, Actsoft is there to help its businesses restore, repair, and assist those who are in need.

In disaster-stricken areas where maintaining clear communication is a constant challenge, our solutions can especially help companies in utilities, construction, and field service foster strong systems of workforce cohesiveness. With elements such as downed power lines and catastrophic flooding causing glaring safety concerns for both workers and civilians alike, tools within our software such as GPS Tracking allow for the positions of mobile employees to be reported back to a company’s home office in near real-time. This keeps administrators constantly in-the-know about their employees’ whereabouts during working hours, and makes pinpointing their locations easier in the context of emergency situations. A powerful tandem of GPS Tracking and Mobile Dispatching also makes sending out assistance as streamlined and efficient as possible, particularly for businesses that are tasked with cleanup efforts after a catastrophic weather event.

During critical situations where restoring power grids and infrastructure are the highest priority, companies in construction, utilities, and field service can all lean on Actsoft solutions to optimize the productivity and efficiency of their mobile employees. While certain factors such as severe storms will never be completely unpreventable, the developments that we’ve made in management technology can help workforces with mitigating aftermath and restoring cities faster than ever to regular sustainability.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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

 

12.04
2018

Workflow Checks and Construction-Site Safety

Last week in St. Petersburg, a bustling city just south of Actsoft’s home base in Tampa, a giant crane — roughly ten stories tall — tasked with hauling heavy loads of construction material, toppled to the ground. It narrowly missed at least one worker on the ground by just a few feet, while many others scrambled for safety. Thankfully there were no serious injuries reported. The mishap took place at the site of the future St. Petersburg Police Department headquarters and was apparently the result of the crane operator attempting to move too much weight at once.

A different crane crashed to its side earlier this year in Austin, Texas, while attempting to lift a large concrete slab. In this case, one of the chains attached to the wall appeared to snap, setting forth a series of events that left the large piece of equipment laying horizontal on the ground. (Again, there were fortunately no serious injuries.)

Naturally, it’s always in everyone’s best interest to avoid any type of mishap. That goes without saying. But construction sites are prime spots for them to happen. There’s a lot of large equipment, generally many people engaged in a lot of different projects, and plenty of interference from the elements, among other factors. So it’s in everyone’s best interest to not only be prepared to shift gears in the event that something does happen, but to take all the proper precautions ahead of time, and putting procedures into place that can help prevent disasters before they happen.

That’s where Actsoft’s tools can come into play. For example, crews can use Wireless Forms to help guarantee all necessary steps are complete before advancing to the next stage of any project. And with the new Form Workflows feature, a single form can be digitally passed from one worker to the next, just as projects tend to pass through many hands; if a step is inadvertently missed, or something isn’t up to snuff, the form can be bounced back to make sure each action is properly completed.

Take the recent incident in St. Pete. While local news reports cited user error for the crane tipping, what if a daily reminder (via checklist) could have helped prevent too much cargo from being lifted inappropriately? There were no injuries, but there very easily could have been. Plus, think of the time lost, and the expense, that came from what turned out to be an easily avoidable mistake. (Not to mention, the trauma from those involved in the experience itself.)

Proper checks and balances are what keep a business running smoothly. With systems in place to maintain standard operating procedures, things run a lot more efficiently and safely. And because of that, at the end of the day, all parties involved benefit.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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

 

06.04
2018

HBO’s “Westworld” and Behind-the-Scenes Management

In late 2016, HBO fans were introduced to a fantasy world that reinvented the classic western, adding an element of science-fiction to the concept we’re all familiar with. “Westworld,” based on the 1973 film of the same name, is about an expansive, immersive theme park that caters to the elite. Those who are willing (and able) to shell out the hefty price of admission are treated to a cornucopia of possibility, where the only limit is their imagination.

On April 22, fans will once again be whisked away into this western reverie-cum-reality. The theme park, which spreads across enough land to encompass multiple towns, stretches of desert, and shows absolutely no sign of modern civilization, is sought after by people looking to lose themselves in an experience that allows them to leave their lives behind, if only for a little while.

Westworld is populated mostly by highly advanced animatronic “hosts,” who are so incredibly lifelike, it’s virtually impossible to distinguish them from flesh-and-blood human beings. The guests are treated to whatever western-themed outing they are looking for, be it an old-fashioned showdown with a bad guy or an afternoon of companionship at a saloon.

While the guests are allowed to lose themselves in the fantasy that Westworld is, behind the scenes is an entirely different matter. The scientists and technical experts responsible for creating the hosts also came up with a way to keep constant surveillance over the hosts. The puppet masters, so to speak, monitor the park at all times, assuring that robots are functioning properly, to the standard of patrons, and that any abnormalities are able to be addressed expediently and with as little interruption as possible, so as not to break the illusion.

In many ways, this front-end/back-end relationship we see here reflects the experience of using our software in your business’s day-to-day. When you have a staff that largely works in the field — the hosts, so to speak — you need a way to make sure they remain on task, regardless of who is or isn’t there to monitor in person. GPS Tracking gives managers back at the office the inside scoop on where their employees are at any given time. In other words, if they’re supposed to be with a customer at a certain time, you can make sure they’re on track for that appointment and, if there are any delays, customers can be notified.

Knowing where employees are also lets you choose wisely when tasking new job assignments. Reviewing the GPS coordinates, along with the open work orders for the day, managers can easily assign new projects to the person that makes the most sense, in order to maximize efficiency.

And making the switch to wireless forms over the wasteful use of piles of papers isn’t just a great choice for environment-minded folks. The clarity of forms filled out digitally, versus sheets filled out with illegible and/or smudgeable (not to mention, easy to misplace) script, guarantees a smoother processing once submitted to managers; this, in turn, reduces the chances of inputting misinformation on file, therefore minimizing the threat of customer disputes.

Much like in the fantasy world portrayed by “Westworld,” our solutions help to simplify an otherwise complicated undertaking, so the experience you are delivering to your customers runs as smoothly as possible. The processes remain on top of any potential hiccups, and the end result is a satisfied customer that is none the wiser about anything that happened behind the scenes.

Season 2 of Westworld returns April 22, 2018, on HBO.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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

 

02.03
2018

Ancient Greek Artifacts and Construction Delays

For more than a decade, construction crews have tunneled away in Thessaloniki, an ancient Greek city steeped with history. The painstaking project will eventually yield an expanded, modern metro system to whisk residents and tourists alike throughout a series of underground tunnels. But, with the entire city being a veritable excavation site, this project is an exceptionally massive undertaking, with crews having to tread lightly as myriad archaeological discoveries are made along the way.

To date, more than 300,000 artifacts have surfaced during excavations in the city. The latest came this week, as construction crews worked near the Hagia Sophia, an eighth-century church constructed in the likeness of the Istanbul church of the same nameA headless statue of Aphrodite — the Greek goddess of love and beauty — was unearthed, along with a well-preserved fourth-century floor mosaic.

In a destination like Thessaloniki, a region rife with still-undiscovered ancient goodies waiting to be found, regular construction delays were anticipated from the start — particularly in the wake of sister city Athens’ metro installation ahead of the 2004 Summer Olympics. But knowing that there are likely to be delays and then confronting the actual roadblocks as they arise are two entirely different things.

Because of this, construction work in particular requires an incredible amount of foresight and, more importantly, a heavy dose of flexibility. Crews need to be cognizant of the fact that project timetables are, in effect, well-educated guesses and, when the unexpected arises, they need to be ready and willing to make adjustments and keep pressing forward as quickly, efficiently, and safely as possible.

Actsoft’s solutions are ideal for keeping construction projects — unanticipated changes and all — as on track as possible, so you’re better equipped to make that goal and move on to the next assignment on time.

As unforeseen tasks arise, supervisors can use our software to quickly message individuals or entire groups as needed, to stop or detour work. They can then easily dispatch new work orders to appropriate crew members, determining assignments based on actual real-time availability. Plus, with these additional work orders being drafted digitally, there’s no concern about paperwork being lost in the shuffle. Administrators can see where each assignment is at any given time, thanks to near real-time status changes and mobile connectivity to the cloud.

GPS tracking on equipment pinpoints the location of any vital machinery that may need to be commandeered in order to rectify whatever barricade manifests, with alerts set up to assure that these tools stay within a certain, customizable radius (geofence) as needed, and don’t wind up going missing, resulting in further delays. Once the surprise project is complete, those alerts can be removed and the equipment released to the next most-needed area.

And our newest feature, Form Workflows, streamlines the process of completing tasks that need input from multiple staffers, including supervisor approvals of fulfilled assignments. Available to top-tier members, each Forms page can be set up so that they are assigned to one of a predetermined list of users as the project moves ahead. If something is missing or wasn’t done correctly, a user can reject an assignment and kick it back to the previous person to make adjustments.

So as you wend your way along various avenues to maximize your construction company’s course of actions when confronted with a headless Athena, consider the ways Actsoft can best help you reach your final destination with as few bumps as possible.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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