08.04
2020

Weathering the Storm: Transportation Management During the Pandemic

While the current pandemic has created a drop-off in business for many companies, most that are considered ‘essential’ are working in overdrive right now. It’s been said that in many ways, the trucking industry is the backbone of the American economy, and with the goods that so many desperately need in high demand, companies that do commercial transport are working around the clock to keep grocery stores adequately stocked and the public supplied, as we continue to navigate through these unprecedented times together.

To help make things easier for transportation businesses, Actsoft’s all-in-one business solution, Encore, provides essential tools for greater efficiency and productivity. These features help with documentation and data collection in the field, making it simpler than ever to coordinate deliveries, even during a time where resources may be severely strained.

ELD

Our ELD solution is an add-on capability for Encore that’s powered by VisTracks. It helps your transportation business save valuable time by automatically documenting driver logs, as required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In addition to improving time management, ELD on Encore helps reduce accuracy errors when it comes to recordkeeping, reducing your company’s chances to incur expensive regulatory fines.

GPS Tracking

Encore’s multifaceted GPS Tracking feature is different from many other tracking solutions on the market because it’s capable of monitoring handsets, assets, and fleet vehicles. This gives you premier insight daily into the ways your delivery trucks and employees are operating. Plus, use Asset Tracking to keep tabs on cargo containers and better protect the valuable supplies inside them that need to be delivered.

Wireless Forms

Once a delivery has been completed, use Encore’s Wireless Forms feature to efficiently document status updates for management to see. Save on annual paper costs by allowing your transportation company’s administrators (who are back at headquarters) to receive these updates nearly instantly.

Job Dispatching

Make on the fly changes to delivery orders with Encore’s Job Dispatching feature. Any assignment adjustments that are made are automatically sent to drivers’ mobile devices, saving your drivers extra time and enhancing their task efficiency.

These four features of our end-to-end solution can truly improve the ways that your transportation company works. Times are tough, but with the power of Encore, you can save more resources for your team while continuing to powerfully serve those in need.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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19.02
2020

How GPS Solutions Save Gas and Money

Gas prices are out of control and could go higher. So, why wouldn’t you want to save a tank a month, particularly if you have a number of work vehicles constantly on the go? If you have ten trucks on the road and each one costs $80 to fill up, conservatively thinking, you can easily save $800 a week. (My Prius costs $40 to fill right now, so I’m being very kind with this estimate.) That’s $41,600 a year!

How, you ask? A GPS vehicle tracking device can help companies and fleet owners squeeze every drop of value from their liquid gold (aka fuel). A number of fuel-saving measures involve using a vehicle efficiently and wisely. By using a GPS tracking device, companies can ensure and enforce efficient of use with their vehicles.

Here are four ways to reduce fuel consumption:

  1. Drive slower. Studies have shown that fuel economy drops by 17.1 percent as speeds increase from 50 mph to 70 mph. Every 5 mph of additional speed over 60 mph costs drivers an additional 30 cents per gallon in fuel costs.
  2. Idle less. Fifteen minutes of idle time uses half a gallon of gasoline, and even 30 seconds of idle time uses more fuel than turning the engine off and then on again.
  3. Plan Routes. Direct routes that avoid traffic snares help eliminate delays. Being able to easily see which driver is closest to a last-minute requirement is invaluable.
  4. Eliminate side jobs. Think some of your employees might use your vehicles to make a little side cash? It happens, especially when the economy gets tight. Find out exactly where your vehicles travel to make sure they’re never veering off course without a valid reason.

Companies using GPS tracking solutions can tackle every one of these issues. Knowing where vehicles are, when and how fast vehicles are speeding, how long they’re idling, which vehicle was fueled where, and what route they should take to save time and fuel can pay significant dividends and improve bottom lines.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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12.02
2020

Your Vehicles Are Your Image

If you own a business and have a fleet of service vehicles, you know those vehicles are powerful moving advertisements. Once your logo and contact information is showcased, the vehicles are a direct representation of your company, and you as a business owner.

In the past, employers had no choice but to send their employees off each day and assume they would stick to the program. With today’s technology, Global Position Satellite (GPS) based systems can take care of the guesswork.

Ask yourself the following questions:

Are my employees safe drivers? It’s a fact: A monitored driver is a safer driver. Our solutions offer speed alerts which enable employers to keep tabs on driving habits. Alerts can also be set to let you know if your drivers have a habit of hard accelerating or braking, another sign of less-than-safe driving practices.

Are they sticking to the plan or route? Our vehicle-tracking software can help answer that question just by simply plugging one of our devices into a vehicle’s OBDII port (under the steering wheel). You can view a breadcrumb trail of your vehicle’s history, which helps for route optimization, an essential factor in lowering fuel consumption. An optimized route is a cheaper route!

You saw my vehicle where? Indeed, it has happened before. Imagine receiving a message from somebody one afternoon that one of your vehicles was spotted parked out front of a … questionable establishment. That’s not exactly the type of brand recognition you were going for when you plastered your business name and logo on your company’s fleet. This is where vehicle tracking, coupled with geofencing, comes in handy. Think of geofencing as an invisible fence that can protect your vehicles and your good name. If there is a specific zone or area you want your vehicle to stay in or out of, set it up and the software will alert you if those parameters are breached.

Your vehicles can speak volumes about your company; they can have a positive or negative impact, depending on the circumstances surrounding their drivers’ behaviors and locations. Don’t you want to make sure you’re sending the right message?

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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04.02
2020

What Geofences Can Do for a Business’s Security Levels

With employees, vehicles, and assets in the field, running a secure operation away from the office can be difficult for a company to accomplish. However, Encore’s Geofences feature is able to enhance security by bringing extra accountability and transparency to mobile workforce management. Geofences helps safeguard equipment, fleets, and employee safety in three primary ways:

Customizable Boundaries

By making your geofence boundaries highly specific to the job sites your teams are located at, your office administrators can have greater field visibility. Narrowing down certain job locations with accurate perimeters makes pinpointing them on a map easier to do. If an emergency situation occurs, assistance can be more immediately dispatched out to the affected job site, helping to keep employee safety high. For potentially dangerous locations like an active construction site, Geofences in particular can help your team get help faster, whenever it’s needed.

Alerts

Our Alerts feature works in tandem with Geofences to provide you with everything you need to know about your mobile workforce. Whenever a company-owned fleet vehicle or asset enters or exits a geofence perimeter, you’ll receive an email notifying you of the occurrence, keeping you truly in the know about equipment statuses. The value of your fleet vehicles and assets can’t be understated; use Geofences to keep comprehensive records of each’s whereabouts.

24/7 Job Site Monitoring

Geofence boundaries remain constantly active, enabling your team to leave vehicles and assets in the field overnight, free of security worries. If a tracked piece of equipment or a vehicle is moved after work hours, you’ll still receive nearly instant notification of it. Eliminate unnecessary and costly back-and-forth travel from the warehouse or office to a remote job site by allowing your workforce to leave its tools around the clock at a frequented job location, with Geofences helping to keep them safeguarded. In doing so, you’ll improve your business’s versatility, security, and savings.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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24.01
2020

Recap: Actsoft at Geotab Connect 2020

As you may know, last week we had the opportunity to be a part of this year’s Geotab Connect event. Hosted in San Diego, the event brought together fleet industry experts and leaders to share their knowledge, demonstrate their services, and give insight into the future of fleet. For us at Actsoft, in addition to being a major platform to showcase our solution, it also gave us myriad opportunities to learn even more about, and connect with, our newest partner, Geotab. I took some time to sit down with some members of the team that attended the event to learn more about their takeaway.

The event, which kicked off last Tuesday, included a three-person fireside chat. One of the panelists was our very own CEO, Tom Mitchell. During the discussion, Mitchell, along with Geotab’s Neil Cawse and Lytx’s Brandon Nixon, discussed a variety of topics, including the future of AI in fleet telematics, integration between multiple telematics solutions, the yet-to-be-seen impact of 5G, and electric vehicles’ role in the future of fleet.

The most exciting avenue for Mitchell, however, was one that explored further potential mutual benefits between Geotab and Actsoft’s partnership, especially in light of some news that Geotab revealed during the conference. “Geotab is monstrous,” Mitchell said. “They just surpassed two million subscribers. They have their hands in a ton of different things.”

Geotab already dominates the fleet-tracking space. With their massive customer base and the technology packed into their GO devices, they’re able to deliver all the information fleet operators need to know about how their vehicles are functioning and how they’re being treated. But as Mitchell pointed out, when companies that excel in their individual fields join forces, it results in a better, all-encompassing package. “You can’t go out there and find a single-source solution.”

Andrew Velker, Executive Vice President of Sales at Actsoft, seconded this notion. “There are very few companies that tell the full story like Geotab,” he told me. “We take it outside the vehicle.” This further demonstrates the importance of combining efforts. Rather than one company attempting to do everything, multiple can work together and excel in their areas of expertise, offering customers a much more robust solutions package.

And if the crowds at our booth were any indication, fleet operators agree. “I couldn’t believe the number of people swarming at our booth,” Mitchell said.

Connect 2020 not only gave us an opportunity to further strengthen our partnership with Geotab, but also to begin a dialogue with other companies we might work with. “[The event] was about strengthening our relationship with Geotab and creating different partnerships, all centered around Geotab,” said Kevin Thigpen, Chief Operating Officer at Actsoft. “It was focused on domestic and international partnership potential. I met a lot of different groups at one event, making it a cost-effective and efficient solution.”

Getting so much face time with various representatives from Geotab — there were at least 300 employees in attendance — was another huge win, in particular for Trent Cherin, Vice President of Global Strategic Alliances at Actsoft. Having that in-person interaction was a great opportunity to discuss the future of Actsoft and Geotab’s partnership, such as the integration of the platforms. “We want to provide different functionality from within the Geotab platform,” Cherin explained, “to give existing Geotab customers the same look and feel they’re used to, but with new information.”

The event also gave us the opportunity to seek out new potential resellers for our Encore solution. Rod Shaddeau, Actsoft’s Indirect Reseller Channel Manager, said of the event: “We met with more than 20 Geotab resellers. I have a ton of follow-up with these 20-plus [individuals].” (Note: Visit our Resellers page if you’d like more information on how you can become an Encore reseller.)

One common takeaway that everyone in attendance was in agreement about was: Big data is the next big thing. “Geotab is huge into big data and AI,” Mitchell said. “I see us doing more with the data we are collecting.”

Thigpen agreed, saying, “I see us further integrating our platform and data with Geotab and leveraging new APIs to integrate with big data. We’ll change the conversation we have with our customers. We’ll be able to pull data from multiple sources to help customers better understand their businesses through trends and predictive analysis. [Through this,] you change the paradigm of your relationship.”

“How does a company differentiate itself?” Velker posed. “More data and better technology. They’ll rise above other companies not doing that because they’re stuck in the past.” He echoed Thigpen’s sentiments, saying we’ll be able to use all of this data to help make companies smarter and paint a clearer picture so they’re better equipped to make decisions on the fly.

Suffice it to say, Geotab Connect 2020 was an exciting event for us, one rife with ample opportunities to grow and collaborate with Geotab and its ever-growing family of resellers and customers. We’re excited about what the future holds and how this partnership will continue to flourish and help us provide our own customers with even more enhanced solutions.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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17.01
2020

How to Establish a Team of Safe Fleet Drivers

We’ve talked about ways to help keep your drivers safe on the road when perilous winter conditions introduce hazardous obstacles. But what measures can you take to make sure your drivers know how to stay safe in general? After all, these are people you’re entrusting with your costly vehicles, and who are ostensibly serving as representatives of your company to anyone they drive past. Not to mention, there are lives at stake whenever they’re behind the wheel. There are a few steps you can take, before ever handing the keys of your vehicles over, to help make sure your drivers know what they’re doing.

Run a background check.
It goes without saying that you should always check to make sure a new driver has a valid license. But have you also looked into their past? Running a driving history check can give you further insight into their abilities. If a candidate’s past is checkered with a series of violations, it’s probably a good idea to reconsider bringing them on board.

Test them.
When considering onboarding a new driver, do you simply trust them based on their resumes? While a storied history in the trucking industry is a good indicator that they have the chops to drive for your company, it never hurts to present them with a written test to measure their actual knowledge of the rules of the road.

Buddy up!
Once you’ve decided to bring someone onto the team, consider pairing them with one of your more seasoned drivers, at least during a probationary period. This person will be able to help the newbie acclimate to a new vehicle, give them tips based on experience, and assure that they’re following best practices that both keep everyone safe and represent your company properly.

Create a driver safety policy.
Most businesses have some sort of employee handbook that lays out the rules of the workplace. In running a fleet-based operation, this handbook should include a driver safety policy. Present stipulations that reinforce the idea that all employees must adhere to the parameters of the law as a condition of employment, with no exceptions. Highlight the dangers of distracted driving, to include cell phone use, driving while fatigued, and even eating while on the move. Be sure to regularly revisit the policy, as incidents that arise over time may give you reasons to modify it.

Invest in GPS monitoring.
With Encore, our flagship mobile workforce managing software, administrators have the ability to monitor their employees from anywhere. You can receive alerts that give you insight into drivers’ safety practices, including speeding and hard accelerating/braking, actions that indicate unsafe practices are taking place. With these notifications, you’re able to make more informed decisions about your drivers, giving you the option to address situations before they get out of hand and someone is hurt.

Safe driving is one of the most important facets of any fleet. Without it, your reputation, your vehicles, and people’s lives are at risk. It’s your job to do everything you can to recruit the best drivers available. It’s ours to help make sure they continue to follow the rules.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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03.01
2020

California Proposes Electric Fleet Mandate

It’s no secret that the hype around electric vehicles has steadily proliferated in recent years. But this is mostly limited to personal vehicles. It still has largely bypassed the fleet industry. There are a number of reasons for this, but mostly it involves the cost to replace an entire fleet of vehicles. Whether you’re a smaller business with limited resources, or in charge of a giant fleet and aren’t ready to take that plunge, some changes on the horizon may change your perspective.

Last month, California — which is single-handedly the world’s fifth-largest economy —  environmental representatives congregated in Sacramento to speak at the Advanced Clean Truck (ACT) hearing. During this meeting, they discussed implementation of the toughest emissions standards for the trucking industry. And the proposal has gained huge support from state residents. They gathered more than 19,000 public comments before the meeting even began and around 100 pro-electric truck advocates showed up to speak at the hearing.

The measure would call for modified emissions standards by giving additional support to OEMs and providing incentives for fleet operators to make the switch to electric. As it stands, the rule would require four percent of fleet trucks on the roads to be electric by 2030. That may not seem like much, but in a state the size of California, that equates to the addition of 84,000 electronic trucks. (Some activists, however, are pushing for that number to be increased to 15 percent, though it remains to be determined if that would be a realistic goal.)

If the state moves forward with the mandate, the impact on the electric truck industry would be major, and there would likely be a trickle-down effect, so we would start to see other states across the country adopting similar standards. It would also very likely become more realistic for fleet operators to follow suit, as the increased demands in production would also help to reduce costs.

What do you think about the proposed mandate? Are you ready to make the leap from a diesel fleet to electric?

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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20.11
2019

GPS Fleet Tracking for the EMS Industry

Arriving at the scene of an emergency or tending to a critical patient in a timely manner is important to the success of your business. Unlike other service industries, the level of service can literally mean the difference between life and death. Arriving as a first responder or taking the time to tend to an elderly patient isn’t always as easy as turning on a siren.

If your emergency crew is scattered across a large footprint, it can be difficult to send the closest vehicle to the scene of an urgent accident. Add to that the hassle of finding the quickest route to a location if there are delays, traffic, and construction.

Your dispatcher is responsible for providing the best current information, but what if their information is outdated? Lag time of even 90 seconds can be an eternity in any medical crisis or situation, and could also mean the difference between life and death.

Like any business, providing proper patient care is crucial to providing the best possible service to retain and win new business and contracts. The costly overhead expenses of supplying each of your emergency vehicles with the necessary supplies and employing experienced and trained EMS professionals can add enormous expenses to any EMS business.

Fleet tracking technology can help provide the best patient care possible while helping to reduce fuel, maintenance, and insurance costs. More importantly, it can help you dispatch the closest vehicle to an emergency situation, saving valuable time.

Increase Productivity, Efficiency, and Accountability

The solutions provided in our Encore suite of tools can help improve the efficiencies of any fleet operation. Our high-performance GPS tracking devices, combined with Wireless Forms, can increase visibility and productivity in the daily activities of fleet vehicles. They can allow you to:

  • Identify locations of fleet vehicles or cargo
  • Review idle and stop times
  • Expedite dispatching
  • Improve fleet routing efficiency
  • Reduce theft of high-value assets
  • Ensure equipment is located at the job site
  • Send paperless forms from the field to the office
  • Track trends to make better future business decisions

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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12.11
2019

Shipping During the Holiday Season and Actsoft Solutions

In 2017, UPS estimated that they’d be shipping nearly 750 million packages during the course of the entire holiday season. This year, that number isn’t likely to drop. With a steadily increasing number of gifts being given around Christmastime, companies that are in charge of package transportation must use technology and precision to ensure that there are as few delivery hiccups as possible.

At Actsoft, we engineer digital solutions that help streamline operations for companies in industries like transportation for both the driver and the administrator. By making things easier for all employees involved in the shipping process, our solutions help delivery businesses maintain efficiency, even during their busiest quarters of the year. Two applications in particular that we offer are essential for transportation companies: ELD and GPS Tracking.

Powered by VisTracks, our Electronic Logging Device (ELD) solution enables delivery drivers to focus strictly on safe and efficient driving by automatically logging their active time behind the wheel. Rather than having to manually fill out nationally mandated forms for Hours of Service (HOS), semi-truck operators can reach their destinations as quickly and safely as possible with instant documentation preventing their attention from being diverted toward cumbersome paperwork tasks. Information about rest compliance that’s automatically logged on a driver-by-driver basis is readily available to administrators and can help reduce their business’s potential to incur regulatory fines.

On the administrative side, our solutions’ GPS Tracking feature enables location positioning to help keep cargo and trucks safe, even if they become separated from one another. Track semi-truck trailers, the vehicles themselves, and even employees during working hours with accuracy from our software’s live view map. Monitoring all mobile operations via GPS technology helps keep fuel usage optimized, package containers secure, and drivers accountable.

With the power of Actsoft solutions, transportation businesses can maintain ultimate control on their operations. Cut costs for your delivery company and keep efficiency high throughout the frenzied pace of the holiday season using our mobile management software.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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06.11
2019

Truck Safety: Tips and Tools to Promote Good Driving Habits

As the amount of freight transportation activity increases, so do the chances of traffic accidents. Today, trucks carry the majority of freight, about 65 percent, from the United States into Canada and Mexico. With all this movement, there are bound to be accidents. But how many are preventable? What, if anything, can companies do to curb bad driving habits? Experts agree that implementing a proactive program in the workplace is a crucial factor in mitigating traffic incidents. Before we explore possible incentives employers can provide to promote safe driving, let’s look at what commercial truck drivers can do when they get behind the wheel.

  • Get plenty of rest before driving.
    Eat well and stay fit. Driver fatigue and lack of attention can significantly increase your risk of a crash.
  • Slow down in work zones.
    Stay alert. Almost one-third of work zone fatal crashes involve large trucks. Most of these crashes occur during the day. Take your time going through work zones, give yourself plenty of room, and expect the unexpected.
  •  Be aware of your “No Zone.”
    Other drivers may not be aware of the size of your blind spots. One-third of all crashes between large trucks and cars take place in the No-Zone areas around a truck. Adjust your mirrors and be vigilant in watching out for vehicles.
  • Always keep your distance.
    Leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you. In rear-end collisions, regardless of the situation, if you hit someone from behind, you are considered at fault. Large trucks, given their mass, have much greater stopping distances than 4-wheelers. Take advantage of your driving height and anticipate hard braking situations.
  • Always maintain your vehicle.
    It can save your life. Inspect your vehicle before each trip and check your brakes regularly. Brake defects are the most frequently cited out-of-service inspection violation. Learn how to inspect your brakes, identify safety defects, and get them repaired before risking your life and the lives of others.
  • Drive defensively.
    Avoid aggressive drivers and maintain a safe speed. Two-thirds of all traffic fatalities may be caused by aggressive driving behaviors. The only thing excessive speed increases is your chance for a crash.
  • Always fasten your seatbelt.
    Buckle up for safety and vehicle control. If you are in a crash, a seat belt will save your life. It will keep you in your seat and allow for you to maintain control of your truck. Increasing seat belt use is still the single most effective thing we can do to save lives and reduce injuries on our roadways.

Keeping Track of Your Drivers: How You Can Help?
Now that you know what your drivers should do, how do you know that they’re practicing good driver behavior throughout their shifts? From minor collisions to major accidents, your business depends on safe, conscientious drivers who will mitigate risk and represent your business with integrity. Actsoft offers incredible, affordable, and reliable software solutions for tracking and monitoring driver behavior. Through detailed reports (which you control the frequency of, from daily to monthly to ad hoc and more), you’ll get a full picture of your drivers. Some of the things you can monitor are:

  • Speed
  • Rapid acceleration and deceleration
  • Arrival and departure times

You may also receive vehicle maintenance reminders and alerts informing you when drivers are in restricted or unauthorized areas. This is especially useful when the law prohibits certain freight from entering certain areas, such as neighborhoods and school zones.

If you’re ready to take a step toward a safe, low-risk approach to vehicle management, then give us a call! We can help you choose solutions right for your needs and budget.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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