16.04
2018

Actsoft in the Healthcare Industry

New technology is continually transforming the ways in which companies are conducting daily operations in the healthcare industry. Emergency situations are becoming much more manageable due to breakthroughs in mobile resource management (MRM) software, and Actsoft stands as a leader in pioneering some of these practical innovations for companies to use.

Our solutions allow businesses in patient transport, pharmacy, and hospice care know where their employees and assets are in near real-time by equipping them with tools that let them receive data back from the field nearly instantly. Gaining vision on field operations allows administrators to have an extra measure of insight into their mobile workforces, and helps them ensure that employees are getting to job sites on time and in the most efficient ways possible.

Multiple companies in healthcare already benefit on a daily basis from using Actsoft to streamline their information flows and enhance the productivity of their workforces. Two primary features of our solutions that these businesses rely on daily to provide quality care are Wireless Forms and GPS Tracking.

With Wireless Forms, companies can eliminate their organization’s use of paper documents altogether. Using this feature, a healthcare business’s mobile workers can fill out and pass off digital forms from mobile devices while they’re at remote locations. Lessening data errors, clearing illegible handwriting, and reducing high annual paper costs are all easily possible with a fluid system of digital documentation in place.

GPS Tracking is another powerful tool from Actsoft that businesses can use in everyday operations. In healthcare, safety is paramount, and by allowing management teams to see the near real-time locations of ambulance drivers, GPS Tracking helps them ensure that patients, EMTs, and drivers are all secure during critical situations. Further benefits of better routing and increased fuel efficiency are also available with the help of this feature, and any potential for vehicle theft can be mitigated if the locations of valuable assets are being constantly monitored.

Managing crises using 21st century tools is something that many of today’s healthcare companies strive to do, as they seek out more efficient ways to provide excellent care to their patients and clients. Actsoft takes pride in being able to help businesses in the healthcare vertical and many other industries take their daily operations to a next-level gear of efficiency.

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27.03
2018

Efficient Ways for Your Company to Go Green and Save Money

Helping to conserve the environment and also saving your company money don’t have to be two mutually exclusive things. While both of these separate ideas can seem unrelated at face value, there are many different practices that your business can do to become a green, environmentally-conscious company that witnesses saved funds as a direct result. Unnecessary energy expenditure is often times the common denominator in wasted money for many companies, and this can also pollute the environment over time. Here are three ways to reduce instances of waste from occurring, and in turn make your business a greener, more efficient industry presence.

Optimize company vehicle routes

There’s a fine line between what the quickest route to a destination is, and what the most fuel-efficient route to a destination is. Factors such as speed limits, inclines, and traffic light amounts can all play huge roles in differentiating these two from one another. If your company vehicles are driven to common job sites frequently, acquiring a solution that can help them routinely use as little fuel as possible can help save money and cause your fleet to emit fewer carbon monoxide molecules into the atmosphere over time.

Eliminate paper

Paper is regularly one of a company’s biggest budgeted expenses on an annual basis. Each year, businesses spend thousands of dollars on reams of paper for work orders, expense forms, and other types of documents. When a corporation decides to make all of its forms and documents digital, money that would’ve previously been spent on paper is saved, waste is reduced, and less natural resources are used. The future of business is trending heavily toward the automation of certain processes like form filling, and the benefits of doing this can actually extend even farther beyond just saved money and environment conservation. Wireless forms are also typically able to be processed and sent to a company’s home base quicker than paper forms, adding saved time into the mix of positives from trimming down paper usage.

Use mobile time punches for your employees in the field

Does your business have mobile employees that regularly use company vehicles to come to the office and clock in before starting their work days? If so, you could be missing out on an opportunity to save even more revenue, while also having your vehicles create less fuel emissions over time. If your employees were equipped with a way to punch in remotely and immediately begin traveling to job sites, your business potentially could complete more jobs per day, reduce fuel consumption, and become a greener company all at once.

Actsoft’s digital solutions are designed to pave the way into a greener, more efficient future for businesses of many different sizes and specializations. Wireless Forms, GPS Tracking, and Mobile Timekeeping are just a few features that can enable your company to see improvements in resource management and stand as a leader in keeping our planet clean.

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19.03
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.

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08.03
2018

How Can I Prevent Expensive Repairs to My Car?

Routine car maintenance is an important thing that a lot of people tend to neglect or forget about altogether. An illumination of the dreaded “Check Engine” light is often times a scary thing for a car owner to see, and they may put off necessary vehicle checkups related to this occurrence out of fear of a potentially large repair bill. What isn’t often realized, however, is that failing to take reparative action in a timely manner could exacerbate the problems, calling for even more expensive repairs later on down the road. To prevent expensive and inconvenient transportation issues like this from happening to you, it’s best to always pay close attention to what messages your car is sending, and in turn give it plenty of preventative maintenance.

How Can I Take Care of My Car?

The importance of routine oil changes for your vehicle cannot be stated enough. According to Firestone Complete Auto Care, a good guideline of how often your oil should be replaced is either about once every three months or once every 3,000 miles driven. By doing this on a regular basis, you can ensure that only clean, proper levels of oil are helping your engine operate, and that as little wear-and-tear as possible is being put on the pistons inside it. Engine repairs are easily able to fetch thousands of dollars in price, so making sure that your motor remains healthy by routinely changing your oil should always be a priority.

Idling is another common practice of many drivers that can wear vehicles down over time. When a car is turned on and subjected to a lengthy standstill, the engine continues to run, burning fuel, expelling carbon monoxide, and in effect having its total lifespan chipped away at. To reduce instances of idling, something as simple as turning your car off every time you’re stuck waiting for a train to pass at a railroad crossing can positively add up over multiple years. While it’s impossible to completely eliminate all instances of idling, maintaining a conscious effort to reduce this practice as much as possible could end up paying off huge in the long run when it comes to the longevity of your car’s lifespan.

In addition to reducing idle times, getting your brakes checked regularly is another way to prevent expensive repairs later on and maintain a vehicle that is safe to drive. Grinding or squealing sounds when slowing your car down should be an immediate sign that there is an issue with your brakes, and that they should be examined at a repair center as quickly as possible. As delaying brake repairs could result in putting both yourself and other drivers on the road in danger, never take your car’s warning signs of a problem lightly.

If you’re in charge of multiple cars, finding a method of managing the maintenance needs of each individual vehicle can pose quite a challenge. Thankfully, Actsoft’s fleet management solutions can provide a way for you to receive instant alerts about when your vehicles are due for an oil change, when a “Check Engine” light in one of your vehicles activates, or when a driver is idling for too long. With our simple but powerful solutions, never feel uncertainty about your fleet’s maintenance schedules ever again.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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13.02
2018

Freight and Farming: Two Essential Roles in the Food Industry

The next time you take a bite out of a slice of pizza from your favorite local eatery, you might consider taking a step back and pondering the sheer logistics that had to take place in order to allow it to be sitting in front of you. Long before the food was even first placed into an oven, industries such as trucking and farming were working seamlessly together to harvest and transport its ingredients efficiently.

It’s no secret that transportation and farming are two of the strongest vertebrae in the backbone of the United States’ food supply operation. With the tiniest mistake easily able to derail business for multiple delivery-dependent restaurants and supermarkets across the nation, the pair’s impact on America’s economy at large is huge. Due to this, high expectations of the farming and transportation industries are always prevalent, and workers from both verticals know how important it is to provide customers with fresh goods in a timely manner. As being stocked with adequate supplies is one of a food vendor’s biggest priorities when it comes to managing business, the tandem of farming and freight is often times left with very little margin for error.

At Actsoft, we take pride in being able to alleviate some of the difficulties that companies in these industries can face on a daily basis. For many farmers, their harvesting machinery is a crucial part of their livelihood, and these tools often times aren’t cheap. For example, a John Deere combine harvester, a common machine for harvesting grain can end up costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase brand new. However, using our wireless solutions, lucrative machinery like this can be monitored and tracked via GPS and geofence setting, serving as a digital security blanket that actively protects against misuse and theft.

Furthermore, Actsoft’s solutions are able to help ensure that climate-sensitive goods are monitored carefully while being transported in trucks with refrigerated trailers. If a cooling unit deviates from a set temperature threshold while storing and transporting foodstuffs, alerts detailing the changes in climate will automatically be sent to company staff. As perished items can’t be used or served to customers, these cargo alerts from Actsoft remain an incredibly powerful tool for food transportation companies to take advantage of.

Moving and supplying millions of tons of food on an annual basis is no easy feat. However, to help companies in both farming and trucking achieve increased efficiency and saved revenue, Actsoft’s solutions are readily available to make these productivity goals a reality.

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30.01
2018

Tampa Hosts NHL’s 2018 All-Star Weekend

The National Hockey League’s All-Star Weekend was held in Tampa, Florida this past weekend, allowing some of the league’s brightest stars to display their skills on a global showcase. The itinerary of the much-anticipated weekend included fan events outside the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Amalie Arena on Friday night, a skills competition that individual players participated in on Saturday, and a tournament-style set of three games between each division’s All-Star athletes on Sunday.

At Saturday’s 2018 GEICO NHL All-Star Skills Competition, six different showcases were featured this year, according to NHL.com. Some of these included a fastest skater competition, a passing challenge, a save contest between goalies, and a variety of shooting exercises for players to compete in that measured everything from precision to sheer slap-shot power. Among some of the standouts in the shooting competitions were the Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin, who had a slap-shot that came in at a blistering 101.3 miles per hour, and the Vancouver Canucks’ Brock Boeser, who hit all five of his accuracy targets with wrist shots in just 11.136 seconds.

Logging the speeds of All-Star-caliber skills like Ovechkin’s and Boeser’s requires some of the most precise tracking technology available, as the deltas in prowess between hockey’s best players are often times in mere decimal points. However, just like in these competitions, a mandate of precision can be instrumental in the business world. Companies with mobile assets can miss out on optimizing productivity and increasing their overall efficiency if the right tools aren’t being accessed.

At Actsoft, we take pride in engineering accurate technology that businesses can use to reap huge savings of both time and money. Using our GPS Tracking solutions, companies with vehicle fleets or workers in the field can become empowered with better understandings of what work statuses are, how corporate vehicles are being used, and exactly where employees are at any given time.

Geo-fencing is one of our solutions’ flagship features that showcases our affinity for precision. Using this unique tool, customized shapes can be drawn on a live view map in order to designate specific work zones. After creating the boundaries for a job site, the system can then easily be set up to instantly notify supervisors back in a business’ home office of any activities regarding entrances and exits by company assets.

Precise tracking technology is what makes the fun of NHL’s All-Star challenges possible year in and year out, due to its ability to designate winners by fractions of a second. Similarly, companies with mobile assets can always rely on Actsoft’s tracking solutions for unparalleled accuracy, better efficiency, and MVP-worthy savings.

 

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05.06
2017

Wisconsin Mill Explosion – Actsoft in Emergencies

An explosion tore through a corn and ethanol mill in Cambria, Wisconsin late on Wednesday, June 1 2017. The subsequent fire claimed the lives of three employees within the plant and wounded over a dozen more.  The cause of the explosion remains unknown, but medical helicopters and several fire departments quickly responded to the blaze.

While the cause of the explosion is still a mystery, its effects are severe and long lasting. As with any emergency, the aftermath always begs one question from those involved: How can we do better next time?

While an ideal world would see no emergencies, we must realistically assume they will happen and prepare ourselves accordingly. In an environment like the corn mill, an efficiently coordinated response in the face of an emergency is the difference between a successful evacuation and a tragedy. While every organization has established plans “in case of emergency,” it is commonly believed that most plans go out the window in the face of a crisis. In order to combat the inevitable confusion that follows the collapse of a plan, transparency is key in the event of an emergency.

Actsoft facilitates transparency between workers and managers in a factory environment with its mobile device solutions. From a web portal, managers can relay messages across their workforce in order to coordinate their movements during an emergency. Furthermore, managers can establish groups of workers in order to deliver instructions that are more specific to intended groups of workers.

The tracking capabilities of Actsoft’s solutions enable constant visibility of employees in near real-time. During an emergency where workers are unaccounted for and/or trapped, the speed at which rescue teams can find them becomes imperative to their survival. As long as their mobile devices maintain their transmission and remain on their person, the tracking features will help ensure that any lost employees are found.

Emergencies are both unfortunate and unavoidable. We can plan a reaction to them, but plans are rarely adhered to when tensions are through the roof. The next best thing to do is to plan for the confusion following a crisis and figure out ways to reduce it, while realigning everyone involved with the initial plan. Actsoft provides the software to create a safety net underneath a plan that has fallen through.

 

For greater insight into what Actsoft can do to help manage your company’s risk feel free to explore more of www.actsoft.com or click below to speak to us directly.

 

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22.05
2017

Busting Burglars: Home Appliances & Tracking

Imagine having just slated a recently constructed home for closing. There could be anywhere from a few days to a week before the closing actually occurs. During this window, appliances are installed within the home. This is also when thieves tend to target these homes to steal those appliances.

Charlotte, North Carolina experienced a string of burglaries last year that targeted the appliances within homes slated for closing. The perpetrators, in each instance, made off with thousands of dollars’ worth of appliances. Each appliance stolen is a loss incurred that has little-to-no chance of being resolved even if the perpetrators are captured.  Unfortunately, when items are stolen, the costs fall on the owners. It’s a reoccurring theme nationwide.

Elsewhere, over $30,000 worth of appliances were taken with neither the contractors nor the homeowners aware of their whereabouts. With the authorities stretched too thin to monitor every home slated for closing, and burglars not fading out of style anytime soon, what can you do to protect your assets?

Tracking.

In order to defend against thieves, tracking your assets is one of the primary choices to make. Utilizing GPS to remain aware of your assets’ locations and its impact were outlined in Workforce Management & The Return on Investment: Vehicles, Part I. While that piece focuses on maintaining awareness of large pieces of equipment, the concept of monitoring unattended equipment can be applied to household appliances.

Actsoft has the CalAmp TTU 620, a battery-powered device that can be attached to appliances once the homes are slated for closing. Once attached, the devices send a signal relaying its whereabouts as long as its batteries retain power, which can last up to an entire year depending on use. Its relatively small size makes the CalAmp TTU 620 the perfect companion for unattended appliances due to being unobtrusive and of low energy cost.

 

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12.05
2017

Trucking, Tracking, and Safety

A lone truck driver was traveling along a cliff-side roadway, midway through completing a long haul. While navigating one of the roadway’s curves, the brakes fail. The truck, its cargo, and driver all go over the edge, with no witnesses to the incident…

Elsewhere, winter snows assault another driver as he travels into the northern reaches of the country. With temperatures well below freezing, the driver’s rig suddenly comes to a stop. Despite his efforts to start it, his truck remains dead in the snow. The drop in temperature has caused his gasoline to gel. Now, he must radio for assistance, but the zero visibility caused by the snowfall will make finding his location incredibly difficult…

Both of the above instances capture hazards long haul truck drivers face while completing deliveries. With drivers spending weeks on the road at a time, they expose themselves to risks that jeopardize their rig, their cargo, and their own person. The elements of nature and mechanical failure present a significant threat to truck drivers that their employers should take into consideration. A fully loaded rig legally carries 80,000lbs or 40tons as its cargo. The trucks and trailer carry price tags in excess of $260,000. Combined with the incalculable cost of human life, a driver and semi-truck incapacitated and exposed to the elements result in a pressing issue for their employers.

How do you find a semi-truck when communication with the driver is impossible and weather conditions limit visibility?

The answer is “GPS Tracking.”

Actsoft provides employers with the technology to track their employees and assets in near real-time. While the driver in the first example is traveling, our tracking feature will relay his position back to the company’s office at regular intervals. The web-based portal allows the driver’s location history to be viewed; when things go wrong and he stops transmitting via the radio, a “breadcrumb trail” of his positions as captured by the tracking software can be pulled up. Even after he goes over the cliff, the tracking technology will still send his location while the vehicle is unmoving. It will even “ping” at a slower interval in order to conserve energy. The driver in the second case has the benefit of still being able to communicate actively with his rescuers, but the blinding snow combined with the dropping temperature makes his situation almost as dangerous. With Actsoft software continuing to relay his position to his employers, rescuers can pinpoint the driver’s location and save him and his rig.

Truckers hauling cargo across the country face various challenges; weeks on the road being grueling enough on their own. With changes in terrain and weather presenting themselves as hazards for these drivers, it is worth employers considering installing a means for tracking their position. The ability to track these rigs would mitigate the loss of vehicles, their cargo, and their drivers.

 

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05.05
2017

Distracted Driving & The Workforce

This story is a familiar one: A lone person is driving along an often-traveled route, confident in their ability to navigate without giving the road their full attention. Their phone, sitting in a cup-holder to their right, vibrates with a notification. The driver picks up the phone. It is a simple text: “what do you want for dinner?” They smile, deciding to look back up before responding. “Why is there a pole in the middle of the road?” they ask themselves before colliding with the light pole…

Distracted driving is the cause behind a multitude of traffic accidents within the United States. 2.5 million People are involved in road accidents annually. With what amounts to over 37,000 deaths a year, it is clear that the roads of America are not as safe as we would like them to be. Of these people involved in yearly accidents, 1.6 million of them are the result of cell phone involvement.

The presence of cell phones within vehicles creates increased opportunities for drivers to be distracted from focusing on the road. As stated in our previous blog post, the optimum speed for drivers to maintain in order to avoid inefficient fuel consumption is 55mph. According to Luke Ameen’s “The 25 Scariest Texting and Driving Accident Statistics,” it takes an average of five seconds to read a text message on your mobile phone. In those five seconds, a driver traveling at 55mph would have traveled the entire length of a football field. That distance, combined with that length of distraction, sets the stage for an accident to occur within a moment’s notice.

While cell phone usage is only one of many distractions drivers face while operating their vehicles, business owners must consider it the primary distraction in today’s age. More businesses are distributing company-issued smartphones in order to strengthen the connection to their remote employees and manage their workforce more efficiently. These same businesses are inadvertently increasing their employees’ likelihood of getting into an accident while operating a company vehicle. This circumstance complicates the matter further in a couple of ways:

  • An employee causing an accident opens the door for you and your business to be held accountable. Should the accident result in any loss of life, the fallout would result in more than just increased insurance premiums for your business.
  • In the event no one is harmed during the incident, the loss of a functioning vehicle is a blow to your workforce. The inability to utilize your resource hinders your efficiency, while the driver more than likely continues to text-and-drive.

Since handheld devices can be distracting while completing work related tasks, Actsoft provides a solution through the CalAMP LMU-3000, which is compatible with any vehicle that has an OBDII port. An easy and reliable “plug-and-play” option that captures the location, acceleration, and driver data you desire while taking the possible distraction out of the hands of a driver. The CalAmp LMU-2620/2610 is a hard-mounted or “permanently installed” option that constantly monitors vehicle activity and immediately responds to pre-defined threshold conditions. Both are welcomed alternatives to companies who are looking for tracking functionality while keeping drivers eyes on the road.The GPS Lockbox PTT Driving Kit enables drivers to holster, charge, and utilize their mobile devices for push-to-talk communications without keeping them in their hands. When married with the software, it creates a complete system for communication and for hours-of-service compliance.

The National Safety Council has designated April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the organization implores all employers to have a cell phone ban for all drivers. With 64% of the total number of traffic accidents caused by drivers distracted by cell phones, it is in the best interest of employers to discourage the use of cell phones while driving year-round. Curbing the use of cell phones while behind the wheel will not only benefit your workforce and its productivity but also benefit society.

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