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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09.02
2018

Tracking a Lost Car in New York City

“Dude … where’s my car?”

I remember muttering those words — and no, I wasn’t referencing the movie, nor was I talking to anyone in particular — the instant I approached the place I was sure I parked my car the day prior, only to be presented with a vehicle that was decidedly not mine.

I was living in Manhattan just after graduating college. The Upper West Side is littered with ample, meter-less parking on the street, but the caveat is you need to constantly move every day or two to accommodate street sweeping, garbage pickup, and the likes. It’s kind of a pain, but hey: free parking.

Anyway, I digress.

The point is: My car was nowhere to be found. I was in a bit of a panic, to say the least. Was it stolen? Had it been towed? The city is chock-full of seemingly contradictory parking signs, so either was a viable option. All I knew for sure was that it was not in the space where I definitely left it. I didn’t know what to do or who to call — Smartphones had yet to make their debut to the world — so I quickly walked back to the apartment I was staying at to figure out my next steps.

Over the course of the next 48 hours, I repeatedly searched databases for towing records and made multiple calls — including to my uncle who was a cop in New Hampshire, where my car was still registered, because clearly he must have had access to some kind of secret car-finding database, right? — but to no avail.

Feeling hopeless, I finally resigned myself to defeat. My car was gone. Barely a month in the city and I was already a victim. So I grabbed my things and started to slowly make my way toward the nearest police department to file a stolen vehicle report. But as I walked, an idea popped into my head; I changed directions, walked another block, and turned the corner. And there it was: my “lost” car. Safely parked in the actual spot I left it a few days prior. Except now its windshield was adorned with several costly parking tickets.

But hey, at least it wasn’t stolen? That counts for something, right?

I know it seems like some big, random tangent, me just prattling on about some gaffe I made more than a decade ago. Truth is, I hadn’t thought about this in quite some time, particularly once the requisite torment from family and friends simmered down. But the memory reared its head again when I started working with Actsoft and began thinking more about scenarios warranting GPS tracking.

I felt such anxiety when I thought my car was gone, and I started to wonder how exacerbated that feeling would be for a person in charge of the well-being of a company vehicle, or an entire fleet of them. Comet Fleet devices provide such a profound peace of mind; the ability to accurately track your property in the event of a theft means you can rest easy, knowing your investments are protected.

Beyond just tracking after the fact, there are alerts you can set up so that, if your vehicles are moved from designated locations, during times when they shouldn’t be, you’ll be immediately alerted. So instead of hours potentially lapsing between the incident and the time you find out, it can be an almost instant notification.

All this is to say: When it comes to keeping your vehicles in check, don’t be me. Don’t let yourself be that person, wandering around aimlessly, losing hope. Know exactly where your assets are at all times and rest easy at night.

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06.02
2018

How Has Communication Evolved?

Communication is one of the most important things to society, and it has continued to transform as time has churned forward. In contemporary times such as these, advances in technology have played huge roles in improving people’s access to one another, as they have simplified the logistics of communicating across far distances significantly. Cell phones and computers allow people to talk to one other nearly instantly even if they are thousands of miles apart, which is a fascinating concept, especially once the broader context of communication’s history is taken into account.

If you could go back in time and talk to a person from the year 1750 in a face-to-face setting, they’d probably look at you like you’re crazy if you tried to explain to them how the iPhone X’s new Animoji feature works. In fact, even if we sped things up two more centuries to the 1950s and conducted the same exercise, you’d still get a bewildered and confused reaction from a person living in that era. Nevertheless, the advances that older societies like these made to the concepts of communication as a whole were instrumental in building what we currently have at our disposal.

The beginnings of communication took the form of cave drawings by some of our earliest ancestors, and later the ancient Phoenicians developed the first universal alphabet in order to trade with multiple cultures. Soon, ancient Egyptians began creating early forms of paper to write on using papyrus, further advancing the known world’s adaptations of communication. Much later, all of these early developments would help culminate in the first computers, but these machines filled up entire buildings and provided only minimal functionality. Now, in terms of processing power, cutting-edge engineering has allowed for machinery that used to take up whole rooms to fit snugly into the size of your pocket. This is a key factor in what allows us to instantly communicate with people on the other side of the globe today.

The present-day business world in particular heavily relies on communication to accomplish work and function on a daily basis. Internal memos, customer interactions, and employee collaboration on projects are just a few examples of where communication is a necessary tool in a corporation-style setting. In fact, communication is so vital to a business that if a company actively puts extra emphasis on improving its internal and external communication, its productivity, clarity, and profits could all experience significant rises.

At Actsoft, equipping businesses with modern mobile resource management (MRM) solutions to effectively communicate is one of our biggest proficiencies. For example, our Wireless Forms feature in many of our solutions grants employees in the field with an easy but intuitive method of completing paperwork and sending it back to the home office via mobile phone or tablet. This can streamline work flow from the field back to company headquarters, saving time, money, and resources. Job Dispatching is another service Actsoft provides that can prove to be a vital asset to a company’s workers in the field. Using this, employees can receive and immediately respond to new work assignments from the tap of a screen while they are out in the field.

For companies located in many different industries, Actsoft’s MRM products will continue to blaze a trail into the future of business communication for years to come. With advancement and user convenience at the forefront of our development priorities, companies who are searching for a new type of communicative solution are in luck.

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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.

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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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23.01
2018

Benefits and Reasons for Travel

Whether scaling the frosty peaks of Aspen, Colorado or becoming immersed in the bustling metropolitan life of Shanghai, China, travel at its most basic form is something that can be immensely beneficial to an individual’s well-being.

People’s motives for traveling vary. Some do it to relax or to learn about new things in the form of taking a vacation, while others may need to take trips at certain times for work-related reasons or to see family. Either way, getting tastes of new scenery and being exposed to new cultures by changing your geography can improve aspects of work life and personal life alike. Perhaps the largest benefit of traveling is that it can make you better-rounded as an individual, which can positively reflect workplace diversity and impact the many different relationships you might share with others on a daily basis.

In a business sense, employees and CEOs alike may need to travel for work in vocational fields such as finance or sales, and even different forms of entrepreneurial work may warrant excursions for networking events or other reasons. However, for entrepreneurs, owners of companies, and managers, traveling while still having to manage business back home can be difficult to do if the right resources aren’t being used. Thankfully, Actsoft’s mobile resource management solutions are readily available to help travelers maintain control of their companies while they are away from the office.

Actsoft’s solutions can transition some aspects of your business such as report running to an automated, preset schedule. This makes managing your company an easier task to accomplish. Implementation of scheduled reports ensures that valuable data is automatically sent to the right people in your organization on a daily or a weekly basis, and it can save you time and revenue, especially while traveling.

If the roles are reversed and some of your employees are away on a business trip while you remain back at the office, the wireless forms feature can prove to be incredibly useful. Wireless forms can be used to construct travel expense reports for business trips, giving your employees away from the office the power to document their company-funded spending after every single purchase in real time. The form builder’s Camera feature allows employees to take pictures of receipts, rather than forcing them to manually fill out and calculate each individual purchase onto a handwritten form. This also can keep a clean backup record of all business-paid receipts if some become displaced during the entirety of the employees’ trip.

Traveling can help an individual expand their social, cultural, and geographic horizons, no matter their purpose for doing so. However, for those who travel predominantly for work-related reasons, Actsoft’s wireless forms and scheduled reports technology can combine to make managing business while away from the office as streamlined as possible.

 

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16.01
2018

Why Customer Experience Rocks!

 

Having a quality customer experience team is one of the most essential factors to the success of any modern company. No matter what type of product or service your team sells, maintaining easy accessibility to your customer base and providing quality assistance to it is one of the best ways to retain business and also expand to new prospects.

Offering helpful, readily-available aid to customers who currently use your business’ product or service is a great way to ensure that they stay with your business, rather than turning to one of your competitors. After all, if a customer doesn’t know how to use your product or service, they likely won’t continue paying for it for very long. In fact, according to Gartner Surveys, 89% of companies now expect to differentiate themselves from their competitors primarily using customer experience. This figure is up nearly 53% from 2012, confirming that many modern businesses are becoming increasingly reliant on enhancing the customer’s experience to drive their respective revenue flows.

Another valuable aspect of establishing a reputable customer experience department is that it can provide an outlet to facilitate noteworthy feedback on behalf of your current customer base. Listening to customer suggestions and adjusting your services accordingly via updates or other methods of improvement can make for products that are even more finely tuned to the desires of your clients, which is never a bad thing for business. In turn, both your business and your loyal customers will reap rewards.

Now that some of the benefits of providing a quality customer experience have been briefly outlined, it’s also important to note that person-to-person communication is key in the customer experience department of any profitable corporation. Customers feel less like a number and more like a human when they are easily able to express their thoughts to a live representative who is extensively trained on the company’s products. In this way, your advisors can empathize with the people making up your customer base, something that is crucial to fostering trustworthy relationships and more efficient problem solving.

“Having ‘trusted advisors’ instead of ‘service agents’ is a big key to delivering exceptional Customer Experiences,” says David Knight, Actsoft’s Vice President of Customer Experience. “Once you have trusted advisors, their primary mission should be to practice “value-nurturing” during every customer interaction. This will increase product usage and grow customer lifetime value.”

Actsoft’s Customer Experience department prides itself on delivering exceptional customer experiences. Knight’s team delivers trustworthy information to customers in the most personable and informative fashions possible. Actsoft stays one-step ahead in the Customer Experience space because they leverage product knowledge, insight about the customer’s workflows and customer experience best practices to ensure that every customer receives friendly, personalized, and high quality services.

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09.01
2018

NFL’s Rams and Chargers Relocations Call for a Large Construction Project

The Los Angeles Rams were one of the hottest teams heading into the NFL playoffs this year. Sporting an 11-5 record, the team relied on a high-octane offense that featured all-star running back Todd Gurley, second-year quarterback Jared Goff, and veteran wide receiver Sammy Watkins. However, these Rams have only been in California since 2016 due to a recent franchise relocation from St. Louis, Missouri, and because of this, the team currently plays its home games in Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at the University of Southern California.

A college stadium obviously isn’t ideal for a professional football team like the Rams to play at in a long-term sense, especially given the fact that the once-San Diego Chargers also recently moved to Los Angeles in an effort to expand the NFL’s market presence. As a result, construction on a singular, shared new arena for both respective organizations is currently underway in Inglewood, California, and it’s certainly no small endeavor. According to the L.A. Times, the building project for Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park is worth 2.6 billion dollars, which will make it one of the most expensive NFL stadiums ever constructed. The L.A. Times also makes mention of the project encompassing much more than just the arena, as a whole host of different residential areas, hotel, retail, and office spaces are also planned for development. The stadium itself is expected to be completed in 2020, and both the Rams and Chargers are no doubt excited to get settled in to their new gridiron palace in just two more years.

With building projects as massive and as expensive as this, accountability for workers and effective cost management wherever possible can be integral to a successful job done. For construction-related businesses, Actsoft’s products can aid greatly in ensuring the exact locations of a construction company’s most valued equipment is always known through GPS monitoring and geofencing technology. A staple piece of heavy construction machinery such as a bulldozer is easily able to reach tens of thousands of dollars in price per unit alone, making theft prevention crucial. Using geofences, supervisors are given the unique capability to draw borders on city maps and power to set parameters for where their vehicular equipment is and isn’t allowed to be at certain times. This can put more control and stability in the hands of the company’s leadership, especially when it comes to asset protection. Building companies that construct in large cities in particular can use geofencing because of its precision in sprawling metropolitan areas, and the technology also has many applications for arena-style build projects such as the aforementioned Los Angeles Stadium.

In short, Actsoft seeks to provide the construction industry with all the tools it needs to empower its corporations with efficiency and safety alike. The partnerships that Actsoft has forged with reputable companies in the business work together to create a better world for future generations to enjoy.

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