25.03
2020

Tips for Communicating Efficiently While Working Away From the Office

Communicating efficiently is a big part of what makes an office properly function, but what happens in a remote work setting, when face-to-face conversations aren’t always realistic? Barriers to communication shouldn’t be a reason for productivity to lag when employees are performing work away from the office. Here are four ways that you can make connecting with your dispersed remote workers much easier, efficient, and productive, especially during a time like this.

Use voice calls, when necessary

Calling remote employees from time to time, rather than exclusively messaging or emailing them, adds a personalized touch and can even help transmit your positive company culture across long distances. Verbal check-ins with remote staff also provide an easier outlet for them to ask follow-up questions and gain clarification on certain tasks, if necessary.

Retain records of past conversations

To ensure that conversations remain on task and work-related, make sure you’re using a system of communication that records chat logs in near real-time. This can also be beneficial if an employee forgets something; they can simply refer back to a past conversation they had with their manager to be reminded of what’s needed next, potentially cutting out a lot of unnecessary back-and-forth. Note: If you’re looking for a solution to help your company with this, Encore, our flagship application, has an Intra-Company Messaging feature that enables you to connect with multiple remote employees at once, while also saving records of past conversations for your team to reference in the future.

Rely on a project management software

Planning out work using a project management software can greatly assist everyone in your organization with getting on the same page about the current standing of things. Assigning tasks by employee lets managers and employees know when a step along the way of completing the project is on hold and also who specifically is responsible for its pending status. If remote employees are able to visualize the individual steps in an assignment in a checklist-style format, as well as see whose turn it is to act next, they’re empowered to more effectively collaborate without the need to ask unnecessary questions.

Send information to multiple remote employees at once

It sounds obvious, but any time you need to reach out to remote employees about an assignment, always only identify those who are involved with it and communicate exclusively with them. Communicating only with those who have a part in the project gets it moving forward faster, while also helping to prevent inbox overload and wasted time for those in your organization who aren’t a part of it. Also, as mentioned previously, Encore’s Intra-Company Messaging feature allows companies to communicate with multiple remote employees at once via desktop-to-handset integration, serving as a faster, less cumbersome alternative to email. Ask us today how we at Actsoft can set your company up with this feature and optimize your team’s efficiency, particularly when it comes to remote communication.

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27.02
2020

The Importance of Networking for a Startup Business

Making connections via networking is a proven tactic for growing a business, especially when you’re just starting out. Whether it’s through an event such as a convention, or simply meeting other local entrepreneurs at a coworking space, networking can help accelerate the timeline of what you want your business to accomplish.

Here are three key ways that establishing a connections web early on can benefit your company:

Building an initial foundation

For service-based business models in particular, it’s more crucial than ever to use networking as a groundwork-laying tool. Perhaps there’s an area of your business you’re weaker at developing. There’s more than likely another professional you can meet in a networking session who is proficient in the skill you’re deficient at. Being able to connect and potentially reciprocate assistance to one another is just one of the many results that can come with building a foundation first to jumpstart your company.

Gradually scaling operations

As your network becomes more and more established, explore any connections that might warrant it for new leads, rather than just business partnerships. A popular concept in entrepreneurship is to hire your weakness as soon as you can afford to, and with an influx in leads and revenue over time, you’ll be able to do so. As revenue and connections continue to ascend, consistently add pieces to your team until you’ve built a cohesive unit that covers all your bases.

Learning from others’ mistakes along the way

Your product or service should be marketed strictly based on how it can solve the problems your target consumer regularly faces, whether they’re currently aware of them or not. Networking allows you to collaborate with others in your industry from a strategy perspective, especially in a startup incubator setting (if they aren’t direct competitors of yours, obviously). See firsthand more effectively what some of their strategies are, discuss what worked for them and what didn’t, and use your findings to try and collectively increase sales.

At Actsoft, our software solutions are crafted to provide businesses like yours with analytics that truly empower. Much like how networking can uncover additional information to help you run your business smarter, our digital tools provide robust data about how your workforce is operating in near real-time, enabling your team to create powerful new strategies for reduced costs and greater productivity.

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18.02
2020

Recap: Actsoft’s Visit to the 2020 Synapse Summit

Last week, a few of our staff members were treated to an incredible experience, gaining the opportunity to attend the 2020 Synapse Summit at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. As a convention for all things entrepreneurial and technological, the Synapse Summit gave our team the chance to take a couple of days to learn more about startup business and city development as a whole in the Tampa area.

Speakers at the event included Jeffrey Vinik, owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Sara Blakely, founder and CEO of Spanx, Jeff Hoffman, founder of Priceline.com, and Steven Currall, president and CEO of the University of South Florida, just to name a few. Each keynote brought a unique perspective to the table about scaling a company, personal growth, and the future of business. Separately from the main stage speakers, smaller breakout sessions took place, with industry experts offering discussions on topics ranging anywhere from trends in healthcare to new advances in military applications.

Out of all the valuable information the Actsoft team received at the Synapse Summit, one of the most crucial things we took away from the event was that the Tampa tech community is truly sprawling, and we’re so proud to be a part of it. Getting a chance to see where many of the industries our mobile workforce management solutions play in are headed was also immensely beneficial, as we plan to take our findings to the drawing board in an effort to continue pushing the boundaries of what our solutions can do.

The Synapse Summit reminded us as a company that the future is brighter than ever, not just for local developments in technology, but more specifically, the future landscape of software as a whole. We’ve returned from it inspired and rejuvenated, ready to provide an application that provides even more return on investment for your mobile workforce.

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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.

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28.01
2020

Encore’s Web Forms: A Key Tool for Streamlining Data Collection

In a previous enhancement to Encore, we released Form Workflows, a feature that allows one of your mobile employees in the field to begin filling out a digital document and then send it in a chain of command to other staff members for completion. Now, we’ve improved this functionality even further with Web Forms.

Available exclusively to users of Encore’s Ultimate tier, Web Forms provides the administrators at your company’s home office with the ability to start completing an electronic form on a desktop computer. They can then easily transfer it to your mobile workers in the field, saving time and making data collection far easier for your team. Employees away from the office can also start a document and send it back to the office for finalization on a desktop.

Benefits of Web Forms:

  • Implement command chains for forms in order to improve team collaboration.
  • Decrease paperwork costs and the time it takes to pass and collect information even further.
  • Improve productivity, accountability, and versatility with efficient, customer-friendly documentation that can be processed multiple different ways.
  • Set payment authorization workflows that automatically redirect certain expense limits to decision-makers.

A good example of Web Forms in action would be in the case of an HVAC company sending out mobile technicians to customer homes to fix broken air conditioning units. Rather than having the field employee begin a digital maintenance form from scratch and unnecessarily waste time inputting information, they can begin making their repairs earlier, with office personnel filling in any preliminary data while the tech drives to the job site.

For other types of businesses where purchase orders are more common, an employee can use Web Forms to begin filling out a purchase request document at company headquarters that will automatically redirect to a designated manager’s mobile device for review, even if that manager is currently away from the office. By helping to bring the dispersed parts of your workforce closer together, use Encore and its new Web Forms feature to improve cohesiveness and cost efficiency across your entire operation.

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26.11
2019

The Benefits of a Company Newsletter

Keeping everyone in your organization on the same page is essential to success, and one tried and true method of doing so is through a recurring newsletter that’s sent internally to your employees.

As a dynamic piece of content, your newsletter should effectively blend both graphics and text to convey your messaging. And while not all of the benefits of a newsletter may be strictly numbers-based, there’s something to be said about how creating one can bring your company closer together and work to inform employees of happenings in your organization, particularly outside of what their typical day-to-day schedules would normally include. Here are three major pluses that composing a newsletter can provide to your business.

Enhanced focus

Coordinate with your company’s leadership team about what topics will be addressed for your newsletter and try to thread a singular message throughout the entire piece. This works to provide insight to your staff and helps them realize the most important major corporate-wide objective at hand, improving organizational clarity.

Initiatives communicated

Reiterate the current primary goals for your business when creating your newsletter. If there are any key projects affecting multiple departments, provide updates within the content on what’s been accomplished, as well as what’s on the horizon. Communicating initiatives and documenting their progressions gives your team everything it needs to seamlessly shift from one task to the next in a more efficient, productive manner.

Buy-in generated

Featured sections of your newsletter where different viewpoints or departmental highlights are given can greatly improve engagement across your entire workforce. If multiple individuals from various departments have a hand in sharing information for your newsletter, buy-in is generated and employees become even more empowered.

For any other methods of communication your company may require, Actsoft solutions can help. With features built into our all-in-one business management software that help you reach your mobile employees nearly instantly, you can coordinate operations with ease. An effective newsletter keeps your staff up to date on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis; for all other needs, our solutions allow you to efficiently communicate with them at a moment’s notice.

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22.11
2019

Using Actsoft Solutions to Sustain Your Business

Reliability is a big part of what we develop our applications for at Actsoft. We place a heavy emphasis on making our solutions ultra-dependable in order to help your business ingrain every feature of them into routine operations for consistent, sustained support that continues to elevate the power of your workforce.

Versatility is another philosophy we’ve made essential to the design process of our solutions. For our customers, having a single application to address many of the challenges associated with managing mobile employees, assets, and vehicles is critically important. Michael Courter, Actsoft’s vice president of product management, knows the value of consolidation and adaptability as two essential traits for our software, and he’s continuously learning about new ways in which they’re improving processes for our clients.

“One of my favorite things to do is to go out and visit with customers. It’s important to see how they are using the product and gain feedback on how we can make things even better,” said Courter. “As part of this, it’s always amazing to see how leveraging Actsoft solutions has made an impact on so many businesses. From using forms to capture information, leveraging GPS Tracking and Job Dispatching to save time and money, or using geofence alerts or other methods of communication throughout the software, companies have transformed how they do business.”

Courter believes in the power of what Actsoft solutions can do for organizations of any size. Through systems integration that provides adaptability to workforces, as well as a suite of features to streamline communication, our products bring dispersed staff closer together and reduce gaps in their teams’ productivity, efficiency, and transparency.

“Implementing technology that connects the office to the field not only saves our customers money,” Courter said. “It also continues to help them truly provide better service in order to gain and retain more of their own customer base.”

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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.

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06.11
2019

What Makes Encore’s Wireless Forms Feature Dynamic?

Encore’s Wireless Forms feature offers a much more robust experience to companies than what traditional paperwork offers. By allowing your mobile employees to document and submit form data from a smartphone or tablet, the feature is able to harness all the capabilities of mobile technology to increase efficiency and detail with every form submission. Here are three specific ways Wireless Forms offers a more dynamic documentation process than traditional paperwork.

Dynamic fields

Perform anything from mathematical equations to signature captures with dynamic fields on Wireless Forms. These portions of a digital form provide more versatility and functionality than traditional paper documents, making the form completion process simpler, smarter, and more detailed. Four types of dynamic fields include:

  • Signature Capture (with a touchscreen device)
  • Photo Capture
  • Audio Capture
  • Barcode Scanning

Data analysis

Form data submitted back to the office from the field is formatted and collected on our Encore solution’s dashboard, making it easy for your administrative team to see and analyze graphical representations of all submitted data from your company’s mobile staff. Manual data entry is eliminated from paper forms to desktop computers, increasing your team’s productivity and providing it with extra insight on your workforce’s activities.

Faster information reception

Instead of having to drive truckloads of paperwork to and from the office, or worse, paying for security companies to transport it far distances, rely on Wireless Forms to transmit information nearly instantly on a highly safeguarded digital platform from mobile devices back to the office. Encore Vault’s heightened security levels are able to help keep document data secure at rest and in transit, allowing you to receive document submissions quickly and confidentially.

Reduce paper costs, damage from handwriting or mathematical errors, and wasted time with Wireless Forms. By providing your team with additional savings avenues, this feature of Encore adds documentation that’s truly dynamic to your workforce’s processes.

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29.10
2019

Using Encore’s Timekeeping Feature to Make Payroll Management Easier

Payroll doesn’t have to be complicated for your mobile workforce. With Encore, your employees can clock in and out from the app that they already use for everyday operations, giving them an intuitive new way to manage their time schedules while on the job.

Even though our solutions can’t entirely take the place of your team’s payroll software, API integration allows Timekeeping data your employees have recorded to seamlessly sync with the system you currently have. This ability simplifies the payroll management process and consolidates things for your company.

Additional benefits of taking your timesheets mobile include reduced overtime, neater organization, and enhanced productivity. By giving your staff a way to register time-punches directly from a smartphone or tablet, they’re equipped with the tools they need to stop working as soon as their days are up, without having to drive back to the office first to clock out while still on company hours. This can also help increase the amount of work each individual on your team can accomplish daily by giving them more available time in the field, resulting in a boost to your business’s bottom line. Fit in more customer requests per day by using Timekeeping to help eliminate unnecessary drive time as a routine task for your mobile employees.

Electronic timesheets are also able to improve your business’s processes by enhancing its level of organization. Smarter storage and an absence of illegible handwriting throughout the timekeeping process both work to improve accuracy, as there’s less points for errors to potentially occur when timecards aren’t having to be regularly filled out by hand and manually delivered to the office.

With the power of Encore’s Timekeeping feature, your business can embrace all the benefits that mobile technology has to offer to the remote workforces of today. Find out more about what integrating timesheets with your existing payroll system can do to help your company save by scheduling a live, customized webinar here.

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