31.03
2020

The Many Different Types of Receivable Alerts with Encore

Among all of the benefits Actsoft solutions provide, one of the most powerful remains our products’ ability to help managers remain in better contact with their remote or mobile workforces. Besides just providing tools for messaging employees on the fly and making assignment changes, our Encore solution is even equipped with an Alerts feature to help you better track your daily operations.

Alerts are digital notifications that are emailed to your administrators any time specified events occur regarding your staff, fleet, or business equipment in the field. This feature is just one of the many ways Encore adds extra transparency to things when it comes to staying connected, particularly if distance ever separates managers from their employees.

Here are several types of alerts company supervisors can get updates with using the power of Encore.

Geofence Breaches

Receive alerts any time employees, assets, or tracked company vehicles enter or exit geofence boundaries to gain more knowledge about job site activity in near real-time.

Unauthorized Asset or Vehicle Movements

Receive alerts any time tracked assets or vehicles are moved outside of working hours for better equipment security.

Excessive Idling

Receive alerts based off of customizable thresholds when your company vehicles remain idle for too long to prevent unnecessary fuel expenditure.

Ignition On/Off

Receive alerts when your company vehicles’ ignitions are activated to reduce unnecessary usage and increase oversight.

Tampering

Receive alerts if tracking devices are manually disabled by employees to help increase accountability and transparency across your entire workforce.

Low Power

Receive alerts if any asset or vehicle tracker batteries become low on power to maintain consistent visibility on mobile operations.

With all of these different alert types helping you to better monitor your mobile or remote workforce, you can more easily restrict behaviors that could currently be preventing optimized productivity and savings for your company. Find out more today about what our solutions can do to let you know even more about how your team functions while it’s away from the office.

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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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11.03
2020

Identifying Your Target Audience: Essential to Success in Business

Throughout the process of creating or selling a product, one common denominator remains when it comes to success: you need to have a clear understanding of whose problem you’re trying to solve.

In a broader sense, this means to define your audience. Products or services targeted at specific groups will always do better than those that aren’t, no matter what it is that’s being sold. So, with that being said, what’s the best way to go about defining your key audience? Follow these three strategies for a step in the right direction.

Look at who other similar products or services seem to be targeting.

Begin by investigating the most similar field to your product or service that’s currently available. The less saturated that field is, the better. However, if your idea does tend to fall in line within the realm of a specific industry housing many other existing businesses, there’s no need to panic. You’ll just need to see what ways your future competition is currently marketing its goods or services and try to deduce the specific audience they seem to be targeting.

Understand the market.

Is the industry you’re trying to break into well-developed or is it a niche, and is your business model scalable? These are things to consider when trying to get a decent look at the scope of your idea’s end goal. And, as mentioned in a previous post, the true key to success as far as giving the idea traction and taking it from just that (an idea) and refining it into a truly marketable solution is to pitch it on the basis of its problem-solving potential to your targeted audience.

Use analytics to back up your business strategies.

Once you’ve surveyed the field and done your research, track your analytics and sales to test your strategy’s effectiveness. If sales aren’t where they should be, it could very well be a matter of simply needing to tweak your definition of your target audience. Once you’ve continued adjusting the parameters of your target audience (particularly through social media marketing), it’ll become easier to identify trends in revenue, eventually allowing you to get to a point where you’ve truly nailed your core demographic.

At Actsoft, our solutions can help you track analytics on all the other aspects of your company, giving you more time to create, manage more efficiently, and drive revenue. As your idea begins to really resonate with your target audience, rely on our software for everything else to run an entirely data-backed business operation.

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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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22.01
2020

Encore’s Dispatching Scheduler: The Solution to Work Order Inefficiencies

In one of last week’s blog posts, we discussed some of the difficulties a field service company faced without having a tool to plan out their mobile employees’ work orders in advance. In addition to productivity and brand reputation suffering due to confusions in scheduling, the company was also spending too much money on paper documents to instruct staff that were handwritten and, at times, illegible.

Our flagship workforce management software Encore now enables businesses to manage workloads ahead of time with its Dispatching Scheduler feature. Available exclusively to users of the solution’s Ultimate tier, the Dispatching Scheduler provides an easy, yet intuitive way for your team to plan out customer visits and increase its efficiency.

Features of Encore’s Dispatching Scheduler:

  • A color-coded dashboard that provides easy identification for work order progress.
  • The ability to create service delivery windows for employees dispatched to new customer locations.
  • A feature for reassigning pending orders to new workers on the fly.
  • Calendar and Schedule rows that display availabilities, last known employee locations, and current assignments.
  • The ability to see lists of unassigned orders and drag and drop them onto user schedules.


Encore’s Dispatching Scheduler dashboard.

Benefits of Encore’s Dispatching Scheduler:

  • Distribute workloads more evenly.
  • Optimize employee schedules for higher efficiency.
  • Save time and money with intuitive scheduling that helps to keep employees informed.
  • Provide customers with more accurate service delivery times.
  • Graphics-based scheduling allows your staff to work faster and more interactively.

When applied to the field service use case, it’s easy to see how this powerful new capability could instantly improve the company’s processes. Encore’s Dispatching Scheduler allowed the business’s mobile employees to have easy access to their daily schedules, eliminating unnecessary back-and-forth communication from the office to the field and giving them a much more accurate timeframe for service deliveries. Due to both an increase in productivity and efficiency with the Dispatching Scheduler, their business was able to save significant revenue and also increase its opportunities from a strengthened reputation amongst its customer base.

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07.01
2020

Ways to Optimize Your Company’s Communication

Communication is essential to good business, and if it’s a skill that’s suffering at your workplace, there are undoubtedly hidden costs that come into play. Poor communication can result in lowered morale at best, and incredibly costly mistakes at worst. In fact, according to The Holmes Report, the total cost of ineffective communication for 400 surveyed companies with at least 100,000 employees was a staggering $37 billion. Given these potentially catastrophic results, here are four steps you can take to make sure your organization is firing on all cylinders when it comes to efficiency and clear directives.

Ensure proper email etiquette is in place.

Even something as simple as training your employees with a quick, 10-minute video on best practices for email communication is a great way to help verify that things are conveyed clearly, concisely, and professionally. Also, emphasize the importance of spelling and grammar checks across your organization; whether it’s responding internally to a coworker or manager, or externally to a business customer, it’s always important to ensure that communications remain accurate so that respect for the recipient is consistently upheld.

Schedule meetings that are actually productive.

Meetings that accomplish nothing are more than just a waste of time; they can harm workforce productivity if they’re taking people away from their work and nothing’s being done. To mitigate this, define a handful of specific goals that the meeting needs to accomplish prior to its start time, and once those goals are all accomplished, end the meeting promptly. This helps everyone remain focused on finding solutions, rather than on arbitrary conversations. Asking the individuals in the meeting for feedback about your strategies also welcomes additional diversity to the discussion, which is another essential element to good workplace communication.

Implement an efficient chain of command.

For certain forms of internal communication, such as purchase order or product collateral requests, it’s always a smart idea to establish protocols. Following standard operating procedures enables your team members to reach out to the correct individuals for these requests from the start, eliminate unnecessary back-and-forth, and ensure that the correct materials are received expediently.

Use Encore to coordinate with employees that work away from the office.

Our flagship mobile application, Encore, can help you more efficiently communicate with your internal and mobile staff by allowing your administrators to send out new instructions to them on the fly, receive collected data from the field digitally, and more. As the most powerful solution listed here for helping keep your communication inefficiencies to a minimum, Encore works to provide companies like yours with features for high savings.

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17.12
2019

Season’s Greetings From Actsoft and Our New Corporate Vision

The prosperity of our customers and business partners remains our highest priority here at Actsoft. This holiday season, we’d like to take a moment to thank each and every business we’ve had the chance to work with over the course of the past year, as well as restate our commitment to their successes both now and in the future.

We typically take this time of year to reflect on all of the efforts we’ve made in working on our solutions, individual customer experiences, and processes over the past few quarters to ensure they remained as positive as possible. Seeing what was most effective and striving to fill next year with even more of those moments is a key principle for our team. It’s also an exciting time for us during the holiday season because of our return to the drawing board, as we begin to conceptualize future enhancements to our mobile resource management applications.

Heading into 2020, we’re looking to collect even more crucial feedback from our customers and design software to match it, providing businesses with even more tools that they can use to gain an edge in their respective markets. We’ve also worked hard to compose a new vision statement for 2020 that speaks more directly to our recently refined corporate focus, development strategy, and dedication to customer success.

Our vision:

We foster lasting relationships, empowering the Actsoft community with creative business solutions that promote a more prosperous and productive economy.

Now that we’re equipped with a new vision statement, Actsoft’s overall business philosophy is more effectively aligned with the needs of the customer and partner relationships we service on a daily basis. Our unwavering commitment to helping your team achieve its maximum potential remains as strong as ever heading into the new decade.

May your workforce be filled with success this season and into the future!

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