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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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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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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07.08
2019

How Excellent Communication Enhances Project Management

For any team project, effective communication is essential. Coordinating various tasks that need to be accomplished is much easier when there’s open communication between staff members and supervisors; however, this can be a struggle to maintain consistently at times.

Requesting feedback from your staff regarding how much work they’ve got on their schedules is an excellent way to encourage honesty, reduce overwhelming feelings for individuals in your organization, and pinpoint the objectives at hand with laser focus. It can also give you the best idea of who has additional availability to take on more work. However, there’s no way to gauge expendable bandwidth without solid communication. David Knight, Actsoft’s vice president of customer experience believes that without clear connectivity, collaborative efforts will become limited for a workforce.

“The key to teamwork is collaboration, which can only be achieved with effective communication,” said Knight. “Effective communication keeps teams on the same page at the same time, but more importantly, helps teams avoid conflicts and misunderstandings, which reduce collaboration.”

If everyone in your company is on the same page, meeting deadlines also becomes infinitely easier. A mission statement is a great way to communicate your business’s vision, uniting your workforce around a central theme that keeps staff up to date with the values and objectives that your organization is striving to accomplish during project execution.

Actsoft’s solutions offer intuitive features to make project management easier through enhanced communication. Intra-Company Messaging and Job Dispatching help keep all aspects of your company in the know by providing platforms to securely transmit key information about jobs in the field, regardless of how far away your mobile employees may be. With the power of our applications, strengthen your business’s communication channels and improve the ways that your team collaborates on its daily projects.

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11.06
2019

Setting the Pace for Your Workforce

High productivity doesn’t necessarily mean just staying constantly busy. In fact, time management is perhaps the most crucial aspect to keeping productivity optimized for your workforce. Without a plan of how your team needs to be spending its working hours, you could actually end up setting your organization backwards a few steps.

To enhance time management and productivity, first start by outlining the jobs that your workforce needs to complete. Whether they’re revenue-based, retention-based, or internal, the importance level of each will be vital in helping your administrative team delegate its tasks. Arrange these initiatives by priority to help your entire company target its most pressing goals and better achieve them through clear, concise communication with the staff members that will complete them.

It’s also important to set a good pace for how realistic it will be for your team to finish each task. Do this by reviewing past projects, how long it took for those to get done, and evaluating any new steps that your current ones will require accordingly. Establishing realistic, flexible timeframes allows your employees to experience less pressure, effectively switch to new initiatives on the fly, and even deliver more consistently on deadlines.

Actsoft solutions are able to help you carve out a path to streamlined business strategy execution using a wealth of tools. Our products provide near real-time analytics about your mobile workforce’s daily operations, assisting your management team with tracking ongoing job progress, keeping productivity optimized, and adjusting timelines if need be. Features of Actsoft applications like GPS Tracking and Timekeeping can even help you pinpoint areas of your employees’ workflows that could be further optimized for greater efficiency, like certain prohibited driving behaviors using company vehicles or instances of breaks taken too frequently.

With the power of our mobile resource management innovations, poise your organization for more reliable pacesetting, additional savings, and greater growth.

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21.05
2019

The Advanced Aspects of GPS Tracking in Encore

The GPS Tracking feature in Encore is a multifaceted tool that uses advanced solutions such as Breadcrumb Trails, Traffic Overlay, and Geofences to provide companies with ways to save. Each of these aspects do this by working to increase efficiency and security even further for businesses that employ a mobile workforce.

Breadcrumb Trails

Past routes that mobile employees have taken to job sites are recorded and presented on Encore’s map through Breadcrumb Trails. Any time a driver travels to a location during working hours, their business vehicle’s position is picked up and archived in the system’s memory. Company supervisors can then go back and review trip histories to enhance accountability and verify job completion.

Traffic Overlay

At the beginning of each work day, administrators in a company’s home office can also use Traffic Overlay to see near real-time congestion patterns on roadways. By identifying the most traffic-heavy routes to job sites prior to travel, companies can help their mobile employees avoid excessive idling, save time and fuel, and reach customer locations faster.

Geofences

Geofences help businesses improve fleet and asset security, employee accountability, and quality control, all at once. These are digital boundaries that can be custom constructed on Encore’s live view map around job sites in the field. Geofences are used in tandem with Alerts to electronically notify managers whenever an asset, employee, or vehicle enters or exits set perimeters, providing an extra layer of surveillance for their valuable equipment. In addition to better theft prevention, geofence monitoring helps organizations ensure that their workers are arriving to and leaving assignment destinations right on schedule.

These three aspects of GPS Tracking in Encore give companies like yours even more ways to save time and money. Through providing increased detail about your workforce’s daily routine, Breadcrumb Trails, Traffic Overlay, and Geofences can help you run a more effective operation.

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02.05
2019

3 Ways Actsoft Solutions Help Sustain Productivity

Employees are the driving force behind your team’s success. However, if there’s no accountability within your workforce, productivity can suffer, and end up doing damage to your company’s bottom line in the long run.

Actsoft solutions are built to provide your management with all the tools they need to know their workforces inside and out. By creating a clearer picture of what is happening in the field for supervisors to see, our applications deliver a user-friendly experience that works to keep accountability high. Here are three features of our solutions that help bolster productivity across your entire workforce.

GPS Tracking

The ability to track mobile employees during working hours enables businesses to ensure that their teams are in the right places at the right time. This is the first step in verifying that tasks are being completed efficiently. Our solutions’ GPS Tracking feature also extends to fleet management by allowing your managers to see work vehicle positions around the clock, ensuring that they’re always at proper locations.

Alerts

Whenever mobile employees travel using company vehicles to work sites, you can use Alerts to receive notifications about certain driving behaviors they may exhibit. Our solutions work in tandem with hardware that’s easy to install into your vehicles, giving you an electronic notice any time activities like excessive idling occur. If your vehicles are remaining stationary but their engines are left running, it can serve as a good indicator that your remote workers may be stalling on the job.

Job Dispatching

Communication as a whole should always be optimized within your business. Job Dispatching helps to foster better connectivity by allowing you to route the closest available employees to a new job site in the field. This feature helps to improve productivity by eliminating unnecessary trips to the office and serving as an easier, faster, and less costly way to reach new customers.

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02.04
2019

Feature Study: GPS Tracking on Encore

Companies employing a mobile workforce are faced with a need to monitor their remote teams during working hours and ensure that operations remain productive. However, keeping tabs on dispersed staff, vehicles, and other assets can be difficult to do all at once. Encore’s GPS Tracking feature is able to eliminate this problem by providing a live view map that displays each relevant position in an intuitive, easy-to-understand format.

What are the benefits of GPS Tracking?

Managing a team of remote employees poses challenges in and of itself, no matter the industry. How can productivity be efficiently monitored by administrators back at a company’s headquarters? Encore’s GPS Tracking feature helps supervisors and executives ensure that their employees are where they need to be during working hours by reporting their near real-time locations.

Many companies also have valuable assets that they require to facilitate routine operations. GPS Tracking helps to bring down costs from wasted time and unnecessary fuel expenditure by making it easier for businesses to leave these pieces of equipment in the field overnight. Due to around-the-clock tracking, your team can experience additional potential benefits such as theft prevention and asset recovery, if something gets misplaced or improperly used.

The versatility of GPS Tracking is another aspect that provides return on investment. As one of the core features of Encore, GPS Tracking works in tandem with multiple other tools that the solution offers, like Job Dispatching, Alerts, and Wireless Forms. Use the near real-time locations of employees to reroute nearby workers to new jobs, receive notifications any time assets enter or exit specified parameters, and even see location-stamped markers whenever a digital form is submitted from the field.

GPS Tracking is Encore’s bedrock feature and remains one of the most important mobile resource management tools available today. Modern-day businesses like yours can use our location-enabled application to enhance productivity, optimize workflows, and manage with ease.

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20.02
2019

3 Ways Encore’s Traffic Overlay Feature Benefits Businesses

At Actsoft, we’re constantly pushing the boundaries of what our applications can do so you can continue to witness high returns on investment. We do this by adding capabilities on a quarterly basis and rolling out enhancements to our application that refine the power of our existing features, creating new ways for you to improve your business plan.

Traffic Overlay is an enhancement we recently made to Encore’s GPS Tracking feature. Providing color-coded glimpses into near real-time traffic patterns, Traffic Overlay helps your supervisors identify and plan for drivers to take routes that are least affected by roadway congestion. Here are some of the key benefits this tool can provide to businesses like yours:

Less idle time

Use Traffic Overlay to reduce the amount of idle time that your company’s drivers must deal with by having them avoid high congestion areas, whenever it may be possible. As sitting idle in traffic takes a toll on the long-term performance of your vehicles and puts unnecessary stress on your remote employees, keeping your fleet mobile can improve equipment longevity and the mental health of your staff.

Faster response times

The time of both your employees and customers is valuable, especially during critical situations. Use Traffic Overlay to enhance punctuality across your workforce and fulfill the needs of your clientele faster, on average. Dispatchers can use the feature to see what routes are clearest, helping field employees get to the job sites they need to be at quickly.

Lower fuel costs

It’s obvious that a 30-minute drive with open roadways is going to burn less gasoline than an hour-long trip spent mostly in bumper-to-bumper traffic. When played out over the course of a year, this disparity can cause your business’s fuel costs to soar if the most efficient routes aren’t being selected beforehand. Traffic Overlay allows your team to increase its savings by displaying congestion levels in near real-time, making it easy to pick routes that are optimal.

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