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.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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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.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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24.01
2020

Recap: Actsoft at Geotab Connect 2020

As you may know, last week we had the opportunity to be a part of this year’s Geotab Connect event. Hosted in San Diego, the event brought together fleet industry experts and leaders to share their knowledge, demonstrate their services, and give insight into the future of fleet. For us at Actsoft, in addition to being a major platform to showcase our solution, it also gave us myriad opportunities to learn even more about, and connect with, our newest partner, Geotab. I took some time to sit down with some members of the team that attended the event to learn more about their takeaway.

The event, which kicked off last Tuesday, included a three-person fireside chat. One of the panelists was our very own CEO, Tom Mitchell. During the discussion, Mitchell, along with Geotab’s Neil Cawse and Lytx’s Brandon Nixon, discussed a variety of topics, including the future of AI in fleet telematics, integration between multiple telematics solutions, the yet-to-be-seen impact of 5G, and electric vehicles’ role in the future of fleet.

The most exciting avenue for Mitchell, however, was one that explored further potential mutual benefits between Geotab and Actsoft’s partnership, especially in light of some news that Geotab revealed during the conference. “Geotab is monstrous,” Mitchell said. “They just surpassed two million subscribers. They have their hands in a ton of different things.”

Geotab already dominates the fleet-tracking space. With their massive customer base and the technology packed into their GO devices, they’re able to deliver all the information fleet operators need to know about how their vehicles are functioning and how they’re being treated. But as Mitchell pointed out, when companies that excel in their individual fields join forces, it results in a better, all-encompassing package. “You can’t go out there and find a single-source solution.”

Andrew Velker, Executive Vice President of Sales at Actsoft, seconded this notion. “There are very few companies that tell the full story like Geotab,” he told me. “We take it outside the vehicle.” This further demonstrates the importance of combining efforts. Rather than one company attempting to do everything, multiple can work together and excel in their areas of expertise, offering customers a much more robust solutions package.

And if the crowds at our booth were any indication, fleet operators agree. “I couldn’t believe the number of people swarming at our booth,” Mitchell said.

Connect 2020 not only gave us an opportunity to further strengthen our partnership with Geotab, but also to begin a dialogue with other companies we might work with. “[The event] was about strengthening our relationship with Geotab and creating different partnerships, all centered around Geotab,” said Kevin Thigpen, Chief Operating Officer at Actsoft. “It was focused on domestic and international partnership potential. I met a lot of different groups at one event, making it a cost-effective and efficient solution.”

Getting so much face time with various representatives from Geotab — there were at least 300 employees in attendance — was another huge win, in particular for Trent Cherin, Vice President of Global Strategic Alliances at Actsoft. Having that in-person interaction was a great opportunity to discuss the future of Actsoft and Geotab’s partnership, such as the integration of the platforms. “We want to provide different functionality from within the Geotab platform,” Cherin explained, “to give existing Geotab customers the same look and feel they’re used to, but with new information.”

The event also gave us the opportunity to seek out new potential resellers for our Encore solution. Rod Shaddeau, Actsoft’s Indirect Reseller Channel Manager, said of the event: “We met with more than 20 Geotab resellers. I have a ton of follow-up with these 20-plus [individuals].” (Note: Visit our Resellers page if you’d like more information on how you can become an Encore reseller.)

One common takeaway that everyone in attendance was in agreement about was: Big data is the next big thing. “Geotab is huge into big data and AI,” Mitchell said. “I see us doing more with the data we are collecting.”

Thigpen agreed, saying, “I see us further integrating our platform and data with Geotab and leveraging new APIs to integrate with big data. We’ll change the conversation we have with our customers. We’ll be able to pull data from multiple sources to help customers better understand their businesses through trends and predictive analysis. [Through this,] you change the paradigm of your relationship.”

“How does a company differentiate itself?” Velker posed. “More data and better technology. They’ll rise above other companies not doing that because they’re stuck in the past.” He echoed Thigpen’s sentiments, saying we’ll be able to use all of this data to help make companies smarter and paint a clearer picture so they’re better equipped to make decisions on the fly.

Suffice it to say, Geotab Connect 2020 was an exciting event for us, one rife with ample opportunities to grow and collaborate with Geotab and its ever-growing family of resellers and customers. We’re excited about what the future holds and how this partnership will continue to flourish and help us provide our own customers with even more enhanced solutions.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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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.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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17.01
2020

How to Establish a Team of Safe Fleet Drivers

We’ve talked about ways to help keep your drivers safe on the road when perilous winter conditions introduce hazardous obstacles. But what measures can you take to make sure your drivers know how to stay safe in general? After all, these are people you’re entrusting with your costly vehicles, and who are ostensibly serving as representatives of your company to anyone they drive past. Not to mention, there are lives at stake whenever they’re behind the wheel. There are a few steps you can take, before ever handing the keys of your vehicles over, to help make sure your drivers know what they’re doing.

Run a background check.
It goes without saying that you should always check to make sure a new driver has a valid license. But have you also looked into their past? Running a driving history check can give you further insight into their abilities. If a candidate’s past is checkered with a series of violations, it’s probably a good idea to reconsider bringing them on board.

Test them.
When considering onboarding a new driver, do you simply trust them based on their resumes? While a storied history in the trucking industry is a good indicator that they have the chops to drive for your company, it never hurts to present them with a written test to measure their actual knowledge of the rules of the road.

Buddy up!
Once you’ve decided to bring someone onto the team, consider pairing them with one of your more seasoned drivers, at least during a probationary period. This person will be able to help the newbie acclimate to a new vehicle, give them tips based on experience, and assure that they’re following best practices that both keep everyone safe and represent your company properly.

Create a driver safety policy.
Most businesses have some sort of employee handbook that lays out the rules of the workplace. In running a fleet-based operation, this handbook should include a driver safety policy. Present stipulations that reinforce the idea that all employees must adhere to the parameters of the law as a condition of employment, with no exceptions. Highlight the dangers of distracted driving, to include cell phone use, driving while fatigued, and even eating while on the move. Be sure to regularly revisit the policy, as incidents that arise over time may give you reasons to modify it.

Invest in GPS monitoring.
With Encore, our flagship mobile workforce managing software, administrators have the ability to monitor their employees from anywhere. You can receive alerts that give you insight into drivers’ safety practices, including speeding and hard accelerating/braking, actions that indicate unsafe practices are taking place. With these notifications, you’re able to make more informed decisions about your drivers, giving you the option to address situations before they get out of hand and someone is hurt.

Safe driving is one of the most important facets of any fleet. Without it, your reputation, your vehicles, and people’s lives are at risk. It’s your job to do everything you can to recruit the best drivers available. It’s ours to help make sure they continue to follow the rules.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

Call (888) 732-6638 or Receive a Live Webinar

22.11
2019

Actsoft at Geotab Connect 2020

Earlier this year, we announced our partnership with Geotab, the leader in fleet-tracking telematics. As partners with Geotab, we’re able to deliver to our customers a truly robust mobile management package of solutions that keeps management in the loop regarding the whereabouts and statuses of remote employees, whether they’re in the field or on the road.

We’re excited to be working with a company that has such a storied history of progressive technological innovations, and we’re looking forward to our first major event with them. Geotab Connect is an annual event that will be taking place January 13–16, 2020, at the San Diego Convention Center.

At Geotab Connect 2020, industry leaders will be gathered to discuss the latest in fleet technology, including the advancements that have been made over the years, as well as what we can expect in the coming years. It promises to be a truly exciting few days that are sure to instill a spirit of inspiration to those who attend.

For our part, you’ll be able to hear from our CEO, Tom Mitchell, as part of the CEO Fireside Chat that takes place January 14 at 4 p.m. Be sure to stop by to hear what insights our leader has on the industry and our role in helping to shape its future.

Also in attendance will be Andrew Velker, executive vice president of sales, and Drew Bickers, vice president of sales. They’ll be discussing our solutions and how they can drive success for both existing and new businesses, helping to differentiate Geotab in the marketplace.

For more information about the event and to register, visit the Geotab Connect 2020 website. We’re looking forward to meeting you there and discussing all that we, in partnership with Geotab, can do to help drive your business into the future.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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20.11
2019

GPS Fleet Tracking for the EMS Industry

Arriving at the scene of an emergency or tending to a critical patient in a timely manner is important to the success of your business. Unlike other service industries, the level of service can literally mean the difference between life and death. Arriving as a first responder or taking the time to tend to an elderly patient isn’t always as easy as turning on a siren.

If your emergency crew is scattered across a large footprint, it can be difficult to send the closest vehicle to the scene of an urgent accident. Add to that the hassle of finding the quickest route to a location if there are delays, traffic, and construction.

Your dispatcher is responsible for providing the best current information, but what if their information is outdated? Lag time of even 90 seconds can be an eternity in any medical crisis or situation, and could also mean the difference between life and death.

Like any business, providing proper patient care is crucial to providing the best possible service to retain and win new business and contracts. The costly overhead expenses of supplying each of your emergency vehicles with the necessary supplies and employing experienced and trained EMS professionals can add enormous expenses to any EMS business.

Fleet tracking technology can help provide the best patient care possible while helping to reduce fuel, maintenance, and insurance costs. More importantly, it can help you dispatch the closest vehicle to an emergency situation, saving valuable time.

Increase Productivity, Efficiency, and Accountability

The solutions provided in our Encore suite of tools can help improve the efficiencies of any fleet operation. Our high-performance GPS tracking devices, combined with Wireless Forms, can increase visibility and productivity in the daily activities of fleet vehicles. They can allow you to:

  • Identify locations of fleet vehicles or cargo
  • Review idle and stop times
  • Expedite dispatching
  • Improve fleet routing efficiency
  • Reduce theft of high-value assets
  • Ensure equipment is located at the job site
  • Send paperless forms from the field to the office
  • Track trends to make better future business decisions

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

Call (888) 732-6638 or Receive a Live Webinar

06.11
2019

Truck Safety: Tips and Tools to Promote Good Driving Habits

As the amount of freight transportation activity increases, so do the chances of traffic accidents. Today, trucks carry the majority of freight, about 65 percent, from the United States into Canada and Mexico. With all this movement, there are bound to be accidents. But how many are preventable? What, if anything, can companies do to curb bad driving habits? Experts agree that implementing a proactive program in the workplace is a crucial factor in mitigating traffic incidents. Before we explore possible incentives employers can provide to promote safe driving, let’s look at what commercial truck drivers can do when they get behind the wheel.

  • Get plenty of rest before driving.
    Eat well and stay fit. Driver fatigue and lack of attention can significantly increase your risk of a crash.
  • Slow down in work zones.
    Stay alert. Almost one-third of work zone fatal crashes involve large trucks. Most of these crashes occur during the day. Take your time going through work zones, give yourself plenty of room, and expect the unexpected.
  •  Be aware of your “No Zone.”
    Other drivers may not be aware of the size of your blind spots. One-third of all crashes between large trucks and cars take place in the No-Zone areas around a truck. Adjust your mirrors and be vigilant in watching out for vehicles.
  • Always keep your distance.
    Leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you. In rear-end collisions, regardless of the situation, if you hit someone from behind, you are considered at fault. Large trucks, given their mass, have much greater stopping distances than 4-wheelers. Take advantage of your driving height and anticipate hard braking situations.
  • Always maintain your vehicle.
    It can save your life. Inspect your vehicle before each trip and check your brakes regularly. Brake defects are the most frequently cited out-of-service inspection violation. Learn how to inspect your brakes, identify safety defects, and get them repaired before risking your life and the lives of others.
  • Drive defensively.
    Avoid aggressive drivers and maintain a safe speed. Two-thirds of all traffic fatalities may be caused by aggressive driving behaviors. The only thing excessive speed increases is your chance for a crash.
  • Always fasten your seatbelt.
    Buckle up for safety and vehicle control. If you are in a crash, a seat belt will save your life. It will keep you in your seat and allow for you to maintain control of your truck. Increasing seat belt use is still the single most effective thing we can do to save lives and reduce injuries on our roadways.

Keeping Track of Your Drivers: How You Can Help?
Now that you know what your drivers should do, how do you know that they’re practicing good driver behavior throughout their shifts? From minor collisions to major accidents, your business depends on safe, conscientious drivers who will mitigate risk and represent your business with integrity. Actsoft offers incredible, affordable, and reliable software solutions for tracking and monitoring driver behavior. Through detailed reports (which you control the frequency of, from daily to monthly to ad hoc and more), you’ll get a full picture of your drivers. Some of the things you can monitor are:

  • Speed
  • Rapid acceleration and deceleration
  • Arrival and departure times

You may also receive vehicle maintenance reminders and alerts informing you when drivers are in restricted or unauthorized areas. This is especially useful when the law prohibits certain freight from entering certain areas, such as neighborhoods and school zones.

If you’re ready to take a step toward a safe, low-risk approach to vehicle management, then give us a call! We can help you choose solutions right for your needs and budget.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

Call (888) 732-6638 or Receive a Live Webinar

22.10
2019

Actsoft’s Strategic Partnership With Geotab

As a strategic partner of ours that supplies top-notch fleet tracking devices and fleet technology, Geotab is the perfect complement to Actsoft’s solutions. Our alliance with Geotab allows us to pair ultra-advanced hardware and fleet diagnostics with the workforce management capabilities of our solutions to give your team a truly robust digital management platform.

Through Geotab GO9 devices, the MyGeotab software, and Actsoft integration, companies can have a rich and detailed fleet management experience, gaining tools for advanced collision detection, driver reports, and more, as well as the features they need to effectively manage all other aspects of their workforces.

After employees have exited their business vehicles and begin working, insight can sometimes become lost; this is where handset tracking comes in. Our solutions provide device monitoring technology, allowing you to keep tabs on each member of your team during working hours in the field. In addition to handset tracking, we also provide solutions for Timekeeping, Job Dispatching, Intra-Company Messaging, and Wireless Forms, allowing your team to take its processes fully digital and control its operations with higher efficiency. When paired with Geotab’s proficiency in the fleet management sphere, our solutions can provide even greater potential for your business.

Use Actsoft and Geotab to gain full insight on both your fleet and remote workforce in near real-time. Our strategic partnership with Geotab allows us to expand the capabilities of our mobile management solutions, help our existing customers continue to succeed, and create meaningful new relationships both now and in the future.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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16.10
2019

Everyday Choices Companies Make That Waste Money

In our frenzy to bring in more money, drive business, create better marketing strategies, schedule more meetings, and hire more salespeople, we often forget the old adage: “It’s not always what you make, but what you save.” If for every dollar we earn, we blow two, then we’re spinning our wheels and running an inefficient operation. In a time when companies are fighting to succeed, we’ve identified the most common ways companies bleed money and how to avoid these pitfalls.

Everything Counts

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, “The small expenses add up quickly, so auditing basic costs, from travel expenses to utility costs, is essential … All the little things can really add up, and it is very easy to let it get away from you.” Daily tasks that could easily be automated turn into hours and months of manual labor over the long-term, costing businesses a lot of money that could have been better used in more meaningful ways.

A good example of this is payroll. Often the person in charge of payroll has to verify hours, spend time gathering data, make sure forms are filled out properly, and more. However, a simpler and more efficient solution would be to use mobile time-clock technology.

  • Moble Time Clocks: Actsoft has helped countless businesses integrate their payroll with a simple wireless time clock which allows employees to clock in from anywhere, use GPS verification to identify and time stamp their locations, as well send images and forms via email or text. After a brief and easy setup, this is a task that can be left to software so your employees can make more substantial contributions.
  • Automate Processes: Another common time drain is repeating processes that could be automated, such as work orders. Instead of manually inputting data each week, let Actsoft’s software auto-generate information with the frequency of your choice. It will also deliver these work orders, requests, or other information, and automatically send new order notifications. Plus, it can inform customers that a worker is on the way, and provide proof of delivery and work completion, including signature and pictures.

Paper Costs
It seems like a no-brainer: Eliminate paper costs and save money. But it’s easy to get stuck in a paper rut when there’s no clear alternative. Before you write off the idea of going paperless, think about the efficiency of the internet, providing the information you need instantly. You don’t have to have it delivered, mailed, or faxed; simply open a browser and you’re in!

  • Paperless Alternative: Actsoft’s Wireless Forms operates in just this way, by giving you the power to convert all your paper forms — from contracts and invoices to disclosures and other important documents — into digital ones that you can access from anywhere. Use your laptop or mobile device to fill out forms — complete with digital signatures and images — so business can be wrapped up on the spot. Think of all the saving in paper storage alone! Not to mention the risk you’re taking by using hard copy when a single digital form can live in several places, never to be misplaced again.

Wasteful Ways
Another major contribution to a shrinking bank account is maintaining a fleet that is operating poorly. This can include anything from bad driving habits that increase liability (speeding, hard accelerating and braking, etc.) to inefficient route planning. Actsoft provides solutions that can help curb bad habits and optimize routes, so that fuel costs are down, wear-and-tear on vehicles is lessened, and liability is reduced.

Our high-performance GPS tracking devices, combined with Actsoft’s reliable functionality, provide extensive visibility into the day-to-day activities of fleet vehicles, allowing you to:

  • Identify the locations of fleet vehicles or cargo
  • Review idle and stop times
  • Expedite dispatching
  • Improve fleet-routing efficiency
  • Reduce theft of high-value assets
  • Ensure equipment is located at the job site

Re-Buying What You Already Had
The ultimate in company wastefulness is re-buying costly equipment that was stolen due to lack of proper security measures. While alarms and cameras may deter a criminal, one of the best ways to prevent a theft from happening is to receive near real-time alerts when a door opens or a piece of equipment moves.

Furthermore, recovering stolen property is much easier when it’s tracked by a concealed GPS-enabled tracking device. With near real-time updates, you can see where your equipment is at all times.