04.03
2020

All Industries With a Mobile Workforce Suffer From Four Well-Known “Illnesses”

Wasted Tripitis. Believed to be the major margin thief for suppliers, field service, and specialized trades.

  • How much could you save if you eliminated just 50 percent of wasted trips?
  • How much would you save if your employees could clock in and out electronically from the job site?
  • What if they could send every bit of information directly back to you from the field without having to fill out paperwork?

Waiting to Work Syndrome. Unproductive time drains resources.

  • There’s a logical order to things. A carpenter can’t trim until the drywall is up and painted. You don’t want flooring down before the painter is done.
  • How much time do you think you’d save if you could sequence the phases of a job so nobody is standing around, waiting?

LYME (Locate Your Missing Employee) Disease.  This needs no explanation. It’s very serious.

  • How often do you wonder where your employees are? Wouldn’t it be nice to just look at a map and see?
  • What if you could get an alert when they’re stopped for more than a specific amount of time?
  • What if a truck breaks down on the highway? A piece of equipment is lost or stolen? An employee is injured or in distress? Seconds count. GPS accuracy means improved response rates.

SWINE (So Where Is My Nearest Employee?) Flu. 

  • When a service call comes in, wouldn’t it be great to quickly deploy the closest resource?
  • How much better would it be if you could locate the nearest available employee with the matching skill set and equipment to do the job?

Actsoft is the antidote. In today’s competitive environment — with gas prices unstable and more of your workforce on the road — a little preventative medicine and some positive ROI won’t hurt!

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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

27.02
2020

How Tracking Monitors Speed and Helps Reduce Fuel Consumption

Every day, organizations of all sizes dispatch delivery trucks, service vehicles, vans, passenger cars, and large trucks onto the streets and highways with one goal in mind: Get there as fast (and safely) as possible.

This sense of urgency can sometimes cause drivers to hurry to jobs, often exceeding posted speed limits. The negative side effects of this behavior are fairly obvious: Excessive speeding is dangerous, burns fuel needlessly, adds risk, and increases the expense of overall fleet operations.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that excessive speeding decreases fuel economy by up to 20 percent. Even in a small fleet of just 25 vehicles, saving 20 percent of fuel costs each year per vehicle quickly makes an impact. So you can imagine the dramatic impact it can have on larger fleets.

GPS and wireless technology have evolved to the point where vehicle tracking and fleet management technology leverages data such as satellite maps, traffic, and posted speed limits (in near real-time) to help organizations communicate, increase efficiencies, and track data such as fuel consumption, fuel efficiency, vehicle speed, and maintenance schedules. Leveraging this data to improve operational efficiency reduces fuel consumption and saves businesses thousands of dollars a year.

Implementing Encore’s solutions encourages drivers to practice safer driving habits because any unsafe practices are indisputably recorded and they will be held accountable. Once employees know you are monitoring their driving, speed, and gas mileage, they tend to take greater care in how they use company vehicles. This improved behavior saves fuel, reduces unsafe driving, and enhances a company’s reputation with the public.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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

19.02
2020

How GPS Solutions Save Gas and Money

Gas prices are out of control and could go higher. So, why wouldn’t you want to save a tank a month, particularly if you have a number of work vehicles constantly on the go? If you have ten trucks on the road and each one costs $80 to fill up, conservatively thinking, you can easily save $800 a week. (My Prius costs $40 to fill right now, so I’m being very kind with this estimate.) That’s $41,600 a year!

How, you ask? A GPS vehicle tracking device can help companies and fleet owners squeeze every drop of value from their liquid gold (aka fuel). A number of fuel-saving measures involve using a vehicle efficiently and wisely. By using a GPS tracking device, companies can ensure and enforce efficient of use with their vehicles.

Here are four ways to reduce fuel consumption:

  1. Drive slower. Studies have shown that fuel economy drops by 17.1 percent as speeds increase from 50 mph to 70 mph. Every 5 mph of additional speed over 60 mph costs drivers an additional 30 cents per gallon in fuel costs.
  2. Idle less. Fifteen minutes of idle time uses half a gallon of gasoline, and even 30 seconds of idle time uses more fuel than turning the engine off and then on again.
  3. Plan Routes. Direct routes that avoid traffic snares help eliminate delays. Being able to easily see which driver is closest to a last-minute requirement is invaluable.
  4. Eliminate side jobs. Think some of your employees might use your vehicles to make a little side cash? It happens, especially when the economy gets tight. Find out exactly where your vehicles travel to make sure they’re never veering off course without a valid reason.

Companies using GPS tracking solutions can tackle every one of these issues. Knowing where vehicles are, when and how fast vehicles are speeding, how long they’re idling, which vehicle was fueled where, and what route they should take to save time and fuel can pay significant dividends and improve bottom lines.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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

05.02
2020

GPS Technology and Personnel Management

Every organization wants to see their business succeed. Depending on the size and nature of the business, it may be necessary to look outside of the normal “personnel management” scope to make operations run at peak performance. As mobile devices keep getting more advanced, coupled with a growing and evolving mobile workforce environment, management teams are realizing the benefits of Mobile Resource Management (MRM) technology.

Advances in wireless technology show that a hand-held or in-vehicle device can perform a wide range of business functions; gone are the days these were just a basic communication tool. Devices can now be used to locate and track mobile workers for more effective job scheduling, to deliver and accept incoming work orders, capture signatures for instant invoicing, manage mobile inventory, perform wireless time clock functions, and so much more.

By leveraging wireless technology to expedite critical business functions, organizations are seeing significantly improved cash flow without high up-front investments.

Businesses that do not use GPS technology to manage mobile personnel are missing an effective means of increasing productivity to cut operational costs. GPS technology has a wide range of application that can help companies to:

  • Keep accurate time records
  • Maintain and increase productivity
  • Reduce liability
  • Monitor the use of company property

An abundance of personnel data can position a business to react positively, quickly, and effectively to issues that arise. Additionally, equipment fitted with tracking devices will help business owners to know how their equipment is being used at all times. An increased level of accountability is inherent when employees know that their use of the company equipment is being monitored. Businesses can reduce liability when they use GPS to encourage adherence to safety guidelines.

Operational controls like these naturally lend themselves to better management of human resources. Having a higher level of control over human resources translates into quantifiable benefits, which includes increased profits, higher security, and a reduction in operational expenses.

Actsoft has the right mobile business solution for your company, whether you are at the beginning stages of implementation or want to improve upon your current mobile workforce solution. By providing one-on-one consultations to review your business strategies, we can help take your business to the next level of mobile workforce management and significantly improve your cash flow.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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

29.01
2020

The Basics of GPS Tracking at Actsoft

At Actsoft, the base of many applications used to improve the efficiency of partner businesses is GPS tracking. Many Actsoft customers and other people in the general public know of GPS, but don’t quite understand what it is or how it works.

GPS tracking began in 1994 after more than 20 years of planning by the U.S. Department of Defense. Although it began as a military project during the Cold War, GPS is now used by civilians for daily use. The history of GPS is extensive and the technology is constantly changing, but it’s pretty simple to understand.

Tracking is done through an established connection between a GPS tracking device and a system of satellites in orbit. To create a connection between the device and satellites, the user must be outside and usually in fair weather, so a transmission from the device can be sent to a satellite and the satellite can send information back to the device. GPS satellites can tell longitude and latitude, elevation, and even velocity. For the average person, this information is available on their smartphone, tablet, and computer.

Actsoft and its customers use this information to run their companies more smoothly. We take the information sent by GPS satellites and compile the acquired data of several employees to create a report on the whereabouts and activity of everyone throughout the day. For a business that needs its employees to travel, it’s essential to track their actions.

Companies can also customize settings to create unique locations that can be set as a landmark area, where an employee should be at during set times (e.g. a job site). These geofences can be set to any configuration that will cover a certain area set by employers. Businesses can set email alerts for if employees aren’t in the proper zone or if they’re in a certain area for too long.

Actsoft uses GPS to track devices and allow companies to keep tabs on personnel. In addition, GPS is used to ensure that the business is running smoothly and efficiently. GPS is used for more than just getting a person from “point A” to “point B”; it’s an innovation that allows companies to maximize revenue through a technological achievement.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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

21.01
2020

Communication is Key!

Actsoft aids in utility company response times.

As much as we would like to avoid it, accidents happen. Trees and power lines fall on roads, water pipes burst, and traffic lights go out. There isn’t much we can do about it except hope that the utility companies that handle the messes are well prepared. Responding quickly to emergencies, as well as communicating information efficiently, are two extremely important factors that make up a successful utility company. They’re both essential to help assure a timely response, and guarantees they have all the information needed to correct the problem.

Communication is key! Our solutions help utility companies by bridging the gap between the accident and the solution.

Actsoft combines GPS and wireless technology to maximize productivity.

  • Reduce response times in critical situations.
  • Date, time, and GPS location–stamped reports give indisputable proof of service.
  • Collect timely and accurate field data.
  • Provide factual data for regulatory and compliance reporting.
  • Send and receive accurate, up-to-the-minute updates and changes.
  • Reduce unproductive trips to the office.
  • Panic button notifies the office immediately in case of an emergency or dangerous situation.

Sometimes when we see the utility trucks on the side of the road with employees fast at work, we assume they just magically appear there. Not true. It takes a coordinated effort between the dispatchers and drivers to get each truck where they need to be. And that effort is made much easier with our software.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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

18.12
2019

Mobile Technology: 5 Ways Mobile Devices Can Improve Field Services

Nowadays, it de rigueur to see people of all ages walking around with the latest mobile device in tow. Little Johnny is busy playing games on his new tablet, while grandma is Facetiming with her loved ones. These devices are increasingly becoming more powerful, sleek, and easy to use. So why not use what’s hot and apply it to your business?

Chances are, if you own a service company, your techs in the field already own a smartphone, tablet, or both. Even if they’re one of the few that don’t own one, odds are they at least know how to use one. With mobile technology booming, why not utilize the power of these devices to increase your daily productivity?

1. Don’t Get Lost in the Shuffle
Route optimization is key when dispatching mobile workers. It is vital that drivers know both the address of their destination and a clear-cut way to get there. A good mobile device can intuitively provide driving directions and route alternatives which will get techs to job sites with ease.

2. The Early Bird Gets the Worm
No one likes to sit around and wait for the cable guy or electrician. Knowing exactly when a driver reaches a job site is imperative to a dispatcher’s workflow. With mobile technology, the home office has a bird’s-eye view of what is going on in the field. So when a customer calls, they can receive an accurate estimated time of arrival rather than a dreaded five-hour estimate.

3. Communication is Key
Every service company knows that jobs are not always cut and dry. Unexpected issues can arise, no matter the size of the job. With an effective mobile solution, workers can quickly alert the office of a new update in the schedule. Being able to communicate in near real-time is a benefit to both customer and technician. The office is alerted of the issue and can assist the technician by providing a resolution on the spot.

4. Clipboards are a Thing of the Past
Gone are the days of the bulky clipboard. No one wants to manage stacks of paperwork. Digital technology can eliminate paperwork and maximize efficiency. Can you imagine doing away with unnecessary trips to the office to pick up and drop off work orders? Now you can create wireless versions of your paper forms and take them on the road using something your company already has: mobile devices. This way, workers can collect information and signatures from customers and transmit data back to the office, without any delays or the worry of errors due to illegibility.

5. Prove It
The customer may always be right, but having the ability to prove the whereabouts of a technician through GPS check-in helps keep everyone honest. If a customer mentions that a tech was late to a job site, the dispatcher can quickly validate the exact arrival and departure time. Mobile devices also allow workers to capture photos, signatures, and proof of delivery and service.

It’s safe to say that smartphones and tablets are game changers in the world of field service. When technicians are armed with the tools that mobile devices offer, they are able to complete tasks more quickly, respond to customers more efficiently, and stay focused on their daily workload. If mobile devices make all that and more possible, isn’t it time that you tried one to help increase the efficiency of your business?

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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

03.12
2019

Keep Parcels More Secure During Holiday Deliveries with Asset Tracking

As mentioned in a previous post, the number of parcels being delivered this holiday season is likely to increase from years past. With companies like Amazon making online ordering and residential delivery even more popular, it’s clear that accessibility and convenience are currently as important as ever to the average consumer during their shopping experience.

For companies needing to ship packages, especially around Christmastime, tracking the delivery vehicles is one thing, but if those vehicles become separated from the cargo they’re hauling, product security also becomes jeopardized. Luckily, with Actsoft solutions, your team can gain comprehensive knowledge on where its shipping containers and trailers are, with Alerts for tampering outside of specific hours. Easily attach compatible sensors to the doors of your semi-truck trailers to help keep parcels more secure, as you’ll know precisely when the shipping containers they’re in are opened.

Run a more secure and efficient delivery operation with Asset Tracking that works to keep your administrators informed in near real-time. Our software solutions function in tandem with many different types of tracking hardware to display GPS positions of all your business’s assets, allowing you to choose the devices that are best for your business’s specific trailer types. From the warehouse to the distribution zone, your team can also easily establish digital perimeters with Geofences and receive notifications any time a trailer with valuable cargo enters or exits their boundaries.

Save time and money and provide additional peace of mind to your customers by using Asset Tracking to help verify that the products your business ships remain secure at all times. The stress surrounding holiday season logistics can hurt your company’s reputation and bottom line if left to spiral out of control; make sure the parcels in your delivery vehicles’ trailers are reaching their destinations securely and expediently with our digital tracking solutions.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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

 

28.10
2019

Why Telematics Is More Than a Buzzword

Now that we have all this information at our fingertips — from GPS positioning and driver behavior, to consumer trends and asset locations, what do we do with it? For the last few decades, we’ve gotten ever more sophisticated at collecting and tracking data, but the latest goal is developing systems to act on that information in a meaningful and valuable way.

This is precisely why the notion of telematics is not just a passing blip in the Twittersphere or in techy magazines. Telematics, which integrates information with telecommunications, is now ubiquitous in the M2M industry, including GPS technology and even satellite radio.

In the past, one of the major concerns for many companies was not only having all this information, but also multiple platforms from which to assimilate and act upon it. In short, it seemed less of an advantage and more of a headache, so there’s been a huge push for single-management platforms for multiple tasks, such as dispatching and route optimization — a single control panel to rule them all.

So companies, like Actsoft, are at the forefront of this industry by offering a wide range of telematics services to solve multiple problems through a single interface. By consolidating data from multiple touch points into a single stream, information has the potential to become richer, and patterns even more apparent. Once you have this piece of the puzzle in place, the fun begins: What do you do with all this information?

Because the impressive ROI of telematics-enabled services has been proven for years, more companies who depend on a wide variety of M2M operations – from asset locating devices to cloud-based wireless forms — want to know how they can add even more value to existing software. We offer an effective and full-scope suite of M2M, integrated mobile solutions that work in tandem with third-party clients, creating specialized, unique uses. This type of customization is becoming more popular in the telematics world as the data that’s meaningful to one company may not be to another. An example would be adapting an asset-protection device, meant to prevent theft of heavy machinery, by sending alerts to a marketing research situation where two items are being A/B tested. The researcher would know which item is picked up more, moved, and inspected. This stream of data could also be integrated with information from other telematics solutions such as wireless forms in understanding how many forms are filled out in relation to how often a product was moved and so on.

The data insights are limitless and as technology advances more rapidly, these solutions become surprisingly affordable — so much so that it becomes costly not to have them.

Whatever the trends are in today’s more complex world of systems and analysis, one thing is for certain: Having even a base level telematics-meets-big-data software solution will be the norm from which every competitive business will be operating. What you do with the information is another system altogether.

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

26.07
2019

What Are Geofences and How Do They Work?

One of the biggest issues that managers face when it comes to having a predominantly mobile staff is keeping track of their team to make sure they’re staying on task throughout the day. It’s impossible to have eyes on everyone at all times and this is especially true when your team is remote. While there is a certain level of trust administrators must put in their team, there are extra measures you can take to keep your team accountable.

We’ve discussed how our GPS-stamped Timekeeping feature helps to prevent mobile employees from preemptively punching in at the start of the day, prior to arriving at job sites. But how do you know they actually remain on-site for the duration of the day? It’s not feasible to continually check in throughout the day, using the live view map; as a business owner, there are much more important things you can (and should) be focusing on.

So what do you do? Enter: Geofences.

Simply put, geofences are virtual boundaries that define a designated area and can trigger a predetermined response whenever they are “breached.” With Encore, you can set up geofences around hotspots — such as work sites — in order to monitor both the arrival and departure of people, vehicles, and equipment.

What does this mean for you?

Once your workers are on the clock, our tracking solution helps assure that they will remain on-site for the duration of their shift. Because if for any reason they depart the geofence zone, you and/or whichever administrator you put in charge, will receive an alert letting you know about this departure. From there, you can determine if it was an authorized move or if it warrants a discussion.

Just knowing that this capability exists is typically enough to keep your workers on-site and accountable for their actions. For those that still feel the need to wander, you’re left with indisputable proof that documents their departure from the worksite and the length of time they were gone. (And you can still track where they went, if they’re still on the clock.)

In addition to keeping your team in check, geofences can also be used to make sure your important (and costly) equipment and vehicles remain where they should be. This added layer of protection helps to prevent both theft and unauthorized use by employees for personal business.

This is just one example of how we embrace the power of GPS to help you make the most of your business. Give us a call and we’ll set up a demo to show you all the other ways our solution can help maximize your workforce.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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