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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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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22.11
2019

Using Actsoft Solutions to Sustain Your Business

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

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

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

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

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

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06.11
2019

What Makes Encore’s Wireless Forms Feature Dynamic?

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

Dynamic fields

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

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

Data analysis

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

Faster information reception

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

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

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29.10
2019

Using Encore’s Timekeeping Feature to Make Payroll Management Easier

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

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

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

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

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

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23.09
2019

Practical Uses for Form Workflows

As one of the most dynamic tools that our Wireless Forms feature has to offer, Form Workflows* is an essential way for companies using our solutions to streamline their documentation processes. This is done through employees digitally sending incomplete forms from one mobile device to the next, allowing them to fill out any relevant information in a seamless chain of command. In addition to helping your staff save time, Form Workflows can also help enhance the accuracy of your documents’ data, as well as allow you to implement authorization processes for submitted forms. Personnel who have greater permissions are able to reject and send back an electronic document once it’s been submitted to them to the previous user if there are certain portions missing or if the data is incorrect. Here are a few practical ways that Form Workflows can be used in three different industries:

Construction

A construction company can rely on Form Workflows to track the near real-time progress of their building projects with documentation routing. As certain aspects of a project gradually become finished, the teams that were responsible for their completion can fill in details about the construction site’s timeline and send them back wirelessly for management at the home office to review.

Healthcare

For healthcare organizations, monitoring medical services delivered remains key for quality control and verification purposes. Using Form Workflows, these companies can store and transmit data back to headquarters in a highly secure environment, giving individuals on their administrative teams extra abilities to sign off on and evaluate details about conducted patient visits.

Transportation

Moving cargo is easier to do by using Form Workflows to help trace vehicle stops and shipment statuses. Truck drivers who are taking goods from the warehouse to the airport for worldwide distribution can use a tandem of Form Workflows and Signature Capture to ensure that deliveries are successfully handed off. As a result, customer service can remain optimized, as increasingly efficient workflow tracking provides more realistic package arrival times for the clients awaiting them.

Find out more about how Form Workflows can help your organization implement accuracy checklists, save your company time and money, and improve its service levels to customers today.

*Form Workflows is a feature exclusively available to users of Encore’s Ultimate tier.

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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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30.07
2019

What is Electronic Visit Verification (EVV)?

Technology is rapidly changing the ways that businesses in the healthcare industry reach and serve their patients. A relevant example of this is through Electronic Visit Verification (EVV), a type of system that helps companies document proof of their service delivered to patients. EVV is especially crucial for home healthcare providers with mobile medical staff as they make visits to clients in the field.

Aside from providing key returns like reduced paper costs, more secure data storage and transmission, and efficient workforce coordination, an EVV solution can help your healthcare organization remain in compliance with federal mandates, as healthcare companies will eventually be required to implement one, according to the 21st Century Cures Act. The implementation deadline is January 1, 2020, for Personal Care Services; Home Healthcare Services must have an EVV solution by January 1, 2023, in order to avoid fines and stay in regulation.

There are six key data elements that an EVV system must track: patient names, dates, locations, types of service performed, the home health provider’s name, and the start and finish times of care delivered. Recently, we released Encore Vault, a version of our flagship solution whose EVV options let you capture this information. Encore Vault contains even more features for enhanced security and is in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This new tier’s timekeeping- and scheduling-based options for EVV give healthcare companies like yours the flexibility they need to select a plan that works for them.

Benefits of Encore Vault include:

  • The ability to eliminate overbilling by pinpointing and logging visits
  • The ability to reduce insurance fraud and falsely filed invoices with GPS-tagged records
  • Enhanced worker safety
  • Timestamped trips by caregivers for accurate visit times
  • A highly secure messaging platform to communicate on

Unlike most lower price point EVV applications, Encore Vault also offers GPS Tracking as a complement to all of its proof of service delivery functionalities. See the near real-time positions of your mobile nurses and delivery people to verify that they’re at the correct locations, help them choose the most fuel- and time-efficient routes to patient homes, and increase workforce accountability using this intuitive feature. With our diverse EVV solutions, your organization can stay compliant and optimize its daily visit schedules through improved locational insight. Find out more today about what Encore Vault can do to help your healthcare company better serve its patients.

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24.07
2019

The Customization Abilities of Encore

Actsoft’s premier mobile resource management solution, Encore, offers multiple customization options, allowing users to craft a version of it that works best for their business practices. Three of the most powerful customizations possible with Encore are being able to brand the application to your business, choose certain modules over others, and run selected reports that have specialized data sets.

Branding

Make our solution truly yours by altering its look and feel to fit your business’s brand. Select different color schemes for your interface and easily import your company’s logo into the application to integrate Encore with your business’s message and existing employee workflows. Having an application that’s in compliance with your company’s brand can also help staff become acclimated with the solution more expediently.

Module Customization

Encore gives companies the ability to choose only the features they can benefit from the most with module customization. With options for Timekeeping, Wireless Forms, GPS Tracking, Job Dispatching, and more, Encore helps your team improve upon the biggest weaknesses in your mobile workforce’s operations, ensuring you’re only paying for the capabilities you need.

“Companies today are looking for an adjustable, bespoke business application like Encore,” said Xavier Charles, Actsoft’s director of marketing. “Encore is built in a modular format, allowing organizations to truly tailor the solution’s features strictly to what their businesses require and nothing they don’t. While many other solutions offer too many unnecessary features at too high of a price, our affordable-but-powerful solution puts the business owner in control by letting them customize its functionalities to their company’s specific needs.”

Custom Reporting

Focus solely on the metrics that you need and nothing else using Custom Reporting. Having to sift through irrelevant information while reviewing generalized reports can slow down productivity for your team, make it harder to pinpoint analytics that directly impact revenue, and drain bandwidth; Custom Reporting eliminates these issues by allowing your admins to send reports to selected individuals and tailor them to only include key data points.

Encore’s customization abilities work to make versatility achievable for your workforce. Contact us today to find out more about how your organization can gain benefits like increased revenue, more informed decision-making, and streamlined productivity using the power of our ultra-tailorable solution.

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