20.12
2019

Star Wars and Workforce Management

If you’re a science fiction fanatic, you undoubtedly know today marks the release of yet another installment in the enduring Star Wars franchise. “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” is the ninth and final film produced in the epic space opera collectively known as The Skywalker Saga, the first of which dates all the way back to 1977. Without giving away too much, the beginning half of the film centers largely around central characters hopping from planet to planet as they attempt to track down an artifact that may prove to be a crucial piece in completing their mission.

Naturally, there’s a tremendous sense of urgency as they hurriedly attempt to track down this lost artifact, for which they only have a handful of clues to go by in order to find. And yet, the fates of countless worlds are in their hands. (If you want to know how the heroes fare, you’ll have to check out the movie for yourself; you won’t find any spoilers here.)

Imagine how much easier it would have been for the heroes to find their much-needed artifact if there was a means of easily tracking it down, without all that guesswork. Encore’s GPS Tracking capabilities allow you to keep tabs on your most important equipment — the things that are essential for you to complete your job on a day-to-day basis. So whenever you need to use something, you know exactly where it is, saving you from wasting time tracking it down or, worse, finding that it fell into the wrong hands.

Not only is GPS Tracking a great tool for safeguarding your valuable equipment, but it’s also the best way to watch over all your employees in the field. (Imagine how much easier it would have been for the heroes in “Star Wars” if they both had a simple solution for tracking down what they needed and for keeping tabs on their companions, too.) So whether you have all your people at one job site and want to make sure they stay there the entire time they’re on the clock, or they’re dispersed throughout multiple job sites, seeing exactly where they are is as simple as pulling up the solution’s dashboard.

What’s more, for both equipment and people, you can even take advantage of the Geofence feature and set up virtual boundaries around job sites. With these, alerts can be sent to your phone the minute a piece of equipment breaches the boundary, or whenever an employee does so during working hours.

Whether you’re an intergalactic troupe on a mission to save the galaxy, or a local business working hard to get the job done, efficiency is always the name of the game.

May the workforce be with you.

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13.12
2019

Tips for Making Professional New Year’s Resolutions

As the year’s end approaches, it’s time to reflect on our successes, as well as the things we feel we could have done better. This is true on both a personal level and from a business perspective. It’s something that we do here at Actsoft, and it contributes greatly to our ability to move forward in our mission to help businesses be their very best. And it’s something we think every successful business owner should do as well.

Whether you call them New Year’s Resolutions or just business goals, as the curtain closes on 2019 and we prepare to usher in 2020, it’s important to have well-defined goals. Here are some suggestions.

Meet on a weekly basis to discuss business plans.
Operating off the cuff is almost never the way to go. Rather than wait to meet every month, quarter, or year, make it a point to meet more frequently to review what is currently working and what may need to be modified. Beyond the potential financial savings, it also assures that everyone remains in the loop.

Learn a new skill.
You may be great at what you do, but the moment you decide there’s no need to continue learning and growing is when you begin to stagnate. It could be discovering a new way of managing your team or even discovering a new hobby. The latter may sound odd, but having a healthy work-life balance can directly impact your ability to lead.

Start networking more.
Maybe you rely fully on word-of-mouth references for new jobs. A lot of businesses see tremendous success in that way. But try linking up with folks at a networking event. Not only could such experiences result in new business, but they could also lead to partnerships or new business ideas. If there are none in your area, you could start out by actually engaging with that pile of LinkedIn connections you’ve been collecting over the years.

Organize a volunteer outing.
Your community is the reason your business exists, so consider taking a day to give back to them. Invite your team to join you in volunteering your time to help any organization in need. You could even consider being a mentor to aspiring young entrepreneurs. Not only will you feel great in giving back, but it could also end up proving to be good business PR.

Learn to move on.
Are you following business practices that aren’t necessarily the best, simply because they’re the way it’s always been done? “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” isn’t always the best practice in the business world. Use the new year as a catalyst for change all the way down to the fundamental ways you run your business. Chances are, there are plenty of processes that could stand to be revisited and improved.

Review the way you spend your time.
What does your day-to-day look like? Are you maximizing your time? Try cataloging exactly what you’re doing — and how much time everything takes — every day for two weeks. Review it all at the end and see if you’re actually making the most of your day. You may learn, for example, that you spend an excessive amount of time in meetings and decide you can eliminate (or consolidate) some to make room for more actionable activity.

This year, make it a goal to learn from the past to plan for an even brighter future.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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06.12
2019

How to Help Your Employees Avoid Holiday Stress

This time of year can be stressful for everyone. As the temperatures continue to drop and the holidays draw ever closer, there are myriad factors — both inside and outside the workplace — that can really lay on the pressure, cause tensions to rise, and negatively affect job performances across the board. This is the time when people stress out about things like finances, increased production expectations due to seasonal vacations, and even the trepidatious road conditions they’re constantly faced with.

As an employer, it’s in your best interest to do whatever you can to facilitate productivity at your company. One of the best ways to do this is to keep your employees happy and as stress-free as possible. Here, a few simple extra steps you can take to help make this happen.

Schedule time off well in advance.
When the holidays roll around, it’s not ideal to have last-minute time-off requests. Your employees may feel extra pressure if they suddenly discover they’re needed to help out due to unplanned PTO. During this notoriously busy vacation time, it makes sense to require that employees submit requests ahead of time. You’re left with plenty of time to schedule accordingly, and your team has time to mentally prepare for busy days.

Schedule an event.
A holiday-related celebration for employees gives them something to look forward to; a light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. If business demands allow for it, hosting during regular office hours makes it even more appealing.

Provide food.
It’s a small gesture, but it goes a long way. Buying lunch for the team on an especially busy day — and making sure they have some work-free time to enjoy it — can be a gesture that prevents someone from reaching their breaking point.

Ease up the dress code.
If you have a stringent dress code — and interaction with clients allows for it — loosen up some of the rules this time of year. You’d be surprised at how much a simple thing like wearing jeans can do to boost morale.

Think about deadlines.
Not everything has a hard deadline, so if there’s a project that can be pushed back or expedited, let your team know. Give them the flexibility to work at an efficient pace. And try not to assign big projects that require a last-minute scramble. Personal lives are exceptionally busy as well this time of year, so the simple act of being mindful of deadlines in relation to the approaching holidays can make all the difference.

Give them the gift of efficiency.
Our suite of tools helps make any workplace a much more efficient place to be, lifting a lot of the stressors that can bog your team down. With features that help manage workloads — especially beneficial during this busy holiday season — and make tedious processes more expeditious, Encore can help your team accomplish more while feeling less overwhelmed.

It’s the little things that can make a big difference in the moment. But it’s the long-term planning, such as using an effective solution like Encore, that makes a huge, lasting difference. Happy holidays!

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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07.11
2018

Where’s Waldo? Four Reasons Why Tracking Time Is Important

Most of us are familiar with the children’s book series “Where’s Waldo?” wherein the object of the game is to find the titular character hidden among a vibrant backdrop. Now, assuming Waldo is a working member of society, his penchant for getting lost begs the question, “How does that affect his employer?” If Waldo is on the clock every time he gets lost, it goes without question that he is hurting his employer’s bottom line. What are some reasons Waldo’s employer should actively track his time?

Understanding Employee Utilization and Capacity
While Waldo remains lost while clocked in at work, he is accomplishing none of his workload for that day. Without accomplishing any jobs, Waldo’s maximum capacity for work remains unable to be determined. The absence of these measurements creates difficulty for Waldo’s employers as they try to measure where their company is and if there is room for growth.

Accurately Forecasting and Benchmarking
Companies need to be able to estimate how long it will take an employee to complete a single job. With Waldo always missing on the clock, his employer cannot determine how much time he needs to complete a task. Without this estimate, Waldo’s employer is unable to establish an accurate forecast or estimate that ensures they are achieving the maximum profitability for the job.

Can I Hire?
Waldo’s shenanigans prevent his employer from knowing whether they can hire additional employees or not. If Waldo accomplishes one job during his eight-hour workday and then gets lost on the clock, his employer will maintain that he can only get one work order done a day. This may not allow the level of productivity necessary for his employer to bring on a new hire.

Reviewing Performance
With the data from Waldo’s cost as an employee, his employer can conduct an objective performance review. Without sufficient data, Waldo’s employer cannot properly navigate the waters concerning Waldo’s performance, unable to decide whether to terminate Waldo or hire an additional employee to mitigate the workload.

While Waldo’s disregard for following cardinal directions can indeed hamper a business, there exist solutions to this problem. Actsoft provides a platform that ensures Waldo’s time is effectively utilized in completing the tasks he is assigned. Timekeeping becomes simple for Waldo as it becomes available while he is operating remotely, clearing up confusion on whether or not he is at a job site while he is on the clock. Combined with a location stamp taken at the time of each time punch, Waldo’s employers are granted incredible visibility of their employee. The question, “Where’s Waldo?” is given an answer when using our solution and it is, “He’s at work.”

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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17.03
2017

It’s Morphin’ Time! – Dispatching & Disasters

Few franchises embody the 90s like the “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers” do. In an era where “attitude” and martial arts were huge draws to the American audience, Power Rangers was an undeniable juggernaut. With over twenty years of installments and a new movie premiering this March, the appeal of the Power Rangers is still burning strongly.

A staple of the Power Rangers is gigantic clashes between massive monsters and the heroes’ equally large Megazord. More often than not, the arena for these titanic throw-downs would be a densely populated, urban metropolis. While there is no doubt the skyscrapers and bridges provide an excellent battlefield, there is a question that hangs over the course of the battle: Who cleans up this mess when they’re done?

Giant monster fights in the series tend to occur in the middle of cities without warning, much like an earthquake. Similarly, they compromise the structural integrity of buildings, roadways, and bridges along with endangering the lives of the civilians in the surrounding area. The aftermath of both of these disastrous occurrences typically breeds the following results:

1. Damaged or blocked thoroughfares

  1. Areas in more critical need than others
  2. Lives in danger in specific areas of the city.

Common occurrences in times of disaster, the results bred by in the aftermath require immediate action in order to mitigate the potential costs. The dispatching processes of rescue and construction crews must operate like a well-oiled machine in order to respond quickly and efficiently. In order to do so, these crews have to have:

  • Awareness of their workforce in relation to the areas that require immediate attention
  • A clear map of the area in order to direct teams along the fastest routes to their destination
  • The ability to clearly and quickly relay information between supervisors and the mobile workforce

Actsoft provides technology that opens the door for quicker responses to disastrous events. With our GPS tracking feature, dispatchers are granted near real-time updates to the location of their workforce in relation to ground zero of the disaster. With a well-mapped image of the area, dispatchers can coordinate their teams to respond effectively to zones of the city affected by the monster battle. This visibility allows dispatchers to ensure teams that are closest to an area are the ones to respond, reducing the reaction time. Finally, a clear and constant channel of communication allows dispatchers and mobile crews to relay information from the field. A disaster zone is a constantly evolving theater; the situation changing as time progresses. With the ability to receive real-time information from the field, dispatchers can orchestrate their team into an effective flow, instead of being bogged down in a quagmire of slow information and confusion.

The disastrous effects of a gigantic monster battle in the middle of a city, while glanced over in the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, can be anything, but ignored in real life. Much like an earthquake, they come without any prior alerts and do significant damage. Actsoft’s software ensures that, when disaster strikes, your dispatching and mobile workforce is ready to “Go, Go!”

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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