Category Archives: myGeoTracking General

myGeoTracking mobile workforce management helps companies manage mobile workforce (both regular and contract workforce alike) works on all phones. With tools like Mobile time clock, real-time employee location you are able to cut-down on payroll cost and boost productivity and accountability.

What is Geofencing and How it can Streamline Your Field Operations

What is a Geofence?

A Geofence is a virtual boundary around a predefined real-world area of interest. A virtual perimeter (geofence) can be put up using a geofencing software.

Geofencing is a location-based service that can be used for a lot more than just tracking. Here are some of its possible applications and use cases:

  1. Service Worker Geofencing

Modern workforce management tools such as myGeoTracking use a combination of GPS, cellular data, and WiFi signals to accurately detect time-clocking activities. This helps with in-visit verification of a worker on a job site, eases attendance verification, and enhances the accuracy of billing employee work hours.

  1. Workflow Automation

Geofencing can help automate operations workflow using rules and triggers. Very few modern tools, like myGeoTracking, support custom work rules that leverage geofencing to automate your business operations.

  1. Vehicle and Load Tracking

Good service and timely deliveries make a huge difference in load transportation business. Do not forget to go an extra mile for the security of high-value, high-risk and time-sensitive freight. A geofence, in this case, helps you to know when a driver is close to the destination or is heading where they shouldn’t. Monitor time spent at a location and alert drop locations of an incoming arrival. Say goodbye to “Give me a call when you get there”.

  1. Customer Experience

Geofencing can also boost the positive side of your customers’ experience by allowing fleet management to understand which assets are in a particular area and therefore, with additional statistics and information, directing the assets to meet customer demands. This helps companies to better serve the existing as well as potential new customers and enhance customer experience.

  1. Geofence for Marketing

Creating location-based geofenced marketing campaigns can truly transform all facets of your business. Serving ads and other promotional content to individuals while they are at the geofenced location and after they leave. Ads can also be set up to send phone messages to consumers who happen to be passing their preferred retail stores. This strategy increases brand awareness and can reduce the cost of marketing considerably.

Summary

myGeoTracking is a cloud-hosted, carrier-grade location and messaging platform that helps SMB and Enterprise businesses better manage their mobile employees by improving productivity and accountability, while reducing payroll and operations costs with solutions such as GPS tracking & time clock, Lone worker safety, Automation of field activity monitoring, Mobile forms & data collection including signature, notes, pictures, barcode/QR code, etc. The myGeoTracking platform enables these solutions across a wide range of industries such as field service management, trade services, emergency responders, sales reps, transportation & logistics and home health care providers.

Clock In Clock Out App: Integrated Time Clock Solutions for Field Workers

Time is money. Who knows this better than the hourly workforce? The more time you spend on the job (working), the more you get paid. Traditionally, clocking in and out of a work (the job site) has been carried out through punch card machines, paper timesheets logs, and swipe cards. But keeping track of billable hours and processing of payroll through these methods has always been tedious and time-consuming and error-prone task for the back-office operations.

Let us take a look at some modern ways to stay on top of time-tracking and processing of payroll:

  1. Time Clock Software

  2. Clock-In Clock-Out through App

  3. Time Clock through IVR

  4. Time Clock through SMS

Let’s take a look at these solutions.

  1. Time Clock Software

Modern Time clock software are very affordable and offer highly efficient means to track time, even for small businesses! Here’s how a typical solution works: It allows employees to check in and check out across your company’s network with a click of a button. It also allows them to log both billable and non-billable hours.

  1. Clock-In Clock-Out through App

With modern time clock apps like myGeoTracking, the employees’ smartphones can be transformed into portable time clocks by simply downloading and installing the app on their device. This will help them to clock in and out as soon as they start and finish their job. Saving a lot of time on paperwork for both employees as well as the employer.

  1. Time Clock through IVR

IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response and as the name suggests is a voice-based system where the employee or the worker who is usually remote or works at client’s or customer’s place, is able to clock in/out by placing a phone call to a dedicated phone number. The employee just follows the voice prompts to log their time and attendance. Smart systems like myGeoTracking can provide location data about the place from where the phone call was made!

  1. Time Clock through SMS

Provide your employees with easy access to clock in and out directly from their mobile phone by using text messaging. The employee simply sends in their text command to clock in/out. Such systems can log their times based on the incoming message and the command used. Some smart systems like myGeoTracking can do more than just logging the time, it will also record/log the place from where the message was sent. This way the employer can check or any fraudulent behaviors (such as employees clock in from home etc.).

Summary

myGeoTracking is a cloud-hosted, carrier-grade location and messaging platform that helps SMB and Enterprise businesses better manage their mobile employees by improving productivity and accountability, while reducing payroll and operations costs with solutions such as GPS tracking & time clock, Lone worker safety, Automation of field activity monitoring, Mobile forms & data collection including signature, notes, pictures, barcode/QR code, etc. The myGeoTracking platform enables these solutions across a wide range of industries such as field service management, trade services, emergency responders, sales reps, transportation & logistics, and home health care providers.

How to Eliminate Buddy Punching and Employee Time Theft

When we hear the word “theft,” it typically triggers a thought of a person stealing something valuable, like a vehicle, money, or something of a much higher value than average. The art of thievery to us is unethical, unacceptable, and completely unjust. Amongst the many forms of theft in the modern world, one of the least talked about is “time theft.”

What Is Time Theft?

Time theft is when an employee receives payment for time he/she did not put into work. When an employee gets paid for more work hours than he/she actually worked, the employee is committing time theft. Essentially, the employee is stealing time from the company. There are countless ways to carry out time theft in a workplace. One of the most common ways is buddy punching.

What Is Buddy Punching?

Buddy punching occurs when one employee is running late or is absent from the workplace and a colleague clocks in for him/her. This practice helps employees sneak a few minutes here and there on time cards. Clocking in and out for other colleagues adds thousands of unearned dollars to companies’ payroll costs each year.

In 2016, according to data from the Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs: Total employer firms in USA were 5.6 million, out of which 89% were firms with less than 20 employees.

In an independent survey of 1,000 employees conducted by Pollfish, in 2017, found 16% of the employees admitting to buddy punching.

A data published by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics tells that there are 78 million hourly workers in American workforce.

The APA estimates that over 75% of companies lose money from buddy punching. In firms with <20 workers, nearly 4.5 hours are poached by employees every week through buddy punching. This accounts for a total of approximately $350 million worth of capital lost to buddy punching each year.

Buddy Punching is a very serious breach of trust and should be considered as fraud. Companies should have firm policies against buddy punching and inform their employees that such practice will lead to disciplinary actions.

Why Do Employees Buddy Punch?

  • Frequently Running Late

If there is a recurring or an increase in an employee tardiness, you should definitely review the employee’s timesheet and check for discrepancies. Recurring tardiness may lead to time theft and time theft could hide buddy punching.

  • Outdated Clocking System

Buddy punching is a common problem in companies where timesheets, swipe cards, tags, or proximity cards are used by employees to clock in and out. These kind of outdated clock-in clock-out methods are easy to manipulate.

  • Addressing the Problem

Addressing buddy punching as time theft is a must. Perhaps your employees are unaware that they actually are stealing from their own company. Having a quick word with your team about this and providing additional support for your employees can help. Make sure the message reaches everyone and not only a few members of the team.

How to Fix Buddy Punching?

Following measures can help your business tackle buddy punching effectively:

  1. Creating a Zero-Tolerance Employment Policy

  2. Implementing GPS Tracking for Employee Tracking

  3. Inducing Cloud-Based Time Clocking

  4. Setting up Geofence on Jobsite for Automated Clock-in Clock-out

  5. Setting up Alerts for Location Specific Employee Arrival and Departure

Let’s look into these solutions more deeply:

  1. Create a zero-tolerance Employment Policy

Openly addressing the problem and implementing a policy can help you kick-start your battle against time theft in your company. Explain them how concerned you are about the accuracy of their timesheets and that you take the issue seriously.

  1. GPS Tracking Solution

GPS Tracking solution can help employers resolve buddy punching. Integrated timekeeping software and mobile GPS in a single application can help you track both the employee location as well as hours of service. Today’s timekeeping solution come with GPS’ stamp on employee location which enables them to clock in and out within a defined radius, making time theft or buddy punching very difficult.

  1. Cloud-Based Time Clocking

A modern cloud-based time clocking system can reduce buddy punching. This solution works on any cellular device, tablet or computer, and includes a photo with a location and time stamp on it.

  1. Geofencing Solutions

Geofence is a virtual barrier created by an employer around a jobsite. It confines the space from where an employee can manually clock in and out from a jobsite.

  1. Be Notified

Choose to be notified when a particular device enters or exits a given geofence automatically. When this action is triggered, the system sends a message to the manager with data  in real time.

These solutions that help you tackle buddy punching, resulting in better HOS calculation, and more accurate payrolls.

Summary

myGeoTracking is a cloud-hosted, carrier-grade location and messaging platform that helps SMB and Enterprise businesses better manage their mobile employees by improving productivity and accountability, while reducing payroll and operations costs with solutions such as GPS tracking & time clock, Lone worker safety, Automation of field activity monitoring, Mobile forms & data collection including signature, notes, pictures, barcode/QR code, etc. The myGeoTracking platform enables these solutions across a wide range of industries such as field service management, trade services, emergency responders, sales reps, transportation & logistics and home health care providers.

Why You Need a 360 Degree Platform for Your Field Operations

Field service professionals use multiple platforms throughout their workday to fulfill their to-do list. These platforms and practices transcend manual data entry and form scribbling to include mobile phones and computers. In the process of navigating between different technologies, applications, and storage units, field employees lose a notable amount of productivity. Balancing the different systems employees utilize to conduct their field work often costs them an excessive amount of time and money.

The practice of juggling different apps for time clocking, tracking, collecting signatures, managing forms are outdated and costly. The future of workforce management software should encourage a consolidation approach where the capabilities of apps are broadened to cover all the needs of field service providers. Instead of five different applications or softwares for your field work needs, one app should effectively provide a number of features to set the standard. The consolidation of workforce management apps can prevent from:

Loss of Productivity

Field employees can find themselves alternating between several mobile applications in just in a day. Switching between various applications, platforms, and software can decrease productivity during work hours, when time is spent managing systems instead of fulfilling work duties.

Costly Training

Field teams require training for the applications they rely on daily. This training can be costly, lengthy, and difficult to schedule or implement. Participating in mandatory training takes the place of hours of work that could be performed instead. Paying employees to participate in frequent trainings also poses another additional cost for companies.

Increased Likeliness of Error

Multitasking becomes ingrained part of the work day when field employees are constantly switching between systems. This level of fluctuation increases the likeliness of mistakes related to data entry and other important tasks.

High Price tag

Subscribing to a number of applications for your field team can result in a pricey monthly or annual bill. Spending excessive money on multiple workforce management softwares can deduct from your business’s bottom line.

Consolidating your field activities allows for more efficient data entry and storage in a cloud-hosted secure platform. Replacing multiple apps with one that is comprehensive and powerful can result in impressive savings for your company. For a team of 50 people a multi-vendor approach can end up costing $500,000 in savings and productivity gains. We believe the future of workforce management will emphasize efficiency and effectiveness. myGeoTracking’s comprehensive features and abilities are setting the standard for this shift in expectations.

Summary

myGeoTracking is a cloud-hosted, carrier-grade location and messaging platform that helps SMB and Enterprise businesses better manage their mobile employees by improving productivity and accountability, while reducing payroll and operations costs with solutions such as GPS tracking & time clock, Lone worker safety, Automation of field activity monitoring, Mobile forms & data collection including signature, notes, pictures, barcode/QR code, etc. The myGeoTracking platform enables these solutions across a wide range of industries such as field service management, trade services, emergency responders, sales reps, transportation & logistics and home health care providers.

Best Practices: Introducing GPS Based Time Tracking Policy For Your Company

Employee GPS tracking is becoming more common in workplaces. With the improvement of SatNav systems and the increased use of smartphones, many businesses have adopted GPS tracking system to track their employees in order to monitor their work throughout their hours of service. Over the last few years, the cost involving installation of tracking software in handsets has decreased, allowing small to medium business (SMB) owners the opportunity to begin tracking their mobile workforce without worrying too much about the overhead cost.

The data recorded by the tracking system can be used to hold both employers and employees accountable for meeting their responsibilities. GPS data can be a powerful piece of information for keeping the employer-employee relationship fair. However, there is a difference between monitoring employees for the purpose of work and invading their privacy.

Employers need to respect their employees’ right to privacy while tracking them. Employers need to have a policy in place informing their employees that their device has a GPS tracking app installed on their phone that will monitor their whereabouts.

Employees should be aware of and understand all the capabilities of the tracking app, including time-clocking, mileage tracking, driving routes, and so on. Each and every one of those functions should be explicitly disclosed to diminish the employees’ expectation of privacy while on a job for the company.

There are a number of states that limit the legal use of GPS tracking devices. For example, the California Penal Code Section 637.7 limits the installation of a GPS tracking device that determines the location or movement of a person. Minnesota’s statute prohibits the use of a mobile tracking device without a court order. Similar laws involving GPS tracking use case can be seen in Tennessee and Texas Penal Code.

Though there are laws stipulating how employees can be legally tracked by employers, it is still a better option to walk them through the actual circumstances under which they will be tracked.

Be Transparent

Information should come before implementation. Employees have every right to know about each and every function of the GPS tracking system and understand how and when it is going to track them. This will encourage employees to build up trust. It is important that employers build a transparent relationship with their workers.

Discuss Its Benefits

While introducing GPS tracking to employees, discuss how such system will benefit them directly. If utilized in a correct manner, employee GPS tracking can help the business grow by increasing job efficiency, serving more customers, and increasing customer retention. This, in turn, will generate more revenue for your business and create more opportunities for incentive programs, increased salaries, and reward bonuses for employees based on their performance.

Address Their Concerns

Present your employees an opportunity to voice their concerns. Answer their questions thoughtfully and honestly. Increased productivity is essential for a business to flourish and employee GPS tracking system can play an important role in achieving that. Make them realize it isn’t about the management doubting their work ethics at all. If they don’t have anything to hide, then there should be no reason to worry in the first place.

GPS Tracking Offers Protection

Illustrate how GPS tracking protects them as well. The tracking system can show the location where a field worker was located and help solve issues in the event that a client says he did not receive a service from the concerned worker. Also, GPS employee tracking in remote areas and areas with high crime-rates can help protect on-field working employees.

Dos when introducing GPS tracking:

Do Share the Positive Implications of a Tracking System

Host an information session in which you can explicitly outline the benefits that employee tracking can bring to your business. When employees understand the tangible benefits that field tracking offers to your daily operations, they are more willing to participate.

Do Seek Employee Consent

In order to create a transparent tracking policy, employee consent should be given. For mobile tracking systems that operate from an app, employees must willingly download the app on their phones in order to use the platform. Under Connecticut and Delaware state laws, the use of electronic surveillance, including GPS, is prohibited without employee consent.

Do Use Efficient Tracking Practices through Advanced Privacy Controls

Your business should enlist a tracking platform that offers strong privacy controls. Ethical tracking should occur only during shift hours.

Do Create an Open Discussion for Employee Concerns

Participate in a question and answer session with managers, HR, and affected employees. Any questions that cannot be answered by your staff can be directed to your tracking service provider in order to best address employees’ concerns.

Don’ts When Introducing GPS Tracking:

Don’t Hide It from Employees

Do not track employees without their knowledge. Discuss the benefits and acknowledge their concerns. Don’t let employees figure out the answers for themselves. Explain that the purpose of GPS tracking is not to get employees in trouble but to make improvements to your daily operations.

Don’t Expect Your Staff To Accept It

Do not expect your staff to accept this change, at least not immediately. They might resist the change, but once the practical benefits start making sense to them and their fears of being “spied on” allayed, they will get on board.

Don’t Limit Yourself, Bust The Myths

“My employees won’t trust me if I track them”; “It’s too expensive”; “It’s difficult to use”; “I trust my employees so it’s not needed”; “My company is too small to need GPS tracking”. Don’t let the myths prevent you from outfitting your mobile workforce with GPS tracking. There is so much this technology can bring to your company at a low cost.

Summary

myGeoTracking is a cloud-hosted, carrier-grade location and messaging platform that helps SMB and Enterprise businesses better manage their mobile employees by improving productivity and accountability, while reducing payroll and operations costs with solutions such as GPS tracking & time clock, Lone worker safety, Automation of field activity monitoring, Mobile forms & data collection including signature, notes, pictures, barcode/QR code, etc. The myGeoTracking platform enables these solutions across a wide range of industries such as field service management, trade services, emergency responders, sales reps, transportation & logistics and home health care providers.

How Investing In Safety & Compliance Solutions Can Save You More Than It Will Ever Cost

Several federal and state laws hold businesses accountable for the well being of their employees. While successful businesses are dedicated to employee safety, many still view measures taken to protect employees as a financial burden. We challenge business owners and decision makers to change the misconception that compliance is a superfluous cost, and instead embrace the tangible savings of compliance as a return on investment (ROI).

Having a compliance solution that works for your business can help you:

Avoid Legal Fees

The chance of entering a lawsuit due to a compliance mistake can pose thousands of dollars in costs for your business. Legal fees can quickly pile up. Consequential reputation damage can have costly effects on your business as trust and goodwill is lost.

Dodge Costly Fines

A breach in compliance can happen on a number of levels. Whether a violation is made on the state, federal, or industry level, subsequent fines can be expected. For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) agency enforces statutes and regulations that many industries abide by. A serious violation can result in a fine of up to $7,000. A repeat violation costs $70,000. While, a fatal incident can reach a fine of $500,000. Ensuring safety and compliance within all compliance requirements your business is subject to will save up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

OSHA states 1915.84(a) (1) “Throughout each work shift at regular intervals appropriate to the job assignment to ensure the employee’s safety and health; and”1915.84(a) (2) “At the end of the job assignment or at the end of the work shift, whichever occurs first.” 1915.84(b) “The employer shall account for each employee by sight or verbal communication.” Smartphone applications can support the stringent communication requirements OSHA holds employers accountable for. In addition to physically tracking the location of the lone worker, these applications allow for many methods of instant communication. Text and voice messages allow for easy, consistent contact between employers and lone workers that fulfills OSHA standards for communication at regular intervals.

Workforce management apps can almost completely automate safety and compliance tasks in line with NIOSH and OSHA instructions. With situations similar to those employers face in the state of California, advanced workforce management apps can send alerts to employees when the temperature reaches 95 degrees. Employees are then notified to take the required break time within a two-hour period. Employer and employee productivity is increased as each party does less to ensure that workers are safe in their work environments and employers are complying with state and federal laws and recommendations.

Compliance Should be Scalable

As companies grow, they become more vulnerable to disaster when compliance standards are violated. Already costly fees multiply the larger businesses become. Your compliance system should be able to expand with your company across work sectors and geographically across borders.

Compliance as an Opportunity for Growth

A lack of compliance-related incidents creates an encouraging environment for business while avoiding a loss in productivity and money. Putting a relatively small amount of funding into a strong and efficient compliance system allows your business to keep doing what it is meant to instead of dealing with the lengthy hassles of possible compliance breaches.

Summary

myGeoTracking is a cloud-hosted, carrier-grade location and messaging platform that helps SMB and Enterprise businesses better manage their mobile employees by improving productivity and accountability, while reducing payroll and operations costs with solutions such as GPS tracking & time clock, Lone worker safety, Automation of field activity monitoring, Mobile forms & data collection including signature, notes, pictures, barcode/QR code, etc. The myGeoTracking platform enables these solutions across a wide range of industries such as field service management, trade services, emergency responders, sales reps, transportation & logistics and home health care providers.

Frictionless Ways to Introduce Tracking to your Field Employees

GPS tracking can be an effective supplement to your business field-team operations. The growing popularity of GPS location services for workforce management allow business owners to have greater insight into the daily activities of field employees.

Field employees have a unique level of independence in the daily work they conduct. By implementing a tracking solution, employers can establish accountability among their workforce.

Those looking to implement location-tracking services have greater access to increasingly advanced platforms. While businesses owners are enthusiastic to implement a GPS-tracking application, employees can be reluctant to the concept of being tracked. It is up to business owners to create a system of transparency and information to allow their businesses to experience the advantages of GPS tracking while keeping employees comfortable. Employers can practice authority without breaching their employees’ privacy by focusing on these tips:

  • Do Share the Positive Implications of a Tracking System

Host an information session in which you can explicitly outline the benefits that employee tracking can bring to your business. When employees understand the tangible benefits that field tracking offers your daily operations, they are more willing to participate.

  • Do Seek Employee Consent

In order to create a transparent tracking policy, employee consent should be given. For mobile tracking systems that operate from an app, employees must willingly download the app on their phones in order to use the platform. Under Connecticut and Delaware state laws, the use of electronic surveillance, including GPS, is prohibited without employee consent.

  • Do Use Efficient Tracking Practices through Advanced Privacy Controls

Your business should enlist a tracking platform that offers strong privacy controls. Ethical tracking should occur only during shift hours.

  • Do Create an Open Discussion for Employee Concerns

Participate in a question and answer session between managers, HR, and affected employees. Any questions that cannot be answered by your staff can be directed to your tracking service provider in order to best address employee concerns.

Summary

myGeoTracking is a cloud-hosted, carrier-grade location and messaging platform that helps SMB and Enterprise businesses better manage their mobile employees by improving productivity and accountability, while reducing payroll and operations costs with solutions such as GPS tracking & time clock, Lone worker safety, Automation of field activity monitoring, Mobile forms & data collection including signature, notes, pictures, barcode/QR code etc. The myGeoTracking platform enables these solutions across a wide range of industries such as field service management, trade services, emergency responders, sales reps, transportation & logistics, and home health care providers.

If you have any questions or need additional information, let us know at sales@abaq.us or call us at +1 415-496-9436

Field Data Collection App for when You Don’t Have Internet Access

With improvements in technologies carrying out field data processing, there has been an increasing adoption of technology-driven data collection using apps over paper forms. Modern software solutions have been able to replace paper-based forms with digital forms which are accessible via smartphone app in any working conditions.

Industries like Healthcare, construction, maintenance have already observed a drastic increase in use, efficiency, response rates, feedback, and accuracy of data collection through data capture apps. These data collection apps enable the respective field operators to collect the data faster as well as make constant improvements if need be.

However, majority of these apps need a constant internet connection to carry out work, they fail to perform in remote areas and areas with less connectivity. This impacts the efficacy of your business operations resulting in loss of valuable man-hours and failure to collect critical work-related data.

According to The World in 2011 ICT Facts and Figures, “90% of the world’s population lived in areas with 2G coverage, while 45% lived in areas with 2G and 3G coverage.” And since 2017, more than 90% of the world’s population has access to at least 2G internet connectivity. But still, none of these figures tell you about the real-life struggles related to field work such as data inconsistency and incompleteness, scalability, timeliness, and security–especially in remote areas.

To counter this glitch, myGeoTracking has developed a solution that enables the field data collection to take place even in the absence of internet. myGeoTracking is a cloud-based mobile data collection app helps you capture, store and view your captured data without requiring access to internet.

Collect data without internet (Remote Areas / Poor Network)

myGeoTracking app enables you to collect field data in the form of QR, forms, notes, pictures and signatures, safe & smooth even in the absence of network. This feature not only helps you gather data in low-connectivity remote areas but also keeps it safely stored.

Offline Data Collection- Save now, Sync later

Attachments you collect on the field through the app will be saved and then sent to the system when an internet connection is established. The app can run offline and will keep storing the data collected in local memory and push it to servers when connectivity is restored.

Share data with others in real time

Once the connectivity is restored and the data is pushed to servers, it can be accessed by other members of your team to take further action as necessary. This helps save a lot of time and makes workflow seamless between different teams of the same organization.

No coding or servers needed

Build, customize and deploy your mobile forms within minutes without the need of a server or coding proficiency.

Summary

myGeoTracking is a cloud-hosted, carrier grade location and messaging platform that helps SMB and Enterprise businesses better manage their mobile employees by improving productivity and accountability, while reducing payroll and operations costs with solutions such as GPS tracking & time clock, Lone worker safety, Automation of field activity monitoring, Mobile forms & data collection including signature, notes, pictures, barcode/QR code, etc. The myGeoTracking platform enables these solutions across a wide range of industries such as field service management, trade services, emergency responders, sales reps, transportation & logistics and home health care providers.

If you have any questions or need additional information, let us know at sales@abaq.us or call us at +1 415-496-9436

Reduce Fraud and Improve Compliance with Mobile Technology

According to a report by OIG in 2016, nearly 5% of Home Healthcare Providers (about 500 agencies in US) are at potential risk of failing due to compliance and fraudulent activities in their Billing processes.

Government agencies are putting increased scrutiny on Providers’ billing practices in order to improve compliance, reduce human errors and mitigate fraud.   These agencies are leveraging modern digital tools to detect fraud and error patterns in billing practices in home healthcare industry.

Organizations such as ACFE point to some common patterns across most compliance failures e.g. incorrect reporting of diagnoses, billing for services not rendered etc.  Human errors, mistakes in documentation and misrepresentation of field activities can lead to compliance failures and loss of revenue for providers – even if these mistakes are not intentional.

These issues can be easily addressed with the help modern digital technologies and processes – mobile phone apps, cloud hosted business planning software AND automated field operations workflow to monitor any exceptions in real-time and maintain electronic audit logs.

Here’s a list of three most widely seen problems and how to address them:

  • Billing for Services not Rendered:   During every care visit, the attendant can collect the member’s digital signature & note via their mobile app as a proof-of-service at the time of service.   myGeoTracking provides mobile forms, pictures and signature capture to facilitate this.
  • Misrepresenting Dates of Service:  Hand written notes and hours logging is prone to errors.  Mobile time & attendance Apps combined with a plans-of-care forms can be used to address this issue.  Apps can precisely log the date-of-service at the time the service is delivered.   The billing department could then rely on this instead of the date that the claim form is signed/submitted (which is usually on a different date).
  • Misrepresenting locations of service:  use mobile app to geotag all activities at the patient’s site.  This realtime location tagging can be further enhanced with automation to create alerts based on scheduled events e.g. late arrival alerts, care-provider absence alerts, entry / exit alerts from patient homes etc.  This setup would then ensure that the service is delivered by the care provider OR an alternative arrangement in real-time in case of an absent attendant.  All billing reports would now carry a location-tag to ensure point-of-care delivery is consistent with the patient records.

As listed above, smart phone app (or Text and IVR) can be used for easy-to-generate attendance logs, accurate billing reports and audit files for home care service providers.  These technologies can help agencies become compliant with State and Federal requirements while also mitigating fraud activities and improving the overall care delivery for members.

Geofencing 101: A Primer on Field Service Automation

If you have a team of mobile employees, it’s likely that you’re acquainted with the term “geofencing”.  If not, this post will reveal a secret tool that can help automate your field service operations and improve overall workforce productivity for your business.

What is Geofencing?

Geofence in a virtual perimeter/boundary (a fence) around a particular location on a map. The location can be any area of interest such as your office, home, warehouse, customer place, job sites and more.  By marking the area on a map, you can automatically monitor activity such as entry, exit and the time spent inside the area.

Geofencing: How It Works

Modern workforce management tools such as the myGeoTracking platform use a combination of GPS, Cellular data, and Wi-fi signals to accurately detect events and activities.

Why You Need Geofencing

Geofencing is an adaptive and easy-to-use tool that adds a lot of value to the overall business.  Here are some scenarios and use-cases:

Payroll, Attendance Verification, and Billing

Perhaps the most common application of geofencing in a mobile workforce scenario is for verifying employee attendance at a site.  When an employee clocks in and clocks out, a geofence lets you compare and validate their time with respect to their job site.  Modern tools such as myGeoTracking eliminate the need for employees to manually clock in and clock out by automatically detecting their presence and clocking them in/out.

Visit Verification

Geofencing helps verify visits your employees make.  This is very useful if your employees are supposed to visit clients/customers as a part of their job. Geofencing can help verify visits and provide reports that can be used for proof of service or compliance.

Monitoring Field Activities

Geofencing helps you stay on top of field activities in real time.  A modern workforce tool with geofencing technology can help your operations and back-office dispatch teams with updates from the field as they happen.  This means your operations and dispatch teams automatically have the real-time information to help manage teams without having to spend time making check calls!

Geofencing Adds Context

One of the benefits often overlooked is the context that a geofence adds to the data.  There are many tools to track the location of employees and assets, but not all have the geofencing technology and thus lack context.  Here’s an example: Without geofencing technology, such tools would rely on latitude and longitudinal coordinates or an address to report a location. While an address is good, geofencing makes it highly contextual by letting you name a site: “Sunnyvale Office”.  So with geofencing, you’ll see: Bob departed from “Palo Alto office” and arrived at “Sunnyvale office”.

Workflow Automation

Geofencing can help automate operations workflow using rules and triggers.  Very few modern tools, like myGeoTracking, support custom work rules that leverage geofencing to automate your business operations.

Here’s how it works: custom work rules can be setup based on real-world triggers involving people (employee), place (geofence), and time.

Here’s are some sample use-cases:

  • Remind Bob to take the customer’s signature when he arrives at the customer place

  • If Bob is running late, send an update to the customer with ETA and an alert to back-office dispatch team

  • Send alert to employee(s) when they are outside their job site for more than 45 minutes during work hours

So, geofencing can be a great force multiplier to your day-to-day operations and help you scale to higher levels of efficiency.  If you’re curious about the possibilities, let’s talk!  Let us know at sales@abaq.us or call us at +1 415-496-9436

How Advancing Mobile Technologies Can Help Support Lone Worker Safety

A health professional on a home visit, a truck driver en route, a maintenance worker on site–lone workers are a common role in the labor forces of various industries. A lone worker is defined as a worker who works in isolation, away from other employees, either on- or off-site. For such employees, the danger of common workplace hazards are amplified as they find themselves away from other workers and management. The nature of isolated work environments offer unique risks that require unique attention and action. Mobile applications have become an unparalleled solution in tackling these challenges. What was once physical equipment (cameras, manual alarm systems, etc.) is increasingly being replaced by technology that is accessible through a smartphone alone.

Employers hold primary responsibility in accommodating lone worker safety. In order to deter from many of the risks associated with lone worker scenarios, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces a number of federal regulations for affected employers. The use of advancing technologies can be instrumental in implementing these regulations.

OSHA states 1915.84(a) “Except as provided in 1915.51(c)(3), “Whenever an employee is working alone, such as in a confined space or isolated location, the employer shall account for each employee.” The GPS technology that can be activated through a number of mobile applications allows for real-time monitoring of employee locations. In using such technology, employers are proactively improving safety protocols while accounting for lone workers with certainty.

1915.84(a) (1) “Throughout each work shift at regular intervals appropriate to the job assignment to ensure the employee’s safety and health; and”1915.84(a) (2) “At the end of the job assignment or at the end of the work shift, whichever occurs first.” 1915.84(b) “The employer shall account for each employee by sight or verbal communication.” Smartphone applications can support the stringent communication requirements OSHA holds employers accountable for. In addition to physically tracking the location of the lone worker, these applications allow for many methods of instant communication. Text and voice messages allow for easy, consistent contact between employers and lone workers that fulfills OSHA standards for communication at regular intervals. Ability to share photos and files with location stamps supports suggestions of expanding communication through sight.

Beyond methods of conventional communication, certain applications provide unique technology for dangerous scenarios. Location-based, touch-based, and manual emergency options allow for messages or alerts to be shared back to employers. These instant tools can be used as a call for help, to report an incident immediately, and more. Lone workers are given a greater level of protection that is accessible simply through their mobile device.

Thanks to advances in mobile technology by service providers dedicated to employee safety, employers are prioritizing lone worker safety across industries like never before.

myGeoTracking is a cloud-hosted, carrier grade location and messaging platform that helps SMB and Enterprise businesses better manage their mobile employees by improving productivity and accountability, while reducing payroll and operations costs with solutions such as GPS tracking & time clock, Lone worker safety, Automation of field activity monitoring, Mobile forms & data collection including signature, notes, pictures, barcode/QR code etc. The myGeoTracking platform enables these solutions across a wide range of industries such as field service management, trade services, emergency responders, sales reps, transportation & logistics and home healthcare providers.

If you have any questions or need additional information, let us know at sales@abaq.us or call us at +1 415-496-9436

USPS To Require its Mail Contractors to Adopt Just-in-Time Style Delivery Services

Observations from the National Star Route Meeting in Las Vegas, Jan 19-20

The USPS announced a new cost savings initiative for Surface Transportation operations at the recent National Star Route Mail Contractor’s Association meeting on January 19-20. The USPS is under competitive pressure from UPS and FedEx and others, and needs to reduce operations costs while improving service. It currently spends $5 Billion on Surface Transportation, and intends to cut this by $1 Billion.  It also has an average service level (successful on-time delivery) of 92.5% and needs to improve this to 95%+.

The USPS is exploring a new Dynamic Route Optimization system that will allow it to be more flexible and responsive to demand, giving it the ability to consolidate and expand Highway Contract Routes (HCRs) based on real-time and projected service demand/volume. USPS is experimenting with this approach now, which requires the use of a Transportation Management System (TMS) through which mail freight will be managed and tracked, combined with expanding GPS reporting to every 15min (for most, or perhaps all, USPS delivery vehicles and trailers regardless of size) and enhanced with real-time supply chain visibility based on optimized routing, ETAs with traffic conditions and load status at origin / destination.

The USPS TMS would also include analytics that track the volume of mail traffic, and as it decreases the system would eliminate or consolidate HCRs into fewer routes to reduce costs. As the volume of mail increases, it could also dynamically expand HCRs and create new HCRs to cover the demand.

Mail Contractors that hold routes being consolidated and expanded wouldn’t see their overall contract structure change, but new routes would be put out for rapid bid to certified mail freight carriers. Contracts in general will be shifted to 2-year duration, with two 1-year extensions before requiring a re-bid.

The analytics component of the USPS TMS would also include performance monitoring. All mail facilities and contracted mail freight stops would be geo-fenced, and combined with GPS tracking will allow the USPS to track on-time performance for deliveries and contract compliance.

The USPS is conducting a pilot right now on one route, and expects to expand that pilot to a total of x8 routes going forward which will help the understand what kind of TMS system and what “best practices” to adopt. Ultimately the USPS hopes to implement this type of logistics practice across all their routes within the next few years.

This is a major change in the way National Star Route Mail Contractors conduct business, shifting them sharply towards a more demanding supply chain operations model and will require them to understand the ins and outs of using TMS systems, equipping all of their drivers and vehicles with GPS tracking and accountability tools, and adjusting to dynamic HCR process.

myGeoTracking has experience in every aspect of  this new way of doing business by the USPS, and is already supporting transportation and logistics companies with highly complex tracking, just-in-time analytics and reporting needs.  We look forward to working with both the USPS and the National Star Route Mail Contractor’s Association Members to help make this new initiative a success.

Versatile and Powerful Cloud-Based Location & Messaging Platform Can Make a Difference for Your Business

Business needs seem to be ever changing – from evolving customer requirements to changing workforce devices and technologies. Businesses need mobile solutions and platforms that are versatile and can be easily adapted to their unique needs with minimal impact to back-office / IT support staff, optimal reuse of existing investments in devices & infrastructure, and no downtime for mobile employees in the field. Continue reading

Geofence and Location Tagged SMS

Setting Up a Geofence is as easy as drawing on a map. A Geofence is a virtual boundary of a predefined area of interest that is marked on a map. This can be your Retail Store, Warehouse, Construction Site, or even your popular Customer Place. With myGeoTracking, you can to set up any number of Geofences on a map and then get location-stamped reports and alerts when your employees and assets ‘Check-in’ and ‘Check-out’ using standard SMS.