Thursday, 4 June 2020

Alpha Tracker Release 32.5 - major asbestos lab improvements

We're really pleased to announce that Release 32.5 of asbestos software Alpha Tracker is now available.

Release 32.5 follows hard on the heels of Release 32 (you don't say!) and is focused on improvements for asbestos lab users.

There are 22 changes and improvements in the new fibre analysis screen, for example, and they include a fabulous new "keyboard mode".  By the way, the new screen is optional - you can switch between the two designs with a system setting to see which one you prefer.

Here is a quick YouTube video to show you around the new screen:


In addition to the new features, we have included 20 bug fixes in this update which improve other areas of Alpha Tracker.

Read about all of the changes in Kim's release notes, herehttps://www.start-software.com/tracker/alpha-tracker/release-notes/

The update is available now for you to apply to your system, or get in touch with our 24x7 support desk if you would like them to apply the update for you.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

More asbestos consultancies join the Alpha Tracker family

Even in a depressed post-Coronavirus economy, asbestos consultancies are looking ahead and choosing asbestos software Alpha Tracker to help them increase efficiency, improve quality and grow their business.

Enviro Free in Preston have switched to Alpha Tracker and will be having their training this month.

Welcome on board!

If we can help your asbestos consultancy to improve, develop & grow, do get in touch (UK, Australia or New Zealand)

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Support desk performance - May 2020

Our Start Software support desk has continued to operate 24x7 during the Coronavirus crisis. 

It's interesting to see how many calls we took compared to normal - you can clearly see the impact on the economy in our industry sectors (including asbestos surveying) highlighted here:


Typically, our support staff would take 500 or so calls during a month.  In April and May, however, the volume was down to only 320.

Despite the challenges of working from home, the support desk continued their good performance solving 90%+ of problems logged within the timescales agreed with the customer:


Monday, 1 June 2020

Alpha Tracker's risk assessment app now includes a COVID-19 section

If you're using asbestos software Alpha Tracker's risk assessment app (which is part of Tracker Mobile), you'll be pleased to know that it now includes a section relating to the recording and analysis of risk associated with coronavirus/COVID-19.

Here is a quick screenshot of the app itself:


and the output of the risk assessment as shown in an asbestos report:


Do get in touch if you want to use the risk assessment or have any other asbestos software requirements.


Friday, 29 May 2020

Asbestos consultancies are branching out with Coronavirus indoor air quality surveys

Several of our Alpha Tracker users who have previously focused on asbestos have now turned their attention to indoor air quality, especially with growing evidence that the dangers of Coronavirus are significantly higher indoors vs outdoors.



For example, see this blog post from Euro Environmental regarding their indoor air quality surveys: https://www.euroenvironmental.co.uk/news/item/covid-19-indoor-air-quality

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Another useful "asbestos management during the Coronavirus crisis" post by BOHS

BOHS has been active over the last few weeks with helpful guidance on working safely with asbestos during the Coronavirus crisis.

Here is their latest post: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/bohs_asbestos-crisis-faam-activity-6668799944872218624-tdVZ/

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Jack is now Cyber Security trained & certified - congratulations Jack!

We're pleased to announce that our developer Jack has now completed his Cyber Security training.



 Jack now has certifications in:

- safe device use
- manager awareness
- managing online risks
- protecting information
- keeping safe online.

Congratulations Jack and well done for increasing your skills and that of our team.


Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Useful BOHS blog post about how to return to work safely

Here at Start Software, we have been largely working from home during the virus crisis supporting our asbestos consultancy clients using Alpha Tracker.

We're now planning how we can return to work from the office.  The novelty of working from home has certainly worn off for many in the team.  More importantly, we're finding it less efficient and less productive when doing project work.

Clearly, safety is critical when planning the "new normal" and so we've been reading the government guidance and documents from other bodies.

BOHS has posted this really useful guide: http://www.bohs.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/BOHS-COVID-Return-to-Work-Guidance-7-May-2020.pdf

Friday, 22 May 2020

Alpha Tracker Legionella users - Public Health England issues post-lockdown guidance

If your environmental consultancy uses Alpha Tracker to produce Legionella reports, you might be interested in this post from PHE (Public Health England).

"Businesses have been told to flush out the water supply in their buildings before they reopen, in order to prevent spreading the potentially deadly Legionella bacteria.

Public Health England (PHE) guidance says there should be "regular flushing" of the water system at the likes of dental practices, hairdressers, gyms and hotels, as well as office buildings, to stop bacterial growth.

Premises are also required to undertake a detailed review of all aspects of their water management system before reopening amid the continuing coronavirus lockdown."
If you would like to see what Alpha Tracker can do to improve and automate your Legionella processes, please do get in touch.
 

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Dan needs a bonus?!

We just received a lovely comment from a large UK utility using asbestos software Alpha Tracker.

"Your support has been first class & I really appreciate that.

@Elaine – Dan needs a bonus (LOL)"

Dan has been helping the client to import data from existing databases and spreadsheets, and has been creating new system options within Alpha Tracker to help customise the software to suit the client's needs.

Nice one Dan!



Wednesday, 20 May 2020

More Alpha Tracker report template questions answered!

We've had lots of follow-up questions from asbestos consultants following this blog https://blog.start-software.com/2020/05/report-templates-within-alpha-tracker.html.  In that post we talked about how report templates work in asbestos software Alpha Tracker and how we make use of Word and Excel to automatically create reports which are exactly like your hand-written ones... clients will not tell the difference!

Here are some of the best of the questions sent in - keep them coming!

Q: What type of report change can I do myself, and which do you (Start Software) need to do?

A: Our report templates are Word documents in the main (some are Excel) and so, in theory, any change can made by anyone able to use Word.  In practice, cosmetic changes are very easy to do but changes affecting the structure of the report may be best done by the Start Software support desk. For example, if you want to include a new type of exec summary or a new chart showing a colour-coded view of the asbestos found on site - these changes would be best made by us.

Q: You said in the video that most changes are done for free - is that right?

A: Yes, the Alpha Tracker support contracts and Tracker Mobile subscriptions pay for your 24x7 personal support including report changes if they are straightforward and relate to the templates we originally set up for you.  If the report changes are difficult or relate to brand new templates, we may quote you for the time needed.  

Q: Can signatures be included on reports?  At the moment my surveyors are physically signing printed copies of reports and then scanning them back in

A: Yes! Alpha Tracker has a feature whereby you can store a surveyor's signature in the system and then automatically include it on reports without her/him ever having to sign a physical document again!  Naturally, the signatures only appear on final reports, not drafts

Q: Why does Alpha Tracker use a document queue to produce reports?  Why not produce them instantly?

A: Virtually all of our asbestos consultant clients hold hard-earned accreditations and have a controlled process to generate a draft report, have it checked, then issue as an authorised final document to clients.  The queue enables that process to happen in a controlled way as well as enabling consultancies with 100s of surveyors to manage their workload.  For smaller consultancies only producing one or two reports at a time, the queue is normally empty anyway - so the reports are generally produced "instantly" anyway

Q: We've been told by your competitors that report changes take weeks to complete - is that fair?

A: NO! We pride ourselves on our ability to turn around work in the timescales that work for our clients.  We don't always manage to do this, of course, we're not perfect and nor is any business! However, our ability to work "around the clock" via our staff in Australia and Indonesia mean that we have taken instructions at 5pm in the UK and have had new report templates produced by 9am the following morning! 
    


Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Are virtual asbestos courses the post-Coronavirus future?

Our asbestos software Tracker user Environmental Essentials has passed the BOHS approval process to deliver virtual courses - congratulations Environmental Essentials! See their post here.



Is this the future of P402 & P405 asbestos training in 2020 now in a post-lockdown asbestos world?  Post your comments and let us know.

Monday, 18 May 2020

Highly recommended - the Asbestos Knowledge Empire Podcast

If you've not discovered Acorn's terrific "Asbestos Knowledge Empire Podcast" yet, do subscribe and listen.  

We featured on the podcast a year or so ago, featured here: https://blog.start-software.com/2019/12/podcast-with-neil-ian-from-acorn-all.html

Here are the links for you to subscribe and listen - enjoy!

Thursday, 14 May 2020

New Alpha Tracker system goes live at NZAS - New Zealand Asbestos Services

With New Zealand almost back to normal after their fast and decisive approach to the Coronavirus crisis, it is great to see asbestos consultancies in NZ active, busy and switching across to asbestos software Alpha Tracker.

The latest asbestos consultancy to come on board is New Zealand Asbestos Services, based in Napier.  Judy from our Adelaide Alpha Tracker office trained the NZAS staff via Zoom to get them up to speed.



Fullu accredited and with experienced asbestos professionals, NZAS welcome enquiries from new clients via their website (click here).

Can we help your asbestos consultancy to improve quality, efficiency and save 1000s of admin hours each year?  Do get in touch (UK or New Zealand/Australia).

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

New Tracker Air (asbestos air monitoring) features - are "brilliant"!

We had a lovely email yesterday from an asbestos software Alpha Tracker user regarding the new Tracker Air features.



The asbestos lab went on to say that the update "saves a lot of time for our site analysts" - happy to be of help!

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Report templates within Alpha Tracker - your questions answered (we hope!)

How does Alpha Tracker produce an asbestos report or a fire risk assessment or Legionella analysis?

How do templates work?

Can Alpha Tracker produce reports that look *exactly* like the reports I issue now?

Can I change my own templates?



This video will answer all of these questions, and more!

If there are unanswered questions, please do get in touch.  All of our team are working and ready to help you.

Monday, 11 May 2020

Another new Alpha Tracker system goes live: West Yorkshire Analytical Services

West Yorkshire Analytical Services are now live with asbestos software Alpha Tracker!


After a socially-distanced training session via Zoom (in Zoom-friendly 40 minute chunks), the asbestos lab staff are now up to speed and working in Alpha Tracker

Alpha Tracker can efficiently manage and automate the whole of a lab's operations from booking in samples, through lab analysis and finishing up with issuing invoices to clients.  Truly a one-stop-shop for an asbestos lab.

If we can help your asbestos lab to become more efficient please do get in touch.

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

COVID-19 updates from ISO for environmental consultancies

ISO has just published a whole set of useful updates for environmental consultancies using Alpha Tracker, all relating to COVID-19 and coronavirus.



See https://www.iso.org/covid19 for details.

Friday, 1 May 2020

UKAS has published their latest Coronavirus update

UKAS has now published the latest issue of Update, their quarterly newsletter. This issue focuses on their response to the Coronavirus pandemic and includes articles about an extension to scope for COVID-19 testing, remote assessments and virtual training.  This will be of interest to our asbestos consultancy clients running asbestos software Alpha Tracker.

Find out more here: https://www.ukas.com/about/news-media-and-events/update/

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Alpha Tracker used in New Zealand to collect and process coronavirus samples

We've just received an interesting and important update from an Alpha Tracker software user in New Zealand.



Forensic Building Specialists have been taking coronavirus samples from an Auckland school, Marist College, one of New Zealand's few Covid-19 hotspots.

The flexibility within Alpha Tracker has enabled them to schedule projects, take samples within Tracker Mobile, and then report results back to their clients.

Monday, 27 April 2020

UKAS Remote Assessment webinar recording now available

Did you miss the UKAS webinar for laboratories about ISO17025 remote assessments?

They have made the webinar available as a recording with more details here: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/united-kingdom-accreditation-service_if-you-missed-our-webinar-last-week-about-activity-6659111026878926848-iJIi/

Our Alpha Tracker asbestos software laboratories all hold this UKAS accreditation and so the webinar will be of interest to those businesses and many more.

Friday, 24 April 2020

Alpha Tracker Release 32 - the "calendar release" - is now available

Release 32 of asbestos software Alpha Tracker is now publicly available and ready to download.

It's the update to Release 31 and contains more than 500(!) improvements.  In particular, we have improved and extended the calendar features within the system incorporating as many suggestions as possible from clients.

Here is a quick video to introduce Release 32 to you:



The release notes are ready and available here https://www.start-software.com/tracker/alpha-tracker/release-notes/ for you to read, download, print and keep with your Quality Manual.

Release 32.5 is just around the corner too with significant changes and improvements to the asbestos fibre analysis functions, of particular interest to asbestos labs.

Finally, in these weird and worrying times of Coronavirus "lockdown" and the pressures this is putting on the economies around the world, please know that we are thinking of all of our clients facing tough times and that Start Software and Alpha Tracker will be here to support you now and when we come through the other side.

Thursday, 23 April 2020

UK Asbestos Training Association members helping the NHS

It's great to see some of our asbestos software Alpha Tracker users helping the NHS in the fight against COVID-19 and Coronavirus.



Some asbestos surveyors unable to work are donating their PPE to local hospitals and other health and care workers.  Others are working on construction projects helping the development of new healthcare or COVID-19 testing facilities.

Here is a blog post from UKATA with the details: https://www.ukata.org.uk/news/ukata-members-aid-nhs-covid-19-fight/.  If you know of any more asbestos surveying consultancies generously giving their time or resources to the NHS, do let us know.


Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Alpha Tracker Release 32 - the "scheduling release" - is now publicly available

We're really pleased to announce that Release 32 of asbestos software Alpha Tracker is now available.



This release focuses on the calendar and scheduling functions within the system and you can see some of the new features in this post from last week: https://robinbennett.blogspot.com/2020/04/alpha-tracker-release-32-in-final.html

Watch out for the summary video and release notes which will be published at the end of this week.

Monday, 20 April 2020

Working from home gives wildlife a chance to explore! Amazing footage near our Adelaide office

Judy & Leanne are currently working from home under South Australia's Coronavirus lockdown measures, supporting their asbestos surveyor customers using Alpha Tracker.  

While workers are staying out of central Adelaide, the wildlife is moving in.  How about this action captured by the SA Police CCTV only a couple of streets away from our Alpha Tracker office!


Friday, 17 April 2020

"Alpha Tracker is awesome" - what a lovely way to end the week

In all of the gloom and doom we are all currently suffering, it is was good to end the week on a high with this lovely email from one of our Alpha Tracker asbestos consultancy software users:


"...Alpha Tracker is awesome!"

Thursday, 16 April 2020

New Alpha Tracker installation in New Zealand

Despite the Coronavirus lockdown in New Zealand, we've just received another order for our asbestos software, Alpha Tracker.

Here is the Facebook post from Judy & Leanne in our Adelaide office:

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

New UKAS Draft Publication available for consultation: "UKAS Policy on Accreditation and Conformity Assessment During the Coronavirus Outbreak"

Asbestos consultancy clients using asbestos software Alpha Tracker will be interested to learn that UKAS has just issued a new document for a 7-day consultation to help during the "Coronavirus lockdown" period.

The document, called "Technical Policy Statement (TPS) 73: UKAS Policy on Accreditation and Conformity Assessment During the Coronavirus Outbreak" is a must-read for any UKAS-accredited asbestos consultancies during this difficult period.

UKAS goes on to say "This TPS has been produced to combine the guidance that we have published over the last month, including UKAS Technical Bulletins and News Articles, as well as clarifying our position on certain policies that have been modified due to the expected extent of the current Coronavirus pandemic. It also incorporates guidance provided by the EA, ILAC and IAF."

Download the document here: https://lnkd.in/gGKmMgv

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Asbestos surveyors reporting that work is increasing again

We are having reports from asbestos surveyors across the UK that the Coronavirus crisis is starting to have less impact on the industry.

After a difficult three weeks when many buildings were closed down to visitors, asbestos surveyors using asbestos software Alpha Tracker are reporting that contracts are slowly being restarted as companies try to get essential maintenance work completed while buildings are largely empty of workers.

With the first UK 3-week Coronavirus lockdown cycle coming to an end this week, let's hope for the sake of the UK economy that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Coronavirus grants coming through quickly to help smaller asbestos consultancies

We qualified for one of the government's Coronavirus grants - the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) - because of our Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR).

The application process via Telford & Wrekin Council was easy enough and two days later we have received the £10K grant into our bank account.

If you are an asbestos consultancy client using Alpha Tracker, working out of premises which attract SBRR, I would urge you also to apply for the grant as the admin is minimal and it will help through these difficult times.

See https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/878082/small-business-grant-and-retail-leisure-hospitality-grant-guidance-for-businesses-v2.pdf for more info.

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Alpha Tracker Release 32 in final testing

It's the calendar release! We're excited with the number of calendar improvements we've been able to squeeze into the latest release of asbestos software Alpha Tracker, Release 32.

Some of the new calendar features in Alpha Tracker Release 32
We're in the final phase of testing so watch this space!


Monday, 6 April 2020

Alpha Software's Coronavirus app makes the Irish Times

Remember Alpha Software's Coronovirus risk app I blogged about last week? https://robinbennett.blogspot.com/2020/04/alpha-software-launch-free.html

The app has hit the headlines in the USA and now in Ireland too.  See this article, for example, in the Irish Times: http://www.irishnews.com/coronavirus/2020/04/02/news/-covid-app-developed-by-new-york-doctor-and-us-software-giant-extended-to-ireland-1886874/



We use the Alpha Anywhere software development platform from Alpha Software to develop apps for our customers.  These apps perform well, are quick to develop, and are easy to deploy and use.  if we can help you, get in touch.

Friday, 3 April 2020

Support desk performance in March 2020

March 2020 was another good month for our support desk helping asbestos surveyors and other software users across the UK and beyond.

Start Software Support Desk performance - March 2020
Nearly 95% of high priority issues were resolved within 2 hours and approaching 90% of all other queries were sorted within 4 working hours.  That's pretty good going especially as the support staff are now working from home under the Coronavirus working guidance.

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Start Software retains Cyber Essentials certification

We've just had notification that we have retained our Cyber Essentials certification for another year.

Start Software continues to hold the Cyber Essentials award
The award says:

"The Certificate certifies that your organisation was assessed as meeting the Cyber Essentials implementation profile [BIS/14/696/1.5] and thus that, at the time of testing, the organisation’s ICT defences were assessed as satisfactory against commodity based cyber-attack"

We also help our clients with their own cyber security needs - can we help you?

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Alpha Software launch free Coronavirus/COVID-19 risk analysis app

Our Boston-based US software partners, Alpha Software, have launched a free Coronavirus/COVID-19 app running on their AlphaCloud infrastructure.

mycovid19risk from Alpha Software
http://www.mycovid19risk.com/ is designed to assess:
  1. your risk of getting the virus
  2. your likelihood of having the virus based on your symptoms
  3. whether what you have is a mild or severe case of COVID-19, and next step recommendations based on all of the above findings.
The app was built in just a few days showing the power and productivity of the Alpha Anywhere software platform and the scaleability and robustness of the AlphaCloud platform.


Tuesday, 31 March 2020

RB Asbestos donate their stock of overalls to NHS staff

Our client and Alpha Tracker asbestos software user RB Asbestos has just donated all of their personal protective equipment (PPE) to NHS frontline staff to help them with the Coronavirus outbreak.  What a wonderful gesture!!

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/greg-byrne-8b596537_nhsheroes-activity-6649264444197216256-YLeB

RB Asbestos has donated their stock of overalls to the NHS

Friday, 27 March 2020

Good checklist for mobile asbestos surveying software

One of the "new kids on the block" in the field of asbestos surveying software has published a check-list of important features for any on-site asbestos data capture tool.

We think it's a great list and our own https://www.start-software.com/tracker/alpha-tracker/2-easier-asbestos-surveying/ ticks every box (of course).  It would be surprising if it didn't, given that we have captured more than 30,000,000 items of asbestos data from 1000s of asbestos surveyors in the UK, New Zealand and Australia.

Here you go:

1 Mobile and Tablet Friendly – absolutely, Tracker Mobile works on any Android or Apple smartphone or tablet

2 Unrestricted Devices – again, absolutely, our products will work on anything

3 Good Offline Support – more than 30,000,000 items of data have been collected on our Tracker Mobile app… virtually all offline!! So I think we can tick that box…

4 Flexible Survey Templates – again, yes, we create templates in Word which Alpha Tracker uses to create your reports, and clients won’t be able to spot an Alpha Tracker-generated one versus one done by hand

5 Fast On-Site Data Collection – our app won’t win any prizes for looks but goodness me it is quick to use.  Take a look at the seven 3-minute videos here https://www.start-software.com/tracker/alpha-tracker/2-easier-asbestos-surveying (scroll down to “SEE TRACKER MOBILE IN ACTION”) to see how fast and easy it is.  For example, duplicate an entire room with one tap!

6 Simple Quality Assurance – any data collected by a surveyor can be sent to any other handset for QA purposes.  Dead easy.

If you want to see their checklist, click here, we welcome any comparisons from Alpha Tracker to any other asbestos software product.

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Updated UK government Coronavirus advice for tradespeople working in people's homes (eg asbestos surveyors)

This is the latest guidance for tradespeople, issued this morning (26 March, 2020):

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance

The key paragraph is:


So it appears that asbestos surveying, for example, is permissible at least for now - as long as social distancing is possible and adhered to, and that neither the surveyor nor the occupant are showing signs of symptoms or are self-isolating.

Hope that helps in these difficult times.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

How the UK's response to Coronovirus is affecting asbestos surveyors

A quick call around some of our asbestos consultancy clients using Alpha Tracker yesterday resulted in some interesting and useful feedback to share.

Most of our clients are continuing largely as normal but with office staff working from home where practical.  Some asbestos surveyors are finding it difficult to gain entry to domestic premises, in particular, whereas others are finding that they are being welcomed into buildings that have fewer staff than normal to complete their asbestos-related tasks.

The latest instructions (at 24.3.2020) from the UK Government are here and contain this instruction about how work has been affected:


Clearly, asbestos surveying cannot be done from home and so appears to be OK for now, maintaining social distancing protocols, naturally.

The government minister Robert Jenrick has also appeared to confirm this in a Tweet:


Other construction websites are reporting that they are seeking clarification about whether "open air" sites are OK whereas confined spaces are not.  I guess there will be more clarification over the next few days.

Friday, 20 March 2020

Free mobile app development for workers collecting Coronavirus data

Are you a health worker or organisation needing to collect data relating to the Coronavirus pandemic?

Would a free app help you fight Coronavirus?
Do you want to collect information on mobile devices whether or not you have an Internet connection?

Would an app built in the next few days help you?

We will build an app for you for free.

Our partners at Mobile Data Studio have said that we can use their platform to build Coronavirus apps without any licence fees and we will also give our development time for free.

Please do get in touch if we can help.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

24x7 support continues as normal - *not* affected by Coronavirus

For the reassurance of our many environmental & asbestos consultancy clients around the world, using Alpha Tracker to deliver a reliable and quality service to their clients, please be reassured that our 24x7 personal support service has not and will not be affected by Coronavirus restrictions.

Our remote working technologies mean that we are confident that we will continue to provide our quality support service even if travel to our offices becomes impossible.

It is business as usual here at Start Software and we hope that you also have been able to continue trading as normal in these uncertain times.  

If you have any specific concerns or questions, please do get in touch.


Monday, 16 March 2020

New calendar features in Alpha Tracker

Watch out for the scheduling updates coming in the next Alpha Tracker release, available within a few weeks.

Alpha Tracker calendar

Some of the improvements to the calendar include:

- creating appointments for multiple people at the same time
- more advanced "make a suggestion" features where Alpha Tracker finds gaps in diaries for you
- improved mapping
- quicker ways to make a calendar booking
- mobile access to your calendar via Alpha Tracker Mobile

Would you like to know more?  Get in touch!

Friday, 13 March 2020

Recommendation from Alpha Tracker client

Just had a call from an environmental consultancy interested in our asbestos software, Alpha Tracker.

They had been talking to another of our customers who had told them this:

"we are using Alpha Tracker from Start Software for the past couple of years and I find it miles better than T***S".

Nice... and thank you!




Thursday, 12 March 2020

Business contingency plans are "business as usual" for us at Start Software

Here at Start Software we have been ISO9001 certified for well over a decade now and a fundamental part of our certification is demonstrating that we have a well-tested business continuity plan in case one or more of our offices or data centres become unavailable.

With the global worries about the CoVID 19 coronavirus and increasing numbers of countries taking action to reduce the movement of people, please be reassured that we have processes in place to ensure that our support, development and asbestos software services will all continue to run even if staff cannot come into the office, for whatever reason.

If you would like more information, please contact director Elaine Porter via 0333 301 1010 or our contact page.

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Every day's a school day! Additional Alpha Tracker training available

Are you getting the most from your Alpha Tracker asbestos software?

Would your field staff benefit from some Tracker Mobile refresher training?

Are there features and benefits you think you're missing out on?



Get in touch!

We offer a range of training services either at your offices or at our training facility in Telford (just off the M54, west of Birmingham).


Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Another UK university chooses asbestos software Alpha Tracker

The University of Plymouth has chosen asbestos software Alpha Tracker to manage their asbestos.

The University of Plymouth has chosen Alpha Tracker
Plymouth joins a growing list of other UK universities and educational establishments using the market-leading asbestos software Alpha Tracker within their property estate.

This latest sale installation is in addition to these, all announced within the last few weeks:

West Yorkshire Analytical Services: http://robinbennett.blogspot.com/2020/03/west-yorkshire-analytical-services.html

Agon Environmental: http://robinbennett.blogspot.com/2020/02/asbestos-specialists-agon-environmental.html

Clarke Demolition: http://robinbennett.blogspot.com/2020/02/clarke-demolition-go-live-with-asbestos.html

If we can help your organisation in the UK, New Zealand or Australia to find, analyse and manage asbestos, get in touch! 

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Asbestos consultancy HSL Compliance go live with Alpha Tracker air monitoring

The HSL Compliance staff at their Altrincham office have received Tracker Air air monitoring training.  Tracker Air is a module of the Alpha Tracker asbestos software system from Start Software.

Here are two of the photos that our trainer Kim took during the Tracker Air sessions:



Thursday, 5 March 2020

Alpha Tracker support desk performance - February 2020

Judged against our own high standards, we had a disappointing month in February with performance dropping slightly compared to January:

Alpha Tracker support desk performance - February 2020

We'll be working to improve this - although we're still hitting targets for nearly 92% of urgent problems, we think we can do better!

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

New Alpha Tracker Air Monitoring module available now

Our new asbestos software Alpha Tracker Air Monitoring module ("Tracker Air") is proving popular with clients.


Our new air monitoring software has some major advantages including a more flexible style of certificate printing. There is no direct printing on-site any more, the analyst sends the data into Alpha Tracker, the certificate is generated (using Word templates) and emailed back to the analyst (Word and PDF versions) which they can then print on-site or forward to the appropriate person.

To synchronise and receive the emailed certificate the analyst does now require an Internet connection or phone signal, but the benefits of using just Word templates (rather than HTML and Word templates) are clear:

  • flexibility and control over the formatting of the certificate templates
  • clients can have their own version of the Word templates – keeping the same content but customising the display
  • easy changes to the templates.

We'll blog some of the client stories and training sessions in the next day or two but, in the meantime, if you want more information please do get in touch.

Monday, 2 March 2020

Newlife charity thanks Start Software for donation

Remember that Start Software staff walked 3 million steps in January for the Newlife charity?  See https://robinbennett.blogspot.com/2020/02/newlife-new-challenge-new-shoes-3.html

Letter thanking Start Software for the donation

We've had a lovely letter from Newlife thanking us for our donation.  Do follow their work and perhaps join up for their next challenge yourselves?

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Special offers available for asbestos consultancies switching to Alpha Tracker

Is your asbestos consultancy currently using another asbestos software system rather than Alpha Tracker?

Are you fed up with receiving poor customer service?

Do you feel like you're not valued as a customer?

Fed up with your current asbestos software provider?
Get in touch with us! We offer unlimited, personal 24x7 customer support for your office and field staff.  We are known for our flexibility and friendly approach.

If you're switching from one of our competitors, we can offer a discount of up to 20% off our installation fees.  Give us a call!

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Improved performance when raising invoices and credit notes within Alpha Tracker

Asbestos software Alpha Tracker works "end-to-end" for asbestos consultancies, enabling them to track work from initial contact right through to issuing an invoice after an asbestos survey or re-inspection has been completed.

Invoice easily and automatically from Alpha Tracker
We've been working on performance improvements to the invoicing code in Alpha Tracker to help bigger consultancies, in particular, who raise a large number of invoices each month.

The improvements will be live in Alpha Tracker Release 32 which will be available in the next few weeks.

Monday, 24 February 2020

Asbestos specialists Agon Environmental go live with Alpha Tracker

Another asbestos consultancy has switched to asbestos software Alpha Tracker and their staff have received their training.


Agon Environmental are specialists in asbestos, contaminated land and mould and welcome contact from new clients.  Judy visited the Agon staff at their offices to deliver face-to-face training to admin and field staff.

Welcome on board Agon Environmental!

Agon enjoying their training!!

Staff can work on laptop, tablet or smartphone

Field staff getting to grips with Tracker Mobile



Friday, 21 February 2020

FAQ: Do I need an Internet connection to use Tracker Mobile and collect asbestos data on site?

No!

Asbestos surveyors do not need WiFi or a mobile data connection when collecting data and photos on site
It's something we get asked a lot - asbestos surveyors worry that if they don't have an Internet connection they won't be able to do their asbestos surveyors or asbestos reinspections.  This isn't the case!

Our Tracker Mobile asbestos site data collection product does not need an Internet connection when it is being used - it works perfectly "offline".  The surveyor only needs to connect to the Internet when sending their data in (or picking up new jobs from the office administrators using Alpha Tracker).

One of our competitors loves spreading rumours to the contrary - don't believe what you hear!  Asbestos surveyors around the world have collected more than 30,000,000 items of asbestos data using Tracker Mobile and 95% of this has been collected offline...

Thursday, 20 February 2020

HSL extend use of Alpha Tracker into air monitoring

HSL - one of the UK's largest environmental consultancies - are extending their use of asbestos software Alpha Tracker into related areas of business.

HSL - one of the UK's leading environmental consultancies

Our trainers have been on-site to show HSL staff how to use Alpha Tracker for asbestos air monitoring - here are some of the photos taken at the training day.




Improved QR code features on way

We were the first asbestos software company to introduce QR codes into our reports and system. 

Alpha Tracker has been able to produce QR codes for reports, sites, buildings, rooms and even individual items for years now and many clients make use of this feature to help their customers see asbestos information by simplying scanning a QR code on their smartphone.

try scanning this QR code!

We're improving QR code features even more in the next release of Alpha Tracker - watch this space!

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Camera zoom now fully supported in our asbestos field data capture system, Tracker Mobile

Tracker Mobile, our field asbestos data capture system running on Android & Apple smartphones & tablets, now fully supports camera zoom.


Asbestos surveyors working on their handheld devices can use the zoom features built into the cameras to take more detailed "close up" photos for use within Alpha Tracker's automated asbestos reports.

Each surveyed item can be linked to up to two photos enabling surveyors to capture an image "stood back" in the room, and then another closer up.  With the latest smartphones having zoom cameras supporting up 10x optical zoom, this feature will really help to improve the quality of asbestos reports for clients.

PS At the time of writing this blog post, Tracker Mobile has captured more than 30,000,000 items of asbestos data - more than any other asbestos system worldwide

Monday, 17 February 2020

More powerful, dedicated Alpha Tracker document servers now available

If you would like your Alpha Tracker asbestos reports delivered more quickly to your inbox, or your business has grown and you are now producing many more asbestos survey and reinspection reports each day, you might be interested in our new document server options.

Producing more asbestos reports than usual?  Want your documents quicker?
We can now add extra, more powerful, dedicated document servers to your Alpha Tracker software system.  The servers can be hosted in the Amazon or Microsoft cloud, or they can be servers hosted in your own datacentre.

Do get in touch if you would like to find out more.

Friday, 14 February 2020

Clarke Demolition go live with asbestos software Alpha Tracker

The asbestos specialists at Clarke Demolition in Ipswich are the latest business to switch to asbestos software Alpha Tracker.


Our asbestos software trainer Kim has been to visit the CDC users and train them to use the office and field aspects of the system.  Here are some of the photos she took during the training day - what an incredible array of plant - both big and small!

CDC HQ
a CDC asbestos specialist learning to use Tracker Mobile