Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Walk a mile for Mesothelioma

Want to show your support for people suffering from the terrible effects of the asbestos-related disease Mesothelioma?

Why not support the UKATA DAST staff who have walked a mile for Mesothelioma.  More info here!

Monday, 10 August 2020

Another interesting documentary about asbestos from the BBC: Wittenoom: An Australian Tragedy

We just found and watched this 4-minute short about the dangers of working with asbestos.  It's a fascinating and compelling watch and well worth sharing. 

Click https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06bj5hc to watch it.

Can we help your organisation to locate and manage asbestos?  Take a look at our market-leading asbestos software, Alpha Tracker.

Friday, 7 August 2020

Support desk performance for July 2020

July was another good month for Jess, Will & Elaine on the support desk.

515 calls in total were taken and 89.9% were resolved in the timescales specified by our clients.

Of the 143 high priority calls (for example, where an asbestos surveyor working on-site can't connect to the Internet to upload their Tracker Mobile data), we sorted nearly 95% of problems during the call.  Not bad at all!

Don't forget - we're the only asbestos software provider that can provide 24x7 personal support to all of our customers and we're proud to say we have no answerphone or call-queuing systems because we don't need them! If you ring us you'll always get through to a human being.  Simple as that.

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Another order for asbestos software Alpha Tracker

We're delighted to have received another order for our asbestos software, Alpha Tracker.

A New Zealand-based start-up asbestos consultancy has placed an order and we will be setting their system up ready for them to go live in August.

We'll blog again after we have completed the templates and initial training, so watch this space!

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Get your virtual running legs in gear for the British Lung Foundation

The British Lung Foundation helps and supports people with all sorts of lung conditions, including those suffering from the effects of asbestos.

They are hoping to raise money via the virtual Great North Run (it hasn't happening "in the flesh" this year because of the pandemic restrictions).  Fancy taking part and raising money for a fantastic cause?

Monday, 3 August 2020

Alpha Tracker reaches another milestone - software version 4500

Our market-leading asbestos software, Alpha Tracker, has reached another milestone.

We've just made our 4,500th change to the system - really! - adding another new feature requested by our users.

We work on Alpha Tracker daily and each set of changes made (to add features, fix bugs or improve performance) increases the "version number" of the system.  We're now at version 4500, which is pretty incredible given that we only launched Alpha Tracker a few years ago as a major ground-up rewrite of our original asbestos software, Tracker.

Every few months we make a "release" available to our users which batches up a group of changes into an update which clients can then deploy to their system.

The next release will be Release 33.  This follows on the heels of:
Would you like to see anything new in Alpha Tracker?  We love it when our asbestos consultancy or building management clients tell us what they want to see.  Get in touch!

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Congratulations to Alpha Tracker user Shield for their RoSPA President’s Award

Alpha Tracker user Shield has just won the RoSPA President's Award.  Congratulations to our friends and partners at Shield from all of us here at Start Software!

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

BBC air A Mug's Game: An Extract from "Fibres" - this is a must-watch for anyone in the asbestos industry

This BBC programme is really worth a watch if you have any connection at all with the asbestos industry: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p08f79cb

We've been working with asbestos consultancies and their clients in the UK, Australia and New Zealand for 20 years and our Alpha Tracker asbestos software system is the leading asbestos product in the market.  We welcome enquiries from new clients, big and small, and especially welcome users of other asbestos systems who are wanting to switch to us.

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

NATA signs off Alpha Tracker's new laboratory update

NATA, the Australian equivalent of the UK's accreditation service for the asbestos industry, UKAS, has just signed off the latest Alpha Tracker lab update at our asbestos consultancy client, Environmental Health Solutions.

The asbestos professionals at EHS have been working with us to add a number of new features to our lab modules, all of which went live in Alpha Tracker Release 32.5.

The new features included an improved audit trail recording changes made to asbestos fibre analysis records and better management of superseded Word lab reports.

We're so pleased that we have the official "seal of approval" for our lab updates in Australia - something which will give new users of our Alpha Tracker asbestos lab module confidence when switching to Alpha Tracker from other asbestos software products.

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Alpha Legal protects clients from identity theft - read how Start Software's Alpha Legal system protects your clients, your business and your reputation

Our new Alpha Legal service is aimed squarely at companies who need to see copies of identity documents from clients (eg passports, driving licences, bank statements) in order to do business with them.

Does this sound like your business?  Are you a solicitor, will writer, accountant, IFA, car leasing business or estate agent?

If you ask your client to email you a scan or photo of an ID document you are putting them at risk of identity theft.  Emails are not secure.  This puts your business at risk of being sued, as you asked the client to send the email.  And don't forget the potential of GDPR claims or the risk to your business reputation!

Don't believe us?  Click to read this from credit scoring giant Experian.  In their opinion, it's the second-highest risk! 

There is an easy solution.  Alpha Legal enables you to send secure requests to clients for copies of their identity documents.  The documents are sent in a format which cannot be intercepted.  Safe for them, safe for you.  And only £2/client.

Ready to sign up?  Go to https://software.alphalegal.co.uk/register.a5w to get your free subscription and the first five ID checks for free and with no obligation.

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Alpha Site auditing software ready for beta testing

Our brand new site auditing mobile software - Alpha Site - is now ready for the first beta testers (view previous posts here).


The latest features added to Alpha Site include:
  • a client portal for clients to access audits and remedial actions

  • quick-start help & dashboard for auditors

  • a client dashboard

  • on-screen guidance to get up and running quickly

  • additional question types including free text (which includes text formatting & image insert)

  • better visual indication of progress through an audit

  • summary scores per report section.

Want to try it out for yourself?  Do get in touch!

Monday, 13 July 2020

Another UK council places order for asbestos software Alpha Tracker

Another UK council (based in the South East) has just placed an order for asbestos software Alpha Tracker.

More info to follow!

Friday, 10 July 2020

A local story reflecting the dangers of asbestos and the impact of mesothelioma

Our local newspaper, the Shropshire Star, has just published a tragic story about a woman exposed to asbestos over many years after washing her husband's clothes. 

Ruth Ellen Bolton Campbell, 79, was a retired care home manager from Ludlow who died on June 23.

She previously worked for the company that was once called British Aluminium, in the late 1950s and early 60s, while her husband worked there for substantially longer, into the 1970s.

An inquest into Mrs Campbell's death was held at the Shirehall in Shrewsbury this week and heard that she was exposed to asbestos over the years when she washed the clothes of her husband after he came home from work.

Coroner John Ellery heard that she was diagnosed with mesothelioma (see our previous posts regarding mesothelioma here) in connection with the asbestos exposure in October last year.

He also heard that she pursued a successful civil claim against the representatives of the company before her death.

Information on who is most at risk of exposure to asbestos and the dangers can be found here.

Thursday, 9 July 2020

Another asbestos consultancy switches to asbestos software Alpha Tracker. Welcome Southern Asbestos!

Southern Asbestos, based in Tonbridge, Kent, are making the switch to asbestos software Alpha Tracker.

Southern Asbestos welcomes contact from new clients interested in their range of asbestos services, including:
We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with Southern Asbestos.  Welcome to the Alpha Tracker family!

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

A moving reminder of the dangers of asbestos - EDP share Lindsay Wall's mesothelioma story

Our asbestos software Alpha Tracker client EDP has shared the moving and tragic story of Lindsay Wall, an Australian tradesman who lost his life to the asbestos-related disease, mesothelioma.

Since we created Tracker, almost 20 years ago, our asbestos software systems have helped to identify millions (literally) of asbestos-containing materials in buildings across the world. We support the charity Mesothelioma UK in their work to help sufferers of this terrible lung disease. We'll continue to do what we can to highlight the dangers of asbestos in the workplace and provide software solutions for asbestos consultancies to use so that asbestos can be identified and effectively managed.

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Alpha Tracker Release 33 beta version available for testing - new "AI" features nearly ready

Our beta testing users for asbestos software Alpha Tracker are now starting to look at Release 33.

Alpha Tracker Release 32 was our "calendar update" with more than 500 updates!  Release 32.5 was focused on improvements for asbestos labs, primarily, and also included some additional features and bug fixes requested by asbestos consultancy clients.

Release 33 is our "AI" update, including some automatic/intelligent features in a number of areas, including:

- incorporating AlphaValidator’s checks into the Survey Data screen giving an intelligent and immediate view of data issues
- diary hints and auto-scheduling based on skills, staff location, previous appointments, optimised routes
- automatic reminders for chasing quotes and intelligent prompting for repeat business, and
- an AI-powered chatbot for use in the client portal.

Want to see something else in Alpha Tracker Release 33?  We want to hear from you!

Monday, 6 July 2020

Our asbestos consultancy clients Anglian Demolition are hiring - more green shoots of recovery?

Our Alpha Tracker (asbestos software) client Anglian Demolition is looking for new asbestos operatives.   

It really does seem like the asbestos industry is returning to near-normal levels.  Fingers crossed that the rest of the economy soon follows suit (safely and with social distancing in mind, naturally).

Friday, 3 July 2020

Another sign that the asbestos industry is returning to (a new) normal

In another sign that the asbestos surveying industry is returning to near-normal (or a "new normal"), one of our biggest Tracker asbestos software customers, Environmental Essentials, has announced that they are returning to office working.

Good luck EE! As we posted on Wednesday, it looks like activity in the asbestos industry is returning to pre-lockdown levels (see https://blog.start-software.com/2020/07/support-desk-performance-for-june-2020.html) and Environmental Essentials' move is another confirmation of this.

We've launched Alpha Legal - software solutions for will writers, accountants, solicitors, IFAs and estate agents

Dan has hit his deadline! Alpha Legal went live on the last day of June 2020, right on track.

Alpha Legal helps legal services companies to solve their day-to-day problems. Simple as that!

The first problem solved by Alpha Legal is that of "ID checks". The coronavirus crisis has meant that clients are being onboarded remotely rather than face-to-face, so how you ask clients for copies of their ID documents (passports, driving licences, bank statements etc) without meeting them in person?

Are you asking your clients to email you photos or scans of their ID documents? Don't do this! Email is not secure.

Alpha Legal's ID request process takes 30 seconds at most and your client receives a secure link to upload their documentation.  You are notified as soon as it arrives and your Alpha Legal dashboard shows you who you are waiting for and what has arrived to be processed.  Simple!

Interested?  Sign up for free here and start solving your problems with Alpha Legal.

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Tomorrow is Action Mesothelioma Day #AMD20

Action Mesothelioma Day is held annually on the first Friday of July.  This year, it is being held tomorrow (3 July 2020) with hashtag #AMD20.  Hundreds of people up and down the UK will be joining (virtually, in most cases) to raise awareness and share their stories about Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.

As a company, we support Mesothelioma UK and the work they do.  We have been working in the asbestos industry creating and supplying asbestos software Tracker and Alpha Tracker for nearly 20 years and many staff have personal links to people affected by asbestos-related diseases. 

If you would like to support the event yourself, click this link to download a poster for your workplace https://www.ukata.org.uk/documents/293/AMD_Poster_2020_1.pdf

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Support desk performance for June 2020

Our support desk is seeing almost normal levels of activity now, another indicator that the economy is starting to recover and return to a "new normal".

In June, Jess & Will took 484 calls - the busiest month since February:


In time (%)

In time (H) (%)

In time (total)

In time (H) (total)

Total solved





































More than 94% of the highest priority calls (of which there were 167 in total) were solved within 2 hours - quite an achievement considering that most of the support technicians and developers were working from home for much of the month.

The overall success rate for solving problems in the timescales set by our customers was a little lower, at 86%, but still a decent performance for the month.

Don't forget - we're the only asbestos software company (we are the creators of market-leading Alpha Tracker) who offer 24x7 personal support to all of our customers and we publish our performance each and every month so you can see what to expect if you choose to work with us.

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Another asbestos consultancy is switching to Alpha Tracker

We've just had word from Judy & Leanne in our Adelaide office that another West Australian asbestos consultancy is switching to our asbestos software, Alpha Tracker.

Emission Assessments 

Welcome on board Emission Assessments Pty!  We'll post more information when Judy completes the Alpha Tracker system setup and training.

Monday, 29 June 2020

Asbestos in soils - new awareness training available

Our asbestos software Alpha Tracker has an "asbestos in soils" module, widely used by our asbestos consultancy clients in Australia.

The UK Asbestos Training Association - UKATA - is promoting courses by UKATA members which will provide an awareness of the hazards and risks posed by soils and surrounding ground on sites that may contain ACMs.

Friday, 26 June 2020

Good feedback from a software development client - "my dream is starting to take shape"!

We've been building a new, complex, large-scale CRM system for a client and the development is coming close to the end.

The software development platform we use - Alpha Anywhere - has been supplemented with native JavaScript and other technologies.  It's one of the reasons we like using Alpha - it is a "low code" environment but there are no restrictions when you need to get down and dirty with proper coding!!

The client dropped us a note this week to thank Tom & Catherine for their work.  Lovely comments all round.

Thursday, 25 June 2020

COVID-19 is changing the way we all work

Here at Start Software we have been driving the use of technology in the field of environmental consultancy since we introduced handheld surveying nearly 20 years ago.  Our original Tracker Mobile app (which was part of Tracker) enabled users of the earliest "pocket PCs" to survey sites for asbestos without taking any paper with them - a genuine revolution in the UK asbestos industry.

COVID-19 and the crisis surrounding the virus is pushing technology further and further into everyday business activities. Meetings by video are now the norm in many, if not most, businesses.  Staff expect to be able to work from home with similar productivity and access to systems as if they were in the office.

We've picked up on this article which relates specifically to the use of technology in the construction industry - it's well worth a read if you work with asbestos or other environmental issues:

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

RSK are inspiring the next generation of environmental consultants

Environmental consultancy and Alpha Tracker users RSK are inspiring the next generation with a virtual event called #ShapeTheWorld.  

Budding environmental engineers can register for the event here!

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

It's Love Your Lungs Week!

Like many of our asbestos consultancy Alpha Tracker users, we're supporting the British Lung Foundation's Love Your Lungs Week!

Asbestos is the cause of many lung serious conditions including mesothelioma (we've blogged several times about this in the past - see here).  We support Mesothelioma UK as our corporate charity and do all we can to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos and the dreadful diseases it causes.

The British Lung Foundation is promoting their Love Your Lungs Week from 22-28 June and this year they have information and help specifically for sufferers of lung conditions who are worried or isolating because of the Coronavirus crisis.  You can read more posts linking asbestos and COVID-19 here.

Monday, 22 June 2020

Start Software helps Australian business with "tasty" new app

We have been working with Chris Macquet from FindGoodFood to help him launch his new app.  Chris's passion is helping consumers to find nutritionally rich, cost-effective fresh foods in their area.

Using the Alpha Anywhere software development platform, we have been helping Chris to publish his app to the Google and Apple app stores so that consumers have the information at their digital fingertips.

Can we help you with your app idea?  Do you need help to publish your app?  Get in touch!

Friday, 19 June 2020

We welcome input from our customers to help us develop Alpha Tracker - that's not true of the competition!

We hear the same story time and time again from users of other asbestos software systems.

"They are simply not interested in helping us to change the system.  We've been asking for years"

"It's like they don't care. We've been asking for a simple change to the calendar since we signed up for the product"

"The more we ask for changes, the worse the response we get".

We could not be more different here at Start Software.  Our Alpha Tracker asbestos software system is in constant development.  We release updates every 2-3 months (we're now at Release 32.5!) and we positively encourage our clients to tell us what changes they want to see.

We love our customers.  We value our customers.  We trust our customers.

If that doesn't sound like the relationship you have with your asbestos software provider then get in touch (UK or Aus/NZ)!  We'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

New product line - Alpha Legal - in beta test

Our latest product line - Alpha Legal - is now in beta test.  We should have our first customers accessing the system by the end of June, all being well.

Alpha Legal is an easy to use, professional software solution aimed at companies or individuals within the legal industry including will writers, solicitors, accountants and IFAs.

We've developed the software in association with a number of leading legal service businesses and it is available on a monthly subscription basis with no commitment and no up-front cost.  

Alongside the web-based system is an app for a professional's clients to use to track asset values, share documents and enable securing messaging between the consultant and their customer.

Interested?  Get in touch!

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Alpha Tracker's little brother - Alpha Site - is growing up fast!

Our new site auditing tool - Alpha Site - is coming on nicely and is nearly ready to beta test with customers.

Think it of as an "Alpha Tracker lite" - it's a mobile-friendly, offline-capable, secure, simple fast tool for small businesses conducting site audits.  You can can create and issue quotes, convert them to jobs, do the site audit and issue and share the report, all from your mobile phone or tablet.

Want to take a look and perhaps become a beta tester?  Do get in touch.

Monday, 15 June 2020

Another sign that the asbestos industry is returning to normal - ARCA has resumed practical asbestos training at their centres

In another sign that the asbestos industry is returning to more normal working, ARCA has announced that it is resuming practical asbestos training courses at their centres.

This will be of great interest to our Alpha Tracker asbestos software customers who are looking to train their asbestos surveyors and analysts.

Friday, 12 June 2020

New auditing software nearly ready to demo - Alpha Tracker is about to get a little brother!

We've been working on a new site auditing system for a couple of months as a partner product to our enterprise-strength asbestos software, Alpha Tracker.

The new software is aimed at companies needing a simple, fast and mobile system for producing site audits.

The audits can be (for example) fire risk reports, health & safety audits, near-miss reports... anything that fits a "check-list" style report.

You'll be able to define your audits and audit reports yourselves, work online and offline, and use any device at all (including smartphones, tablets and laptops) to book in work, do the audits, and produce the reports.

With no setup fee and just a simple monthly subscription, it will be affordable, too.

Sound interesting?  Watch this space!

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Alpha Tracker users at EDP help Abbey Road Studios to re-open

What a good news story!

Alpha Tracker users EDP have just completed a CV19 risk assessment to support the re-opening of the historic and legendary Abbey Road Studios.

Congratulations to all at EDP involved in their Coronavirus assessments.  Like many asbestos/environmental consultancies, EDP have extended their services to include COVID-19 activities.

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Planning your return to office working? Read the BOHS Coronavirus guidance

The BOHS has published a very readable and easy-to-follow guidance document which will help any business with their return-to-office-working planning.

Most of our Alpha Tracker asbestos consultancies have now returned to near-normal working and we're finding that calls to our support desk are approaching pre-Coronavirus levels.  

Monday, 8 June 2020

Alpha Tracker user Darroch McCartney (Asbestos Building Surveys) joins IATP

We're really pleased for Darroch McCartney from Asbestos Building Surveys, one of our asbestos software Alpha Tracker users, who has just become a new member of the Independent Asbestos Training Providers (IATP).

Congratulations Darroch!

Friday, 5 June 2020

Interesting and important article "Mesothelioma and COVID-19"

Alpha Tracker user Midlands Asbestos Solutions has posted an important and interesting article about Mesothelioma & COVID-19 and what Coronavirus means to sufferers of asbestos-related diseases.

Here at Start Software we've been a supporter of the charity Mesothelioma UK for some time now (see https://blog.start-software.com/search?q=mesothelioma) and we know, from personal experience, the terrible impact that this disease has.

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).