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! 
    


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