Showing posts from June, 2020

About Start Software

Start Software is an award-winning developer and leading publisher of asbestos software, systems for the legal services industry and more.

Want to know more about asbestos software Alpha Tracker? Alpha Tracker is the most used asbestos software in the UK, Australia & New Zealand with more than 60m items of asbestos data stored.

Our legal services software Alpha Legal helps will writers, accountants, solicitors, IFAs and estate agents to communicate securely with clients. Read about developments here on the blog.

Or need help with Alpha Anywhere or Alpha Transform projects or software development? You'll find useful info here.

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.

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.

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.

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:

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!

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.

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!

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.

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!

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.  

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!

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 and we know, from personal experience, the terrible impact that this disease has.

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, here

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.

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)

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:

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.

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