Showing posts from July, 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.

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!

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:

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.

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included an improved audit trail recording changes made to asbestos fibre analysis records and better management of superseded Word lab reports.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

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 to get your free subscription and the first five ID checks for free and with no obligation.

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!

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!

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.

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!

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.

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!

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).

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 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.

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

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.

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