Showing posts from February, 2021

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.

Manage your company vehicles in Alpha Tracker? Who knew!

If you're using Alpha Tracker to manage your entire business - from quote to invoice - why not manage your vehicles too?

Use the Vehicle & Vehicle Check screens (and the accompanying mobile app) to keep your fleet in order.

Alpha Tracker - vehicle checks

Feedback from users has been great.  Here's a comment from Sarah, Technical Manager at one of our asbestos consultancy clients:
"Many thanks, and we are really liking the new changes, especially follow-ups and van tracking"


Another 50 asbestos consultancies have chosen Alpha Tracker in Australia & New Zealand

Another landmark for Judy & Leanne based in our Alpha Tracker office in Adelaide, South Australia!

Another 50 asbestos consultancy clients have joined the Alpha Tracker family and are using our asbestos & environmental software to:

  1. improve their admin with integrated quoting, project management and staff diary

  2. save time and improve quality on-site with smartphone surveying apps

  3. increase throughput and efficiency in the lab

  4. produce asbestos reports with one-click 

  5. share reports and results with clients using the integrated portal

  6. invoice for work completed and send invoices automatically to Xero or Quickbooks.
Want to see these benefits for your own asbestos consultancy?  Get in touch, we'd love to hear from you.  Click here for New Zealand or Australia or here for UK.

Alpha Legal features on a US software blog - "Alpha Legal ... safe and secure"

Our Boston (USA) software partners Alpha Software have blogged about Alpha Legal stating "Alpha Legal keeps legal and financial data and communication safe and secure".

Alpha Legal is getting noticed world-wide

We're about to publish a major Alpha Legal software update ready for our next release in March. Exciting times!

When Alpha Tracker met DIY SOS!

Our asbestos consultancy clients Allium Environmental were thrilled to be part of a recent DIY SOS BBC TV programme with Nick Knowles.  

When Nick Knowles met Alpha Tracker!

Allium asbestos surveyor Charley York used asbestos software Alpha Tracker and the Tracker Mobile app to undertake a refurbishment & demolition survey on a property in Barnstaple, Devon.

Here is the link to watch the programme yourself!

"Easy Close" feature in Alpha Tracker - another hidden gem

A client has just called our support desk to ask for help.  They are making the most of a quiet day in the office to tidy up old projects in Alpha Tracker.  They had hundreds of old jobs to close. "Could we do it for them?" they asked?

No need! Easy Close to the rescue!

Easy Close - what a time-saver!

Easy Close is one of the many time-saving features we've built into Alpha Tracker over the years.  Don't forget, we use Alpha Tracker to run our own business so things that annoy you will irritate us and we get them sorted!

Alpha Tracker Release 34.1 live this week

Our asbestos and environmental services software, Alpha Tracker, is receiving an update this week.

Release 34.1 adds some new features but is mainly a performance and patch update to Release 34.

One of the new features we like the most is so simple - we don't why we haven't thought of it before!

If you search for a job or quote using the menu and there is only one match, Alpha Tracker will now jump straight to it without displaying the search results first.  Easy!

Jump to results with Alpha Tracker!

What documents are being shared via Alpha Legal?

One of Alpha Legal's most popular features is the ability to securely share documents with clients.

How to share a document using Alpha Legal

We've been reviewing the stats of the documents that are being shared and it's fascinating!
  • Estate Agents are mainly sharing their Terms of Business (for signature) and draft sale particulars

  • IFAs are also sharing their Terms of Business and notes of financial reviews

  • Will Writers are sharing draft wills and invoices issued for completed services

  • Accountants are using Alpha Legal to share P11d forms, tax returns (Trust & private) for approval
Are you using Alpha Legal to share something completely different?  Let us know!  If we publish your story on our blog you'll get another 500 credits, worth £75, absolutely free as a thank you.

Calendar feature is taking shape in Alpha Legal

Booking an appointment to meet your client?  Setting up a Zoom call and want to share the details with a prospect?  You can now do all of this, and more, all within Alpha Legal!

Alpha Legal's new Calendar feature

We've incorporated some amazing features into our Alpha Legal diary system including the ability to

  • instantly share the appointment with your contact
  • add the meeting to your Outlook or Google calendars
  • plot the meeting (when we're allowed physical meetings again!) on a map, automatically, and
  • see all of the appointments, at a glance, on the contact screen or their timeline.
It's now so easy to keep on top of the meetings you have with your prospects and clients.  Keep an eye out for more features being added to Alpha Legal later this month.

Estate Agents across the UK are joining Alpha Legal

Estate Agents across the UK are signing up with secure communication service Alpha Legal.

Requesting ID by email is not secure! Estate Agents are still asking for personal and sensitive information by email and Alpha Legal is the easy-to-use & cost-effective solution to this problem.

Meeting clients face-to-face isn't easy - use Alpha Legal instead

If you can't meet your clients in person, how do you check their ID documents (driving licence, passport, bank statements)?  Is it OK to ask your client to take a photo of these documents and send them by email? No! Emails are not secure - you can read more about the risks here.

Alpha Legal solves the security problem for Estate Agents.  Estate Agents use Alpha Legal to request ID from clients moving home.  It's so easy for the client to use, too, even easier than attaching a photo to an email!

In additional, Estate Agents use Alpha Legal to send their terms of business, share draft particulars of sale for approval, even their final invoices! More and more features are being added to Alpha Legal every month.

Alpha Legal subscriptions start at only £10/month with no long-term commitment.  Register in just 60 seconds by clicking this link:

The importance of technology in the legal industry - Alpha Legal is for you

Countrywide Tax & Trust director Charlotte Ponder has just written an excellent article for Today's Wills & Probate about the importance of using technology in the legal sector:

Alpha Legal works in partnership with Countrywide and their Legacy software

We're really pleased to be working in partnership with Countrywide (and other large will writing businesses such as Legacy Legal) to integrate our Alpha Legal secure client communication platform with their order processing software, Countrywide Legacy.

Find out more about Alpha Legal here - and register, risk free, to try it for yourself.

World Cancer Day reminds us all of the dangers of asbestos

This article caught our eye.  

Yet again, asbestos-related cancer has bereaved another wife after causing the premature death of her husband, a worker exposed to asbestos fibres early in his career.  World Cancer Day is a good reminder of the misery that cancer causes to millions each year,

Here at Start Software, we're proud of the role that our asbestos software Alpha Tracker plays in detecting, recording and managing asbestos in more than 4 million buildings worldwide.  Our software is used by hundreds of asbestos surveyors every day to record suspected asbestos, take photos and sample details, and then (once the lab has analysed those samples), to report findings by way of report back to the client or building manager.

If we can help you to manage your asbestor or if you're an asbestos consultancy looking for the best support and software in the industry, please do get in touch

1,000 free Alpha Legal credits to share! Refer a friend

Are you finding Alpha Legal useful and easy to use? Making use of the ID requests, secure client forms & messaging, shared documents and e-signatures?

Tell a friend, they sign up, you'll both get 500 credits (worth £75) for free!

Alpha Legal's "Refer a friend" feature - share 1,000 credits

You can make as many recommendations as you want and each will credit your account (and theirs) with 500 free credits. Thanks for helping us spread the word about Alpha Legal - easy, safe and secure.

DMT Vehicle Leasing overtakes competitors with "Tracker" from Start Software

DMT Vehicle Leasing, one of the UK's leading vehicle leasing businesses, has chosen the "Tracker" system from Start Software to manage their quotations, orders and document delivery processes.

Vehicle Leasing Tracker

Tracker manages the whole process in a secure and easy-to-use way.  There's no software to install; DMT will access Tracker via a web browser, and all data and all documents are stored safely in the cloud.

If you have a vehicle leasing business and are fed up with expensive software or terrible support, come and talk to us.  Our Vehicle Leasing Tracker system suits all sizes of business and can be customised to suit you.

Another NHS Trust chooses asbestos software Alpha Tracker

We're delighted that another NHS Trust has chosen asbestos software Alpha Tracker to manage asbestos within their buildings.

NHS Tayside will be using Alpha Tracker from next month, keeping an independent copy of the asbestos reports and data collected by their asbestos consultants.

NHS Tayside has chosen asbestos software Alpha Tracker

If we can help you to manage your asbestos problem, get in touch

Alpha Legal ideas coming thick-and-fast from users

We were part of a Zoom call today to talk software & systems with some of the UK's leading will writers and estate planners.  We were keen to share our Alpha Legal plans and get feedback and ideas!

What a Zoom! Great ideas from the UK's leading estate planners

Want to try Alpha Legal for your own will writing business?  Register risk-free from this link and you'll get an extra 50 credits for free!

Follow our Alpha Legal news by reading or subscribing to our blog at

Alpha Site major update now live

Alpha Site, our new platform for on-site audits, inspections, health & safety reports and more, has just received a major update.

All of the new features are documented in an updated User Guide, available on laptop or smartphone once you are logged into the system:

All of Alpha Site's new features are in the updated manual 

Want to be part of our Alpha Site testing and development programme?  Get in touch!

Alpha Legal "Contact Timeline" now in beta

We're just testing a new feature in Alpha Legal - the "Contact Timeline".

This is an at-a-glance view of the interaction you've had with your client.  It shows the forms sent (eg ID request or COVID questionnaires) and the documents shared.  

Alpha Legal's new "Client Timeline" feature

The idea is that you'll have an easy-to-read visual indication of your contact with your client.  The feature is in beta test now and will in the live system later this week!

January 2021 - a disappointing month on our Support Desk

We had a disappointing month on the Start Software Support Desk.

You can see from this graph that our "high priority problems solved in 2 hours" performance score has dropped below 90%.

We are looking through all of the high priority problems logged in January to see what the root cause was.  Initial analysis suggests a combination of factors:

  • the success of our new Alpha Legal platform has taken us a little by surprise, generating a number of calls from new users

  • many problems were logged as High Priority but the clients were not available when we tried to contact them to discuss, and

  • some problems were not progressed quickly enough by development staff.
We'll be focussed on improving these stats for February, hopefully back to our normal level of service.

Legacy Legal integration coming soon in Alpha Legal

Here at Alpha Legal, we have been busy working with Legacy Legal, one of the UK's leading estate planning businesses.

Legacy Legal's comprehensive and informative website

Alpha Legal users will soon be able to send secure ID requests to their clients live from their Legacy Legal consultant portal.  They will also be able to share estate planning reports and invoices via Alpha Legal's document sharing features, without leaving Legacy Legal at all!

Export to Legacy Legal live from Alpha Legal

The Legacy Legal integration is now in beta test and should be live within the next 7-10 days.  Contact Matthew at Legacy Legal for more info.

Return to Sender! Easily return unacceptable ID requests

We've published a new feature in Alpha Legal! Return to Sender is available now.

"Return to Sender" allows you to return ID requests to clients if something is wrong.  Perhaps the photo they have sent is too blurry or they have misunderstood your request.  It's easy to fix now in Alpha Legal.

Return to Sender - new feature in Alpha Legal

Click "No" here to enable the "Return to Sender" button:

Click "Return to Sender" to send the ID request back

Then add notes for your client to read:

Easily tell your client what's wrong

Alpha Legal is easy, safe & secure.  Register risk-free here!

Secure document sharing now in Alpha Legal

Need to share documents securely with your client? Fed up of complicated or expensive systems? Worried about email, DropBox or Google Drive security?

Alpha Legal has the answer.  Drag & drop a document, click to share, job done!

Document sharing with Alpha Legal is easy, safe & secure

Alpha Legal: easy, safe & secure.

1,000,000 asbestos register QR codes scanned - another Alpha Tracker milestone!

The Alpha Tracker asbestos software milestones are coming thick-and-fast in 2021... we've just had our 1,000,000th asbestos register QR code scanned!

Alpha Tracker can create QR codes for sites, buildings, rooms, even specific items

When you generate a QR code in Alpha Tracker, you can print it wherever you want (including on asbestos reports, registers, contractor signing-in books and health & safety documentation). There is no charge to print and use a QR code, the functionality is built in to all Alpha Tracker systems.

Would you like to use QR codes in your own asbestos consultancy business?  Get in touch!

Record month for ID requests in Alpha Legal

January 2021 was the busiest month ever for Alpha LegalID requests from will writers, estate planners, accountants and estate agents were up nearly 200% compared to December.

Here's a quick video to remind you of the importance of using a secure service like Alpha Legal to onboard your client and request their ID:

Want to try Alpha Legal for yourself?  It takes just a couple of minutes to sign up - click here!

Alpha Legal - easy, safe & secure.

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