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Tom promised, and delivered

Submitted by: MikeC (Admin) on 11-Oct-07 04:52:43 PM

On Tuesday's podcast with Tom Parker of Quest Associates, there wasn't enough time to cover all of the questions you gave me to ask him. Additionally, some of the questions I did ask didn't strictly fall under Tom's remit.

However, Tom did ask that I send them all over so they could be answered individually.

Just one working day after doing so, I am more than happy to post what I have received back.

Q & A

Date formats

Penny asks:

Q. Quest date format(s); when you put in the 'wrong' date format, it would help if the s/w gave an example correct format! The RdSAP error message in red at the bottom of the input screen fixate on HWC dimensions, even if there is no mistake in the data.

A. The only date that generally needs to be filled in is the "Inspection Date" and if you fill it in incorrectly it prompts you with the below message. This tells you the format that the date can be filled in.

The other dates that need to be filled in are the Insurance start and end dates; a lot of the time these are pre-populated! If you fill a date in incorrectly this will give an error of 'Invalid Date' but most date formats will work. e.g. If you use 1/1/07 it will change the date for you to 01 JAN 2007 and if you put in 23 March 07 it will change to 23 MAR 2007, so its very hard to not put a correct date in.

Form 'halfway down page'

Several anonymous questions:

Q. Is there a reason why the EPC data entry form on Quest always opens half way down the page? - most assessors I know like to start at the beginning of a form.

A. The system will take you automatically to the SAP Return section of the form if the SAP has already been calculated to allow the user to view and select the measures (Recommendations) otherwise it does take you to the top of the form.

Stationary form headings 

Q. Why don't the main headings on the EPC form stay where they are so that you can click them when half way down the page? - the need to calculate the EPC is necessary to check one's entries, having to scroll up to the top is a pain. (Like freeze panes on Excel)

A. On the live system the Top Bar does scroll with the report. Our Training software does have the buttons in the form and therefore scroll off the page.

Information '"not passed along" to other users

Q. Why can't other Quest users see the same information as the EPC user/company - We get chased by a rather large financial company every day - they take data from "their" quest system, enter it onto a spreadsheet, then email it to us. We then look on our Quest system, fill in the spreadsheet and email it back. They then enter it onto their Quest system!!!! MADNESS.

A. On any of the OPEN systems such as BRE and RICS all pages are available but on the panel systems the "Client" and the "Invoicing" Tabs has been restricted as requested by the panel firms.

Not sure why spreadsheets are being used!

[The following question is from another user but related to the "spreadsheet" question above; i.e.... Info not being "passed along the chain" - Mike]

Q. I have submitted quite a large amount of jobs through Quest and quite like it in general though there are some issues that need sorting:

As you may know, when first registering with Quest, each individual receives an SPN number. Not sure exactly how it works but the principle is that this number can be given to panels using Quest. e.g. I register with Panel A and B, give them my SPN number, which enables me to then log-on once to Quest, and see all jobs from both panels.

However when I update certain sections, for example; 'Unable to make contact with householder as yet, will do ASAP', it does not show up to Panel A. As a result, panels are setting up their own system, through Quest, but with a separate log in. In this scenario I would then have to log into ordinary Quest to submit an EPC from a solicitor, for example, then log into Quest A to pick up jobs from that panel and Quest B for that panel.

A. As long as you change the status on the "Inspector" tab to hold and then enter your reason in the box that pops up, the Panel that sent you the job will receive that message back. On the "Admin/Status" tab there are 4 lines of status lines and the top line is the one that the Panel firm will be able to see. Notes typed manually in any other fields will not automatically go back.

Microsoft's Vista®

Q. Hi Mike, I run two computers, one a laptop on Vista and a PC on XP. Quest works on Vista MOST of the time and on XP ALL of the time. For some obscure reason Vista is worse after about 5pm, it will not load and displays the page "Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage.

A. That's Vista for you!! Must be a problem with his machine or Internet, if its only happening at 5pm!

Heating and boiler codes - RdSAP

Q. As a PS........BRE have updated their fieldsheet and it will be released this coming week sometime. I only know because I've been complaining about the incompatability with the Quest input codes. i.e. BRE and RdSAP are letters and Quest use a numerical code. e.g. Heating Controls - Programmer only - BRE/RdSAP = CBT, Quest = 7161. Confusing and time consuming. When will Quest use the same codes?

A. The software is currently being updated to support the latest heating and boiler codes in the RdSAP specification. These will be reflected in a new set of field sheets that will be emailed to all. Not to confuse users of RdSAP further, but the codes are being made standard through all software companies and will be 3 numeric characters.

System speed

Q. Quest frequently slows down and today it was unavailable to us on 3 occasions to run our business, how can we make appointments for sellers and issue work instructions to DEA's in these circumstances? ALSO if it can't cope with these volumes what will it do with full roll out?

A. This is being addressed by increasing the bandwidth for the system.

Missing Sedbuk data

Q. The Sedbuk boiler database is transposed onto Quest, it has been sorted somewhat and despite what some may say, it works OK. However, there is an error in that one of the tables - Cooker/Boilers, ie Aga and Rayburn - have not been added. They are on the NHER version, but not Quest.

A. This should hopefully be resolved in the next release of the software.

Many thanks to Tom, Liam and Colin for their prompt response.

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