Category Archives: From the Highway

School is Almost Out – Time to Plan that Summer Vacation!

BLOG - float tx river

With the last day of school approaching and the Texas heat cranking up, it’s safe to say summer vacation is right around the corner! Make it a summer to remember using the Texas Bucket List as your travel guide this year – complete with over 40 Texas destinations to keep the fun going all season long.

Cool off by floating one of the many Hill Country Rivers, see the endangered Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle’s down in Padre Island National Seashore, or take a hike up to Enchanted Rock’s pink granite dome. The possibilities are endless and right in your backyard!

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Helping Others

It is from a place of gratitude that we give back to the community. Each of our communities in Texas has been a bountiful provider of work for Alpha and I am constantly looking for meaningful ways to give back — to simply say “thanks” or do our part to improve the quality of life for those around us.

Alpha sponsors events and community activities all the time. You may hear of our participation in a golf tournament, clay shoot, or 5K run. What I intend for us all to know is that each sponsorship financially benefits a specific cause. In 2014, one 5K raised funds for academic scholarships. A golf tournament raised money for hopeful, 13 year old hockey players on the Dallas Stars Elite Hockey Club. The 17th Annual Hunt Construction Golf Tournament benefited the Assistance League of Greater Collin County. Another golf tournament supported Honduran Mission and Relief. I hope that as part of the Alpha family, you are proud that Alpha supports these and other causes with our time, talent and resources.

In September, we will support an event close to our Alpha family, a walk to raise money for Type 1 Diabetes. Brian Powell’s daughter Hannah is walking in the event, as she is afflicted with the disease herself. I hope many of you can come out in support of Hannah! Visit our Facebook page for more info about the event and sign up for Hannah’s team Here.

I know others within the Alpha family have personally contributed their time, talents, and money to their chosen causes. Let me share these service stories with the rest of Alpha!

Let me know if we can help in some fashion. Is there an event that needs volunteers? Know of a bake sale that needs workers, baked goods, or hungry buyers? Is there a walk, run, tournament or other event for which I can consider sponsorship? At the least, I can work to connect interested co-workers to your events and causes.

Together, we can make a difference! JGWAlpha Testing, Inc. Logo

One Alpha

Number One - Alpha TestingJust a number?  I think not.  The Number One is significant in our history, and it sets us apart.

One name – since 1983.  The firms that can say this are few and far between.  Looking to the future, we can firmly state that Alpha is positioned to move forward under one management and ownership team as well.

Number One in Service – Since the doors opened for business at Alpha, our goal has been to be recognized as first in service by our clients.

One Alpha – As we have grown over the decades, it has been our mandate that our work product continue to reflect “One Alpha” to our client, no matter the Alpha office serving a project. This includes the same on-time delivery, technical approach, and pre-delivery communication with the project team. The Alpha “DNA” is shared with each office, each department, and each new employee. We do things The Alpha Way.

In 2013, Alpha celebrates 30 years of relationship-driven success for our clients, providing geotechnical engineering, construction materials testing, and environmental services. That is all we do, and we do it very well.

As we look to the next 30 years, Alpha’s mission is to continue to embrace and solve our client’s challenges in geotechnical, construction materials, and environmental testing.  This, and only this, generates success for our clients and for our employees.

Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, or San Antonio.  No matter where the next project challenge arises, our hope is that you will make one choice when expertise matters – Alpha Testing, Inc.

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Why We Exhibit by Jeff Wilt

I have a slightly different view on most exhibit opportunities, often associated with conventions, professional meetings, or actual trade show events.  My goals, approach, expectations, and what I consider winning results are different – as I am selling professional services and not a commodity.

Alpha Testing - Exibit - Jeff Wilt - 2013

Alpha Testing at TASA/TASB 2013

Ours is not the world of pre-event selling, hosted dinners, hard selling in the aisle or booth to booth, or blanket email follow up after the event.

The primary goal for a professional services firm that has set up an exhibit booth is simple presence.    Some might say we are third tier in the consultant chain, in that we work for attendees (end users) as well as other exhibitors (consultants) at any event we attend.  Our goal is to be seen as a constant presence in, and part of, ‘their’ world.

If you have sufficient staff in the booth, one can stand back and watch as attendees pause and comment to others “we used these guys”, or “I relied on them for my last construction project”.  That is word of mouth referral, and it is priceless!  Those referrals are generated simply be being present.

Our approach to manning the booth is to continue to be a resource to current and future clients.  We are geared to answer questions for other vendors, as well as those that do approach us with specific needs.  If one is to be a resource, you need to look the part.  Booth staff needs to be welcoming, smiling, and not engrossed in a conversation with coworkers.  Professional dress and demeanor, plus an inviting stance open the door.  Success is defined when a client brings another attendee by to answer a need, or to explain a process.

Expectations are met when staff has connected, or reconnected, with attendees and other vendors.  These events are a chance to network, interact, and share with our peers within the profession – either consultants or owners – in a relaxed atmosphere.  When we can get technical staff to attend, our client base has the opportunity to meet the man behind the signature, the man behind the phone voice – to meet the expert.  My primary expectation is that we deepen relationships.

Sure, we take notes, we swap leads and general information.  And we follow up on those as well.  No matter the level of typical sales activity, we define success if we get one chance to be an active resource, if we get one engineer in front of one new client, if we reconnect with one person, and if we get one thank you for supporting the event.

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Somebody Else Gets It!

We at Alpha Testing, Inc. have always placed a first priority on service.  As part of that, we strive to make each interaction with us a pleasant, non-threatening, and help-filled experience.  We enjoy what we do, and it should show.  Apparently someone else “gets it”, too.

Maybe it’s the aftermath of the recession, or maybe some wonks at various retail and service establishments have tried something “new” to make their customer experience better.  To wit, I’ll give a call out to three local retail establishments.  An electronics superstore, which can be like entering a car dealership, a used car lot at that.  Movie houses ought to be an enjoyable experience, but often are not.  And, who really wants to be inside a drug store?

At my local electronics store recently, I actually had the greeter say “welcome”, had three salespeople ask if I needed help, and when I finally did, one ran, RAN!, to where I was standing.  And then, in response to my unknowing questions, he taught me quite a bit about HD TV, optimal viewing distance, and sound augmentation ideas. I learned they no longer work on commissions, and I did not get a hard sell.  I thanked him, and you bet I will go back, and even though there appears to be extra staff recently, I will ask for Ozzie.

Best of two worlds, a movie on the big screen and food brought right to your seat.   These places are great at any time, but I recently visited one in an area I do not usually frequent. From ticket purchase, to check in at the entrance to the theaters, to half a dozen times enroute to my seat I heard “enjoy the show”, “ hope you enjoy the meal”, “thank you for coming”, and (OMG!) “do you know where you are going?”  This from clerks, bartenders, waiters, and custodians.  And I had the same experience when leaving, and every time it was with a smile.  I was so impressed that I went back the next night (for a different film) and the results were identical.

At my local drug store, I have noticed changes recently.  Every staff member makes eye contact.  Then, (gasp) they say welcome and ask if they can be of service!  And on the way out, “thank you for coming”, or “thank you for …” – how amazing.  Let’s face it, most of us show up at a drug store when we are feeling like death walking, or when we need our monthly mortality reminder that, yes, one needs one’s cholesterol medication.  These folks are making it an enjoyable experience.

Alpha’s goal is to make each interaction with us a positive experience, from the reception desk to my desk, and beyond.  If we don’t, please let us know.  I guarantee we will be taking a fresh look at how we approach this, based on my recent experiences with “service with a smile” – when and where I least expected it.  JGW

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