Site Investigation News – April 2011

Please note that the following news item is an archived article. Therefore any links and information may now be out of date.


Hello and welcome to Site Investigation News, the monthly newsletter of Keynetix Ltd. We were delighted to learn recently that two of our products have been shortlisted for the Ground Engineering awards in the Product Innovation category. The two entries are for The Highways Agency Geotechnical Data Management System (HA GDMS), submitted in partnership with Mott MacDonald and KeyLogbook, submitted by Equipe Ltd. You can view the shortlisted entries here: GE Awards

These are exciting times at Keynetix as we also see the imminent arrival of KeyLAB 2 after two years of hard development. KeyLAB has been used by several of the UK’s top laboratories for nigh on ten years which has provided us with a wealth of feedback. As a consequence we have been able to cram KeyLAB 2 with masses of helpful new features and the initial reaction from our Beta users has been positive. Roger Chandler has written a piece about our beta program and you can find out more below.

Also on the subject of our software development, Keynetix’s Development Manager, Carl Grice, has written an excellent piece on the agile development methods he and his team now employ. Carl has used the HAGDMS as the focus of his case study and the full article can be accessed by clicking the link below.




Carl Grice   Read Carl’s excellent case study here:

“An Agile Approach to Software Systems Development for the Highways Agency”

As you may have seen in Ground Engineering Magazine, our free Data Review Meetings are continuing. These have proved popular and, in case you haven’t heard about them yet, there are more details in the right hand column of this newsletter. If you think you could increase profitability on your projects by improving your data handling then do register your interest as these meetings are for you!

I hope you enjoy this edition of Site Investigation News and welcome any feedback you may have.

Best regards,

    Fionn Wardrop
Editor – Site Investigation News
01527 68888


KeyLAB2 Emerges from Development

KeyLAB 2 does exist and we now have users who can prove it!

KeyLAB 2 has been in development for the last 3 years and it is with great excitement (and some exhaustion) that we hosted the first KeyLAB 2 users day at Keynetix this month. During the day several of the UK largest labs explored the system and provide us with vital feedback on its use.

The first user day is always a nervous event as we never quite know how the program will stand up to being used for the first time by people outside of the development team and how people will react to the new features. KeyLAB 2 is a complete rewrite of the existing system with lots of new stuff so we were doubly nervous!

To our relief (and excitement) the day was a great success and at the end of it we had around 50 post-it notes on our KeyLAB 2 Cool Wall and a host of feedback to cram into the final release. A big thank you to everyone who took part in the day. KeyLAB 2 has had its second big outing recently with the first new customer install. This was another successful day and the company in question is now working towards moving the system into a production environment next month.

We still have 2 places left on the beta programme and so if you have been considering replacing your Laboratory management system please call Roger Chandler on  01527 68888  to find out the benefits of the beta programme.

Final release of the software will be around the end of May and we will give you updates in future editions of Site Investigation News.

Roger Chandler
Managing Director
 01527 68888
Why Bother with LinkedIn?

You may have noticed over the last year that I have been promoting the use of LinkedIn within the geotechnical and Environmental community.  Those of you who have had the misfortune to “get me started on it” in person about it will know that I can rave about it for quite a while.

Why is it so good and what are you missing out on by not being on it?  People often refer to it as “Facebook for adults” but it is much much more than that.

Before I explain what LinkedIn is, let me first ask you four questions..

1) If I put a free event together in your office and get 400 people experts in your chosen field to visit you would you attend?

2) If you have located a tender opportunity but don’t know anything about the main people involved, would you like to know which of your contacts does know them?

3) Would you like to know, before your competitors, if an old contact of yours has moved to a new company and may have work for you?

4) If you had a question or opinion and would like people’s views, would you like immediate access to 5 people who are keen to help and knowledgeable?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions and are not on LinkedIn then you are missing out and you should get yourself an account as soon as possible.  LinkedIn is simply a way of networking. For the geotechnical community, it’s like an international Rankine lecture that’s available to you everyday and you don’t have to sit on those hard seats for a 2 hour lecture!

Within the system you can add people to your network (as long as they agree) and you can then see who everyone in your network knows in the industry (Question 2).  You can join groups of like minded people and listen to their conversations, join in or start your own (Question 1 and 4).  You can even see people’s updates as they move jobs, get promoted or put a call out for help (Question 3).

Keynetix runs two groups on LinkedIn – one for Geotechnical Data Management and one for Environmental Data Management.  You can join these groups and have immediate access to 400 people around the world who are involved with, or interested in, geotechnical and environmental data management.

If I have managed to raise your curiosity enough to login today then can I suggest that you join the two groups above and add me to your network.  This will immediately give you direct access to over 200 geotechnical engineers (my network) and indirect access to many more.

See you on LinkedIn…

Roger Chandler

P.S.  Use LinkedIn for your work life only.  If you have great pictures of your wedding or kids and want to share them with the world then get a Facebook account!

Roger Chandler
Managing Director
 01527 68888




Spring Online Workshop Series is a Hit!

A big thank you to all of the people that joined us for our online workshops during March.

Over two hundred of you registered to watch talks on creating AGS data from spreadsheets, conceptual site models and improving data workflow with your laboratory. The high attendances leave us in little doubt that this is an effective way for most of you to attend seminars.

We had plenty of feedback after each event and will be putting together and publicising our summer events soon. If there is a subject you would like us to consider presenting, why not send me an email:

I look forward to hearing from you.

Keynetix Training Course Schedule

Keynetix run cost effective and targeted training courses for geotechnical and CAD professionals.

Training can be the cheapest and smartest way to address skills gaps within your organisation.

With early bird discounts available, why not take a look at our training courses below and address the training needs of your organisation for 2011.

Simply click on the relevant course to find out more and reserve your place…

Training Dates:

10th May 2011
AutoCAD Map: Essentials (2 Days)

12th May 2011
AutoCAD: Advanced Interactive Workshop

24th May 2011
AutoCAD Map: Geospatial(2 days)

25th May 2011
AutoCAD Architecture: Essentials (3 Days)

8th June 2011
GO-CAD1: CAD Presentation of Geotechnical and Chemical Data

9th June 2011
GO-CAD2: 3-Dimensional Modelling of Geotechincal and Chemical Data

Keynetix Data Review Meetings save customers money!

We have been delighted by the response to our free data review meetings during the first quarter of the year.

Taking a couple of hours out of someone’s busy schedule to sit down, analyse their workflow, review their working habits and produce a report on where savings can be made and efficiencies found has proved beneficial in just about every instance. Indeed, in some meetings it has been pretty eye-opening to see how time and money are simply thrown away through inefficient processes.

Of course, there is a trade off to the meetings for us; the efficiencies are sometimes found by introducing our software to the process and this can be how we benefit. What is absolutely clear, however, is that the introduction of new methods or a relatively low cost piece of software can give an exceptionally rapid return on investment.

With business conditions remaining difficult for many, the time is absolutely right to review the processes you use on a daily basis to see whether or not there are areas of work that are taking too long, costing too much or causing more hassle than they should.

We will be happy to come and visit you to provide a review of your data workflow. It only takes a maximum of a couple of hours and we are very confident that this small amount of time spent reviewing your data workflow will prove beneficial to you very quickly.

To register your interest, please click the link below:

Can you afford not to?

Where you can see us this summer…
We will be supporting and attending the GE Awards on the 11th of May at The Grosvenor hotel in London.
GE Awards
We will also be exhibiting at Geotechnica 2011 on the 6th and 7th of July. A visit to this excellent show is highly recommended and you can find out more below:
Roger Chandler will be taking a business trip to Hong Kong, Singapore, NZ and Australia during July and August. If you ar



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