We often encounter organisations attempting to manage their training operation with multiple "best in class" systems. These can be either standalone, traditional software applications, web based systems, or a mix of the two. We're commonly asked what advantages Administrate provides over such a configuration, so we thought we'd talk about why we believe that approach isn't the best way forward (essentially: why we built Administrate!)
In short, we believe that integrated, built for purpose tools always beat the alternatives. This is true in other areas of your life ("right tool for the right job") and software is no exception. While we may be biased, our bias was developed over years and within a training operation probably not all that different from yours. Administrate is truly training administration software built by a trainers for trainers.
What Systems do Training Companies (and Internal Training Departments) Need?
Most education providers would agree they need the following systems to effectively manager their training operation:
- Customer / Instructor / Student Database - a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is well suited for this task, and many training providers choose one of the literally thousands of CRM systems out there.
- Course Management / Course Calendar - some organisations start out with Google Calendar or a package that's built for event management.
- Document Generation (Invoicing / Certificates / Joining Instructions / Evaluation Forms) - mail merges are an option here, or there are plenty of online apps that all perform these individual tasks pretty well.
- Financials - this is where we track all of our costs, revenue from courses, and all the mundane (but always important!) details like taxes and management accounts.
- Website and Online Course Bookings - many will already have a website, and there are some decent options for taking registrations or receiving a simple submission form.
- eLearning / Learning Management System - if you want to deliver education or online courses, you'll probably want to look at using an LMS. There are tons of options out there, most of which can handle SCORM compliant content and provide a good online experience for your students.
Now it's Time to Integrate All These Systems!
Once you've chosen a system to handle each of the needs outlined above, it's time to integrate everything so that you can deliver your training easily and accurately. This is where all of our clients have run into problems, usually insurmountable without massive cost and extremely long timescales. Consider just one common workflow: a single student booking onto a public course, attending their training, and completing the course. This will involve the following process:
- Take the online course booking from your website. (Having first updated your website with up-to-date course details)
- Create a profile for the student in your contact database.
- Update the course schedule that another student is now booked.
- Remember to send out reminders to the student prior to the course!
- Generate an invoice (or process the payment if you already took it online) and update your financial systems.
- Print out joining instructions, course materials, certificates upon completion, and evaluation forms.
- Repeat for each student you train!
Each of these seven steps is a potential error point if you're following a manual process. If you'd like to automate this process, it will involve multiple vendors, technical support, and probably a developer or two (maybe even a project manager to keep things organised, decode jargon, and provide advice!)
"Best of Breed" Approaches Require Huge Investment
This kind of project would involve enormous cost and take huge amounts of time. It's worth noting that you'll need to pay for each of the various systems and services noted above (either with a one-off cost, or multiple monthly subscription fees).
We Believe Integration and Automation Are Paramount
Our entire philosophy with our products and services is to streamline your workflow and prevent you experiencing duplicate data entry, maintenance headaches, huge costs, and wasted time. We know how training providers work. We've got customers in every segment of the training industry, on almost every continent, using different delivery models, and our software supports how they work.
Administrate - Built Within a Training Company, for Training Providers
Administrate was originally built within a training company, and we've spent years studying and learning how our customers work. You'll find our goals for our products aligned with yours - to make you the best provider of training you can be! That's something you just won't find in another solution not tailored for your needs.
Need Help Picking the Perfect Software?
Choosing the perfect software for you business can be a daunting choice, so let us make it a bit easier with our Build vs. Buy Checklist for New Software. While there are plenty of ready-to-buy options on the market, you may want to look at building your own software to get the perfect solutions to your company's problems.
Our checklist gives you a list of questions to work through before you make any final decisions so you can be confident you've made the right choice.