In this Post:
The Situation for Most Training Companies
Training companies deal with a lot of responsibilities to keep their operations running smoothly and their clients happy. We’re not just talking making sure course calendars and instructor schedules are in harmony but ensuring everything in between functioning properly as well. From reporting and finances to compliance and resources management, running a training business requires a back-office team to keep tabs on a lot of moving parts.
The shocking thing for most training companies is that their idea of a “training management system“ may be a process that isn’t working for maximum efficiency for both the client and the training business. Usually a training company’s back-office processes will include using a collection of spreadsheets coordinated by various admins within training company. A sheet for schedules, another for a list of instructors, one for training budgets and expenditures – the list goes on. As a result of this model, your team must coordinate with each other using different sheets with possible varying levels of information to get on the same page. While using this model can work and has, it’s not the best practice for any training company trying to grow make training administration easier for their clients while also trying to grow their business.
Some questions training company administrators need to ask themselves are:
- Are we spending too much time on administration related tasks?
- Can we spending training administration time on something else?
- Are we utilizing this “system of spreadsheets” just for the benefit of saving money?
Common Problems Faced by Training Providers
- The Notorious Administrative Gap
Between the client signing up for your training courses and your back office team in charge of organizing them, you’re left with the void where the two need to meet in the middle. In the world of eLearning, the administrative gap has traditionally been bridged with numerous spreadsheets that connect data points between clients and the training company. When you have that many spreadsheets connecting instructors, courses, attendees, resources, and a finite budget behind it all, errors are bound to happen
- The cost of doing administrative work
An opportunity cost is something that can’t be left on the table for any training company. Delivering an error-free training program for your clients whether it’s instructor led training (ILT) or virtual insutructor led training (vILT) requires a lot of planning and resources to get the job done.
In order to pull that off however, your team will need to make sure all their t’s are crossed and their i’s are dotted. The time and money spent to have your team ensure all schedules and resources are ready to go costs companies a good amount. Just imagine how much more your company could get done if those 10 hours you spend in Excel could’ve been used elsewhere to provide value to your business.
- Solving the training administrative gap by improvising
In order to save money, training companies will improvise their internal tech stack to fill the administrative gap. This usually requires using certain key characteristics of existing systems that their company already uses. For example, they may utilize their project management or CRM software to organize client data and course information while also incorporating a cloud based spreadsheet to manage the instructor schedules and course calendars.
Not to say being crafty with your current software is bad for training administration. Bootstrapping your training management system as a myriad of different software is only but a temporary fix in the long run for addressing your back-office tasks. While it may work, training companies will soon run into issues regarding proper scheduling, resource reservation, and budget management (trust us on this one, we did the research).
What is a Training Management System?
The processes along with the associated tools your training company has in place can technically be defined as your training management system. Yes, your loose connection of spreadsheets and software along with the associated duties of every person in your training business all form your unique training management system. However we’re not here discuss process improvement per se. We’re here to help define what training management software (TMS) is and what it can do to improve the challenges your training company faces on a daily basis.
In the context of learning technology, a training management system (TMS) is defined as any specialized software meant to manage the back-office administration duties of a training company or learning department. The specialized features of a TMS working with the admin team of a training business is what separates it from the specialized features of a learning management system (LMS) which is meant more for the client on the user end.
The characteristics of a TMS normally encompass selling, tracking, and managing the success of in-person and virtual training courses provided to the clients of a training company. As a result of these software features some training professionals could categorize a TMS to be synonymous with a course management system and as a training scheduling system.
Let’s dive in and see how a training management system’s key features can help improve how you run your training company’s operations down below!
Addressing Training Company Problems with a Training Management System
With a training management system, training companies are able to solve the administrative issues that are all too common in their processes discussed above. Think of your TMS as a Swiss army knife for back-end processes. Your TMS works to cover multiple areas that your training business is responsible for monitoring and controlling throughout the client’s journey of going through your courses. These areas allow you to take action in key areas in your training program management plan including -course scheduling, instructor & resource management, budgeting & finance. We’ve laid it out simple here but we’ve also provided a comprehensive TMS checklist for you to go over.
Training and Course Scheduling System
A user friendly course scheduling system is the bread and butter of improving the operations of a training business. Replace your cluster of spreadsheets and calendars with a connected system that easily allows you to easily manage your courses, schedules, and trainers within a few clicks. Whether the courses are face-to-face, held virtually online, or taken as a hybrid approach, a TMS ensures easily course scheduling for your client’s next training session.
Budget & Finance Monitoring
From order to invoice, integrate all things accounting related to your TMS so you’re not scrambling to figure out debits and credits. Whether you’re selling open or closed courses to a client, a TMS allows you to manage your sales cycle delivery from order, to payment, and renewal. Stay transparent with your clients by sharing critical documents regarding financial concerns.
Operations and Logistics Capabilities
Stop relying on your project management tools or CRM to manage resources critical to your client’s success. Automate course requirements and checklists for specific clients including compliance and regulation training and other administrative tasks. In addition, ensure transparency on course resources with a dedicate collaboration portal to discuss training schedules and calendars.
Sales Cycle Management
Boost financial performance and scale potential and current business with a TMS that has sales cycle management. Know where your current and potential clients stand in the sales pipeline for your training programs.
Personalize Reporting and KPI Tracking
Everything from business intelligence of your training company’s operations to all metrics client related. A TMS should have the ability to track industry standard and custom metrics to measure client performance throughout the training program.
Gain valuable business insights with unlimited, personalized reporting
Measure your training effectiveness more easily with a fluid, drag-and-drop training reporting tool for more useful insights into training and sales activity.
Integrating a TMS for your Training Company
Most training companies and business are usually hesitant when it comes to operating new software into their training management operations. To most administrators in established training companies and learning departments, they feel that utilizing another piece of software in their day-to-day process will make things more complicated than easier and will actually increase their expenses as opposed to reduce it.
As a training company we understand that your goal is to grow your sales and profitability while also reducing expenses and errors. With over 20 years of experience in the eLearning and training software space, Training Orchestra’s expertise with over 600 clients validates that using a solid TMS platform that provides easy to visual graphical course scheduling for courses and trainers in addition to finance, reporting, and sales capabilities allows back-office team members to focus less on getting courses organized and focus more on growing your business and profits.
Ready to learn more about how training management software can streamline your training processes and grow your business?
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