When Oliver Fisk joined Mind Gym as its IT manager in late 2013, the training provider had no mobile capability. Today, it has two mobile apps, with more on the cards, using the company’s NetSuite platform as the underlying system of record.
Mind Gym provides learning and development services to 61% of FTSE 100 companies and just over half the S&P 100, delivering psychologically-based, rapid-fire training on subjects as diverse as turning around employee engagement and building a high-performance culture.
The company’s clients include Microsoft, MetLife, Accenture and Unilever and over one million people have participated in Mind Gym training sessions.
But the lack of a mobile capability was an issue that new hire Fisk needed to address, as he told attendees at the SuiteWorld conference in San Jose:
We’re a services company, but there’s a highly logistical element to what we do, in that roughly 1,000 times a month, we have to bring together in one place a client, its training participants and one of our coaches.
We have around 300 coaches that we need to coordinate, so our inability to deliver information into someone’s hand seemed a bit of a problem. We had a couple of years to turn that situation around.
One of the new mobile apps helps Mind Gym collect participant feedback faster. Before its launch, coaches collected paper-based feedback forms from them after training sessions and then mailed them to head office, where they were manually entered into NetSuite.
Today, coaches simply scan the feedback cards with the Fast Feedback app and integration software from Jitterbit automatically sends the images to NetSuite for data entry.
Capturing 20 cards takes coaches around 5 minutes, but that minimal effort involved represents a big step forward in terms of customer experience, according to Fisk:
That means that account management staff can look in NetSuite and see feedback on coaches and sessions really fast. It used to take two weeks. Now it takes two days, and if we really want or need to, we can do it on a same-day basis.
We position ourselves as a market disrupter. We’re not the cheapest training company in the world and we’re certainly not the largest. People come to us from large corporations where there’s usually a large incumbent [training] provider and we persuade them to choose these crazy coaches to come in and disrupt their learning environments. It’s incredibly important to them that they get feedback from training sessions as quickly as they can.
It took Fisk just two days to build a working prototype of the app, he adds, and it was built and deployed for just £500 (around $720).
The other mobile app is for coaches and it updates them on their scheduled appointments and venue locations. They can also share their availability and get course assignments.
Again, Jitterbit pushes coach availability from the app back to NetSuite, allowing account managers to make smarter scheduling decisions that get sent back to the coaching app. This app cost £5,000 (around $7,220) to build and deploy.
What’s important here, according to Fisk, is that a NetSuite implementation that once suffered from perception problems and a lack of buy-in has proved its value, following the company’s decision to re-commit 100% to making it an engine for growth, through a concerted effort to streamline its approach to integrating it with other third-party systems. He says:
Today, NetSuite is at the heart of every business process. All of our integrations between NetSuite and other systems are standardised, they’re reliable, they’re replicable and scaleable. As a result, we’ve been able to develop these apps as well as a whole host of other transformation projects - all based on our ability to make NetSuite run better for our company.