Achieving Growth and Compliance: InteServ Solutions' Success with Academy Of Mine

6 min read
InteServ Solutions originally was founded accidentally, after being required to provide sexual harassment prevention training to the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), on behalf of a government contract. Since sexual harassment prevention training is required in many states, InteServe realized it would be smart to package and resell its training to others. That’s when Academy Of Mine came into the picture, to help InteServ sell and administer its training to customers in California, Illinois, and Connecticut.

The Challenges

  • Meeting state requirements for administering sexual harassment prevention training.
  • Expanding business from California to other states.
  • Finding a partner and software provider to grow in parallel with InteServ.

The Outcomes

  • Expanded business from California to huge markets in Illinois and Connecticut.
  • Increased customer retention rates and decreased customer acquisition costs.
  • Maintained compliance according to state laws, while delivering training online.

“They’re really good at customization, and they’re really open to good ideas to improve the platform. They’re not the cheapest kid on the block, but they’re not so expensive that you can’t find a value proposition there.”

Profile of Leslie Paton
Leslie Paton
CEO & Founder, InteServ Solutions

Follow along below to read our conversation with Leslie Paton, CEO and Founder of IntServ Solutions.

We Needed an LMS after Starting A Business by Accident

Leslie's business started by accident when one of the Govt. contract clients they were working with (FAA) required everyone to take sexual harassment prevention training. InteServ was initially using Teachable to administer training to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). However, once she realized that the training they had put together was in demand all over the country, she began searching for more scalable options to package and sell the training.

She also needed to make sure that the courses being offered were flexible to take for her customers.

“I needed to have a way that people could take that training at night or over a weekend or something so that the next business day at 8:00 AM they were good to work on the contract. I had to create, essentially, my product, which was a self-training module on the web.” - Leslie P.

After developing the training for the FAA, one of the first states Leslie wanted to market to was California.

“I did some research to estimate to get a rough market size, and I was like 18 and a half million people need to train over two years. Then I realized, all these small businesses out there don't have the resources to put together what I've already put together for my own business” - Leslie P.

InteServ's Compliance Training Requirements

Leslie's first goal was just to invest in a platform that would fulfil compliance while offering sexual harassment prevention training.

In California, it used to be that if your company had 50 or more employees, you needed to provide 2 hours of training to supervisors and managers every 2 years. A new amendment changed this, making the initial training requirements apply to companies with as few as 5 employees, and non-supervisor employees are now required to take regular training.

One of the features that helps InteServ maintain compliance in business, is a course timer, which counts how much time users spend with training material. This is important because supervisors and employees are required to spend a specific amount of time in training, before earning a certification. Leslie’s compliance business is a perfect example of using Academy Of Mine to maintain compliance and provide continuing education.

InteServe’s business relies heavily on state laws that have to do with Sexual harassment — which as you know — can change drastically when the political party changes in the U.S. This was one of the many reasons Leslie liked Academy Of Mine since we were able to customize her software to meet state requirements. One of the features we customized for InteServ, was making sure users weren’t awarded a certificate of completion until they spent the required amount of time with materials.

InteServ’s Growth Goals

When beginning with Academy Of Mine, Leslie (CEO and Founder of InteServ) wanted to first provide training to California. After having done that, InteServe wanted to expand to Illinois.

To do that, she needed a reliable learning management system that could connect with her WooCommerce Store. Her platform also needed to be compliant with the state laws for offering sexual harassment training in the states like California, and later Illinois, and Connecticut.

Here are some factors that were important to growing InteServ:

  • Managing the cost of acquiring a customer.
  • Maximizing customer retention (how long a customer stays with - InteServ).
  • Streamlining customer renewals and reviews.

Leslie’s customers only take training once, every 1-2 years; it is important that customer acquisition costs are low and customers renew certificates with InteServ. One way Leslie is able to do that with Academy Of Mine is by sending emails, automatically, to past customers in California or Illinois that have a training renewal coming up.

“The renewal emails, that’s a big deal! I can send renewal emails to customers who bought a certain training in Illinois and California and remind them when their certification is expiring. And, the email comes from the same email address as my WooCommerce store, so it’s more likely to make it through into an inbox and not get marked as spam.” - Leslie P.

Evaluating different Learning Management Systems

Before finding us, Leslie said the features she required were not available through any other LMS provider. Academy Of Mine had 99% of what she needed, and we were the only company willing to customize the platform to meet her remaining requirements.

During Leslie's LMS evaluation process, here are a few reasons Academy Of Mine stuck out from the competition: - Customizing the software was an option. - The support team had transparent and clear communication from the start. - The platform was fairly easy to use out of the box, and the price was affordable. - She felt as though Academy Of Mine was a provider she could stick with indefinitely. - Integrations to connect marketing and sales with the educational side of the business.

When Leslie approached Academy of Mine with customization requests, unlike the competition we were happy to oblige them. At Academy Of Mine, LMS custom development is our bread and butter, so we’re happy to build customized features and do custom integrations for clients (if it makes sense).

Other requirements Leslie was looking for in an LMS: - The platform is easy for people to leave the course and then return where they left off. - Courses track how much time a user spends with materials. - Requires learners to spend the required time in a course before earning a cert. - Trust and communication with the company. She wasn’t just looking for a software platform, she needed a partner to support her.

“So, we just want to find somebody that we can make a good, steady, long-term partnership with and keep the costs in line. And then as we grow, they grow on profitability, and everybody's good together.” - Leslie P.

How is InteServ using the Academy Of Mine LMS?

In California, InteServ is supporting small businesses with sexual harassment prevention training. In Illinois and Connecticut, Leslie is offering similar training to both businesses and individuals.

InteServ provides training to a large range of customers: - Doctors - Nail Technicians - Cosmetologists - Restaurant owners - Nurses - Phycologists - Veterinarians, and more.

InteServ also provides custom training portals to clients with 50 or more employees. This is possible using a feature in Academy Of Mine called B2B portals, which allows you to create different training instances for specific clients to receive their training in a silo. Portals are important for providing training to larger clients who want their content branded and personalized to their organization. For example, using a company logo on the platform, and on certificates, embedding privacy policies and reporting contacts, customizing training courses, etc.

Listen to Leslie describe what she’s using Academy Of Mine for right now!

Growing The Business with a Trustworthy LMS Provider

While talking with Leslie from InteServ, she emphasized that she’s stuck with Academy Of Mine for so many years because she trusts our team. She said, being able to talk to software developers and tell them what she’s trying to do and what she wants to accomplish has given her a lot of faith in the company. She also went on to say that the communication between her and our team has always been reliable, quick, and transparent.

“It's a differentiating factor for AOM that they offer customizations and the other guys don't. Knowing that I can talk to the developers and tell them what I'm trying to do and then solicit their ideas for how AOM can build this is a great opportunity to build trust.” - Leslie P.

Since InteServ’s training is regulated by state governments, there are constant changes in the business environment. For Leslie, being able to lean on Academy Of Mine has been a profitable investment.

InteServ Solutions Success Story

InteServ Solutions used Academy Of Mine, a reliable and customizable learning management system, to support its sexual harassment training business. Starting by providing training under a government contract, InteServ recognized the demand for training was high and began offering their courses to customers in California. InteServ later expanded to Illinois and Connecticut, all while meeting compliance requirements, thanks to AOM’s features like course timers and customizable software As a result, InteServ successfully grew its business, expanded into new markets, increased customer retention rates, and effectively maintained compliance with state laws. On top of their liking for the software, InteServ appreciated the trust, communication, and customizability offered at Academy Of Mine.

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