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Part 3 – Rationalisation: business decisions are based on supposition rather than fact

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Business intelligence is vital to fight the temptation to go with your instincts. In these times when business confidence is taking a ‘bashing’ with rising inflation, falling profits and ‘soaring’ costs, routine business decisions gain a new significance. As a training provider you are potentially hit from both sides, your customers are looking to minimise expenditure and cutting back on ‘non-essential’ training and your organisations internal resources and running cost are multiplying. Rationalisation became a word synonymous with cuts and redundancies but this need not be the case. Failure to take a rational approach to the planning, marketing and delivery of training can erode margins significantly. Taking a rational approach sounds easy, which indeed it is as long as the right information is to hand. We all believe we know the really important facts about running our business (or training department but are our suppositions correct. We know that the ‘XYZ course’ is always full and that we are charging the market rates, but do we really know the actual profit margin this generates after paying the trainer, the venue, caterers, hire of the AV system and so on. How difficult it would be ‘drop’ the most popular course because of uncertainty regarding it making a good return? How many attendees are needed to make a course viable? Are you using your trainer to best effect, how much ‘slack’ time have they? Do you know the break-even point? Do you have the time to work out all the equations necessary? Is relevant finance information available to course administrators? Is it viable to take time out to generate all the information needed to make a ‘real business decisions’ rather than assuming you know? When times are hard we instinctively avoid new expenditure but this is not always the wisest decision. Investing in tools that facilitates not only efficient working, improved customer access to services and most important of all provides the information needed to make on-going decisions is essential. ‘Hard times’ drive innovation and thought in ‘the survivors’. The need to make the most of resources and potentially newly restricted opportunities is vital. Can training providers do this with their current systems? If you are interested in learning more about automating and reducing the costs of training administration or would like to discuss your organisations challenges please feel free to get in touch on 0845 5430229 or [email protected] David Evans www.AccessPlanit.com

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