How NOSA is winning at Customer Experience
NOSA, A South African market leader in occupational health and safety training, have built a true case on what it looks like to digitally transform. Using Microsoft’s three cloud strategy, Dynamics 365, Office 365 and Azure, they have implemented:
- 23 plugins
- 241 automations
- 200 business rules
- 50 custom entities
- 2 separate portals
This leads to a transformation that has since first implementation, saved the company more than R15 Million in less than a year just in operational costs alone, other savings have not yet been measured.
Having a very significant job to do, NOSA needs to ensure people are properly trained to make work environments and tasks safer. They conduct may types of safety courses such as firefighting, first-aid and construction, all learnings that have different elements such as theory and practical, with stringent SETA requirements and rigid assessment processes.
The cost of not delivering a good customer experience (CX)
Training over 90 000 students a year across 26 branches, this company was struggling to handle the scale to which it had grown to, a common challenge within organisations. Coordinating all the resources was a difficult task and would include students, training facilities, trainers who specialise in certain skills, assessors, moderators and auditors. Different branches used different systems for different functions. It took over 15 minutes to manually check one person in, with a class of people waiting to register. The system couldn’t handle it and the customer experience deteriorated rapidly the more the business expanded.
People use this training as a career development tool, saving their hard-earned money and applying for loans to pay for it, just for the opportunity to move to better jobs, earn higher salaries and advance their careers. NOSA wanted to service these potential students but couldn’t provide them with the information they needed, at the time they needed it, in the way they would prefer to receive it.
Big organisations would also send multiple employees for training at one time. Branch administrators weren’t equipped with the most up-to-date information, not having any idea on which courses had enough space, at which branch and on which days. They would have to consult a manually updated document, saved on excel sheets, and call the student or company back to confirm.
These customer experiences accumulated to increased service costs, loss of customers and a tarnished reputation, a truly bad impact on any organisation as a whole.
NOSA’s training process looked like this:
- Book: 16 000 students are booking and enrolled at any one time. Some courses cost around R20 000, needing big amounts of money to be saved. Enrolling would consist of queuing at a branch, students needing to have printed copies of proof of residence, ID’s, prior qualifications certificates and payments made.
- Attend: Once booked, they needed to attend the course. These included administrators finding enough space, in the right branches, with the right trainers and compiling training packs while facilitating the course.
- Assess & Moderate: Once the course was finished and the exam was done, the papers would be marked, moderated and certified. A certificate would need to be printed and fetched by the student.
Taking Digital Transformation to the classroom
NOSA recognised the urgency and need to modernise and digitise their business to empower the South African workforce. Partnering up with our EC team, they took a jump in disposing of their existing legacy and manual systems and moved to Microsoft Dynamics 365.
EC’s first phase of implementation was to replace their ERP system with the main objective of streamlining the process as much as possible. This would reduce time for internal employees such as branch coordinators, facilitators, assessors and moderators. Within a record period of 9 weeks, this Finance & Operations implementation went live. Simultaneously, during the first month of the project, a quoting system was also added. The project developed to a second phase which included implementing workflows, automating where possible and finding areas that could be improved. Currently, the next phases are being planned where advanced stages of data analytics will be added, helping NOSA embrace modernisation even more, becoming a real tech-driven organisation. They are also moving beyond the traditional human resource management way of working and are implementing Dynamics 365 for Talent, investing in what really makes their business successful – people.
To all the users of this system, the changes made are seen through the following outcomes:
- Bookings can now be made online, in real-time, with a view into available spaces in the chosen course.
- User-friendly login and ability to make changes, cancel and pay in one place.
- All compliance documents can be uploaded online.
- A savings wallet has been enabled on student profiles, allowing the money to be deposited at banks and reflecting on their profiles.
- Serves corporate entities with the ability to make multiple bookings in one go.
- Allows students to automatically rebook a rewrite.
- Available trainers with the right skills are scheduled for the courses.
- Courses are more profitable due to minimum attendance being adhered to, automatically cancelling and rescheduling students a few days before if not met.
- Specific campaign marketing is made available to students based on location and skills within the portal.
- Insight for staff into available inventory.
- Automatically assigns auditing rights to the correct people, which can be downloaded and sent to the SETA.
- Allows promotional coupons to be used.
- Selected administrators for highly secured information
NOSA had a system that was developed over an eight-year period that handled all their training scheduling management, from training room bookings to trainer allocation to delivering on premises training and payment tracking. EC replaced this entire system in three months using Universal Resource Scheduling and Dynamics. This system removed a lot of operational waste, removed the reactive, put-out-fires way of working and has allowed people to grow into other areas of developing the business. This is how technology drives improvement throughout the organisation.
A South African first
NOSA is the first company in South Africa to take the initiative and implement end-to-end Microsoft Dynamics 365, including Customer Experience, Finance & Operations (F&O) as well as Talent showing that within 10 months an organisation can create an entirely new foundation, building true Digital Transformation.