How VICA delivers industry-leading training with Arlo + Wicket

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A member-based, not-for-profit, Vancouver Island Construction Association is one of the oldest construction associations in Canada with roots dating back to 1912. One of their core values is “to foster growth, economic stability, and prosperity in the construction community” and they work with industry to drive positive change for the future. Through the association, VICA Members can access industry-leading professional development training, attend networking and business intelligence events, take advantage of exclusive member benefits, as well as industry representation at all three levels of government. 

A big part of VICA’s role is ensuring that those who work in the construction industry face as few barriers as possible when looking to expand or invest, and that’s where their education programs become a keystone of their membership offering. With over $11B of proposed construction projects and $12.5B of current construction projects currently underway, there is no shortage of opportunities for construction services on Vancouver Island – in fact, the need for services has never been greater. But with an ongoing skilled labour shortage, one of the barriers that construction companies regularly face is filling vacant positions – so they look to the association for training opportunities to upskill their existing staff to fill those gaps. 

Courses include Project Management, Project Accounting & Cost Control, Leading a Multigenerational Workforce and more. These programs help construction professionals transition from being on the tools into the next stage of their career – bringing decades of hands-on industry experience, extending their careers and bringing continuity to their companies and the industry. Through VICA’s programs construction companies are able to fill those vacant positions, boost productivity, develop better leaders, stay abreast of changes within the industry and harness new technologies, just to name a few.

Additionally, VICA is now seeing progressive companies realize the value in professional development and the return on investment is evident – they’re seeing a direct correlation between Vancouver Island’s most successful contractors having the highest number of enrolled employees in their training programs. 

Something that the staff at VICA take great pride in, including VICA’s Manager of Training and Education Jessica Bonney. 

“VICA members who enrol themselves or their staff in courses available through VICA have an advantage over their competition. It’s often that simple,” says Jessica. “Knowing that the work our education department does to help our member companies achieve their goals is easily one of the best parts of my job.”

But as demand for VICA’s training has grown, so has their manual administration. With their administrative time gradually increasing to an unmanageable workload for their staff.

In 2020, they were manually tracking training registrations in Excel and manually sending emails to course participants. They were exposed to administrative errors and in search of a solution that would solve their major pain points.

The Arlo training management system came recommended by another member association, and after a friendly introduction, VICA could see how Arlo would solve those pain points and complement their organization’s goals. 

“Previously, we had to track our training participants manually, across seemingly endless Excel spreadsheets. When we were introduced to Arlo’s course templates, reporting and CRM features, and how they could easily solve that major issue we were immediately sold. ” – Jessica Bonney.

Course templates and automated communication

With Arlo’s course templates, VICA has significantly reduced the time it takes to create and publish a new course on their website. For recurring courses, rather than having to enter or copy all the same information (e.g. name, description, prerequisites) each time a course is scheduled, common information about the course is stored within a course template.

“Using Arlo’s course templates cuts down tremendously on staff time.Through templates, we can quickly schedule another instance without having to re-enter the data from a previous session,” says Jessica.

And with Arlo integrated into their existing WordPress website, courses are published online with just a click of a button. Information is updated between Arlo and WordPress in real-time ensuring a seamless experience for learners.

Once a person registers for a course on the VICA website, they automatically receive a confirmation email, with all of the relevant information that they need. If the course includes a live online session, then Arlo’s integration with Zoom creates a webinar link and automatically includes it in the email communication.

Automated communications can also include updates to customers about any course changes, invoices and payments reminders, surveys, and certificates once a course is completed. A key time-saving feature for VICA.

Wicket integration 

With VICA continuing to grow at a rapid pace, the next area of the business that they needed to tackle was membership. Their existing CRM wasn’t meeting their needs, and they still had multiple points of manual data entry that was again leaving them exposed to administrative errors. 

Through another association they were introduced to Wicket – the world’s first member data platform that enables the management of contacts, organizations, and memberships all in one place. 

And because Wicket integrates with Arlo, it creates a seamless member experience while keeping member data synchronized.

Meaning that when you update any data in Wicket, that information is automatically synchronized to Arlo. Plus, Wicket connects all of your tools with SSO (Single Sign-On). This means that members are automatically logged into Arlo using the same username and password they use for the rest of the software you connect to Wicket. A feature that Jessica says has been “invaluable” both to their members, and the team at VICA.

“VICA members have found SSO invaluable, especially when managing their company’s training and education registrations, invoices, and communications. This feature has reduced administrative time, allowing VICA Members to access information and pay invoices when they previously had to call in their credit card or send a cheque.” says Jessica.

The result: reducing admin by >50%

VICA has recently welcomed their 500th member, making them one of the largest regional construction associations in Canada.

By reducing manual administration by more than 50% with Arlo, the team has more time to focus on their client’s training and education needs. This might be working one-on-one with a member company to map out a training plan for their staff, collaborating with training instructors to update or create new courses that reflect the evolving needs of the industry, or having staff doing more marketing and outreach initiatives to increase the number of companies taking advantage of their education offerings. 

“With education and training being one of our association’s four core pillars, we’ve offered both new and existing members a high-quality experience through Arlo, cementing ourselves as a premium member-based association.” says Jessica. “Our registration numbers continue to increase year on year, and we would attribute much of that success to how Arlo helps us more efficiently run our training business.”

With Arlo, VICA is delivering on their organization’s core goals and delivering a high-quality experience to their members.

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