Astara Training have saved £40,000 with A2Z Cloud

Astara Training required a customised database which was available for their expansive, mobile work force. So everybody could access what they needed, when they needed it. Be it remotely or when they were off-site. As a start up company they wanted something effective yet affordable which could be customised to their business needs and accessed remotely.

Managing Director

Victoria Smith, Managing Director

“I initially looked at a system worth £45,000. A2ZCloud provided the software we needed at a tenth of the price.”

 

Astra Training Background:

Astara Training was established in 2013 by Managing Director Victoria Smith. The company is a social enterprise dedicated to supporting and developing the delivery of vocational qualifications to students looking to progress in a number of settings. They primarily deliver qualifications in personal well being, health and fitness in prisons. The Astara team has over 30 years combined experience in delivering vocational and professional qualifications. And a firm understanding of educational systems, custodial environments and the resettlement processes.

Having previously managed all of their learner information via a suite of Excel spreadsheets, over a 15 month period their business had over quadrupled in size, going from providing their services in six prisons up to 26. Astara Training knew that they needed to find a management system to support this growth.

The challenges:

  • Time consuming processes
  • Mobile Access
  • Affordable Systems
  • Customisable Applications
  • Agile systems
  • Usability

The Solution:

A2Z Cloud worked alongside Victoria to establish how to best customise the platform for Astara’s requirements.

A2Z Cloud implemented Zoho CRM system which “has made a vast difference to the time spent on data collection analysis… I can literally click a report and within seconds its there, everything’s in one place” (Victoria Smith).

Victoria has found that a lot of time has been saved by not having to go from one spreadsheet to the next and communication has been clarified because you know that you are all looking at the same information, she explained that she no longer has to ask “have you got this spreadsheet, have you opened that, who’s there”.
She supported this by stating that:

“I like the fact that all of the changes are immediate as well, it means that as a manager I get notifications of what my team are doing”.

Allowing her to always be aware of what people are working on, and at what stage they are at, even when working remotely.

 

Victoria went on to describe how the Zoho platform has streamlined her management style. Because she is now:

“able to set tasks and view how they are working, this is a lot better and a lot more efficient than emails which can get lost, misplaced, unread, deleted” (Victoria Smith).

The company have a lot of people who work for the remotely so it has been beneficial that they are now able to access the learner files and information via a secure route. They can also upload secure information so it is available on the Zoho CRM system. Victoria has found that

“there’s no loss of emails, there’s no loss of documents, no who saved what where, everything just goes where it’s supposed to and it all just works perfectly for us”.

Fitness pair

The Future:

Astara now have integration between the Zoho Mail and Zoho CRM system. And a platform which is extremely secure even when working on mobile devices. Which is very easy to use and can be adapted to their continuing flexible needs. Meaning that the applications develop and grow alongside the business. Astara also have the autonomy to make modifications when they need to. But they can also access live support and face to face support if needed. Astara have found it particularly useful that the CRM system can be completely adaptable to the needs of each institution making

“the value of the software is almost priceless” (Victoria Smith).

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