20 reasons you need a custom Learning Management System
Posted by Kelly Newcomb on August 27, 2019
We understand these frustrations which is why we’re proud to be one of the few UK-based custom learning management system developers who enable our clients to have their ideas for an online learning system fully realised and integrated as needed.
Seems too good to be true? We understand your scepticism but when an out-of-the-box LMS just won’t do – here are 15 reasons why it’s time for you to get your own custom online training platform.
You need to keep costs low
One of the biggest pain points is the mounting cost incurred once you’ve actually purchased your LMS. More often than not, clients are stopped in their tracks by unfavourable payment models that take into account a business’ size.
The pay-per-user model is often used as a moneymaker for out-of-the-box LMS solutions. Sometimes this can be packaged up by business’ size (X price for 1-50 employees and a higher price for 51-100 employees etc) or on a pay-per-seat basis. Either way, the cost of paying for access in this way soon mounts ups and isn’t often anticipated until the very last stage.
In some cases licensing fees cannot be avoided. Whether you’re on a pay-per-seat model or your LMS developer is charging a recurring fee, you’ll never truly own your LMS.
An LMS can quickly become a pricey annual outgoing.
It’s why we build custom training systems that our clients will actually own, setting the fixed development and design fees out at the proposal stage, with no need to pay any recurring charges.
We don’t believe per-user-licensing is a fair pricing model for our customers. As a business grows, its costs increase exponentially to the point where a business is paying hundreds of thousands of pounds per year for the platform alone. A system that you pay for once, and then own forever, allows you to invest more of your money into the areas that matter – improving your learning content or investing in your people.
You need to save time and money training staff
Businesses need to provide consistent, high-quality training to their staff. What was once a workable option for smaller businesses – ie a training day or group training offsite – isn’t a scaleable option for a growing business of 30+ people for a multitude of reasons.
Time taken off to train
Often commercial or employee training takes place somewhere off-site during work hours. This means that, as an employer, you’ll be paying for your employee’s time while they’re not working. For employees with busy schedules, finding cover to allow that person time out to train can come with its own costs; overtime pay, finding a temp worker etc. By having a centralised, easily accessible system, trainees can work in their own time or during allocated work hours with little impact on the functionality of the business.
Travel and boarding
It’s not just the time taken off that can be costly, overlooked costs also include travel and boarding. Learning management systems offer the flexibility that traditional training wouldn’t, at a fraction of the cost to the business.
Price of external course leaders
Similarly to creating your own course or drafting in experts to tailor-make you something, the cost of hiring trainers for your employees can be pretty pricey.
When you don’t have someone in-house you could be paying thousands of pounds each time and may well find yourself calling on the same trainer every time. This model becomes easily unsustainable, especially if your employee intake is irregular to staggered as we explain below.
Fixed start and finish dates
Most trainers offering a multi-day course will usually have a fixed start or intake date that you’ll need to plan around. This might be inconvenient to your business, particularly if you aim to have everyone fully trained by week 6, for example.
While this might seem like a small annoyance, juggling your employees’ training during the crucial period of onboarding can be stress you could do without. With an elearning platform, all the course materials and training are there, ready and waiting for the employee to begin at any time.
You need to offer something different
Often standard LMS are limited by features and branding. It can be impossible to offer a truly tailored experience to your learners when these two vital things are missing. It’s why a custom learning management system might be the solution you need.
Creating engaging training
it’s important that you offer more tailored, or different experience to keep students engaged. In the case of employee training you might need an entirely visual course that doesn’t have a trainer present as seen in traditional webinars. For commercial training it can allow learners to learn in the most efficient or engaging way possible when text/video just won’t cut it.
Lack of branding
Moodle won’t be winning any awards for creative UI design anytime soon, mainly because they generally look off-brand and tailoring them to be in line with what you actually want and need can be tricky. You need something simple to use and responsive while looking like it’s something you truly own.
We’re known for our great designs – we prioritise features and functionality as much as we do user interface and branding to create truly custom elearning systems for our clients. Particularly one that looks like it was developed just for the brand and its users. Want to see examples of our work? Click here.
Out-of-the-box solutions are clunky
We briefly touched on how some LMS can be clunky, and it’s true! In this digital age, you need fast loading times, mobile optimisation and instant accessibility anytime, anywhere! A lot of standard LMS don’t have that option or become outdated quickly.
You need custom features to answer your users’ needs
Everyone learns differently and not every course can be taught with the same video-followed-by-questionnaire-assessment format we commonly see used today. It’s why we and our clients really favour a custom system which can open doors in terms of teaching and learning capabilities.
Repetitive teaching methods
Knowing what you want and knowing what you need are two very different things. Often we find businesses offering the bare bones of what they could offer because they’re limited by the features in their elearning platform. When it comes to online training you need more than just modules and multiple-choice questionnaires. Some clients need a forum to allow students to work together in a more social environment. While others need to host large quantities of video content
The LMS gets old, quick
Worse than having limited features as standard is an inability to add features to keep up with changing business demands. We have specialist coders and developers on hand to build features into our clients’ learning management system. When off-the-shelf solution age quickly, we create future proof designs that can evolve with the business’ changing needs.
You need to attract top course creators
For those elearning platforms that offer a range of training from third-party course content creators who want to sell their course through your website, having a platform that is easy to use and distinctive is essential to keep the top teachers uploading courses to your site, and members coming back time and time again.
With a subscription model it’s essential that you have high-quality courses being uploaded to your website at all times – otherwise, how could your customer justify the ongoing premiums? By offering a custom LMS with a difference, you can position your business as one that prioritises learning by catering for different learning styles.
Competition with Udemy and Skillshare
With stiff competition from the likes of Udemy, Coursera and Skillshare you need to differentiate yourself. Where these tend to offer the same bog-standard written materials, video lessons and questionnaires, but perhaps you can offer something different? Perhaps you want the capability for your online teaching platform to host live webinars, offer a feedback system for assessments or host a live chat – if that’s what you want, a custom online learning system is what you need.
High-quality courses, not just self-proclaimed experts
It’s not just subscribers you need to impress. Your course leaders and teachers are the lifeblood of your business model because without their specialist knowledge and engaging courses you’d have the equivalent of a bunch of 5-10 minute videos for beginners that you could have sourced from YouTube! By offering support and a variety of features you’ll be able to demonstrate to your content creators that your platform is the best and will make them the most money. Engaged learners, following a course through to completion, is what every teacher strives for as it will push more and more people towards purchasing their course over the 100s, if not 1000s more just like it.
You need to own your system
In the case of online teaching platforms and employee training systems, a custom LMS might be the only option for your business for security concerns, copyright protection and the need for compliance.
Employee Training Platforms
If a business needs to provide standardised training to all its employees this can often be automated through an elearning platform. For example, McDonald’s has standardised training for everything from their POS systems to the correct assembly of a Big Mac. They’ve built their own online training for employees which has been rolled out worldwide to provide a cost-effective, consistent solution.
Integrated software training and support
Some software solutions need to be bundled with training to ensure features are used correctly, but most importantly, to ensure customers are getting the most out of the product. Where other LMS fall short in terms of branding and built-in support for a business’ users, a custom online training system is the only solution to guarantee the high level of training and support is maintained.
Security and compliance
If you’ve ever worked for a government agency or in the public sector you’ll know these things; long lead times, lots of red tape and that there’s a multistage, compliant process for everything. With this in mind, a standard LMS just won’t do. For agencies that need that extra level of security, building an LMS from the ground up is the only option available to provide complete compliance at every stage.
Ownership of the LMS
Businesses, first and foremost, deserve to own their online learning system, but, as we’ve discussed, this isn’t always an option that’s available. Rather, you might find yourself renting the system or paying mounting fees for multiple users. A custom training system bypasses the need to pay scaled licensing fees or rent the software.
Protection of course content
After painstakingly compiling your knowledge and creating an inspiring course set to transfer your expertise into the impressionable mind of an enthusiastic student, what is worse than having your content stolen and ripped off for someone else’s monetary gain? It’s a big concern and one that can be hard to police. Ways to rip course content from a website is innovating as fast as the copyright prevention software!
By now it must be clear that there are a variety of fundamental reasons that a custom LMS is the way forward for your business. A lot of clients are put off by the prospect of the price tag but are always pleasantly surprised when they’re quoted a figure £1000s less than what they were expecting. Contact us here to arrange a quick call with one of the team and we have no doubt that you’ll see that the value far outweighs the cost.
Not sure where to start with your own learning management system? See how we can help with Learning Management System development.