A difficult start for a promising project

A difficult start for a promising project | Mandarine Academy

2008, a difficult start for a promising project

After obtaining financing, and the creation of all the administrative and presentation documents, the business project could begin. During the first months of the activity, there were not yet any real customers, but first projects to test the approach. An approach, at the time, interesting, innovative, but at the same time intriguing.

We have thus started working with a telephony equipment manufacturer on an integration model of our training courses for each sale of a telephone set. The idea was to propose a service offer for end users. In order to successfully complete this first test, we then carried out a great deal of preparatory work.

At the same time, Laurent and Benoît began prospecting. Customer appointments were always going very well. The reception was very good, and the idea was approved by many. Some already saw the project as the future of training. The end of each meeting was therefore very often positive:”Great, we can work together on a project”,”We need to think more globally to understand how to integrate your approach”,”When can we meet again? ».
But this enthusiasm also reflected a certain reluctance. The approach was good for many, but very few wanted to change the habits rooted in their society.

Creation of Teachoip, the logistics tool by Mandarine

In addition to the commercial approach, the technical part had to be worked on. Several questions were raised: how to run distance learning courses? How to manage the organization of these training sessions?
In terms of tools, we have chosen the tools of today’s market. Our future customers were already using different solutions to communicate remotely. It was therefore easier for us to adapt to their tools rather than requiring them to install a new web conferencing tool.
However, with regard to the logistics of web conferencing training, we found nothing to take into account customer constraints. We then decided to develop our own logistics tool. Indeed, organizing one hour of training is as heavy as organizing 3 days of training, however, the margin is not the same.

Teachoip were then created and launched as our own logistics tool, and it’s still in use today!

The economic crisis, a real accelerator for Mandarine

2008 is another event: the economic crisis. Our beautiful training project with telephone sets stops. A very hard blow for the beginnings of the company.
Fortunately, sales processes and testing with customers have had good returns. However, it takes time on the client side. Indeed, the IT solution must be deployed to train users. Our model being made to accompany a large number of users on their new solutions, we were always dependent on the deployment of the customer.

However, the economic crisis has also brought good, and even very good benefits. It has forced decision-makers to think differently about training their users. The crisis means a reduction in budgets. So, it was a real accelerator for us. From now on, at the end of prospecting meetings and customer appointments, we were no longer told “We need to think more globally to understand how to integrate your approach”, but “We can set up a pilot phase of your model.”

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