customer story

Training organization helps veterans with disabilities launch new careers

Service-related disabilities can compound the already difficult task of reentry into civilian life – especially when it comes to the veteran’s work life.

Veterans Assembled electronics, LLC (or “VAe” for short) helps those with service-related disabilities find meaningful careers in the electromechanical industry. Through the company’s innovative STRAC® program, veterans are fully immersed into a 5-month, 40 hour-per-week training regime. The program mirrors active duty training and sets clear expectations for achieving industry certifications and, ultimately, employment. To ensure success with the program, each student is assigned a dedicated Veteran Advocate. All of these services are provided at no cost to the veteran.

With an ever-increasing number of veterans turning to VAe for career guidance, the company needed a more scalable way to track each relationship. As Matt Vargas, a fellow veteran and COO at VAe, evaluated the situation, he knew the status quo was no longer viable.

“Understanding each veteran’s unique situation has always been a top priority for us,” Vargas said. “Prior to Insightly, information was spread across multiple spreadsheets. This made it harder for everyone to do their jobs.”

Having utilized CRM systems in the past, Matt began researching systems that could meet VAe’s unique needs.

The need for greater visibility

“We were initially attracted to the flexibility of Salesforce CRM,” Vargas said. “However, it was too expensive for our needs. Salesforce would have been a stretch for our budget.”

With Salesforce out of the question, the focus shifted toward identifying an alternative that offered the right mix of flexibility, features, and affordability. VAe’s marketing firm, TribalVision, recommended that the company give Insightly a try.

Each interview is tracked as a linked project in Insightly. Insightly projects help us to manage the interview process from start to finish and allow veterans to attack employment opportunities with confidence.

“We discovered Insightly, and it stood out as the perfect fit,” Vargas said. “Insightly is both customizable and affordable, which is a big part of why we moved forward.”

Veteran Advocacy, Simplified

After a smooth implementation of Insightly, the team got busy adapting the system to mirror the company’s veteran support model.

“Insightly provides our Veteran Advocates with a one-stop relationship management solution,” Vargas said. “We store all of our veteran data in Insightly, from initial contact through successful job placement.”

The company enters veteran inquiries as lead records. Each veteran is then tracked as a lead until a Veterans Affairs counselor approves an individual for the VAe program. Once approval has been granted and the veteran starts his or her course work, the originating lead is converted to an opportunity.

“We use opportunity pipelines to track each veteran’s progress in the program,” Vargas said. “In addition, we upload all of their certifications into Insightly, eliminating the need for a third-party file sharing system.”

Insightly has also streamlined the company’s process for managing interviews with potential employers.

“Each interview is tracked as a linked project in Insightly,” Vargas said. “Insightly projects help us to manage the interview process from start to finish and allow veterans to attack employment opportunities with confidence.”

Once a successful placement has occurred, VAe closes the project and marks the opportunity as a win.

Of course, not every certification program or interview is predestined for success. Thanks to Insightly, however, the company has a better method for monitoring and fixing issues.

Insightly provides our Veteran Advocates with a one-stop relationship management solution.

“If a veteran ever falls behind or needs more interview opportunities, we simply tag the record and pull in additional resources,” Vargas said. “Insightly helps us keep our vets on track, thereby increasing their chances for success in the program.”

Improved Data Visibility for Stakeholders

Enhanced advocacy isn’t the only positive outcome of choosing Insightly.

VAe now benefits from a wealth of business analytics, which team members can securely access from any web-enabled device. Such data is particularly useful as new VR&E (Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment) counselors become interested in VAe’s services.

“Insightly provides instant access to the data that VA departments need to see,” Vargas said. “In a few clicks, we can pull reports that demonstrate our success with veterans, such as salaries, job placement rates, employer data, and much more.”

Prior to implementing Insightly, collecting data was difficult – if not impossible.

“We’ve always had the right data, but getting to it was a challenge.” Vargas said. “Insightly centralizes everything under one roof, which makes it easier to package insights for stakeholders.”

Insightly’s prebuilt reports and dashboards play an instrumental role in “packaging” stakeholder insights into a digestible format. The company also uses Insightly’s integration to the Microsoft Power BI analytics service.

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challenge

The company was scaling quickly and its system of decentralized Excel spreadsheets became unusable. They wanted to open two more offices, but had no way to tie it all together.

solution

Insightly provided a simple and powerful CRM to manage their full sales lifecycle, including in-depth post-sale management.

outcome

VAe has opened several new offices, ramped over a dozen new hires, and streamlined lead generation, client training, and job placement through Insightly CRM.

Matt Vargas COO & Veteran