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Sometimes, all you need to succeed is the right tool and a lot of grit. With the world switching to online learning at the beginning of 2020, it was all about finding the right tool. In this case study, you will learn how the developer of Evidpo, Mikhail Mikhailov, built an incredible learning management system that now has 1500+ business clients, 47000+ students, and 475+ courses.
Evidpo is a service providing professional education courses, with 1500+ client businesses in various industries like construction, security, and manufacturing. What sets Evidpo apart is the nature of professional education: every certificate is of government issue and is required by law for certain professions. The project started at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, with almost 8 months spent just to get the licenses and approval through.
Unlike their competitors that perform the training offline, Evidpo performs remote learning, certificate issuance, and delivery of original documents. This saves an incredible amount of time and effort and helps the platform scale faster than any other similar business could dream of.
Now, Evidpo is a thriving learning platform for tens of thousands of students, with automated certificate issuance, a perfected sales process, and tight integration with government services. All built with no-code, by a skeleton team of citizen developers.
This case study is provided by Mikhail Mikhailov, the head developer behind the platform.
Our team doesn’t have developers in the strict sense of the term. Learning to code or hiring developers is both complex and expensive. At the beginning of the journey for our platform, we knew right away that there are separate entities we must service simultaneously: the client business, the learning centers that create and provide the courses, the students, the accounting team, and the government as well.
We tried to find a ready solution that integrates the framework between all these entities into a single flow but couldn’t. After some research, we’ve started to automate the process as best as we could, otherwise scaling up would’ve been impossible.
Every student receives 12 different documents at the end of the course, on average. That’s a lot of paperwork.
Automating document processing was our first goal. That’s how we turned to no-code, as that was the only reasonable option that is both fast and cost-effective. This kind of project was also more manageable in general, and getting to an MVP stage within tight deadlines was reasonable.
After all, document processing automation by hand requires a lot of knowledge. With no-code/low-code approach, this roadblock is out of the way. We needed to structure more than just document flow: every entity in the process should be woven into a single process, and that is a lot of work and a lot of code. At that point, we knew no-code is the answer, and it will help us build everything we need.
Directual wasn’t our first no-code platform of choice. At first, we started dabbling with Make (back then it was still known as Integromat). I’ve also become a member of a number of no-code communities, where folks would help each other out with common problems. It’s a big help. Back during the pandemic days, no-code was rapidly gaining popularity as a discipline, and I’ve seen it in the news feed all the time.
That’s how we came across Directual as well: there was a video of Pavel Ershov building a Telegram bot live, and showing everyone how easy it was to achieve. Of course, that was exciting to see, and I’ve decided to give Directual a go. Been with it since, although it is a more complicated story than that.
At that point, I also had another task assigned to me - to create a quality control system for the sales department. Perfect test project for the new platform, and it worked out really well. What was previously done in Google Spreadsheets (which doesn’t scale at all), is now an integral part of our business—built with Directual.
A lot of things. So far, our platform has 47000+ students, 725 courses, 47 students, and 1500+ client businesses. It’s a full-blown learning management system, complete with automated document processing, CRM, a quality assurance system, and spaces for course creators. Let’s take a look at several things.
One of the things I’ve built is a quality control system, which is a part of the CRM system for the sales department. It’s quite sophisticated. Every sales manager has a number of activities they log, and based on these activities KPIs are calculated. Quality assurance staff and team leads use this system to assess the performance of each particular sales manager and help them grow. It’s very handy for spotting bottlenecks, both in the sales funnel and when it comes to particular members of the team.
Previously, this entire system was kept in Google Sheets. Now, it’s all within Directual. There are cards with activity logs, mistakes, steps taken within each particular interaction with a lead, call recordings, comments, and many other parameters. On top of that, each activity is rated based on its usefulness, which helps to achieve KPIs by focusing on the most important bits of the sales process. Providing a quote when it matters is more important than listing a range of programs the customer might be interested in. Naturally, we’ve introduced a duplicate search system, because sometimes you get similar leads with slightly different data.
There is also a reporting system that helps to see the performance of a team or a particular team member at a glance. We’ve also introduced automated “micro-learning” - if a sales manager is falling behind due to a particular mistake they keep making (forgetting to provide a quote, for instance), a chatbot will provide them with a short tip every day on how to avoid that and remind them about the next steps to take. Every sales manager is working on something particular to their skills and improves their performance as a result.
Since we’re providing education in programs requiring government-issued licensing, adhering to the regulations is a must. We must always be up-to-date with the latest changes to the legislature, and it changes all the time. Once previous protocols expire due to new changes, they must be updated, which we do fast now.
Another thing we’ve implemented is sample certificates. Once a customer signs up for the course, they can instantly see the end result—how the certificate will look with their name on it, straight on the website. That extends to new courses, too—as soon as the course is approved, a similar system takes place immediately.
Again, every student gets 12 documents at the end of the course on average. If you were to do it by hand, it would take more than an hour to input the data manually, for one person. In our case, once the registration is done, the certificate is done as well. All the client needs to do is complete the course—the digital signature is added to the certificate and a reference code is sent to the regulating authority. We print the original certificate at the same time and ship it to the customer. Done! No need to keep printed records, too—we can reprint the certificate in case it was damaged or lost. This saves an incredible amount of time. Our competitors have teams of 20+ just to issue certificates, whereas we have only 2 people to do that.
The website itself. We’ve organized course categories, spaces for course creators, student cabinets, everything. The entire process is now streamlined. Although there is still much to do, it can’t get much better than this. Note that I and my team don’t have programming knowledge—we’re citizen developers.
We needed a strong backend to handle a lot of automation and paperwork. Processing that much data is also pricey, which is why we are super happy to communicate with Pavel directly about it. We found the perfect pricing fit for us. On top of that, we’re a non-commercial organization, and we qualified for Directual’s grant program for education and NPOs, so that helped us get an even better deal.
Every new addition we make must be done fast, as our competitors are just as interested in the market. And, scaling is an absolute breeze with Directual. Nothing lags, which is a godsend (looking at you, Airtable).
Having a direct lifeline with the platform creators helps to address issues or difficult questions. I can’t stress this enough. The community is amazing, and it’s amazing when you can just ask a question and have people help you unravel a difficult situation there and then.
Direct error reporting would be great. Since our workflow is still tied to other databases outside Directual, sometimes the sync fails for a variety of reasons. It’s not always apparent, and not spotting that on time could be a big issue if left unattended. It would be great to instantly know when such a thing happens, but we are assured we will have that too soon enough.
Another thing we’re dreaming of is self-hosting. It will help us tackle more security concerns and manage sensitive data more efficiently.
And, I suppose, we’re always looking forward to new frontend elements in the Webpage builder. We’re using Creatium to close this gap, but if at some point we can get rid of that too, it would be great.
The main focus now is to refine the learning management system to perfection. We want personal accounts for every member of the process. We’re also looking forward to integrating OpenAI to help course creators speed up the drafting process. Some courses have similar modules, and I’ll try to automatically incorporate them into the draft so that there is less confusion and faster delivery of the new course. That is very important as new courses is also a scaling parameter for us. The more courses we have, the faster we can grow.
Directual can help us achieve all this, at ludicrous speeds. Shoutout to all developers well-versed in Directual: if you’re looking for a challenging project to tackle, let me know. We’ll arrange something together.
Cheers to Pavel Ershov and Nikita Navalikhin, you are both amazing. Thank you.
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A citizen developer is a non-professional software developer who creates applications using low-code or no-code platforms. Citizen developers are typically business users who have little or no coding experience but are able to use visual tools to create software apps to meet their business needs.
Directual is a no-code/low-code platform that allows users to build apps without writing code. Directual can be used to build a variety of apps, including LMSs (Learning Management Systems). With a whole array of pre-made elements, you can create course categories, course pages, student cabinets, and any other element of a successful LMS in Directual.
Yes. The platform offers several features that allow users to automate document processing workflows, including document capture, data extraction, and document routing. Directual also supports integration with other software tools and systems, which can further enhance its document processing capabilities.
Yes, absolutely. Educational businesses and NPOs get a special rate, as Directual is interested in helping no-code become a study discipline all over the world, as well as an integral part of non-profit organizations. If your organization qualifies for the grant, simply fill out the form on the grant page and the team will reach out to discuss your case.
Join 10,000+ no-coders using Directual and create something you can be proud of—both faster and cheaper than ever before. It’s easy to start thanks to the visual development UI, and just as easy to scale with powerful, enterprise-grade databases and backend.