Ruffalo Noel Levitz Case Study

Meet Ruffalo Noel Levitz – A Long-Term Client of LatitudeLearning

Ruffalo Noel Levitz (RNL) is a digital and direct marketing company focusing on the higher education industry. They specialize in marketing for student enrollment admissions in print, digital, phone and all other areas to create a multi-channel approach.

It doesn’t stop there though, they also work on strategies for student retention and on the fundraising side for donors. Their approach on targeting potential students, from beginning to end, has proven to be successful for their clients and what makes them an asset for higher education institutes.

We had a chance to chat with Rob Ackley, Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Administration, who has been with Ruffalo Noel Levitz for 20 years in June and a partner with LatitudeLearning LMS customer for over 10 years.

Finding the Right Learning Management System (LMS)

The problem RNL wanted to solve with an LMS was creating a universal area that their teams could use and learn from controlled content and resources, regardless of their location.

On the fundraising side, they have around 150 call center locations across the country and needed to find a way to connect the call center training and communicate with the manager on-site to virtually deploy and ensure training consistency. Their LMS allowed them to accomplish that, along with enabling expansion to other international locations, such as Canada and Australia sites.

On their non-call center side, they have a range of employees from 550-575, with their leading location being remote. They needed the option to have remote workers to find and recruit the talent they needed. By having a central LMS, their team was able to share content with everyone, no matter where they were located, and control the content.

Before they were using an LMS, they were doing a few things that had shortcomings, such as emails, messaging, webinars. While some of these things were helpful and recorded at times, they didn’t have any place to store the information and be accessible as needed by their team. They eventually started a file share, which allowed them to store items and material, and it became their training library. Ackley created a search engine for this training library, but there was no way to track documents or see who completed what.

With an LMS, you have more options to control and review these types of things to ensure compliance, training or updates are being done and offer more stability.

Alternative Solutions Considered Before an LMS

Ackley explained that their team did initially look for a solution, such as a file sharing system. Their staff included developers and Ackley was also able to help build databases and other tools to make it work. They did try using file shares within Outlook, which allows you to share folders across email addresses, and share universal information so it could be available on someone’s phone if needed.

The problem with this approach was we didn’t have control for two critical factors:

  • Share and control of the shared information
  • Usage and completed task tracking of materials

The other concern was we couldn’t tell who had what, especially for curriculums which may have 5-8 different modules in it. And even with manual checking with Excel sheets, you had no way of knowing who completed what and were missing key metrics. Metrics like how long a user spent on something, did they review the webinar all the way through completion, among other areas.

From all these things, we realized we couldn’t find a way to make it work or less expensive or more functional than what a traditional LMS already had. One thing Ackley likes to share with others about this experience is emphasizing how important it is to have all your criteria in order and curriculum ready, along with plenty of useful content. The ability to track who is using it, to determine what is popular and what is not, and review in real time what a group has completed is key and these are all areas we couldn’t do without an LMS.

Measurable Benefits from Using an LMS

In 2018, Ackley set a goal to deliver 2,000 hours of training internally. With the LMS, we can use the time that would have spent maintaining the system we added on tools like Articulate (for developing a course and video creation) and develop it further by creating content or different modules. Additionally, with the LMS, our team has remarkably been stable, and we have not had to add any staff, so we can free up more of our trainer’s time.

Our LMS has been a resource multiplier, there’s no question about that. As a younger company, we often have younger team members that need to be developed and our LMS lets us do that quickly and efficiently.

An example of this includes bringing groups together, who need management training because they have never managed others or their own team before, and simply add them to the correct courses in the LMS and start learning. This alone is such a huge benefit that cannot be measured by traditional metrics. On the other side of this, the trainees receive a sense of security because they will be trained appropriately after being promoted and not have the fear of being thrown to the wolves.

Why RNL Selected LatitudeLearning’s LMS

Ackley recalls looking at several LMS platforms before onboarding with LatitudeLearning, nearly 10 years ago, and still frequently checks into the market to see what is available. Consistently, LatitudeLearning has always won over others. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • LatitudeLearning has the ability of multi-point deployment and interaction
  • LatitudeLearning provides outstanding customer service and things we needed
  • LatitudeLearning’s platform functionality and execution takes care of what we need We also contract with other bigger brands for different areas of RNL and their support cannot compare to what we receive from LatitudeLearning. If you’re looking into LMS’s, I highly recommend checking out LatitudeLearning to see how their LMS system can help you achieve what you’re looking to accomplish.

More About Ruffalo Noel Levitz

For more than 40 years, colleges and nonprofit organizations have turned to Ruffalo Noel Levitz (RNL) to enroll the students they want, help more students graduate and succeed, and build lifelong relationships with donors. Our mission is to make colleges, universities, and nonprofits successful and vibrant with inspired and relevant engagement with our team of experts. Website: