Knapp - Training the Experts
Supply Chain Training at KNAPP – From experts to experts
The employees of KNAPP AG certainly know a lot about innovative intralogistics.
There was a tense atmosphere in the meeting room. While the managing director of the drugstore chain BECH tried vehemently to stick with the old tried-and-tested concept, the marketing manager was convinced that a multichannel strategy was the only way forward.
Customer training – without the customer
BECH GmbH is a fictitious company invented by the Xvise training team for the purpose of role-playing. While our consultants argued convincingly about BECH’s future strategy, employees from KNAPP AG took on the role of logistics consultants. They were all taking part in a very realistic training course: “Customer training – without the customer”.
KNAPP AG is based in Hart, near Graz. The company supplies customers around the world with complete intralogistics solutions and automated warehouse systems. It has a reputation as a competent partner for everything from development, planning and installation to comprehensive after-sales service. KNAPP is very successful, not least because of the highly qualified people it employs. As one would expect, the company focuses on its customers’ warehouses. Until now it had not really looked beyond this and examined the entire supply chain in detail.
“Understanding our customers’ needs and expectations forms a basic foundation for efficient and forward-looking services,” explains Mario Rauch, Vice President at KNAPP. In order to ensure that our consultancy services are even more targeted when we begin each project, we decided to search for a suitably demanding training course.”
Knowledge transfer and a shift in perspective
The course developed by Xvise aimed to increase awareness of the supply chain and, at the same time, create an emotional connection to the customer. We focused on developing specialist competence in the area of logistics and SCM and also practising specific soft skills. The Xvise consultants’ course comprised three modules with different content. The first module lasted one day and aimed to increase and consolidate participants’ knowledge of logistics. The participants were given comprehensive information about logistics, so that in future, when they are working on customer projects and other projects, they will be more self-confident and be able to act in a more professional way.
The second module lasted two days. The participants were required to apply and deepen their newly acquired knowledge by taking part in a realistic meeting with a customer. They took on the role of logistics consultants, who always have to be aware of the big picture. Their task was to draw up a suitable offer for the above-mentioned company, BECH GmbH. The course leader combined role-plays with special techniques for teaching the participants about different methods.
The participants then had three weeks in which to prepare a presentation to introduce their offer. In module 3 the KNAPP employees were required to return to their core tasks and sell themselves and KNAPP in a professional way. Each participant received detailed feedback, both during and after the course, and was told what their strengths were and where they could improve.
Training that is relevant and can be applied straight away
The value of this realistic training course is obvious: The participants can take what they’ve learnt and apply it to their dealings with customers straight away. What’s more, the course allows them to practise dealing with the kind of difficult situations that they might encounter in their everyday work. We create a realistic environment for the participants. They can try out different approaches and improve their skills without worrying about negatively affecting customer relations. They can practise recognising and dealing with conflicts, employing “killer phrases”, remaining composed in difficult situations, speaking their customers’ language and communicating on an equal footing – with external consultants as well as customers.
You could say this was a case of experts training experts. We were very satisfied with Xvise’s tailor-made ‘reality’ training concept,” concludes Mario Rauch. Even the most experienced KNAPP employees found it extremely useful to be able apply what they had learnt to realistic, simulated situations. “The participants’ feedback confirms that they all learnt something useful about themselves and their role as providers of solutions.”
In particular, the course enabled the participants to increase their understanding of how their customers approach problem-solving and decision-making. This will help KNAPP AG to make its solutions even more effective in future.