In some trades, the main supplier is seen as a permanent partner. This is for example the case in the automotive sector, where importers play a decisive role. Or perhaps your company itself is a supplier partner to one or more of your big customers.
In other trades, the important thing is finding the bargain of the day/week, for example in the gastronomy sector. If your company has a regular supplier as a partner, your activities will no doubt be closely connected. As a trainer, you can probably make use of suppliers and their resources. Example importer Volvo Personvogn (Denmark)
Volvo Personvogn Denmark services its distributors by sending trade journals, arranging competitions on product knowledge, etc.
A trainer could use several of these activities in training car mechanic apprentices. Supplier-financed courses
Large suppliers will typically offer training in, for example, product knowledge, safety or sales training. A course like this for your apprentice should be planned and put into the personal education plan.
The trainer and apprentice will then learn about product development and specialised areas, something the school often cannot offer.
It is valuable for the apprentice to meet other apprentices from the same trade and specialisation. The trainer should be aware that supplier courses emphasize the suppliers' own products. The apprentice can therefore strengthen his/her arguments for sales or presentation to customers.
On the other hand, the apprentice may lack background knowledge of competing suppliers' products. Example Volvo Personvogn (Denmark)
The Volvo importer arranges courses in driving technique with new Volvo models, as well as courses in new technologies. Supplier materials for training
Suppliers often deliver materials that can be used in training. For example:
- (Demo)models of the product.
- Measurement diagrams or bulletin boards.
- Recommendations for optimal use of their products.
- Research results.
- Newspaper articles.
- Simulations of the product's functioning in a graphic way (for example a cd with animation, chemical measuring devices, simulators, etc).
Some of these materials may be in a foreign language. Make sure the apprentice understands the material!