A year since the opening of the HellermannTyton Academy in Cannock, Claire Philpott, events manager at HellermannTyton, explains the importance of training to help electrical contractors to better understand the opportunities now available in cable management
Electrical contractors must be able to deliver speedy, efficient and cost-effective service, to provide thorough work, nimble turnaround and competitive prices. With so many different products on the market, it can be difficult to know which one is best suited to help contractors achieve this. This is where a more hands-on approach to training can reap rewards.
Take cable management, for instance. There is still the perception that all a contractor needs to keep an installation neat and tidy is to choose the right size of cable tie and off they go. The reality is that modern cable management is highly sophisticated and versatile in the breadth of solutions available to contractors. Cable management covers everything from heavy duty fastenings for challenging environments, to insulation and protection products, to RFID and other forms of identification.
Traditionally, it has been difficult to access detailed product information beyond getting the flyer on a particular product. This is why we developed the HellermannTyton Academy, a global initiative dedicated to delivering interactive training sessions for customers and wholesalers. We believe, by arming our customers with the knowledge they need, we can help contractors to complete installations more quickly and effectively, comply with ever-changing legislative requirements, and differentiate themselves from competitors through superior quality and service.
The UK’s first HellermannTyton Academy opened at our Cannock facility in January 2017. From the start, we made it an interactive experience. With nine workbenches covering our major product groups – including fastenings and fixing, identification products, cable insulation and protection – visitors get the best possible overview of what can be achieved in cable management.
We believe that, to effectively service an electrical contractor, you need to think like one. The academy enables everybody to experience common electrical applications, and access our products to cut, connect, and install cables in a real working environment.
Whether holding one of our regular customer days, or something tailored to a specific organisation, HellermannTyton experts are on hand to deliver live demonstrations of our latest products and proven best-sellers.
For end users, there are two key benefits. We’re helping those involved in the supply chain – from wholesalers to specifiers – to understand, sell and advise on the right product every time, to meet the exact requirements of each job. More usefully, we can demonstrate how multiple products can work together to give customers more integrated, effective cable management solutions.
The academy offers more than training. It gives customers direct access to our design and manufacturing facilities. Even the best stocked wholesaler may find, for some niche applications, that the required product may not even exist. Customers can approach us with their specific design requirements; we’ll work with them to design and manufacture that product.
In 2017, HellermannTyton held over 70 ACADEMY events. This included nearly 300 customers and other external visitors, including many leading electrical contractor groups, wholesalers and distributors.
Alongside the academy, we’ve invested in extensive, state-of-the-art conferencing facilities. As well as being the perfect base for HellermannTyton’s internal meetings and training programmes, we’re happy to make these available to customers for awaydays, meetings, training and conferencing. Over 500 visitors have used the conference rooms to date.
And for those who can’t make it to Cannock, our two InnoVans are well-stocked, portable demonstration vehicles, which have travelled all over Europe to visit customers at their own locations. They’re an ACADEMY on wheels.
For 2018, HellermannTyton has added several demonstration areas and features to make the HellermannTyton Academy even more interactive. Three new benches showcase insulation and protection products, and RFID capabilities. An overhead suspension offers the chance to see the HellermannTyton Autotool in action. There is also a bigger focus on how wholesalers and distributors can benefit from new product development.
We are looking forward to inviting more customers to this facility in 2018. Customer training is at the heart of our strong relationships, helping electrical contractors to deliver even better service – and a wider range of cable management products – to customers.