Training centre of the future

Uploaded 09 Apr @ 08:07am

Mirka UK recently opened a new state-of-the-art national training centre at it facility in Milton Keynes. The investment is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to providing its customers with expert training and development around the company’s high-quality abrasive, tooling and polishing solutions, enabling businesses to improve their production, output and profit performance.
The 2,500 ft2 training centre will offer customised training programmes for groups of up to 12 delegates based on the customers’ needs and requirements. And, has been designed to maximise the user experience, with a practical demonstration space, where Mirka’s inhouse technical experts can showcase the company’s latest processes and products and where attendees will be able to complete the hands-on technical training in a workshop setting.
Peter Sartain, National Sales Manager, Industrial & OEM, recalls: “Back in 2011, when we moved to our current location in Furzton Lake, we had planned that when the space became available we would create a training centre. The plans have become a reality and it replicates, on a smaller scale, the training facility at Mirka’s headquarters in Keppo, Finland, but of course is much easier and quicker to access for customers here in the UK.”
Mirka can now fully support education and training events for its customers. Peter Sartain adds: “There are a number of key functions for the new training centre. First, we will use it internally to educate our own people because all of our sales staff are differentiated by being industry sector specific. So, each will be very knowledgeable and will specifically sell into that marketplace, be that composite finishing, glass or wood and so on.
“We will also use it for our distributors, to educate them as it is not always possible for us to visit every end user to train them. Our goal is to make sure that training is ongoing, we don’t want it to be a tick box. We want to form a relationship that is permanent, we want them to visit us on a regular basis for updates on the tools and abrasives, when we launch new products and to keep them updated on where the company is heading.”
The third option is for end users to use the training centre. “It would be a little unusual because we don’t deal direct with end users, but there would be no reason why staff from say Jaguar Land Rover or Sunseeker could not come here and have training from us on our complete process solution,” says Peter Sartain.
Customers looking to move from one industry sector or technology to another can also benefit from the training centre, as he explains: “Probably boat builders are a prime example of this, where we would instigate several members of our team to train their staff. Many boats are made of GRP so we apply our composites experts. However, there would probably be some glass polishing required, as once the glass is installed in the boat if it gets scratched its very expensive to remove. Also, we might have our wood experts involved, as the internal structure is usually made from wood.”
Managing Director, Craig Daycock, concludes: “We understand that the sectors we work in are constantly evolving in terms of the processes and products required to improve production, output and profit while still reducing cost and waste. Training is essential for our customers to achieve this. To take our onsite customer training to the next level, we made the decision to invest in our own training centre and we look forward to ensuring those users who come through our doors will leave knowing they have developed and learned new skills and techniques that will assist them in their jobs and enable their companies to expand their business opportunities.”

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