ATI Goes Back to School
Educational program links company and its customers
ATI Decorative Laminates, the leader in innovative surfacing for the hospitality, retail and contract markets, introduced its first on-site educational program, ATI University.
The one-and-a-half day course is designed for ATI distributors across the country. Each session brings in two to eight participants for an education on ATI’s products, and their journey from the front door to the shipping dock.
“We show and tell how each product is made, why it’s sold the way it is, and even how it’s packaged,” said Vice President of Sales Vern Combrink. “It’s a nuts and bolts perspective that helps them understand not only our product line, but also why we sell certain sizes and require certain yields.”
Each ATI University session is tailored to the distributor's business. “Training is never a catchall. We have to take individual needs into consideration for content,” says Combrink, who notes that the design of each session is guided by an understanding of distributors’ needs, products and challenges.
There are 10 sessions of ATI University planned for 2015, and Combrink piloted a few sessions in 2014. “Participants leave the program educated, enthused and able to train others. It’s a win-win.”
Additional educational initiatives for 2015
Along with ATI University, the company has a year-long focus on education.
- Webinars - For distributors that can’t travel to attend the course in person, ATI has created tailored, three- to four-hour webinars that focus on their business as it relates to ATI.
- Video – An indexed, training video for distributors, allowing them to easily access portions relevant to their business.
- CEU –The company’s continuing education courses have long been a part of their offering.
Combrink sums up the motivation for the university and additional programming. “My mantra in 2015 is training, training and more training. We must create strong communication links between ourselves and our customers.”