24 January 2017

Wavin Academy in Turkey provides learning tools, skills and inspiration... and is still going strong

It’s been over two years since the Wavin Academy in Adana, Turkey first opened in May 2014 and they just celebrated their 10,000th visitor. Connecting customers with innovation is what the Academy is all about and, given their high turnout rate, they have accomplished their goal and exceeded all expectations.

Nowadays, people understand that innovation adds value to their lives. All we needed to do was to impart this wisdom to our customers. The Wavin Academy is the best place to let customers experience this innovation firsthand.
Müjgan Erbaz , Wavin Academy Manager (Wavin Turkey)

Great ideas give rise to innovative solutions and exciting, new business opportunities. The notion of a Wavin Academy in Turkey was born on a construction site in Amsterdam. Richard van Delden, Executive Director of Supply Chain and Operations at Wavin, was having a conversation with a plumber, who told him that he wanted to deliver the best quality products to his customer but was not that familiar with Wavin.

He, along with former Wavin CFO Andrés Capdepón (and a Wavin team) watched their customers in action, listened to them talk about their challenges, and – most importantly – learned what their customers needed. Then came the lightbulb moment. Wavin customers (prospective, new and longstanding) needed better tools, refined skills, access to more knowledge, and a thorough understanding of the innovative, high-calibre products of Wavin. The solution was clear: Wavin Turkey needed an Academy that would connect their customers to better. Two and a half years later, the Wavin Academy in Turkey is proof of concept.

An inspirational business model

"If you can touch the five senses of the customers, they will naturally grow a positive sixth sense about your brand. People can easily reach the information through the internet, but they need to feel that the information is reliable. Therefore, they need to see the company, touch the products, hear the information from us, smell the company's atmosphere, and taste the quality of our hospitality. For all of these, I think the Academy training is the best way to connect to our customer and to connect them to better product solutions." – Müjgan Erbaz

In fact, the success of the Wavin Academy in Turkey is used as a business model benchmark in Patrick Van der Pijl’s book, “Design a Better Business.” His thesis is that if you think like a designer, you will likely develop a better business. The book’s subtitle: “New tools, skills and mindset for strategy and innovation," illustrates the importance of this concept and Wavin has applied this theory into practice – with Wavin Turkey’s Academy. The takeaway here is that we should always take our cue from the customers. Spend time with them in their own working environment, ask questions and then listen.

Wavin Academy in Turkey – Today

"With thousands of new plumber contacts and Facebook followers, an increasing number of new dealers are proof that we connect better to our customers. We can easily and quickly share company news with these contacts. And we can say that the Academy is the best place for relationship marketing." – Müjgan Erbaz

Today, the focus will be to provide excellent training for new customers (dealers/sub-dealers), so that they can keep up with the latest Wavin technology and product groups. And they are so excited to be celebrating their 10,000th visitor! We congratulate each and every one of the Wavin Pilsa team members for making this Academy such a success.

Wavin Academy in Turkey – Tomorrow

"Because we are a dynamic company, we need to share our innovations with our customers quite often. It will be great if we can set up an eLearning system with our key customers and their employees." – Müjgan Erbaz

Tomorrow, the Wavin team will continue to refine the business model. According to Wavin Turkey's Academy Manager, Müjgan Erbaz, future plans also include launching a mobile academy that will travel to critical regions with good potential, but where more brand awareness is needed. Additionally, the Academy wants to help customers be more successful in their business by offering them personal development training courses. Ultimately, the Academy will be the only training centre for this industry sector in Turkey. As is our way, Wavin will take new steps in the ongoing effort to Connect to Better. There will definitely be more lightbulb moments in our future.

For more information on the Wavin Academy in Turkey, follow this link.