Industrial training is very important for the students because it is through it that the students are able to understand how the theory learnt in class is applied in the corporate real word (Allen, 123). Industrial training helps the student to develop good skills on how to deal and handle clients. It also helps the student to know how to relate with the stake holders of a company and to understand how important they are to the company. The students are able to understand the different levels of management in a company and the responsibilities of each level. Students are able to achieve and experience a lot during the industrial training period as explained in this report.
- To find out the importance of industrial attachment to the student
- To find out how the theory learnt in class is practically applied in the business world.
- To find out how customer satisfaction results to loyalty and thus high sales.
- To know the business operations in the real business world
- To understand the importance of maintaining strong customer relationship in the company
Union International general trading company was established in 1979. It is involved in manufacturing and marketing of drink products like mixed congee, lotus oatmeal, peanut soup and red bean soup among others. The company has very skilled workers and majority of them have more that ten years experience in the food industry. Due to the company’s efficiency, high purchasing standards, designing, processing and marketing, the company’s products are sold world wide. The company has eight production lines which are involved in making carbonated drinks, tea, coffee and juice. In order for the company to make reliable and superior products, the production lines are fitted with modern high speed machines and inspection equipments.
The company gets most of the raw material locally but it also imports agricultural products and fruit juice which is condensed in order to make fruit juice. In order to make products which satisfy the customer’s requirements, the company sometimes contract local farmers with seeds from abroad to cultivate. The company’s aim is to diversify its products and market and thus conducts continuous research by sending researchers to markets all over the world to conduct market research and to gather information which will help in further development.
The managers inspire a shared vision by involving all members of the organization in decision making process. Everybody in the company was supposed to give ideas and strategies of making the company successful and have a competitive edge in the market. This made the employees feel part of the company and thus worked hard to achieve the company’s vision.
The mission statement of union international general trading company is be the worlds number one producer and marketer of all types of drinks using the modern technology to produce quality and reliable products. The company’s primary goal is to make health economic decisions in order to operate and grow at a profitable rate and also provide to the community through customer involvement.
- Excellent customer services
- Giving back to the community
- Creating shareholder value
- Respect for all employees
- Doing what is right
- Building strong relationships
Union international trading general company has three management levels, these are; the corporate level, business level and the functional level. The managing director reported direct to the board of directors. In this corporate level, the whole strategic scope of the company was addressed. Decisions on which products market to compete in and which geographical areas to penetrate were made in this level. Resources allocation was done at this level, and issues concerning diversification and new product production were done in this level (Anderson & Kerr, 514).
The middle level of the union international general trading company also known as the middle level is made up of the functional mangers. These managers included the regional manager, accountant, marketing manager, production manager, general manager and the purchasing manager. The marketing department to which I was a trainee was in this middle level and was concerned in making strategies to achieve the overall goals made in the corporate level. The strategies involved coordinating activities to meet the organizational strategies, developing competitive advantages to make the company have an edge in the market and also surveying the product markets so that strategies rhyme to the customers needs.
The functional level in this company was concerned with integrating the functional units of the organization so that each unit contributes to the business level strategies and also to the overall corporate level strategies.
Marketing manager headed the marketing department. There were the sales people in this department who reported to the marketing manager. The main role of these sales people was to go to the field to seek new customers or new orders from the existing customers. The main objective of this department is to satisfy the customer’s desires and wants. This department worked in collaboration with other departments like the production department, operational department, research and development department in order to achieve its goals (Armstrong, Harker & Kotler, 419). Marketing department worked together with the research and development department whose function is to design products which meet the customer’s needs. Whatever products that were made in this department were easy to market. On the other hand, the marketing department provided proper information to the research and development department on what the customers want so that they could design a product to satisfy their needs. Therefore, these two departments worked together to strengthen each others work.
Production and operation department worked together with the marketing department especially when it came to production of a new product. This was to ensure production feasibility and also to ensure that the product produced was marketable and profitable to the company and thus the two departments considered the cost of producing the new product, the quality that was required and also the price that was to be given to the new product.
Finance and accounting department also worked together with the marketing department to ensure effective marketing. The marketing manager was familiar with the financial management which helped him gain valuable information from the department. He studied the cost of various products which helped him know how to allocate expenses. In order for the marketing department to get strong marketers, it collaborated with the human resource department. This department helped in introduction of proper training programs for the employees in the marketing department in order to get the right personnel.
Job Descriptions/ Responsibilities
In order to learn the marketing business of the company one had to be involved in carrying out of projects in the field of marketing.
- I was involved in research taking to identify the company’s target customers, know the needs of these customers and relate them to the objectives of the company. This information was useful to the company because products matching these needs of the customers could be designed to meet the needs of these customers satisfactorily and at the same time earn the company profits.
- I was also required to get the demographic information of these customers in order to segment the market appropriately. I had to know the ages of the different customers and the products they preferred, know their gender and the products they bought. This helped in segmenting the market so that each segment could be targeted with products that would satisfy their needs effectively.
- I also had the responsibility of making a list of resellers that the company targeted like the supermarkets, retailers and wholesalers and had to keep in touch with them through the phone or the emails or even visiting them in order to convince them to transact business with us. This was important because it helped the customers get products at the right time and at the right place when they needed them.
- I assisted in keeping records of the sales made, the date and also the quantity. This information was important to the company because it helped in knowing whether the sales are increasing or reducing at a particular period. The company was able to know which products were moving and those which were not moving so that promotion measures could be taken for the slow moving drinks.
- It was my duty to go to the field to meet with potential customers and explain to them the different types of the drinks that the company offered in order to create their loyalty and also attract more customers. Through interacting with the customers, I got important information concerning the products improvement which after reporting could be used to improve the products to match the customer’s desires.
- It was my responsibility to look for the competitors’ information. I identified the distribution channels that were used by the competitors, how they carried out their promotion activities and the prices of their products. This information was necessary to the company because it helped it to strategies its operations in order to compete fairly in the market.
The working environment in this company was very conducive for a trainee. Every body was willing to help. My supervisor introduced me to the operations of the company and to the functions of each and every department. He comprehensively explained to me the work of the marketing department in the company and how important it was since it acted as the back bone of the company. My supervisor who was the marketing manager outlined some of the duties I was supposed to carry in the company during my training moment. He was ready to guide me accomplish my duties and was also ready to correct me whenever I made a mistake.
Interaction with the customers gave me a good work experience. I meet with customers who were very good and would ask questions in a polite way and also listen as one talked. These were very easy to handle because they gave one a chance to explain about the company’s products and their benefits. Some customers were very harsh and would not listen or give one a chance of explaining anything to them. Such customers made me learn a better way of approaching them and finally win them to be our company. Other customers were very challenging and seemed to know everything which made my duty challenging. They could explain about the products before one tried to convince them to buy. They were hard to deal with but with time they could no longer challenge me because I had learnt how to deal with them.
For me to understand the company’s operations, I had to interact with the employees in marketing department and also in other departments. This gave me a chance of learning how different departments in the company were interrelated. For example the marketing department had to work together with other departments like human resource department, production, accounting and research and development in order for the marketing activities to run smoothly. The employees were very good and assisted me in achieving my duties in the company. I didn’t have a chance of meeting with the suppliers because the purchasing process was done online but with information from the purchasing department, I learnt that the company’s suppliers ensured delivery on time to prevent interfering with the manufacturing process. They also delivered quality raw materials as per the specification of the company.
During my industrial training period in the union international general trading company I learnt a lot. I learnt the selling process that one should follow in order to convince the customer to buy the products. The first step involves meeting and greeting. This is the introduction stage to make the customer feel relaxed and comfortable. One should build a rapport in this stage by being humorous and friendly and in order also to create the customers interest.
The second stage is qualifying the customer needs. The sales person should try to understand the needs of the customer by asking questions. In this stage one should try to convince the customer that their needs can be fulfilled satisfactorily. The third stage is presentation and demonstration. The salesperson shows the customer the products that the company deals in and explains their benefits. By explaining the benefits of the products the customer will understand how the needs will be satisfied. The forth step involves overcoming objections. Objections are the reasons that the customers will put forward for not buying the products. The sales person should explain the products benefits in order to convince the customer to buy them and overcome these obstacles (Baker & Hart, 121).
The fifth stage is closing the sale and in this stage the sales person should ask the customer to buy the product after handling the objections. The customer can either decide to buy the products or not. The final stage is follow up where the sale person should enquire from the customer whether the products were satisfying. Keeping contact with a customer is very important because it builds a long lasting relationship and it also leads to repeat purchase and word of mouth marketing which will result to attracting more customers.
I also learnt that customer relationship is very important for any company to succeed. Customer relationship leads to increased company sales (Pride, 200). This is because a company is able to follow the target market focusing on the customer needs. It will also develop the existing products which will lead to attraction of more customers. Customer relationship is also important because it helps in creating customer satisfaction. By the company using customer relationship marketing (CRM) in marketing and selling, interaction with the customers is done continuously and their needs satisfied appropriately. Customer relationship management reduces the company’s cost because activities are carried out in a systematic way thus preventing wastage of resources but ensures efficient business operations.
During my attachment I learned that marketing research is very important in a company because through it a company is able to succeed. Marketing research helps a company to identify new opportunities. This is because when a company conducts a research it will identify a gap in the market and thus work towards filling it. Market information helps one to invest in profitable markets. For example research information may show that a certain market is saturated and thus it is advisable for the company to try business in another market. Research information also helps a company to evaluate its success by knowing whether the goals are being achieved within the stipulated time period. It also helps a company to come up with effective campaigns targeting the potential and existing customers (Clark, 125).
I did not have a chance of knowing how advertisements are done for the company’s products because during my training period, the company did not concentrate on advertisement but it concentrated on salesmanship as a promotion method. The few advertisements that were carried out involved radio and television adverts and were formulated in the top level of the company and thus I was not involved in this activity.
During my training period I learnt and achieved a lot but there are some improvements that need to be made both by the company and also by the university. The company should treat trainees just like any other employee because as one is learning, the company is also benefiting for the work one is doing. As a trainee one felt inferior because all the employees looked down on me which sometimes made me to hesitate asking questions. The company also needs to compensate the trainees for the period they are in the company because they are also working just like any other employee. Companies should not view trainees as liabilities but as assets because they also contribute to achieving the company’s goals.
The university also needs to do some improvements on the time allocated for industrial training. This period is too short for a student to understand how the theory learnt in class is applied in the corporate business world. If more time is added, students will be in a poison to gain enough experience. University management should also assist the students to look for companies offering industrial attachment because most of the companies perceive trainees as liabilities and thus do not give industrial training opportunities.
- During my industrial training period I was able to understand how the theory taught in class is applied in the real corporate business world. I understood the steps one should follow when making a sale in order to convince a customer. I also learnt how customer satisfaction and customer relationship is important to a company and how to achieve them.
- In the company I had a good experience with most of the stake holders like the employees who were very ready to help, the customers and also my supervisor, the marketing manager who guided me through my industrial training period.
- Some improvements need to be done in order to make the industrial training more successful and comfortable for the trainees. The companies should give the students an opportunity of learning what happens in the company and also offer a good learning environment. The university also should support the students by helping them get companies ready to offer industrial learning and also add the industrial attachment period in order for the students to learn more.
Allen, Derek. Customer satisfaction research management: a comprehensive guide to integrating customer loyalty and satisfaction metrics in the management of complex organizations. Cambridge. American Society for Qualit, 2004.
Anderson, Kristine, & Kerr, Carol. Customer relationship management. Chicago. McGraw-Hill Professional, 2002.
Armstrong, Gary, Harker, Michael, & Kotler, Phillip. Marketing: An Introduction. New York. Financial Times Prentice Hall, 2009.
Baker, Michael, & Hart, Susan.The marketing book. Chicago.Butterworth Heinemann, 2007.
Clark, Fred. Principles of marketing. Califonia. The Macmillan Company, 1922.
Pride, William. Marketing. Chicago. Cengage Learning, 2008.