Initiated in 1865, London taxi drivers must complete the 'Knowledge'. This is an in-depth study of the streets and places of interest of the city required before they can obtain a licence to operate a black cab. Although the Pilkington Product Knowledge training courses have not been in existence quite as long as that, they have been passing on the 'glass knowledge' to customers for decades.
Simply referred to as PK1, the Product Knowledge course provides an introduction to Pilkington products, how they are manufactured, their benefits and features and typical applications in which they are used.
Particularly targeted at those who are new to the glass industry, the most recent course took place at Greengate in St Helens in September. Attracting NSG Group employees and customers from Russia and Malaysia as well as the UK, topics covered included thermal insulation, solar control, safety and security, noise control, and fire protection.
Course organiser Phil Brown, Technical Advisory Service Manager for the UK & Ireland, explains: "With the wide selection of value added products that we offer and the increasing complexity of specifications, it is essential that we provide appropriate knowledge and support to our customers. PK1 makes an important contribution to this. Despite the huge numbers that have been trained up, we continue to see new faces with a thirst for knowledge."
Included in the course was a tour of the NSG Group's state-of-the-art off-line coater at Cowley Hill, also in St Helens. This allowed the delegates an opportunity to see close up the £36 million investment, which manufactures products such as the high performance energy saving glass, Pilkington K Glass™ S, and the unique, single stock 1.0 Ug-value product, Pilkington Optitherm™ S1 Plus.
After graduating with honours from the PK1 course, many attendees are expected to return to further their education on the Advanced Product Knowledge (PK2) course.
"Knowledge is power might seem like an old cliché," Phil adds, "but product knowledge can help provide our customers with the edge to clinch that all-important sale."
For more information on the Product Knowledge training courses, please click here.