Azelis Coatings Academy is top of the class: Interview with Stefan Hagenberg

Recognising a need to provide staff with access to specialist training in order to best support customers, Azelis, the leading speciality chemicals distributor, launched its Coatings Academy two years ago to help develop staff knowledge through hands-on assignments.

Based near Cologne, Germany, the Azelis Coatings Academy allows Azelis sales managers to undertake practical, hands-on training under the guidance of specialist technical advisors over the course of 2 – 3 days.

Stefan Hagenberg, International Technical Manager for Azelis has been instrumental to the development of the Coatings Academy. He said: “The Coatings Academy has been up and running for two years now and is continuing to prove very successful. In addition to newcomer training, we run the Coatings Academy training course four times a year for our sales managers, in order to help them develop a deeper understanding of our core offering.”

Stefan continued: “We spend two days looking at a particular topic – this can be anything from rheology modifiers to the principles of paint formulation or additives for waterborne deco paint. With this knowledge then in place, we move across to the laboratory for practical training. It is here that we encourage the sales managers to test products and understand how these compare, from a performance perspective, to alternative, competitive products available. On the final day of training, all attendees are invited to present their findings to their peers, helping to widen the knowledge base even further.

“The benefits of working in this way are twofold – not only do our sales managers receive practical training, they are also given the opportunity to network and further develop relationships with other colleagues around Europe: a good basis for future collaboration and support which can only be beneficial for our customers.

“Long term of course, our goal is to establish a benchmark of technical know-how so that we can ensure our sales force are equipped with the knowledge they require in order to better build relationships with customers, and help solve their formulation problems,” Stefan added. 


Interview conducted by ICIS – A global team of independent expert reporters that cover all the key issues, prices trends and projects driving the world’s chemical markets