Knowledge forge goes international


The GEALAN ACADEMY team, which coordinates and develops the training courses from Germany (from left): Andreas Linke, Martin Lutz and Marlen Glück.

For several years now, the GEALAN ACADEMY has been providing training in almost all topics related to windows, both theoretically and practically. The big but: So far only in Germany. That will change next year.

July 3, 2023 was Marlen Glück's first day of work at GEALAN. The new colleague comes to us with a wealth of international and strategic experience – and she is now to incorporate this into the development and expansion of the GEALAN ACADEMY in other European countries. "I did my master's degree in the automotive sector and gained three years of experience in the field of process optimization. This makes a lot of things easier for me in my new tasks related to the expansion of the GEALAN ACADEMY," explains our new seminar manager. Over the past nine years, Marlen Glück has worked in sales, where she has been able to contribute and expand her knowledge as a key account manager for occupational health and safety services. She has even worked for the Australian government, so she has already experienced the fine intuition with which intercultural projects have to be approached. This is now also waiting for the new colleague at GEALAN. 


Already an expert in Germany

The portfolio of the GEALAN ACADEMY is already impressive: further training in presence and online, assembly training, joint events with partner companies and much more - with their theoretical knowledge paired with unbeatable practical experience, the pool of ACADEMY speakers has already been stamped with the expert stamp in the industry throughout Germany. "Seminars and further training courses as well as practical training courses in other countries have so far been the exception and are usually organised locally in individual cases," says Andreas Linke, Group Manager Product Management and ACADEMY at GEALAN, describing the current situation. In the Czech Republic, Hungary and Lithuania, for example, ACADEMY has already been on site to pass on much-acclaimed know-how and valuable tips to interested parties from the industry. Most of the time, it was Martin Lutz who was able to pass on his unbeatable expertise from decades of experience. A wonderful service and added value for everyone involved – but unfortunately still without a sophisticated seminar plan up its sleeve, which is now to follow gradually in the countries. 


"The GEALAN ACADEMY is a sharp strategic sword and, with its many advantages, is worth internationalizing," says Andreas Linke, specifying where the path is to lead: "We are not planning to transfer and translate the German seminar program one-to-one. Our program in the countries should be individually tailored to what the local industry and our customers really need. In order to find out, we at the Academy network with GEALAN market experts on site. Together, we then identify interesting topics and can involve our customers in the selection of seminar topics. Our ACADEMY is intended to provide targeted training, we don't just want to pour out the watering can of knowledge over all countries." 


Which topics are important in which countries? 

And this is where our new colleague Marlen Glück comes into play. In the future, it will receive the threads of requirements on the one hand and realistic possibilities on the other hand from all participating countries in order to weave them into an internationally functioning network of knowledge transfer. In less flowery terms, this means: "We develop plans for each country: Which seminars with which industry partners and which content work in this market? What service, what advice is needed there, where can we really help with which experts?". The whole thing should be made recognisable, with a consistent appearance and, above all, consistently high quality. "It is important to us," emphasizes Marlen Glück, "that not every country has to develop its own ACADEMY offshoot to the best of its knowledge and belief." Rather, the seminar management of the ACADEMY is intended to network knowledge as a central interface, create synergies and establish the look and feel of the GEALAN ACADEMY internationally. "In this way, we want to make regular seminars available to our customers in the countries in the future." The training programme is managed and advised from Germany, implemented by GEALAN experts on site.  


Spain and Portugal in preparations 

Jörn Werner is one of the colleagues who is tasked with establishing the GEALAN ACADEMY in Spain and Portugal. He knows the markets very well, is well connected and speaks the local languages. Exactly the prerequisites for being able to prepare fertile ground here: "We are currently in a lot of talks. We ask around in the market which topics are exciting and look for partners with whom we can prepare the content of the seminars in a meaningful way. We exchange ideas about the main topics and look for new lecturers. A lot of preparation is needed before the first Spanish ACADEMY program is ready. But we also want to be and remain as flexible as possible here, and not offer the same thing every year." 

Even closer customer loyalty, differentiation from the competition, better visibility, recognized expert status – the added value of a high-quality training program for the development of the country brand GEALAN is undisputed. "At such events, our customers also get to know each other better and feel comfortable in our network. I know customers who, after ten years of partnership, feel like a real part of the GEALAN family," says Jörn Werner, citing the advantages for everyone involved beyond the mere transfer of knowledge. 


New seminar platform to support 

There is still a lot to prepare in Germany as well. In addition to Spain and Portugal, efforts have already been made in the Benelux countries. Coordinated from Germany by Marlen Glück - who has already been able to make a lot of contacts and use valuable tips in her short time at GEALAN. At her side is Martin Lutz, who makes a decisive contribution to the further development of the GEALAN ACADEMY in Germany and acts as a contact person himself for technical questions relating to the training content. A lot of hard work still has to be done manually. However, it is also to be improved and made more efficient in the course of internationalization: With "Courseticket", a new seminar platform will be launched in 2024: "We want to use it to make the processing of the seminars even more professional in the future, to give an overview of the available places in the continuing education courses, and in the end even to issue the certificates for the successful participants," Andreas Linke reveals the added value of the upcoming project. Here, too, the new colleague is significantly involved: Marlen Glück is already responsible for the development and implementation of the platform, and later for the support. "Later" probably means: In 2024. Then the internationalization of the GEALAN ACADEMY will be prepared to such an extent that the country-specific training programs can gradually be offered.  


Marc Schenk


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