December 08, 2014

Replenishing knowledge in Iberia

Yara Iberian has started its own Academy this autumn, adapting a Yara model for external use, to train closest customer's technicians and agronomists.
Yara Iberian
Yara Iberian

Across the world, Yara has more than 500 agronomists working with farmers, retailers and distributors. In Yara, we believe that applying fertilizers without adding knowledge about them will not lead to increased yields. This is how we operate wherever we are present globally, and Spain is no exception. An important European agricultural producer, Yara Iberian has increased its focus on the replenishment of knowledge as an essential part of obtaining better yields, sustainably and profitably.

Sharing crop knowledge

The Iberian Academy is designed to fill knowledge gaps in the business unit's territory. Iberian delegates have been trained by Barry Bull and Geoff Paulson, the founders of the Yara Academy. These delegates will go on to train over 400 customer technicians, working to a map designed to bring crop knowledge to areas where this expertise is needed most.

"The Iberian Academy was born the moment we became aware that there was too much variety in the way that our distributor sales forces and agronomists were selling our products," says Yara Iberian Commercial Director Luis Felipe Posada. "In a way it is the Yara Academy 'gone local'."

"Since they did not have the same amount of knowledge or experience with Yara, messages were not aligned from one region to the next," he continues. "What's more, some of the same sales people and agronomists did not have sufficient knowledge about our products, and this meant they were more likely to negotiate on price rather than the benefits that Yara products and the portfolio represent."

"The next step was to train our external sales force, to promote our products with two objectives in mind; to ensure that they have a minimum level of knowledge about crops and Yara's products, as well as about the company - for example, that safety is our number one priority," Luis Felipe says.

Music from the orchestra

"The other goal was to guarantee that the message per product is aligned, as it would be coming directly from inside Yara - the more we are in tune, the louder the symphony, and the further the message goes," he adds.

The Iberian Academy classes are planned as one-day sessions, and the current modules, designed expressly by Iberian, will focus on crops and crop knowledge, which product from the portfolio provides a solution for which crop, safety and security, and marketing and tools. Sessions are already planned through most of 2015 and 2016.

"This project came about through the identification of knowledge gaps in our representational work force," Luis Felipe says. "This solution aims to ensure that we have necessary geographical coverage, by province, at the closest customer level; partner - and potential partner."