Impel-Welbound pivots to knowledge-based training

Technology change is outpacing how books are made. Therefore, new tech skills are required and sometimes organisation culture is a hindrance to change and innovation. Which is why, what Impel-Welbound is attempting is good for the book publishing industry as it there is an urgent need to evolve.

20 Feb 2020 | By Aultrin Vijay

Shakti Nadar conducts a training session with the production team at Uchitha Graphics in Navi Mumbai

Impel-Welbound has acquired a reputation in the printed book publishing trade for conducting workshops, technical seminars and in-plant training on key aspects related to book production. The trainers are led by Suresh Nair, director and CTO at Impel-Welbound, who is a leading bookbinding expert in India. Arvind Kalasur, who heads Welbound Technical Services, is also active in the training circuit, sharing knowledge on best practices and maintenance of machines.

The group is a staunch believer in empowering their customers and explain what challenges lie ahead. This achieved through technical articles and video tutorials plus the company website

Arvind Kalasur said, “The website has useful utilities that help a user calculate book sizes, consumption of adhesives, and estimated turn-around times among others."

Henkel Adhesives India, who partners Impel for distribution of bookbinding grade adhesives, also believes in imparting training to customers — be it on workflow or best practices including safety and environment.

Sunil Kumar, business director with Henkel adhesives had designed a concept for engagement called ‘Beyond Adhesives’. The engagement involves working with customers to understand their challenges in business and provide guidance — wherever possible. “The whole idea is to make our customers future-ready. The catch-line that we use is adhesives are unseen, but essential," said Sunil Kumar.

“The best results are seen when we conduct trainings at their own print facility, typically with respect to improving the knowledge of the operations team. Our team conducts practical class in their workplace,” said Suresh Nair. "But this presented a problem of scale. It was then we decided to start training our own sales and service team to understand key aspects about planning a book. During the installation of our machines, a lot of time is spent in making the customer and the customer's team understand the value in doing it the ‘perfect' way. Planning a job based on end-use, basic maintenance needed on the machine to ensure consistent quality, issues if any in workflow, are part of the basic training."

“Our target is to ensure all of our 70 sales and service engineers on the field become trainers by 2020-end. This will help us address any training requirement at short notice. We have already started the training the trainer program with vigour. Our sales colleagues like Shakti Nadar and Mayur Bharte have become full-fledged trainers," said Pallippuram Sajith the managing director of Impel-Welbound group.

He added, “We have always believed in sharing whatever we know with the customer and customer’s customer. This has helped the value-chain how to create better books more cost effectively. It is not difficult to access finance and invest in the best of hardware today. Knowledge is what will differentiate a person or organisation from another. What will improve efficiencies, what will reduce cost-in-use, how to improve quality or reduce wastage. And above all, not make the jargon put us off.

Sajith concluded, “We have so many tools accessible to us, we just need to train our staff and ourselves to make sure we are delivering the best results."