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Marketing students team up with Italtile for sales experience
17 July 2018
Italtile, global retailer of tiles, sanitaryware and related products, partnered with the Department of Marketing Management to provide the third-year BCom Marketing Management students with an opportunity to gain hands-on sales experience in the Personal Selling and Account Management module.
 
As one of the exciting out-of-class experiences, the third-year students were taken on guided tours of three of Italtile’s factories situated in Gauteng during February and March 2018, namely the ITD and the robotic warehouse in Boksburg; Gryphon, the tile factory in Vereeniging; and Betta, the sanitaryware factory in Krugersdorp.
 
The first stop was ITD and the robotic warehouse, where students observed how industrial robots move, sort and store products as it arrives at the warehouse. After witnessing the robots hard at work, students were enlightened with an informative presentation about the technical aspects behind the production of tiles, as well as the intricacies of the sales culture within the tile industry. Some of the technical aspects the students came to learn about tiles included the use of different kinds of tiles for different environments, the materials that tiles are made of, such as ceramic and porcelain, as well as the absorption rates of different kinds of tiles.
 
The next stop was the large Gryphon tile factory, where students were exposed to the impressive production of tiles – from where the raw materials are extracted and processed, to where the final tiles are packed into boxes by robotic forklifts and placed at the dispatch doors, in the required quantities, ready for delivery.
 
A guided tour through the Gryphon factory by Key Accounts Solutions Manager, Henri Alberts
 
Explanation of how essential elements are extracted and separated from the raw materials at the Gryphon factory by the JV partner of the commercial division, Marius Maree
 
The final stop of the journey was the Betta sanitaryware factory, where students observed the production of sanitaryware and accessories, from moulding to glazing and baking of sanitaryware such as toilets and washbasins. The students expressed their sheer fascination with the efficiency of the Betta factory, where in excess of 2,5 million sanitaryware products are manufactured on average per year.
 
Third-years outside the Betta sanitaryware factory
 
The students thoroughly enjoyed the tour and gained many insights into the tile and sanitaryware industry. One thing that was paramount for the students from these tours was the depth, breadth and passion with which they received technical knowledge about Italtile’s products. Through this experience, the students realised the importance of technical knowledge to sales personnel in any industry, as that is often what sets one brand apart from the rest.
- Author Marketing Management
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Last edited by Gontse MoseseEdit
Third-year BCom Marketing Management students