“Press on!”… Those were the words of encouragement to National Flour Mills’ (NFM’s) Sales and Marketing employees who are working on improving their channel development skills. Channel Development is one of the areas earmarked for gap reduction at NFM that is receiving significant attention.

Under the direction of Gail Nobbee – Manager, New Product Development, technical experts Heather Pierre-Antoine and Harish Coolman have been conducting training and development sessions with merchandizers and CSRs to help them become more equipped for their evolving roles. NFM is of the view that in today’s marketing arena merchandizers increasingly function as first line product interface representatives and are therefore required to know much more about the products and brands they serve. The dual focus on food products and feed products is also being reprioritized in keeping with the company’s strategy to shift its sales representatives from being specialists to generalists. This will, in effect, increase the sales force when team members are trained to operate in both sectors.

The most recent workshops in the food category featured two of NFM’s newest products Good and Natural Cracked Wheat Flour, and Lion Brand Whole Wheat Self-Rising Flour. Training on NFM’s feed products consists of a 12-part training and development programme entitled ‘Livestock Production for Customer Service Representatives’. The programme is geared towards helping participants learn more about production and nutrition fundamentals for livestock, poultry, canine and tilapia. It also covers feed protection, storage insect pests, and elements of Agribusiness Management.

[Left] It’s All in the Dough: Bread making in progress at NFM’s in-house practical training workshop on the use of cracked wheat flour, facilitated by Heather Antoine, Technical Marketing Officer and certified baker.
[Right] Samples of the finished products at the end of the workshop.

Harish Coolman, Technical Officer (Feed) conducts training on broiler production as part of the series ‘Livestock Production for Customer Service Representatives.’

Heather Antoine, Technical Marketing Officer

Harish Coolman, Technical Officer (Feed)