Grundfos spends millions on further education of employees

Grundfos is introducing the till now largest investment in further education of the Group's employees. - The first step being an investment of DKK 50-60 mill. in establishment of an academy at the headquarters of the Grundfos Group in Bjerringbro.

The ambitious educational strategy was presented at a press conference today, January 25, where also the winning project of a recently finalized architectural competition was presented.

In order to achieve an optimum design of the Academy, Grundfos arranged during Autumn 1999 a competition among the firms of architects:

* C. F. Møllers Tegnestue
* CUBO Arkitekter A/S
* Schmidt, Hammer og Lassen A/S
* Kjeldgaard & Pedersen A/S.

The winner of the competition is "C. F. Møllers Tegnestue", who during this project has created some interesting and worth seeing correlations between the landscape and the building which will be built between the Grundfos Centre and the Grundfos Business Development Centre.

The Poul Due Jensen Academy - named after the founder of Grundfos - will be in two floors totalling 2.170 square metres with a basement of 1,120 square metres and will appear in the form of a calm, well-proportioned "box" with an atrium and with a tower as a special characteristic. Apart from a larger number of classrooms the Academy will include, among others an experimentarium and a conference room, which is fitted in such a flexible manner that they in a combination with a large  amphitheatrically staircase arrangement can contain between 400 and 500 persons. In connection with the Academy is planned an accommodation facility with room for 40 students/guests.

Group President Niels Due Jensen describes the establishment of the Academy - which at first will offer education/training to the international sales staff of the Group - as an ambitious but necessary initiative in order to be in an even stronger position in the increased competition worldwide.

"For a strong company it is natural to make demands to the employees and at the same time place the necessary facilities at disposal. The establishment of the Poul Due Jensen Academy is an expression of acknowledgement of the resources and skills of the employees - and for an increased focus on the sales work. More training is needed in order to enable the salesmen to act as worthy "ambassadors" of Grundfos and to live up to the requirements which the future customers will no doubt make", says Niels Due Jensen.

The concept of upgrading the sales staff
In brief the meaning is that the sales staff should be just as qualified as to sales and marketing aspects as to the abilities of the products - and thereby be able to offer solutions to the customers which fulfil their individual needs. In order not just to respond on the inquiries of the customers the sales staff should also approach present as well as potential customers. They should not only act as salesmen but also as problem-solvers and reliable partners who currently can offer tailor-made solutions to the customers.

The Poul Due Jensen Academy is to be the tangible symbol of Grundfos' visions, values and co-operation. The international sales staff will not only be motivated to act in coherence with the Grundfos values but also learn how to use these in their daily work.

The training will be tailor-made to the individual needs of the groups of employees. The training will be based on three modules with training divided into 2 times 12 days and 1 time 5 days' training. Everone of the approx. 1,100 sales staff members is to carry out the first module in order to achieve the fundamental skills expected of a Grundfos representative. The last two modules are - on the contrary - optional and intended to be offered to employees showing extra motivation and ambitions. - In this way the training/education will become a natural part of the personal development and career of the individual employees within the Grundfos Group. Approx. 800 to 1,000 students/employees are calculated for on a yearly basis.

An extra dimension in The Poul Due Jensen Academy will be the establishment of a virtual academy contributing in making training a continuous process, which will continue in the periods where the students are not physical present at the Academy but attending their daily sales work throughout the world. The virtual academy will be fitted with the newest elements within high-tech communication equipment.

The personnel of the Academy will be established as an international team of professional teachers, customers and Grundfos employees headed by a principal. The education/training will be based on educational principles creating a profitable environment - and with the use of methods and tools which makes the education/training relevant and interesting for the participants.

After detailed planning invitations to submit tenders will be made for the building project. The building work is expected to be started in June this year - with expected inauguration in first half of 2001.