Perfect conditions for digging a hole

Hundreds of JCB sales staff have arrived from across the globe to take part in the British company’s annual worldwide training event in the Algarve. The high-profile three week programme began recently with a team from the United Kingdom. The Resident reporter George Fletcher went to the quarry site near Vilamoura where the training was taking place and spoke with the on-site manager and other delegates from the JCB corporation and their Portuguese distributor, Motivo.

Founded by the late Joseph Cyril Bamford in 1945, JCB is now the world’s fifth largest manufacturer of construction equipment, with factories in the UK, US, India and Brazil. It is also still a family business – the original founder’s son is the company’s chairman and managing director.

“This worldwide event is very important because it brings everyone together in the same place at the same time so we can deliver the same consistent training message,” a spokesperson from JCB explained. “As well as this motivational factor, it also gives dealers the opportunity to preview our new machines and the latest JCB products.” Training was in full swing when we visited the event, which has previously been held in Southern Spain.

“January is one of the slower months of the year,” explained the on-site manager, “that enables distributors to release sales staff for training during that period. The event has been structured on a country by country basis. So, for example, on the first three days, dealers from the UK will take part in the training. They will then go away and another country’s dealers will arrive, and so on.”

JCB is a worldwide company, so why pick the Algarve for training? “Warm, dry weather is very conducive to training; the conditions in this quarry are perfect and it enables JCB to train its dealers’ sales staff effectively and efficiently. It is also very important to train in countries where we have strong dealers, such as Portugal, where Motivo, our Portuguese distributor is based,” he explained.

The event is already proving to be a huge success. “We’ve had some really positive feedback and are looking forward to the next shipment of trainees,” commented a JCB spokesperson. In total, over 700 sales staff from varying distributors all over the world will travel to Vilamoura to train in the latest JCB techniques, studying everything from customer care to the actual driving and operating of the 50 or so machines that have been transported from the UK to Vilamoura for the event. All the delegates and dealership sales staff are staying at the Marinotel in Vilamoura and, as well as honing their machine manoeuvring skills, several revealed to us that they were looking forward to testing their gambling skills in the marina’s popular casino.