Facilisgroup (PPAI 493664), a software-as-a-service company and partnering platform within the promotional products industry, recently completed its Facilisgroup Immersion Program, the first run of what will be a triannual experiential learning event designed to indoctrinate new staff members with a comprehensive foundation of the promotional products industry.

Beginning on May 6, the three-week program provided 12 new-to-the-industry Facilisgroup employees with an in-depth look into the world of promotional products distributors, suppliers and technology, while leaving them with a heightened understanding of the value and services provided to Facilisgroup partners. The program consisted of a combination of on-site visits, classroom activities and virtual learning, and resulted in all participants receiving their PPAI Trained Advertising Specialist (TAS) certification along with an extensive education on the industry.

“We feel this program represents a critical path to our future,” says Matthew Lamb, SVP of research and development at Facilisgroup. “As we continue to grow, we’re hiring more outside professionals with tremendous skillsets and perspectives that we can now blend with promotional products knowledge in a very effective manner. This is truly giving us the best of both worlds.”

During the program, participants spent time visiting and job-shadowing at St. Louis-based distributor MPGTandem, as well as took a road trip to Fredericktown, Missouri, for an immersive experience with supplier Cap America. Additionally, long-time promotional product executive and author Conrad Franey spent time with the team at the Facilisgroup headquarters to discuss his history in the industry, and how his approach of preparation and perseverance have been vital to achieving maximum results within the industry and beyond. Additional interactive classroom activities, discussions and individual assignments rounded out the curriculum, providing participants with a look into the industry from several points of view.

“The program wildly exceeded our expectations in terms of participant feedback, engagement and of course, the knowledge base our new hires were able to build so quickly,” says Lamb. “But the added benefit of helping our people really feel like they’re part of something, and taking that to the next level, was a really positive result as well.”

Amanda Bujnak, product manager at Facilisgroup and a participant in the program, says, “Learning the industry from an insider point of view was fantastic. As a product manager, part of my job is to make sure our partners’ needs are represented in the development of software solutions. By better understanding the problems our industry faces, and developing empathy for those problems, we’ll directly contribute to building a better product.”