BEP 311 – Business by Phone 1: Discussing Production Problems

BEP 311 - Business English for Telephone 1: Production Problems

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on discussing production problems on the phone.

In today’s economy, it seems like most of our communication is at a distance. Just think about how much time you spend on your phone or writing emails. Of course, it’s no surprise: everything from bookkeeping to manufacturing can be done remotely.

What this means is that we end up dealing with some pretty tough challenges without being able to look someone in the eye. And if you’re in the business of manufacturing, that might include production problems. So if you’re the one overseeing production and you have to explain a problem over the phone, how can you do that?

The first thing you might have to do is explain the situation, like the results of a test run. And just as with any problem, you want to stay positive, or optimistic about solutions. Of course, what makes you worth your pay check is how you deal with the problem. And that might involve explaining the causes, showing you’ve taken steps to deal with the situation, and describing what you’ll do next. And, although today’s lesson focuses on production problems, you can use these techniques to deal with pretty much any problem over the phone.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Cam and Dave, who work for a clothing company called Boston Vintage. The company has recently switched overseas factories, and Dave is reporting on the results of the new factory’s test runs. As you’ll hear, things haven’t gone perfectly. And Dave – who’s in China – has to discuss the problems over the phone with Cam, who’s back in the U.S.

Listening Questions

1. What does Dave say to introduce the fact that there were some problems in production?
2. What does Dave say are the root causes of the problems?
3. What are Dave’s next steps in dealing with the problems?

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