Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English for purchasing and discussing product requirements.
For purchasing managers, choosing the right vendor can be like choosing a business partner. After all, your company’s reputation is tied directly to the performance of your vendors. People judge you by the goods you use to run your business or build your products. If something goes wrong, your customers blame you, not your vendors.
But what makes the “right” vendor? Well, that discussion begins with your needs. If you’re in manufacturing or product development, you’ll be talking about design requirements. These design requirements, or product specifications, are going to help you determine whether a vendor can do the job. And the engineers or merchandizers in the room are going to have some strict technical requirements.
Once you have a sense of what you need, then you can discuss vendor criteria and qualifications. And because purchasing relationships are ongoing, you may also want to establish performance indicators to ensure everything goes well once you’ve selected a vendor.
In today’s dialog, we’ll hear a meeting in a company called xFit, which makes fitness equipment. Adam is a purchasing manager in Asia who has been looking for a new manufacturer of an important component. He’s on the phone with Crystal, another manager who is leading the meeting, and Jason, an engineer. The team is talking about the product requirements and vendor criteria.
1. What does Jason emphasize as a “must” in terms of design requirements?
2. What does Crystal say is the most important criteria for evaluating potential vendors?
3. What other criteria does Adam want to discuss?