BEP 373 – English for Supply Chain Management (2)

BEP 373 - English for Supply Chain Management 2

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English for supply chain management. Today we’re going to look at the retail side of the supply chain.

In today’s world, distance isn’t always a barrier to doing business. It doesn’t matter if your company is located in France, Thailand, or the U.S. You can sell to customers anywhere in the world.

Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Getting your products onto shelves in other continents, or even other parts of your country, is complex. It relies on a web of people, warehouses, and information. And it might involve multiple forms of transportation, including trucks, ships, cargo planes, and trains.

We call this web of activity the supply chain. And in today’s lesson, we’ll rejoin a meeting at an American clothing company, where managers are discussing the retail side of their supply chain. During their conversation, they use lots of language specific to supply chain management. This language includes what we call “collocations,” or natural combinations of words.

When English speakers learn collocations, they don’t learn them one word at a time. Rather, they learn the words together, as a single expression. You can sound more fluent and natural in English if you learn these collocations, especially the ones related to your industry. As you listen to today’s dialog, try to pick out some of these collocations and we’ll discuss them later in the debrief.

In the dialog, we’ll hear Cam and Tanya, who work for a clothing company called Boston Vintage. Tanya is a supply chain manager located in Malaysia. Cam is based in the U.S. and works as a production planner. They’re talking about expanding their retail operations in southeast Asia, and they use many collocations specific to supply chain management in their conversation.

Listening Questions

1. What does Tanya say is very ambitious?
2. What does Tanya say has fortunately not been impacted by being so busy?
3. According to Tanya, what will having a 4PL enable them to do?

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BEP 372 – English for Supply Chain Management (1)

BEP 372 - English for Supply Chain Management and Logistics (1)

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English for logistics and supply chain management. Today we’re going to look at the manufacturing side of the supply chain.

When you pick a product off a shelf at a local store, it’s easy to forget what a long hard road that product has travelled. It may have parts and materials from all over the world. It may be shipped to multiple locations for processing. And once it’s ready and packaged, it may travel long distances to make it to your neighborhood.

This enormous network of information, people, materials, and processes is called a supply chain. And the people who coordinate everything are involved in supply chain management. Good supply chain management can make the difference between a happy customer and an angry customer, and between profit and loss.

In this lesson, we’ll listen to a meeting at a clothing company with a complex supply chain connecting the U.S. and Asia. During the meeting, the colleagues use many English expressions we call “collocations.” Collocations are simply natural frequently occurring combinations of words. A good example of a collocation is “supply chain management.”

Native English speakers use collocations like this automatically. And specific groups of people or fields of work have certain collocations they commonly use. By studying these collocations, you’ll improve your vocabulary and sound more fluent. As you listen to the conversation, try to pick out some of these collocations and we’ll discuss them later in the debrief.

In the dialog, we’ll hear Cam and Tanya. Cam is a production planner for Boston Vintage in the U.S. Tanya is a supply chain manager helping to develop the company’s supply chain in southeast Asia. Cam and Tanya use many collocations specific to supply chain management in their conversation about the manufacturing side of the supply chain.

Listening Questions

1. What is Tanya’s first big concern on the manufacturing side of things?
2. What does Cam say that people on the ground have expectations about?
3. What does Tanya say will increase costs but help manage risk?

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BEP 356 – Accounting English: Discussing Taxes (2)

BEP 356 - Financial English: Discussing Taxes 2

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on accounting English vocabulary for discussing taxes.

Spring is a busy time for accountants in the U.S. and many other countries. That’s because spring is when corporations and individuals have to file a tax return with the government. It’s our yearly reminder that we don’t get to keep everything we earn.

Of course, those busy accountants aren’t just calculating your revenue and costs. They’re looking for ways to reduce the amount you – or your business – have to pay in tax. And that’s why the chatter around offices and board rooms is all about ways to avoid handing over too much money to the tax man.

Listen to these conversations and you’ll notice many useful expressions. For example, I’ve already used the phrase “file a tax return.” That verb “file” always goes with “return” when we talk about our annual submission to the government. You can learn those words together, as one expression or “collocation.”

A collocation is just a natural combination of words that native English speakers learn as a chunk. With English collocations, we don’t have to go searching for every word in our brain. Instead, we pull out a string of words that matches our intended meaning. Learning these strings of words is more efficient, and will make you sound more natural. As you listen to today’s conversation, try to pick out some of these collocations and we’ll discuss them later in the debrief.

In the dialog, we’ll continue with a conversation about the tax situation of a company called Brando Equipment. Christie has been giving an update to two senior managers: Glen and Ivana. Last time, Christie gave them an overall picture of the tax situation, and today she’s providing more detail.

Listening Questions

1. What does Christie say is one factor that increased their reported income?
2. What helped reduce the company’s reported income by about $50,000?
3. What important issue does Ivana want to discuss in more detail at the end of the dialog?”

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BEP 355 – Accounting English: Discussing Taxes (1)

BEP 355 - Financial English: Discussing Taxes 1

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on accounting English for discussing taxes.

There’s an old saying in English that “nothing is certain except death and taxes.” But, although taxes are certain, the exact amount you have to pay isn’t. Just ask any accountant. For both companies and individuals, there are all sorts of ways to lower your tax bill. And a lower tax bill means more money in our pockets, or in our shareholders pockets. For this reason, tax is a popular topic of discussion, especially in the spring when most taxes are due.

In this accounting English lesson, we’ll listen to three managers at Brando Equipment discuss their tax situation. During the conversation, the managers use a lot of common expressions related to taxes. We call these expressions “collocations.” A collocation is just a group of words that go together naturally.

Some English collocations, such as “take a chance,” are widely used. But many collocations are particular to a certain field of work or topic. And to work in that field or discuss that topic, you need to know these special expressions. When it comes to taxes, for example, you need to know that we use the verb “file” with “taxes” to talk about our yearly report to the government. Learning collocations like this in different fields will develop your vocabulary and help you sound more natural.

In the dialog, we’ll hear Christie, Glen, and Ivana discuss the tax situation at Brando Equipment, a subsidiary their company has recently purchased. Glen and Ivana are corporate managers, while Christie is an accountant. The three colleagues use many English collocations and vocabulary specific to taxes as they talk about how much tax Brando Equipment owes.

Listening Questions

1. What does Ivana hope that they finish by the 30th of the month?
2. Near the start of the conversation, what does Christie say is higher than they anticipated?
3. What key piece of information does Glen want to know?

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BEP 347 – English Sales Collocations (Part 2)

BEP 347 - Business English Collocations for Sales 2)

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English collocations for talking about sales.

Sales has never been tougher. In the digital age, competition for people’s attention is fierce. And customers are armed with more knowledge than ever before. For these reasons, companies can’t get lazy about their approach to sales. They need to be strategic; they have to find new ways to manage customer relationships, and they need effective ways to track how they’re doing.

In this lesson, we’ll listen to a pharmaceutical sales team discuss new strategies to improve and track their performance. In their discussion, you’ll hear a lot of what we call collocations. Collocations are just groups of words that combine naturally. For example, if you want to say that someone finishes making a sale, you can say that he “closes a sale.” Everyone uses that verb “close.” Nobody says “shut” a sale or “do” a sale. The correct collocation is “close a sale.”

Native speakers learn and use these collocations naturally. And if you want to improve your vocabulary and sound more fluent, you can learn to use them too. As you listen to the dialog, try to pick out some of these collocations and we’ll discuss them later in the debrief.

In the dialog, we’ll listen to a discussion between Fran, Gus, and Nick. In our last lesson, the team discussed the need to improve their company’s sales. Now they’re talking about ways to do that. During their discussion, they use many English collocations related to sales.

Listening Questions

1. What does Nick think his colleague Dennis is doing wrong?
2. What does Nick believe is an outdated way of measuring their success?
3. What does Nick believe will happen if they improve their performance metrics?

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