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Now we're looking at the options for handling our on-line orders. They're going through
the roof and frankly the lead-time for delivery is blowing out. We need to improve our performance
in this area. Any suggestions?
Well, as I see it, we have three options. The obvious one is to employ more people to
do the job. Another alternative is to automate the system more - cut down on the physical
handling.
And the third option?
We could outsource.
What are the pros and cons?
Well, looking at increasing staff versus automation, we have to consider the cost. Automating has
a higher capital cost than putting on more staff. On the other hand, employing more people
is more expensive over a long term. If we keep growing, it'll cost more in the long
run.
How likely is it that we'll see continued growth?
I'd say it's a certainty.
I'd say a high probability. Nothing's certain in business.
So what about the third option?
Outsourcing? Well, it does take the problem off our hands. But we lose contact with our
customers.
What about the bottom line?
Outsourcing is the cheapest option, and the easiest - in the short term. But if we want
to keep the operation in-house, the best option is automating our system. The only down side
is, we're taking a risk that our business will keep growing.
Which we hope it will.
We certainly do. We've looked before at formal meetings. Today's
meeting is a more informal one, to discuss a specific issue. The discussion is more free-flowing,
or uncontrolled. Let's look first at some of the language used by Denise when she introduces
the problem. Now we're looking at the options for handling
our on-line orders. They're going through the roof and frankly the lead-time for delivery
is blowing out. We need to improve our performance in this area.
Denise says, "We're looking at the options."
Options are different solutions, or answers, to a problem. What is the problem? On-line
orders are going through the roof.
On-line orders are orders for goods received through the internet, and if they're going
through the roof, they are increasing in number very rapidly.
The lead-time for delivery is the amount of time it takes from when the order is received
to when it's delivered, and if it's blowing out - that time is becoming too long. We use
the expression blowing out for something which is becoming too great, in a bad way.
So to improve our performance means, in this case, to shorten the time it takes to deliver
goods.
Let's look at Tan's suggested options. Well, as I see it, we have three options.
The obvious one is to employ more people to do the job. Another alternative is to automate
the system more - cut down on the physical handling.
And the third option?
We could outsource. Tan describes three options. First he lets
us know that this is his opinion, by saying, "As I see it."
Practise with Tan some different ways of letting someone know that what you're stating is your
opinion. As I see it, there are three options.
In my opinion there are three options.
From my point of view there are three options.
As far as I'm concerned, there are three options. The three options are: employ more people,
automate, and outsource.
To outsource means to use an outside company. When presenting different options, we can
order them by numbers, like this. Firstly, we could employ more people, secondly we could
automate, and thirdly we could outsource.
We can also use phrases, such as 'one option is to' and 'another option is to'.
We can also use linking words, such as 'or' and 'alternatively'.
Or, we can use a combination of these methods.
Now let's look at the language used to discuss these options.
Well, looking at increasing staff versus automation, we have to consider the cost. Automating has
a higher capital cost than putting on more staff. On the other hand, employing more people
is more expensive over a long term. When considering two options, we are comparing
them. Barbara talks about increasing staff versus automation. She is saying that she
is going to compare these two things. Another phrase she could use is 'as against'. Practise
with her. Let's look at increased staff versus automation.
Let's look at increased staff as against automation. When comparing two things, we use comparative
adjectives.
Listen to Barbara again, and see if you can hear the two comparative adjectives.
Automating has a higher capital cost than putting on more staff. On the other hand,
employing more people is more expensive over a long term.
She says automating has a higher capital cost than putting on more staff. Higher is a comparative
adjective.
We often use 'than' for the option that is being compared. Remember for words of longer
than two syllables, we use 'more' for the comparative. Employing more people is more
expensive. Because Barbara has already said what the second option is, automating, she
doesn't need to say employing more people is more expensive than automating .
Notice that she uses the phrase 'on the other hand'. This is used to introduce another side
to an argument. Practise this with Barbara. On the one hand automation is expensive.
On the other hand it's more efficient. Another way of comparing two ideas is to use
linking words such as but , although and however .
Automation is expensive, but it's more efficient.
Although automation is expensive, it's more efficient.
Automation is expensive, however it's more efficient.
Now listen to the discussion about the likelihood of continued growth.
How likely is it that we'll see continued growth?
I'd say it's a certainty.
I'd say a high probability. Nothing's certain in business.
Denise asks how likely continued growth is. In looking at words to describe likelihood,
we can use these words: unlikely
possible probable
certain
So we can say: It's unlikely
It's possible And so on.
We can also qualify these with words such as: very, quite,
highly or reasonably
It' s very unlikely It's quite possible
Its highly probable It's reasonably certain
And in a different kind of sentence, we can use them as nouns:
It's a certainty It's a possibility
There's a probability There's a high likelihood
But we don't say, "There's an unlikelihood." We say, "There's no likelihood."
Finally, look at what happens when we compare more than two options.
Outsourcing is the cheapest option, and the easiest, in the short term. But if we want
to keep the operation in-house, the best option is automating our system.
Did you hear the superlative adjectives used to compare more than two things.
Listen again. There are three. Outsourcing is the cheapest option, and the
easiest, in the short term. But if we want to keep the operation in-house, the best option
is automating our system. Well our bottom line is that that's all we
have time for today so I hope it's quite certain I'll see you next time for The Business of
English.
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商業會話(The Business of English - Episode 6: What are the options?) (The Business of English - Episode 6: What are the options?)

1387 分類 收藏
Ching Hung Lin 發佈於 2014 年 5 月 14 日

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