Business English / Деловой английский язык
A tour of the factory
In this lesson, we meet two companies: Keypoint Security (UK) Ltd and Midland Furniture Limited. Midland have just bought a factory in the South Midlands of England, about 150 kilometres north of London. It is in an industrial area where there are many other factories and offices. At the moment the building is empty. Midland have asked Keypoint to look at the building and to make sure that it is safe and well protected before they move in.
|is Marketing Director for Keypoint Security Ltd.
|at Midland Furniture Ltd.
|is Client Services Manager for Keypoint Security Ltd.
|is Production Manager at Midland Furniture Ltd.
|is a management trainee at Keypoint Security Ltd.
All of these characters are British.
|Factories and offices; what the different areas inside a building are used for; words for describing and measuring spaces and areas.
|Dictating; greeting somebody; introducing yourself; introducing somebody else.
|As you ... know ...; Do you know ...; estimating figures; a/an/the.
|A memo; a factory plan; architects' instructions; a report.
Visiting a factory
1.1 Listen and read
Sarah Street is Marketing Director for Keypoint Security Ltd. She is dictating a memo . Listen to what she says, and write the words missing from the typed memo below.
1.2 Listen and read
Peter Jackson joined Keypoint a few days ago as a management trainee . He is with Irena Phillips, the Client Services Manager, on a visit to a client, Midland Furniture. Listen to what they say. How do they greet each other? How does Irena introduce Peter to Mr Jones?
|Good afternoon. Can I help you?
|Good afternoon. My name is Phillips, Mrs Irena Phillips of Keypoint Security. My colleague and I have an appointment to see Mr Jones at 2.30.
|Thank you. I'll tell him you're here. [She telephones Mr Jones's office] Hello. I have Mrs Phillips, of Keypoint Security, in reception. Thank you. [To Irena] If you'll take a seat, Mrs Phillips, Mr Jones will be right down.
|Mrs Phillips? How do you do. I'm Jeff Jones.
|How do you do, Mr Jones. Can I introduce a colleague of mine, Peter Jackson.
|How do you do.
|I'm pleased to meet you, Mr Jackson. Yes, Mr Irving told me you'd be coming. Well, welcome to Midland Furniture! Shall we go straight round to the new premises? I'll tell you more about them on the way.
1.3 Speaking practice: greeting people
Listen to this conversation. When you hear it the second time, there will be pauses. You speak the part of the man.
|Good morning. Can I help you?
|Good morning. My name is Wilson, David Wilson, EMC Electronics.
|Yes, Mr Wilson?
|I have an appointment with the production manager.
|Mrs Smith? That's her, over there. I think she's coming over.
|Oh yes, I see her. Thank you.
|Hello! Are you looking for me?
|Yes. Mrs Smith? I'm David Wilson from EMC Electronics.
|How do you do, Mr Wilson. Susan Smith.
|How do you do.
|Let's go to my office, shall we? Did you bring the report with you?
1.4 Listen and read
Jeff Jones drives Irena and Peter to the new premises. He tells them about the company. Listen to what they say. What are the advantages of the new site? How many buildings are there on the site?
|As you may know, the company is planning to expand its sales overseas, so we had to find a bigger factory. This place we're going to, on the Farm Lane Industrial Estate, isn't, in my opinion, ideal, but it's quite big, it's got good access to the motorway and it's fairly cheap. From the security point of view , though... well, I'll be interested to see what you make of it .
|OK, here we are. We've got this large building that you see in front of you, plus a separate, much smaller, building round the back.
|You said it was built in the 1930s?
|Round about then, yes. It's old, but it's in good condition.
|Do you know who owned it before you?
|It was a printer's for about twenty years, but they've just gone bust . That's why it was cheap, and the board reckoned we could afford it. Right, if you'd like to come along with me, I'll show you round the site.
1.5 Structure practice: giving and asking for information
Jeff Jones says 'As you may know, the company is planning...', to Irena and Peter (1.4) because this is a polite way of giving people information when you are not sure if they do or don't already know it.
Rewrite the sentences below, using 'As you ... know, ...' and one of the words from the box. Notice that you do not use 'that' in this structure.
|We have just bought a new factory.
As you may know, we have just bought a new factory.
|We're going to look at the site.
As you know,
|Keypoint specialises in security services.
As you know,
|Midland Furniture is planning to expand.
As you know,
Irena says 'Do you know who...', because this is a more polite way of asking people for information when you are not sure if they will know the answer. Rewrite the questions below using the more polite form.
|When was the factory built?
Do you know when the factory was built?
|How old is this building?
Do you know how old ?
|Where will the trucks enter?
Do you know ?
|What does Midland Furniture make?
|Which countries do they export to?
Walking round the factory - 1
1.6 Listen and write
This is an architect's plan of Midland Furniture's new factory. It shows what each part of the building will be used for. As you listen to the rest of this unit (1.7, 1.9, 1.11 and 1.13), make a note of where on the plan of the factory Jeff, Irena and Peter are standing as they are talking - A, B, C or D. (click to enlarge)
1.7 Listen and read
As they walk round the factory, Irena and Peter comment on some of the security problems. Listen to what they say. What problems do they see? Remember to note where they are on the plan (1.6).
|Now, if I can just find the right key. Ah! There we are.
|These gates are really massive, aren't they?
|Yeah , but you're going to need a good strong fence as well.
|At the moment of course the whole building is just an empty shell. This is where the trucks will come to load and unload.
|That's a point . There'll be a lot of trucks going in and out. Will they refuel here?
|Yes. The garage and the fuel store are round the back.
|There are a lot of outside pipes, and outside doors. You'll need security guards on duty here twenty-four hours a day.
1.8 Find the word
The directors of Midland Furniture have instructed a firm of architects to design the inside of the new factory. This is an extract from their instructions. Look at the plan opposite and find the words missing below.
1.9 Listen and read
Peter and Irena ask Jeff questions about how the factory will work. Listen to what they say. How does Jeff show that he is not giving exact figures? Remember to note where they are on the plan (1.6).
|According to the plan of the factory, this is going to be the store room, is that right?
|Yes, the sawn timber will come in here, through the unloading bay - it'll be checked in and stored on racks until it's needed.
|How long will it stay in the stores, on average?
|Not long. Just a few days, normally. Stock turnover's very quick. Timber's expensive stuff these days, you can't have it hanging around .
|And what's likely to be the total value of your stock, roughly?
|Well, very roughly, three, three hundred and fifty thousand pounds, I should think.
1.10 Speaking practice: estimating figures
Read the questions below, and write down your answers. You don't need to be exact. Use the 'estimating' words from the box and information from this lesson in your answers. Then listen to the questions, and speak your answers. Don't worry if your figures are not exactly the same as the ones you hear.
|How old is the building? - About sixty years.
|What's the length of the corridor between the boardroom and the offices?
|How far is it from the garage doors to the road?
|What's the size of the boardroom?
|How many cars could you get in the car park?
|What's the total value of the timber in the store room?
Walking round the factory - 2
1.11 Listen and read
Irena and Peter continue their tour of the premises with Jeff Jones. Listen to what they say. How do Irena and Peter show that they are uncertain about what they are saying? Remember to note where they are on the plan (1.6).
|This will be the machine shop. We're putting a lot of money into new equipment, computer-controlled, everything automated .
|A sort of assembly line ?
|Well, not exactly. It's all going to be organised on what they call the 'just-in-time' system. We only build furniture that people have ordered.
|I see. So you won't have to keep a lot of surplus stock. And everything's going to be assembled by robots, I suppose?
|Oh no. All the finishing's done by hand . We're very proud of our tradition of craftsmanship. Although actually, our new range of furniture is all flat-pack, self-assembly kits .
|I imagine they're easier to transport.
|Mm, I'm sure it'll all be very impressive. Could we have a look at the office accommodation now?
|Yes. You see those big windows overlooking the factory floor? My office is up there, so that I can keep an eye on things !
1.12 Structure practice: a, an and the
You can use 'a' or 'an' with nouns which can be counted: 'a factory', or 'a table'. These are called countable nouns, and they are usually marked [C] or [nc] in dictionaries. They can be used in the singular or the plural: 'He is making a table' or 'He is making tables'. But many nouns in English cannot be counted: 'He is making furniture'. Nouns like 'furniture' are called uncountable nouns, and are usually marked [U] or [nu] in dictionaries.
You can use 'the' with either countable or uncountable nouns, when you want to refer to something you have already talked about: 'The table is finished' or 'The furniture is finished'.
Write the words missing from the text below. Use 'a', 'an' or 'the', or nothing. If you are not sure whether these nouns are countable or uncountable, check in your dictionary.
Midland Furniture have recently bought (a) new premises in Crumley Road. It is (b) large site, which they will use for making (c) furniture.
They will bring in (d) plant from their other factories to set up (e) assembly line for (f) furniture.
1.13 Listen and read
Jeff shows Irena and Peter round the offices. Listen to what they say. What offices and rooms does he list? Remember to note where they are on the plan (1.6).
|Well, down on the ground floor there'll be the reception area, staff canteen, toilets, rest room and first-aid room. Upstairs, here on the top floor, there'll be a big open-plan office for all the secretaries and computer operators.
|There's a splendid view from up here. You can see the whole site.
|Yes, it'd be a good place to put a closed-circuit TV camera .
|Then on the first floor, the boardroom, which will also be used for management meetings, sales presentations, Christmas parties, you name it . On the other side of the corridor, as I showed you, overlooking the machine shop, will be my little place, offices for two other department heads, and the boss's executive suite .
1.14 Writing practice: a report
On Monday morning, Irena is back in her office preparing her report. First she writes down the headings for each paragraph. Then she makes notes under each heading, and finally she writes the report. When it's been typed, the introduction looks like this:
The notes below will help you draft short paragraphs for the rest of Irena's report. Each paragraph should be presented in a businesslike way, but remember that good business English can be quite simple and informal.
2 Location and general description
Read sections 1.4, 1.6, 1.7 and 1.8 again. Say where the site is, and what the buildings are like.
3 Proposed use
Read sections 1.7, 1.8, 1.9, 1.11 and 1.13 again. What will the factory make? What actions will happen inside the factory and in the grounds?
4 Security: strong and weak points
Read sections 1.7, 1.11 and 1.13 again, and make a list of all the strong points and all the weak points in the security of the site. Remember that when you present a list, all of the points should be listed in the same way. You can number your points, and you can write them as phrases or as full sentences, as long as they are all the same. This makes the list easier to write and easier to read.
You now have to decide what recommendations to make. Look again at the plan in 1.6, and at the list of security points you made above. Again, you can list your recommendations:
5.1 The property should be surrounded by a strong fence.