Curso Avanzado de Inglés de Negocios



LECCION 11 - PAGINA 2   índice del curso   página anterior   página siguiente



Listening and Checking with Transcription

In this third step, listen to the conversation again while you read the transcription. Finally, read the glossary information, phrasal verbs (highlighted in yellow) and notes at the bottom. This step also means good practice for your reading comprehension skills. To get information in Spanish, just place the arrow of your mouse on any highlighted word without clicking.

Productivity: A Work Study Survey


(In Hector Grant's office) 


Ah, good morning everyone. Are we all here? Peter? John? Ian? Good. Let's sit down. Now, to work, gentlemen. Let me first introduce Mr. Scott, from Smith‑Weston Consultants. As you know, I have been thinking for some time that we ought to have an 0. & M. and work study review. Mr. Scott has come along to tell us what his firm could do for us if we decide to have a productivity study made in the company. Mr. Scott...


Good morning, gentlemen. I'm sure I don't need to tell you what improved productivity involves. It means, for a start, analysing jobs throughout a firm with a view to reorganising them in order to decrease time and expenditure and increase efficiency and production. We would propose starting work study in the factory in conjunction with a scheme under which the employees could share some of the benefits of improvement.


May I ask a question?


Yes, do, by all means.


We all agree, of course, in maximising productivity, but when you study and time a job isn't it normal to find an operator going as slow as he can so that you'll allow him more time for the job?


That, of course, can happen. But our investigators are experienced. We'd first do a sample study in a selected area of the works, and this would demonstrate how we think productivity could be increased as a result of our proposed activities.


Well, that seems a fair answer. But I have another question. Don't you find workers dislike your investigators telling them they aren't doing the job in the most efficient way?


That is, of course, a big problem. But soluble, I think, if our survey is conducted in conjunction with an incentive payments scheme. If operators know they'll be paid more as a result of increased productivity, they'll want to co-operate. We would suggest, for example, putting everyone on group rates as a spur to productivity.


Good. Well, now, Mr. Scott, I think you've covered some of the main points. Perhaps I could now ask you to tell us in detail how you would set about your investigation? I understand you were looking round the works yesterday...

(After the meeting, John and Peter get together)


Well, I'm amazed! I really am. What on earth has happened to the old man? You'd have thought he'd be the last person to consider a thing like work study or group bonus schemes. I gather there was a major battle years ago to get him to agree to piece rates even in the few areas where they operate now.


Yes, he's suddenly decided to change with the times. I think our new advertising manager may have had a hand in it! Joanna is always talking about things like corporate planning, operational research, critical path analysis and so on.


That's just what this firm needs.


Yes, but you know, the story's not finished yet. I don't think H.G. has quite realised the full implication of all this.


What d'you mean?


You wait and see. Some of these consultants never know where to stop...


Well, we shall see.

(Later Mr. Scott reports to Hector Grant)


So, Mr. Scott, this seems very satisfactory. I'm very interested in this sample survey. I think we should like you to go ahead and do the full review.


Er... there is one other point we've not yet mentioned.


Oh, what's that?


We haven't yet done anything on the management side.


Management! Surely that's not necessary?


In our experience it's as vital as it is in any other department. Perhaps more vital. Just as a matter of interest, would you mind if I gave you the results of some research I did myself, while waiting for you this morning.




(Mr. Scott reads from his notebook) "10 a.m. Managing Director arrives at office. Finds mail has not been correctly sorted. Two letters are for other people to deal with. To answer the next letter, it was necessary to refer to a previous letter which could not be found in the file. Diary was not to hand. This caused delay and confusion over making an engagement by phone while the secretary was out of the room looking for the missing letter".


Well, really! Do your methods usually include listening to private conversations through open doors?


No. But this time I could hardly help it. Our job, Mr. Grant, is to observe and report objectively.


I see. Well, thank you very much, Mr. Scott, for your report, and I look forward to studying it carefully. But as to...


... As to including a survey on the organisation of your management...?


I hadn't bargained for that, you know. I shall have to think about it. Hmm, yes, I don't quite like the idea of being told how to run my own business, but... well, I'll let you know, Mr. Scott. Good morning.




to come along

To appear on the scene, to present oneself formally (acercarse, aparecer).

to analyse a job

To study it in detail, to break it down into its various parts (analizar un trabajo).

in conjunction with

Together with (junto con, simultáneamente con).

by all means

Definitely, certainly (claro, desde luego, por cierto).

to maximise

To make the most of (sacar el mayor provecho de).


A worker or agent, particularly someone who operates a machine (operario).


Someone who examines something in detail, an employee of the firm of consultants who investigates the different jobs done by different workers or operators (investigador).

sample study

A sample or specimen is a part of something which shows what the whole is like (muestra, muestreo).


Another word for factory, industrial plant or manufacturing plant (fábrica).


Susceptible of solution or of being solved or explained (solucionable).

incentive payment scheme

A bonus plan. An incentive is offered to encourage employees to work harder, and more efficiently (plan de bonificaciones o incentivados).


A stimulating verbalization that encourages you to attempt something (estímulo).

to set about

To begin to deal with, to take the first step or steps in carrying out an action (encarar, abordar).

to look round

To visit a place looking here and there (visitar, inspeccionar).

what on earth...?

Used with question words to convey surprise (¿Qué diablos...?, ¿Qué demonios...?).

to gather

To conclude from evidence (sacar como conclusión).

critical path analysis

Method of planning the undertaking of a complex project in a logical way, by analysing the project into its component parts, and recording them on a diagram which is then used for planning and controlling the interconnected activities which carry the project to completion. A further benefit of Critical Path Analysis (also called CPA) is that it helps you to identify the minimum length of time needed to complete a project. Where you need to run an accelerated project, it helps you to identify which project steps you should accelerate to complete the project within the available time. This helps you to minimize cost while still achieving your objective (análisis o evaluación de progreso).

to go ahead

To proceed (with a plan or action) (continuar, proseguir).

to sort the mail

To arrange all the letters on arrival in different groups for the people, or departments, who will deal with them (clasificar el correo recibido).


A daily written record, a book containing the days and dates of any year. In this case an engagement diary of the current year in which appointments, etc. are written, with one page, or part of a page, for each date (libro diario).

to look for

To try to locate (buscar, tratar de ubicar).

to look forward

To expect or hope for (esperar ansiosamente).


An analysis covering all aspects of a subject. It can apply to the actual work of investigation or the final written report (encuesta, estudio, peritaje).

to run

To direct, to perform (dirigir, administrar).


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