Speaking Test Part III
[Definition: the manner by which managers allocate their time when managing tasks]
Zhang: Hi, Ms Wang, you know, our company is sort of out of control these days. Don＇t you think so?
Wang: Yeah. Everything seems to be in disorder here in our company. And that obviously has a lot to do with poor time management.
Zhang: You mean poor time management has caused all these problems. Why?
Wang: When time is not well planned within a company, they usually do not allocate blocks of time to specified tasks. They do not have a definite idea of when they should complete a certain task. And …
Zhang: And I think they often neglect the ordering of priorities. I mean certain tasks need our prior attention. But in our company every task is treated on an equal basis, even if it is a very urgent task.
Wang: That＇s the point. So time should be planned according to the importance of the tasks we need to deal with.
Zhang: So what do you think we can do so that time is managed effectively here in our company?
Wang: You mean what procedures we can adopt?
Zhang: Sure. That＇s what our boss is asking us to do. Right?
Wang: Right. I think we＇ve got a lot to do. First, we should make all the staff members realize how important effective time management is to our company.
Zhang: Yes, I think we can give them instruction in time management, especially those in supervisory positions.
Wang: Right, perhaps we can run a few training programs for them. If need, we may invite some experts from outside to help us.
Zhang: Another thing we can do is to make all the managers, or even every staff member, come up with a job description of their own. In this way, they can be pretty sure about what they are responsible for and what they are not.
Wang: Yes, that＇s a good idea. And I think, the top managers of our company should come up with a set of rules as to what kind of jobs should be given priority to. In this way, we can make sure that important tasks are dealt with first.
Zhang: Good idea. So to sum up, our company should run a few training programs, and every staff member should write a job description of their own.
Wang: And rules should be made as to what kind of job should be given priority to.
Responding to Competition
Zhang: You know our sales have fallen a lot during the past quarter.
Wang: Yes, one of our competitors is charging a lot less than us.
Zhang: I know. It is a new company in this line of business. We really need to do something about it.
Wang: What do you think we can do?
Zhang: I think we can launch an advertising campaign to promote our product.
Wang: Yes, it＇s a good idea. But that will surely add to our cost and therefore push up our price.
Zhang: I know what you mean. Price is a major consideration when a customer decides on a purchase. But there are certainly many other considerations on their part, for example, quality and after-sales service.
Wang: That makes sense. Ours is a high quality product and our after-sales service is good enough, I think. That＇s why we are charging a higher price than our competitors. So we should emphasize our quality and after-sales service in our ad so that…
Zhang: So that people will know the high quality of our product and after-sales service and more people will buy our products.
Wang: But I am still worried about the price. You know customers always like low prices.
Zhang: Yes, indeed. In fact, we can cut down a bit on our price. You know when sales increase after our advertising, we are likely to increase our profit even if we cut down our price a little bit.
Wang: Yes, a low price high volume strategy.
Zhang: That＇s it. We may even consider some other incentives, such as a coupon to go with our newspaper ad, and …
Wang: And I think we can offer free delivery for our customers.
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