How to work with Overseas supplier with language barriers
Trish Borzon
1489 Posts

Presented by: Zhenpeng Liu, Fuyao Glass America INC.

Area of Focus: Basics and Session Level: Intermediate

In an era of global sourcing, the multinational firm′s success often hinges on the most appropriate selection of its foreign suppliers. It is estimated that there are over 6,000 languages spoken in the world. In today's global business climate, even experienced companies can run into difficulties with suppliers or partners when language differences create miscommunications that threaten their business plans abroad. The person who communicates with customers and suppliers may need interpreters to collaborate. But sometimes the interpreter may not be the expert in this area and key information will still be missing from the translation. Both sides may not fully understand the requirements and expectations, which may cause balls to be dropped, response to be late, or errors in addressing requirements. This session will present different methods to help suppliers and customers to improve communication on both sides. The presenter worked with international suppliers and customers for 6 years and helped build the world’s largest automobile glass manufacturing plant with a foundation of quality. The story of this plant has been distributed by Netflix and is the first film acquired by Barack and Michelle Obama's production company, Higher Ground Productions. It won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

1 Replies

@Trish Borzon Working with overseas suppliers with language barriers can be challenging but there are steps that can be taken to make communication more effective. Use a translation tool, keep written communication clear and concise, use visual aids to supplement written communication, set up video calls to discuss important topics, and consider hiring a local representative who can act as a liaison and help bridge language and cultural gaps. By taking these steps, you can improve communication and reduce misunderstandings.

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