Business English Dialogue and Quiz: Deliveries and Suppliers

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Susan: Doug, can I talk with you for a moment?
Doug: What can I do for you Susan?

Susan: I'm concerned about the delays we're experiencing with some of our suppliers.
Doug: We're doing everything to get back on schedule.

Susan: Could you give me an approximate timeline?
Doug: A number of deliveries are arriving tomorrow. Unfortunately, this time of year is often troublesome.

Susan: That's not good. We can't make excuses to our clients. Are all shipments affected?
Doug: No, but it is summer and some companies are cutting back until September.

Susan: Where are most of our suppliers located?
Doug: Well, most of them are in China, but there are a few in California.

Susan: How does that affect deliveries?
Doug: Well, there are weather delays and shipment delays due to reduced production. Sometimes, larger packages are delayed because of a bottleneck at the distribution point.

Susan: Is there any way around these delays?
Doug: Well, we often work with delivery services such as UPS, Fed ex or DHL for our most urgent shipping. They guarantee door-to-door deliveries within 48 hours.

Susan: Are they expensive?
Doug: Yes, they're very expensive at that cuts into our bottom line.

Key Vocabulary

  • delay = (noun / verb) put back in time something that is scheduled
  • supplier = (noun) a manufacturer of parts, items, etc.
  • to get back on schedule = (verb phrase) when you are behind schedule, try to catch up
  • timeline = (noun) the expected times when events will happen
  • delivery = (noun) when products, parts, items, etc. arrives at a company
  • shipment = (noun) the process of sending products, items, parts, from the manufacturer to the client company
  • to cut back = (phrasal verb) reduce
  • to make excuses = (verb phrase) give reasons why something bad happened
  • increased / reduced production = (noun phrases) production which is becoming more or less
  • package = (noun) items in a box that are shipped
  • bottleneck = (noun - idiomatic) difficulties in keeping something going because of some limitation
  • distribution point = (noun) the place where items are divided up for deliveries to individual clients
  • bottom line = (noun) total profit or loss
  • to cut into = (phrasal verb) reduce something

Comprehension Quiz

Check your understanding with this multiple choice comprehension quiz.

4. Where are most of the suppliers located?
5. . Which is NOT a reason given for the delays?
6. How do they sometimes resolve these problems?
7. We'll need to get a new __________ for those parts.
8. What's the __________ for the project? When will it start and when will it finish?
9. I'm afraid we need to __________ travel because it's hurting our __________.
10. Do you think we can __________ by the end of next week? This __________ is killing our business!
11. Please take that __________ to room 34.
12. We received a __________ last Friday of various parts. Unfortunately, the __________ was more than five days late!
Business English Dialogue and Quiz: Deliveries and Suppliers
You got: % Correct.

Business English Dialogue and Quiz: Deliveries and Suppliers
You got: % Correct.