Marketing International Business: Branding, Communications and Relationships

You are the New Business Development Manager for a large UK – based DIY (“do it yourself”) company that imports and sells garden furniture through its numerous retail outlets. Your imported sales line consists of a variety of garden benches, chairs, tables, and patio heaters. Some months ago it was decided that your overseas supplier would have to be changed as there were a variety of problems that had led to an irretrievable break – down of the relationship. A review of the partnership concluded that your personnel had insufficient knowledge of the linguistic and cultural aspects of dealing with your supplier, and this is had resulted in a variety of problems, contributing significantly to a lack of trust, and ultimately to the break- down. Consequently, you have been tasked by the MD to seek a new supplier for your current range of products – the technical specifications (size, shape, quality, colour, price etc) will not change. Initial searches have identified a potential manufacturer in Bucharest, Romania, and you and your team are due to visit their premises in two months time to have an initial meeting, with a view to commissioning them to act as your new supplier. However, in view of the breakdown of the previous relationship, the MD has asked you to prepare a report in which you detail the cultural and linguistic requirements of working with Romanian companies. Based on this, you are to suggest how you might best go about ensuring that the relationship develops over the long term.

Based on the instructions from the MD, you are to prepare a report that outlines the major stages and variables of Business Relationship development (BRD). Your report should ideally include the following: 1. An introduction that details the purpose of the report. 2. A review of the various stages through which a business relationship of this type is likely to progress, and your objectives at each stage. 3. A discussion of cultural dynamics and its role in facilitating a good business relationship. 4. The linguistic requirements necessary (in Romania) for the establishment and maintenance of the relationship over the long term. 5. A review of related theory associated with business development within the context of sourcing a new supplier overseas.

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