Exercise 9. Read the text describing company structure. Then choose the correct answer to the questions.

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Exercise 9. Read the text describing company structure. Then choose the correct answer to the questions.

SBS stands for Siemens Business Services. It is a division of the famous German company Siemens. It is only about five years old but is already responsible for a considerable part of Siemens' turnover. How? Siemens had the idea in 1995.

A whole department of Siemens was at the time responsible for the information and communication activities of Siemens. The idea was to offer this service not only inside the company but outside too. SBS is now one of the world's leading providers in the area of electronic business solutions and services.

Friedrich Froeschi is the CEO and SBS is now an independent division with 33,000 employees in 88 countries and turnover of ?5.8 billion. One of its largest customers is the British government.

SBS organizes and manages the passports and national savings accounts for Britain. In Europe its main competitors are IBM, Cap Gemini, and EDS. With growth in this marker of at least 15% the future looks bright for this German service company.


1. What is the activity of SBS?

a) electronic engineering

b) printing

c) database management

2. Which company does Friedrich Froeschi manage?

a) Siemens Business Services

b) Siemens

c) IBM

3. One of its largest customers is:

a) EDS

b) SBS

c) the British government

4. ?5.8 billion represents:

a) Siemens turnover

b) SBS's turnover

c) SBS's profit

5. SBS manages electronic services for:

a) IBM

b) British passports

c) 88 countries

6. SBSis:

a) a branch of Siemens

b) a department of Siemens

c) a division of Siemens.


Look at this list of words. Match pairs of words, as in the examples, to make the expressions defined below.

sales annual company development

office human research marketing

stock market resources managing

head parent director production

site public relations turnover


A department in charge of finding new ideas

research + development — Research and Development

A person in charge of a company

managing + director = Managing Director

3. a firm which owns subsidiaries

4. a department in charge of finding and increasing the number of customers

5. a factory or a plant

6. department in charge of recruitment, training, and personnel

7. the administrative and central building of a company

8. the value of a public company is quoted here

9. the total sales of a company for a year

10. the department of a company which is in charge of external communication


Exercise 10. Read the interview with a manager. What can you say about his company and his position in it.


Interviewer: And now, could you give us a few details about your job?

Frank Senders: Well, I joined the company as General Manager in 1996, so I've been working for Gruver Huberth since then. My main job responsibility as General Manager is for the management team — that's the five managers who are in charge of the different departments — finance, production, marketing, sales, and human resources. My job involves a lot of meetings. I have weekly meetings with managers in the Barcelona office and monthly meetings at the company's headquarters in Belgium. I don't get out of the office as much as I'd like to, but I usually manage to spend two or three days a month travelling to different areas of Spain, to meet the sales teams and to visit customers.

I: What qualities do you think are important for your job?

FS: Well, first I think you need to have a lot of patience and you need to be very flexible. Then it's very important to be a good communicator and to be able to motivate people. And because change happens so quickly today, you have to be good at taking decisions very quickly, too. Another quality I think you need in a global company is the ability to think globally, and of course, you need to have a good level of English!

I: Which aspect of your job do you like most?

FS: Well, the part I find most interesting is the marketing, because it's very creative. I also enjoy working with a team and really like being part of an international group and working with different nationalities.

I: Is there any aspect of your job that you don't like?

FS: Yes, I don't like the long hours — working 10 or 12 hours a day and I dislike firing someone — that's always very difficult.

I: Lastly, could you tell us what perks come with your job?

FS: Mmm... I have a company car, a BMW... I also get private health insurance and life assurance but there isn't a company pension scheme. I get a bonus of between 20% and 40% of my salary — the actual percentage depends on performance — and everybody in the company gets vouchers for lunch. We don't have our own sports facilities but one evening in the week the company has the use of all the facilities at a sport centre. Oh, I get another useful perk — the company also pays my private telephone bill. That's something not many companies do.

Would you like to have a similar job?

What is good and what is bad about this work?

What personal qualities should one possess to success on such position?

III. Speaking

Exercise 11. Work in groups. Think about department you would like to work in. Draw an organization chart. Use the phrases of Ex 8. and the following phrases to give a short presentation about your department.

1. Describing the activity of a department

My department deals with / is responsible for marketing / administration, etc.

We organize tests / studies / research.

We work with customers / suppliers / subsidiaries / other companies in the group.

2. Describing the staffing of a department

There are…… people in the department.

………is in charge of the department.

I am one of the managers / technicians / secretaries / engineers.

My job involves…..

3. Describing the equipment / premises of a department

We have a large office / three laboratories / a small building.

We use computers / fax / e-mail a lot.

We have a well-equipped laboratory / a lot of technical equipment.

IV. Listening

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