Reader Reaction: Asia

The importance of clear communication when you are not able to meet face-to-face. We often make assumptions when communicating to another person over the phone or email about what the other knows. Having to work with Asian partners who are thousands of kilometres away, we have come to recognise that it is very important to clarify and make explicit assumptions in order to manage expectations and build trust to sustain a good working relationship. There’s also the need for cultural awareness. Working with Asia means working with a different culture, even if they speak the same language.

Richard Celarc, Executive chairman, Opus Group



Since we started importing from Asia, E-bisprint has learnt to build strong personal relationships by making regular visits. Always obtain proofs and samples where practical. You need to maximise use of containers and strive to fill 40-foot containers by consolidating orders across multiple manufacturers. Develop or purchase a production tracking system that covers order generation, production tracking, delivery tracking and payments to freight forwarders. Develop or purchase an online quotation system. Ensure you have systems and processes in place to minimise the risk associated with currency fluctuations.

Paul Freeman, Managing director, E-bisprint



Working with various companies and our own across Asia we have been presented with some fantastic growth opportunities. The key learning has been ensuring effective communication so that nothing is lost in translation and nothing is assumed. When working with our internal CM Solutions team in the Philippines and our offshore channel partners throughout south east Asia, we push to use Skype and similar technology. This helps all involved to ensure an efficient and clear understanding of what is at hand. This is then clarified in email.

Rodney Frost, Chief executive officer, Cheque-Mates

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