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Tag Archive 'international business'

[QFD] Hiring and Managing Employees

Culture Shock is a very real dilemma and can impact expatriates in any country. Cultural training should be the number one priority for any employee planning to live overseas. Even cultures that share similarities can be shockingly different when the unwary are fully emerged. Cultural training should focus not only on making the expatriate aware of cultural differences, but also train them how to navigate the differences. Additionally, language training is very important for anyone working in a company where the language is different. Even if the company uses English (in the case of a US company) as a primary language, if the rest of the country uses something different, the future expatriate must be ready.

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Back-to-back loans are a way for new international subsidiaries to gain access to loans that they may not have established the credit for yet. In this situation, the parent company uses a bank that has locations in both the home country and the country of the new subsidiary. The parent company places money with the bank in the home country. Subsequently the foreign branch of the bank then loans money to the international subsidiary, using the money on deposit with the home branch as collateral.

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It seems that, generally speaking, the product comes first. The idea for the product may come from some need perceived by a marketer, but the product is still developed before the marketing. Once the product is done, the marketing job begins. As the marketing plan is developed for each market, the product may need to be tweaked to fit each market. For example, the product may need to be more durable in one market, but remove an ingredient in another.

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Marvel Enterprises engages in licensing agreements because their main product (comic book characters and their associated stories) are intangible. Licensing agreements allows Marvel to distribute the idea of their characters worldwide while allowing firms in each market to determine which products would best serve that market. Additionally, this allows Marvel to focus on their core competency (creating comic book characters) and avoid getting involved in other industries such as manufacturing.

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Although market potential is an obviously important factor when a large fast-food chain like McDonald’s or Burger King is investigating a new region, logistics might be the most important factor for them. McDonald’s sources all of the produce for its hamburgers locally in each region it operates. This means the market must have the logistical capability to produce and transport the necessary ingredients to each restaurant. In the US, especially in Texas, this may be something that we take for granted. Once you get further away from the food source, the difficulty of procuring fresh fruits and vegetables, not to mention meat, is extremely problematic.

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