Miscommunications with a Brazilian Auto Part Manufacturer
This case study involves an American investor called Henry Williams, and he is the president of Lucky Auto Parts Company. The vice president of the company is Wally Astor, who is Henry's son-in-law. Henry and Aster have planned a business trip to Brazil and meet with Alessandro Silva, who is the owner of a company that manufactures auto parts in Brazil. The meeting did not go as expected because Henry failed to attend, but he sent Astor in Brazil.
Major Points in the Case
The most important point in the case study is miscommunication which was experienced in the meeting. Henry had a meeting with Mr. Silva, which did not go as expected because Henry failed to attend the meeting and did not notify Silva in his absence. Like a good investor, Henry would have called Silva and told him that he was to send his son in law and tell him the reasons for his absence. Mr. Astor also went in Brazil in a hurry and had not communicated that to his Brazil counterparts that made the whole process to be in a hurry as opposed to what Silva wanted. Silva knew that dealing with business matters needed a lot of time hence he wanted Astor to take rest that day and start their meeting the following day.
Another point in the case study is the assumption that the meeting would go well in absentia of Henry. Henry made the assumption of sending Astor without notifying Silva. Henry was a man who had dealt with the international market for a long time, and he made a big mistake by sending Astor. Also, it was not good for Astor to assume and dress casually. It was to some extent very disrespectful to the Brazilians for someone attending a business meeting in jeans. Astor was somehow late and did not communicate to Silva. All these points show that the Americans had a lot of assumptions that were to avoid if they had taken the business deal more seriously
Commitment is another point that should have been taken more seriously by Henry and Astor. From the case study, it is well evident that Henry never made the trip very seriously even when he was the president of his company. If at all he was serious he would have postponed the meeting as it was not very urgent. The Brazilians were very flexible in changing the meeting as their aim was to talk to the president. While dealing with international businesses, commitment is essential as it enables the whole process to go as expected and without any complications. Commitment is also the key to achieving a company's goals as everybody is always serious in his/her job. Astor was never committed to his job as he was never punctual in Brazil and this made Lucky Auto parts company not to achieve its goals in time.
Culture is also a central point in the case study. It was good for Astor to research and find out what was necessary to do and what not to do in Brazil. He would have some interest in knowing the best time to hold a business meeting in Brazil as it might be different from what they do in America. Knowing others cultures facilitates a successful business meeting while dealing with international trade. From the case study, Silva may have thought that Henry and Astor did not take the trip seriously hence affecting the success of the meeting
Physical appearance and dressing code is also important to look at in the case study. Silva expected that he would meet a man who was in a formal outfit but to his surprise, he found Astor, who was casually dressed. Astor did not know that the physical appearance may lead to misunderstanding when it comes to business. It was evident when Silva was surprised when he saw Astor and went to an extent of doubting him.
The language used was also an important point in the case study. Astor never referred to the Brazilians as business partners, but he referred to them as people he has met before. He did not also apologize for the absence of Henry, but he went directly to talking about business. It made Silver very strict with the words that he used.
Henry could have been more open to Silva concerning his case. It is clear that the case involved the company, and such details were important for silver to know as the same company with a case was soon to be involved in a foreign business deal.
Lessons Learnt from the Study
As seen from the case study, the business meeting did not go as expected hence it is not good to assume some important things while dealing with foreign investors. It has also shown that dressing is also crucial for business meetings as it can cost one a lot if one is not presentable.
Another and important lesson learnt from the study is the commitment towards international meetings. One should consider the advantages of commitment and its implications for the success of the company.
While dealing with business, it is important to tell our business partners what awaits us at the court so as not to create disappointment to them when they find the truth about it.
What Could Have Been Done Better
In this case, Henry could have called Silva and tell him that he was to be absent for the meeting so he as to send Astor. It would have prepared Silva on how to carry out the meeting.
Astor could have learnt some culture relating to Brazil so as not to make the deal go better. He could have learnt the dos and don’ts of Brazil.
Astor could have dressed in a more proper way so as to prevent any doubt to the Brazilians. He would have considered the effect of the first impression of a person to a business partner.
Punctuality by Astor was necessary so as to create a good impression to Silva. It also shows that the Americans were serious about the meeting. It would have created an excellent bonding between the two parties.
With the case, it shows that Silva was very harsh to Astor. Silva could have given him some more time to express himself but not giving his judgment about him too fast.
While undertaking some long trips, it is not good to have some tight schedules as Astor did. He claimed that he had another meeting the following day, and it demotivated Silva as he thought that their meeting was not necessary.
Lastly, Astor could have started by apologizing to Silva for Henry not attending the meeting. It could have given Silva an overview of what to expect in the meeting.
It is quite evident that communication is critical when it comes to deals with foreign business people. One should not assume such things because they end up giving unexpected results the deal as seen from Henry. It is also necessary to acquit the people we send to represent us on our behalf with necessary knowledge so that they don’t end up failing in the mission.