Learning Objective
After studying this unit, you will be able to..
• describe the activity/staff of a department
• describe the equipment/premises of a department
 Describe the picture in 1 minute using your own words. 
1. How many departments are there in your company? 
2. On average how many people are there in one department? 
3. Does your company have overseas branch offices? 
If yes, where? 

The structure of Biopaints International 

Presenter: Today we are talking to Philip Knight 
about the structure of Biopaints International. Philip is 
the General Manager of the Perth factory. Philip, do you 
think you could tell us something about the way 
Biopaints is actually organized? 
Philip: Yes, certainly. We employ about two 
thousand people in all in two different locations. Most 
people work here at tour headquarters plant. And this is 
where we have the administrative departments, of course. 
Presenter: Well, perhaps you could say something about the departmental structure? 
Philip: Yes, certainly. Well, now first of all, as you know we've got two factories, one here in Perth, 
Australia, and the other in Singapore. Lee Boon Eng is the other General Manager, over there in Singapore. 
Presenter: And you are completely independent of each other, is that right? 
Philip: Oh, yes. Our two plants are fairly independent. I mean, I am responsible to George Harris, 
the Production Manager, and we have to co-operate closely with Rosemary Broom, the Marketing Manager. 
Presenter: Mmm, yeah. 
Philip: But otherwise, as far as day to day running is concerned, we're pretty much left alone to 
get on with the job. Oh, and I forgot to mention finance. The Finance Director is Weimin Tan. She's a very 
important woman. And her task is to make sure the money side of things is OK. The accountant and such 
people, they report to her directly. 
Presenter: Is that all? 
Philip: Oh, no, no. There's Personnel too. 
Presenter: Oh, yes. 
Philip: That's quite separate. Deirdre Spencer is Personnel Manager. And the Training Manager 
reports to her, of course. 
Presenter: Are there any other features worth mentioning? 
Philip: There's the planning department—Brian Jones is in charge of that. And a purchasing 
department—they buy in the materials for production. 

Comprehension Questions 

1. What is Philip Knight's job? 
2. How many employees does Biopaints International have? 
3. According to Philip Knight, they have two factories. Where are they? 
4. To whom would the accountant directly report?
5. To whom would the Training Manager report? 
6. What department is Brian Jones in charge of? 

Dialogue Practice 

Practice the conversation below with your partner. 
A: Well, perhaps you could say something about the departmental structure? 
Organization Unit 02 
: Yes, certainly. We've got two (factories), one here in (Perth, Australia), and the other in (Singapore). 
A: And you are completely independent of each other, is that right? 
B: Oh, yes. Our two (plants) are fairly independent. I am responsible to (George Harris, the Production 
Manager), and we have to co-operate closely with (Rosemary Broom, the Marketing Manager). 

Useful Expressions 

[Describing the activity of a department] 
My department deals with marketing. 
My department is responsible for administration. We organize tests/studies/research. 
We work with customers/suppliers/subsidiaries/other companies in the group.
[Describing the staff of a department] 
There are (20) people in the department. 
Pierre Ducros is in charge of the department. 
I am one of the managers/technicians/secretaries/engineers. 
[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.

Sysco makes over 4,500 products, developed specifically for customers -
food retailers and foodservice providers. As such, Sysco makes and markets 
products for some of the largest restaurants and hotel chains in Canada. 
Company Structure 
Sysco operates a decentralized divisional structure. The board 
establishes corporate strategy and the Group's business objectives. 
Divisional management integrates these objectives into divisional business strategies with supporting 
financial objectives. 
Managing Directors are responsible for the organic and new 
business development growth opportunities within their divisions. These
divisions are composed of three to seven business units -- grouped by a mixture of 
market, manufacturing skills or customer expertise. 
Each business unit is led by a General Manager, responsible for 
the achievement of business objectives and sustainable business 
performance. Each General Manager has a profit-responsible management team which concentrates on 
specific markets and customers. 
This devolved Group structure allows a close working relationship with our customers and one 
where day-to-day decisions can be made at business unit level, which is vital to the fast-moving nature of 
our business. 
Each Managing Director, together with functional heads, sits on the Sysco Management Board 
(operational executive team).

Comprehension Questions 
1. What are the Managing Directors responsible for? 
2. How many business units are there in the divisions? 
3. At which level are the day-to-day decisions made? 
4. Who sits on the Sysco Management Board?