Blog

Introductions, discussion, and what seemed interesting at the time.

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  • Why?

    Sometimes, having a picture helps. Telling a wordsmith that “one picture is worth a thousand words” is not the best way to start a conversation. Some words are much more important than pictures. The three words “We the People…” have a significance unmatched in modern history. Yet pictures are useful. They help convey the context,…

  • Publications

    Selected Articles Ground Rules for Taking off on International Travels Published in the Kansas City Small Business Monthly in 2001, this article was adapted from material used in our book highlighted above, Going East or West? A Handbook for American and Chinese Business Travelers. This article offers a brief overview for first-time international business travelers…

  • Information Systems

    What is an information system? Ask 20 people and you will probably get 25 answers. Some will talk about hardware. Some will say software. Others will talk about content. We tend towards “all of the above.” Books were (and still are) an “information system.” In today’s thinking however, they would be digital books. In the…

  • Conferences and Presentations

    Conferences and Presentations Hosting a conference requires organizing, scheduling, and planning along with the ability to attract presenters, attendees, and advertisers. It’s more akin to handling jazz orchestra than conducting a philharmonic. Presenting at a conference is easier than hosting one. Even so, proper preparation, timing, and a good moderator can make all the difference.…

  • Proposals, RFPs

    Proposals and RFPs A proposal is similar in some ways to an RFP response. Both require the offeror to establish capability, provide solutions, and manage delivery schedules. Unlike a proposal, an RFP comes with certain formalities, especially when the requestor is a government agency. There is an art to crafting a winning response. Even so,…

  • Supply Chain

    Supply Chain What do you need? Where can you get it? How long will it take you to get it? How might it arrive? Getting whatever it was you wanted isn’t as simple as going to the local market. The producer or supplier (not always the same) may not have what you wanted available. If…

  • Market Analysis

    Market Analysis Who’s buying? Who’s the competition? What are the risks? How much can we sell? These are the fundamental questions. The answers are found in the details. Getting the details is the challenge. Straw Hat Trading Company, LLC – Wine and Specialty Foods Market research included competitive pricing, distribution, costs, sales channels, producers, and…

  • Global Trade

    Global Trade Communication is not only about language; it’s about understanding. Too often, the main complaint is “they don’t understand my language.” In fact, communication has more to do with culture and expectations than language. Another interpreter isn’t going to help solve the quality problems at your factory in Shenzhen or resolve the shipping delays.…

  • Business Solutions

    First quality and excellent value at a fair price My primary website, wudang.com, was one of the first sites online in English and Chinese. Our founding strategy was to make our site available globally, on whatever device might be available. In 1996, pages were weighted and images were optimized to accommodate 28k dial-up speeds. Today,…

  • Business Intelligence

    Want to know what the business is really doing? Check the numbers. It’s fine to have staff meetings, prepare reports, and customer surveys. But that won’t always tell you what you need to know. How many widgets did the Asia team sell last month? $200,000? Great. That looks great on a sales report. But that’s…

  • Systems Evaluations

    Upgrades, consolidations, and enhancements usually start with the current system or systems. A company may have several platforms, more than a few servers, and even some ghosts and zombies — all without a concise view of what is being used and what’s not. Business users ask for new features and projects are scheduled. It may…