Enhancing and Promoting International Business Communication

Enhancing and Promoting International Business Communication supports SMEs to improve their international competitiveness.

It has been found that, companies which undergo a proper (i.e. regulated) communication audit tend to operate more effectively in selling their goods and services into markets where their mother tongue is not spoken. By signing up and taking part in the audit scheme, the companies are taught intercultural skills and communication skills, which are reflected in an increased annual turnover.

The EPIC scheme helps businesses overcome language and cultural barriers in international trading.

EPIC offers the business person and entrepreneur an innovative way of trading internationally by using a business manual specifically designed for the exporting industry. It promotes a multi-cultural Europe within a common European framework by operating from a common platform and distinguishing each company’s individual recipe for success through a close up auditing process.

EPIC offers the private business sector a unique opportunity to adopt a scheme, which when implemented will help raise the individual trader’s turnover and create new possibilities for expanded cross-border trade.


The advantages of EPIC project

euroThe Project EPIC is a vital step towards providing companies with the knowledge to succeed and not be ‘tongue-tied’ in difficult international markets. We know that, if the recommendations identified by LCA Auditors can be adopted by companies, they will significantly enhance a company’s prospects of operating more effectively in an increasingly global, multilingual trading environment. However, more support to institute language audits as a business service and train more auditors is needed from governments and regional bodies.

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Converting Research Findings into Practical Solutions

wykresThe ELAN findings served as a basis for honing the concept of a ‘Language Audit’ which was then refined following the PIMLICO Study, Promoting, Implementing, Mapping Language and Intercultural Communication Strategies in Organisations and Companies, which published the most successful examples of European companies undertaking carefully thought-through and implemented models of language Management strategies in their companies leading to significant increases in export turnover.

The key feature of the PIMLICO Study was that the European companies participating in the study were able to place a value on, and/or measure the impact of, their language management strategy in tangible bottom-line terms:

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The ‘Hard’ Evidence

bossLet me turn to the two underpinning pieces of research which have led to the development of the LCA which have been critical in its initiation, design and development. The ELAN Study undertaken in 2006 found that a significant amount of business was being lost in Europe as a result of a lack of language skills. Across the sample of some 2000 SMEs, 11% had lost a contract as a result of a lack of language skills. The survey identified situations where companies were aware of the business lost or potentially lost due to language and/or cultural barriers, but the real figure was likely to have been under-reported.

In summary, the ELAN research told us:

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Evidence of the Need for the LCA in Future Business Planning

peopleRegarding the specific question of whether and to what extent foreign languages will be needed in certain, as yet unknown markets, and which of these languages are required by the labour market, the "Languages for jobs" report concludes in a general manner that the demand for foreign languages and communication skills is steadily rising on the general European labour market - and not just for English.

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The Purpose of the LCA

grafThe Language Communication Audit (LCA) is designed to assist European companies to solve their language and communication problems by developing language management strategies. It is intended to help companies operate more effectively in their export markets when they meet language and cultural barriers. Companies which have adopted similar Language Management Strategies in their export markets have generally been more successful and achieved greater export sales growth.

The LCA helps companies to:

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