Japanese Service Standards 

In the Cultural section of my international purchasing material, I list seven major cultural differences affecting purchasing. If you understand those and know where your supplier's country is positioned on the scales of differences, you can predict behavior and even take advantage of differences between your country's culture and the other country's culture.

One of those differences is "Buyer-seller rank" or orientation toward pleasing a customer. Japan ranks number one in this characteristic.  Here's an example. OK, it's an extreme example. The railroad company apologized to its customers because a train left 20 seconds early. Are you listening, Amtrak?

Japanese Train Leaves 20 Seconds Early. Cue the Abject Apologies.

Training in cultural differences is part of Next Level Purchasing's "Basics of Smart International Purchasing." Experienced international professionals think it's the most important part.

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