In the office and in the factory

The office

Office work

Brenda works for a company which produces furniture. She works in an office, which is just opposite the factory where the furniture is made. This is how she spends her day:
She works at a computer most of the time, where she writes letters and reports.
She answers phone calls, mostly from retailers. (= shops selling the factory’s furniture)
She makes phone calls to retailers, and the factory making the furniture.
She sends invoices to customers. (= paper showing products sold and the money to pay)
She shows visitors around the factory.
She does general paperwork, e.g. filing reports, writing memos, answering letters.
She arranges meetings for her boss and other managers in the company.

The ‘shop floor’ of the factory

This is where products are manufactured (= made). Modern factories have fewer workers than in the past – this is because of automation (= machines do most of the work), and most factories use an assembly line (= an arrangement in which each worker makes a part of the product and then passes it on to the next person or machine). On an assembly line, workers fit/assemble the different parts, and supervisors (= people in charge/control) check/inspect/examine each stage to make sure the product meets the required standard (= is good enough).

Finished goods

Goods (pi) is the general word used for things that are made to be sold. When the product, e.g. a radio, is finished, it is packaged (= put in plastic and then in a box) and stored (-kept) in a warehouse. When a customer, e.g. an electrical shop, orders some of these goods, they are delivered to the shop (= taken to the shop) using road or rail.