Many companies end up with a very fragmented approach to managing their translation needs. Higher costs, duplication of effort and inconsistent results often emanate from this approach. This situation is very understandable if we look at how the procurement of translations typically unfolds.
A company’s initial foray into translation is often characterized by last minute, one-off projects to satisfy some linguistic requirement of doing business internationally. Since translation needs can originate from any number of different departments and budgets—from HR to marketing to legal to regulatory compliance—there is little or no coordination among the various people buying the service from a multiplicity of translation vendors.
As the number of languages increase and translation volumes and complexity grow, budgetary control becomes even more compromised, duplication of effort more pronounced and inconsistencies arise in translation quality and delivery.
Why not avoid these problems altogether and pro-actively gain control over costs, improve processes and improve communications with a single vendor approach? Let’s take a look at the benefits in more depth.
Everyone wants to reduce costs, but this is difficult to do if you have multiple people assigning multiple projects to multiple vendors. Centralizing translation spend to a single vendor enables you to easily understand exactly how much is being spent—your vendor can help you determine this, and therefore offer you more control over that expenditure and ability to exert purchasing power.
Gaining budgetary control goes well beyond understanding the numbers. Centralizing enables your translation vendor to pool all your translation assets (translated text,) some of which can be reused in your future translation projects. Reusing previous translations not only saves you a lot of money directly; it also provides indirect savings by improving the consistency and quality of all translations across the enterprise. The latter can actually help you make money!
Although all translation companies have similar processes and technology, this does not mean they are applied consistently or effectively. Multiple points of contact on the vendor side mean different means of finding and managing translation resources. It means different ways of applying technology. It means different ways of resolving problems. Differing processes can produce very inconsistent results. With multiple vendors it is you who must adapt to vendor variances, which creates a lot of extra time and effort on your part.
Using a single vendor strategy enables you to have a single point of contact who will not only build consistent processes for you, but who will also build a team of translators who will be consistently used from project to project. This team will become experts in translating all your content. Over time your team will understand your requirements so well they will be able to recommend process enhancements to help you save time and money.
As your translation needs increase so will the need to manage your translation assets (all your translated content.) Rather than managing this across several vendors, your single vendor will build and apply a consistent, repeatable process for reusing previously translated material. This will greatly enhance the consistency and quality of your translations across all languages, while reducing duplication of effort inherent in a multi-vendor strategy. Once again you save precious time and money.
Centralizing to a single vendor usually means centralizing to a single point of contact within the translation supplier. Having a single contact eliminates the many-to-many communications that characterize a multi-vendor approach. It reduces duplication of effort and minimizes the risk of the miscommunications and misunderstandings that frequently undermine the success of translation projects.
Suddenly reporting becomes very easy and streamlined. Your translation vendor can supply global reports for overall volume of work and expenditures, as well as customized reports by department, division, business group or budget holder. Over time this should help you budget better for translation projects and enable your vendor to plan ahead on your behalf.
With a single point of contact, you are assured that any updates or changes to terminology or feedback on a preferred way of expressing a concept are communicated across all project stakeholders and recorded in your translation repository. This would be a far more time-consuming task with uncertain assurance that everyone who needs to be in the know is actually in the know and that all translation repositories reflect the changes.
As you can see, there are many benefits to adopting a centralized translation strategy that can have a positive impact on all the individual buyers, as well as the company as an entity.
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