Centralizing Translation Services Your Way – 5 Points to Consider

 In Consulting, Language Services, Localization, Translation

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You are a multinational corporation that uses translation services on a daily basis with an annual volume of translated words that reaches well into the millions.

You have at least two large Language Services Providers who service your high-volume translation needs and are large corporations with a sizable footprint.

Sure, you want to work with more businesses, and perhaps throw a few smaller, minority-owned businesses into the mix to enrich your diversity supplier program.

Or, maybe you’d like to know if your company is maximizing cost savings through leveraging already-translated content or by using AI-powered machine translation.

But… your language services vendors say you better stick with them. Why? Because they “sit” on the largest volume of already-translated content in the form of translation memory databases, and you are, naturally, getting the best deal with them.

In fact, you might hear the pitch from one of your vendors to “centralize your localization program” with a single vendor — them.

Yes, centralizing your localization program offers many valuable benefits to your organization, but their single-vendor pitch has one HUGE flaw.

You do not have to settle for working with one Language Services Provider to achieve your centralization goals.

Centralizing and owning your localization and translation process within your organization CAN be achieved successfully, no matter how many Language Services Providers you work with.

How? To understand that, let us look at the benefits of centralization individually, and how owning your localization process relates to each one.

1. Control Over Your Content/Data

Translation work is subject to copyright. Once you pay your bill, the translated content —and the translation memory database created from it —belongs to you.

At Teneo Linguistics Company, we ask our customers if their translation memories are under their legal and physical control, and 9 times out of 10 the answer is “No”.

In most cases, it is the language vendor who is in control of the data, and therefore, in control of:

  • How savings are calculated
  • How your translation memory databases are maintained and managed
  • Who has access to your data

The argument for centralizing with only one vendor does not hold here because you would give total control of your very valuable, company-specific memory into the hands of another company, instead of diversifying your risk.

2. One Technology

Different language vendors use different technology, workflows, glossaries, and terminological databases to process your translation and localization projects.

The process of migrating multiple vendors under one technology may seem like a deterrent to centralizing, but there are incredible benefits to gaining control and owning the process.

If you centralize with a single vendor, you lose control over:

  • What technology is used
  • Its effectiveness for your organization
  • Modifying the technology to be compliant to company standards
  • All security considerations

Take control of your language process by making an informed decision about which centralized technology and which processes work best for your company’s needs.

Seek professional translation and localization consulting services to aid in finding the best-fit solution for your company. They will also assess your current localization program with you and make recommendations on how to reach your localization goals.

3. Financial Savings

Consolidating all your translation memory databases from all your language services vendors into one location gives you better leverage for negotiating volume discounts and cost savings for repetitive content.

But this only works well under two conditions:

  1. If you have full access to all your data and the process of how fees are calculated.
  2. If the translation memory is maintained and curated effectively, and/or if the AI-powered machine translation engines are properly trained and retrained.

If these two conditions are not met, you will still be at the mercy of your vendor’s pricing with no negotiating leverage.

Experienced localization and translation consulting services offer solutions for maintaining and curating your translation memory databases to gain maximum cost savings.

4. Effectiveness

If multiple users within your organization need access to submit translation projects, it can be a real headache when working with multiple vendors. Each one has a different process, a different portal to sign into, different workflows, and separate technology to learn.

This is where implementing centralization, and more importantly, simplification, makes sense.

In a single vendor scenario, you do not have control over how workflows are created or what processes are followed.

In a multi-vendor scenario, centralizing all your language vendors under one technology gives you COMPLETE control over customizing and creating workflows that work best for specific translation projects.

For example: Vendor-A offers dramatically lower rates for translation while Vendor-B offers lower rates for review. To maximize cost savings, you decide you want to set up a workflow that always sends documents to Vendor-A for translation, and Vendor-B for review. With a centralized solution, you can!

It is much more efficient to be able to create that workflow in one centralized location that contains your complete translation memory databases—than to try and set it up in separate portals with separate translation memory databases.

5. Evaluating Performance

Every organization strives to accomplish important goals and KPIs including reducing cycle time, achieving financial savings, or working on continuous improvement. But how do you improve these KPIs in regard to the workflow of your organization’s chosen Language Services Providers?

With no direct insight into your vendors processes, it is difficult to evaluate how they are performing—whether you have one supplier or multiple.

Ask yourself:

  • Do you have access to reporting on how well suppliers are achieving deadlines across all projects?
  • Do you know what the total volume savings is with each supplier and how it changes over time?
  • Do you know how nonconformances are handled?

This is critical information that every organization should have easy access to when evaluating vendor performance and when determining how to improve their KPIs.

What we have here is really not a case of using multiple vendors vs. just one. This centralization scenario is more about taking control of the process in a meaningful way for you and your organization’s goals.

How Do I Centralize the Process?

So, how do you achieve all of these incredible benefits? Consider centralizing your localization process but instead of centralizing with one supplier:

  1. Keep all the suppliers you like.
  2. Take control of the process and your data.
  3. And keep it under your own roof.

Owning your own Translation Management System (TMS) is a completely realistic solution that allows you to consolidate all your translation memory databases from all your vendors into one secure location.

There is no need to invent or build anything, there are many TMS solutions made specifically for corporations looking to centralize their localization processes.

You can then have have multiple Language Services Providers working and focusing on what they do best – translation. Meanwhile, you are in complete control of maintaining and leveraging your translation memory databases.

More benefits of owning your own TMS include:

  • Being legally and financially protected.
  • Easy usability with one simple way to upload files and submit translation projects.
  • Ability to monitor your project’s progress with complete transparency.
  • Detailed reporting that includes supplier performance metrics.
  • Automated processes to reduce cycle time and increase cost savings.

The benefits to your organization adopting a centralized localization system are endless!

Wait, you say you have no one on your staff to manage the TMS? No problem! You can hire a consulting service to set the system up and manage it for you, perhaps by embedding their own employee into your company so they would be available to you at all times.

The choices are plentiful and will likely vary from corporation to corporation depending on their specific centralization goals.

Look for centralized solutions that help you achieve your goals, put control and ownership squarely into your hands, and allow you to continuously maintain full compliance.

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