by

Lean Translation Center

When preparing a product or brand for global launch, many companies choose to work with multiple vendors. In fact, according to research firm Common Sense Advisory, 95 percent of companies have more than one localization vendor. Dealing with so many vendors may be beneficial for controlling costs, but it can also make the translation process more complicated and more time-consuming. To harness multi-vendor translations, CSOFT has set up a Lean Translation Center built on three principles:

Lean Translation

1. Return on Translation

In controlling costs, many forget to manage value; but we shouldn’t lose sight of why communication across languages is needed in the first place. Will better messaging pay off in better awareness, higher customer satisfaction, and higher sales? There has to be accountability in translation spending and a set of guidelines to estimate the value of translation. Companies also need an experienced translation team who has the authority to judge the relative value and priority of different translation needs.

2. Taking Control

Taking control means having the tools and processes to maintain your company’s terminology and manage the flow of documents, instead of leaving it at the mercy of your vendor. Companies need an internal management system and a method to track the costs of translation projects. To ensure consistency throughout documents, companies also need to create a multilingual terminology database, which will have to be regularly consolidated and shared across all vendors.

3. One Size does not Fit All

Translation vendors usually treat all documents the same and deliver them through one-size-fits-all processes. But characterizing what kind of value a document is meant to achieve is an important step; for example, technical manual translation may require greater attention in comparison with CEO speech translation. Companies should also manage their vendors by ranking them according to type of material, languages, production capabilities, turnaround times, and costs.

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Together, the three principles above should enable companies to fully, internally realize the benefits of multi-vendor translations. The structure would require larger, better resourced translation teams but they are nonetheless lean because they ensure that translation processes are right-sized, efficient, and driven by value.

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The above article is a short summary of a white paper titled “The Lean Translation Center: Harnessing Multi-vendor Translations for Advantage.” Click here to read the full white paper. If you’re interested in learning more about CSOFT’s globalization and localization solutions, visit our Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn pages or you can visit our webpage!

  1. Hi Andy,
    We apologize for our mistake and have sent an email with an attached copy of the whitepaper you requested.
    Please accept our apologies and thank you for reading.

  2. Great summary. Do you have a matrix for determiningg “which size fits me”? Love the illustrations, too.

    • Hi Andy,
      Thanks for the high praise! We really like your suggestion for a “Which Size Fits Me?” matrix but we still like to take the personal touch when helping each client determine their needs for each different project.
      Thanks for your feedback and keep reading!

      T for Translation

  3. This is a great system that will surely profit companies while addressing different vendors. Great point on the one size does not fit all. It may work for clothes, but translation should be addressed according to the needs of the company in order to make the translation more effective and manageable at the same time.

    • Dear “All Graduates,”
      Thanks for your feedback! The article is actually a short summary of a white paper titled “The Lean Translation Center: Harnessing Multi-vendor Translations for Advantage.” Click here to read the full white paper. If you’re interested in learning more about CSOFT’s globalization and localization solutions, visit our Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn pages or you can visit our webpage!

      CSOFT

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