Got New Global Markets on the Brain? Make Sure Your Translation Vendor Can Keep UpYour company’s all abuzz with plans to enter new international markets. Is there anything more exciting? But with global growth come challenges. More markets, more languages, more content, more translation projects in your queue . . . more, more, more! It can be overwhelming.
These challenges can escalate if you’re working with a translation vendor that can’t scale with your growing needs. This may lead to quality issues, delayed timelines and neglected marketing projects. Suddenly, the road to global growth is a lot bumpier and less thrilling than you anticipated.
If you’ve got big market entry plans on the horizon, there’s no better time to take a look at your translation program and evaluate whether your current translation vendor is really up for the job not just today, but in the future as well.
Sized up for success?
If you’re working with a small translation vendor, your big plans may remain just that—plans. There are many translation companies out there with only a handful of employees. While this may suit you now, if you continue to grow your content translation requirements, the organization may struggle to keep up with your increased marketing needs.
It’s important for your vendor to have an ample amount of staff. You want to be sure there are enough qualified internal team members readily available to jump in and support your efforts as needed—no matter how quickly you scale up your requirements. When staff is limited, the vendor doesn’t have the flexibility to send overflow work to other team members to meet your timelines. This challenge can be avoided with larger translation vendors that have multiple teams that can share the workload as content volumes fluctuate up and down across clients.
How deep is the linguist pool?
When your provider’s network of qualified linguists is as shallow as a puddle after a short rain, you could be headed for disaster as you continue to grow. Suddenly flooded with projects, these linguists will struggle just to keep their heads above water.
This really puts a damper on your translation program. It can become a problem if you’ve suddenly got significantly more content to translate and more languages, but all the linguists are tied up with other requests.
If your translation vendor only works with a small pool of linguists or relies exclusively on an in-house linguist team, they will not be able to scale quickly to growing needs. Even if they can find more linguists, those individuals will need to be properly vetted, qualified and evaluated—which takes time and can ultimately delay your product launch. It’s best to work with a translation partner with a vast network of pre-qualified linguists because these vendors can more easily scale to demand since they already have experienced resources in place.
Is there ample language support?
As you expand into new markets, the number of languages required will likely grow right along with you. Your translation vendor may happen to cover all of the languages you need now, but this may not be the case in the future if they only cover a limited number of languages. For example, what if you decide to launch a new product in South Africa and need your content translated into Tswana? This could be an issue as the less common languages are often not available through smaller vendors.
Your vendor may be willing to add new languages to support your growing international needs, but without experience in those languages, they may not be able to deliver the level of quality you expect. This opens up your business to the potential for issues and costly, embarrassing and public mistakes, which can harm your brand. It could also mean project delays as the vendor tries to find and thoroughly qualify new resources. Either way, it’s not a good situation to be in.
It’s better to work with a full-service translation partner who already has the experience to support all languages right from the beginning. Going this route prevents speed bumps as you rev up your new market penetration.
Is technology up to speed?
If you work with a translation vendor that lacks a sophisticated translation management system, it can be hard to keep track of your increasing translation initiatives. No visibility into processes and inefficient workflows can stall your translation program, making it a living nightmare to manage as you grow.
Evaluate your current process and technology capabilities to ensure you’re shored up for global growth. A translation management system enables you and your translation partner to stay organized and become more efficient at managing all of your marketing translation requests. You should be able to easily submit projects and track them from beginning to end, as well as give everyone involved full visibility into your program to keep all your initiatives on track.
There are many vendors that can perform translation work, but only a few offer a robust translation management system. Make sure you are working with a translation vendor who can provide you with this tool.
Find a vendor that can keep up
There’s nothing more exhilarating than taking your business to new frontiers, but you need a true partner that can go the distance with you. If you evaluate your translation vendor and find that they’re dragging you down, come to Sajan. We offer scalable solutions to fit your needs today and well beyond.
Are there more issues with your global initiatives than just the scalability of your vendor? Consider a localization assessment to get guidance on ways to improve your entire translation program. Check out this best practice brief, The localization assessment: Giving you key insight into your localization program and how to maximize it, to learn more.
Is your organization in growth mode? Have you switched translation vendors because they couldn’t scale with you? Let us know!
More Business articles from Business 2 Community: