Panic-free: The best time to reassess your translation program

homeworkEvery now and then we come across a company that’s perfectly satisfied with their translation program. As far as we know, they tell us, everything is going just fine.

Ah, but therein lies the rub: “As far as we know.”

You may think there’s really no point in considering a change in your translation program because, well, you’re happy with what you’ve got. And change itself is just too much to handle or even think about. What about the time it could take or the potential cost to switch?

We understand this thinking. But we’ll tell you right now—it’s worth checking just to make sure your goodwill toward your current translation provider isn’t misplaced. And the best time to do that is before any problems start to surface.

Imagining the unimaginable

It’s not fun to ponder, but if you ran into a major stumbling block with your current translation program at a critical time, it could have dramatic effects. You could find yourself stressed out, pressed for time, scrambling to correct. Your product release timing might be thrown off, your new market launch suspended, resulting in lost productivity and low morale.

A scenario like this amounts to the worst possible time to have to re-think your translation provider. You simply don’t have the time or bandwidth to identify the problem, possibly issue a new translation provider request for proposal and figure out a solution—all within the timeframe needed to not miss a beat.

That’s why you should take advantage of days when you’re free of panic. And it starts with truly getting to know your translation program.

You can’t understand what you don’t know

Ignorance really isn’t bliss. If anything, it’s a false sense of complacency that can lead you astray.

You might feel good about your current translation provider lineup and overall process, but how much insight do you really have? Without visibility into the metrics around certain translation program factors, there could easily be cracks in the foundation that you weren’t even aware of.

That’s why we might ask you about the following if we’re engaged in conversation with you about this:

  • What kinds of translation tools are you using? Are they largely manual—when you could benefit from automated ones instead?
  • How is the translation program process being managed? Is it centralized? Is it fully scalable if your company decides to launch five new programs all requiring separate content types?
  • Do you know how your per-word rates have trended? Have they been steadily decreasing over time? Or have they stayed the same—pointing to missed cost efficiency potential?
  • Is translation quality increasing?
  • How much content reuse are you getting with your translation memory?

Having access to regular reports concerning critical data points like these can prove to be very illuminating. Consider your reaction if you drilled down into any one of these areas and discovered a different story than what you initially assumed.

In short, you don’t know what aspects of your translation program might be troublesome until you investigate and receive solid business intelligence.

Zero cost to switch

Worried about what it might cost you to switch vendors? Let us put your mind at ease—it costs nothing to switch if you do decide to go that route. Your translation memory is your intellectual property, and it should go with you. That’s the Indopak stance. If your translation vendor isn’t willing to give you your organization’s translation memory, that’s definitely a sign to move on. Plus, rather than costing you anything, making beneficial changes can actually save you money going forward—due to increased translation program efficiencies.

A little time spent, a lot of time (and money) saved

You may have concerns about taking the time to consider all of this. We get that you’re busy—but by the same token, you could spend a lot more time later in corrective mode if something goes wrong.

It goes without saying (but we’re going to say it anyway): Doing your due diligence now, when the waters are relatively calm, can save you big time in the long run. If you do find any flashing red warning signs during your translation process evaluation, you can start to take action—before it turns into a catastrophe.

Being proactive is infinitely better than being corrective. Making changes for the better is a lot more beneficial than sitting on your translation program, quietly praying the lid never bursts off.

We have a lot of experience helping companies implement changes to their translation program, which we can tell you is not too scary when you’ve got the right kind of assistance.

Be your company’s champion of translation

All of this leads to our final point: your company may benefit from a champion who serves as the head coach of your translation program. If you volunteer to be that person, you’re doing a big favor for your company in helping to guarantee translation success.

As far as we’re concerned, it’s always a good idea to periodically check on your translation program—and doing it when you’re nowhere near panic mode. After all, language translation is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. New developments, technologies and solutions are being devised all the time. We should know; we’re at the forefront of them!

Is your company on board with regular translation program “check ups”? Does the mere idea of change scare you into paralysis? Let us know—maybe we can help.

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