Have you ever sent out a bid to multiple vendors only to have all of them provide you varying word counts? Have you ever checked the word count yourself and come up with yet another completely different number? It’s a perplexing phenomenon which I will touch on in this blog, but the larger issue at hand is how accurate the quote is compared to the final invoice. Word counts are key in how an agency quotes a project. If you go with the company that has the smallest word count, and that word count was derived from Microsoft Word, you may be quoted for thousands less than you are invoiced. And no one enjoys explaining that to their boss or having to request a new PO from purchasing.
To better understand why word counts vary from agency to agency, it is important to understand how word counts are determined, as well as the various software used in this process.
For more on this, view our webinar: Translation Word Counts – Why are they all so different?
Once you understand how your agency is finding the word count, and thus developing the quote, be sure to ask how the cost on their final invoice is determined. Is it based on the initial analysis, or is it based on the final document? Additionally, you should inquire about the agency’s metrics regarding quote accuracy, as well as how they measure and monitor those metrics.
At Indopak, quote accuracy is a key quality objective that we measure and monitor weekly. Our quality objective requires us to maintain above a 90 percent quote accuracy rate. Over the last 6 months, we have averaged 95 percent. The ability to consistently provide our clients with accurate quotes stems from the tools we use to analyze the files that are translated into a foreign language. This is done at the quote stage and then we bill based on that analysis. In rare cases, discrepancies occur due to the submission of updated files from the client side or embedded files that were missed during initial analysis. In either scenario, the client is notified immediately and a new approval is required.
Your agency’s ability to appropriately set expectations regarding the costs involved in your project is central to building trust and developing a lasting relationship. By asking the right questions, you will no longer find yourself in a situation where a vendor undershoots the quote to win a bid.