On-boarding with a translation provider: Building a successful localization process

So you’ve found a translation service provider worth partnering with, but if you don’t know what the on-boarding process should look like, how can you be certain their services are up to par? Certainly you don’t want to assume they know what they’re doing – and wind up dealing with their lousy service, messy processes and not-so-pleasant project fees.

Localization process development

In last week’s blog, I’m ready for translations – now what? we discussed the types of conversations you can expect to have with your translation service provider before kicking off your translation projects. Having this discovery and analysis session with your language service provider before you begin any projects will help them create a more customized localization process for you – ensuring your translations are high quality, more affordable and deadline friendly.

Since every global company has unique localization processes and content types, it’s important that your translation provider is continually doing everything it can to ensure a smooth first-project implementation. Here are a few additional steps your translation provider should be taking to adhere to your business’s needs:

  • Resource alignment – Assigning any necessary points of reference for your localization processes beyond your allocated project team. Contacts of interest may include individuals within quality assurance, technical services, desktop publishing, etc.
  • Training – Giving you proper direction on how to use their translation management system, as well as educating you on common localization best practices.
  • Total quality planning – Discussing any quality guidelines that they should be implementing to meet any of your company’s compliances.

Revising the localization process

An important part of creating an effective localization process is also revisiting your process’s development once an initial project has been completed, and determining whether it was successful. Did you have concerns? Would you suggest any changes? Do you wish something else was included?

If an initial project doesn’t run quite as expected, your process isn’t doomed. It should be your translation provider’s priority to determine how they can tweak your current localization process layout or find alternative ways to make your process more successful – and make your job a lot easier.

Even if you feel like your current localization process is flawless, you might be surprised by some of the cost saving opportunities you’re missing out on by partnering with a less-than-adequate translation provider. Here are a few cost saving opportunities your provider should be addressing during your revision step:

  • Ease of translation management technology use
  • Centralization of your translation memory for all company divisions and content types
  • Development of more accurate reuse of your company’s translation memory

Each of these will help drive a more effective and cost-efficient localization process.

Similarly, if the quality of your company’s translated documents, products or devices is critical to their use and delivery (think medical, legal or financial services) there are some additional topics your translation provider should be reviewing with you – including:

  • Integration of quality checkpoints throughout the localization process
  • Ability to manage workflow processes that influence quality
  • Availability of quality business metrics

Verifying language service satisfaction

Besides having your translation provider take on your company’s translations, is working with them really benefitting your localization process? For example, are you seeing cost savings, getting faster turnaround of translation projects, or seeing a strengthening in the quality of your translations?

If you don’t have a definite answer to these questions, likely your translation provider isn’t providing you with the necessary business intelligence to verify your program performance. Simply put, they’re not offering value-added services. Once you’ve developed and revised your localization plan, it’s important your translation provider is showing you proof of process improvement with key performance indicators.

You should also expect to see a customer satisfaction survey from your translation provider. This will allow you the opportunity to assess their annual performance. By giving you this open platform for input, you can expect them to better address your business’s expectations year-over-year.

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These are just a few things you can expect when beginning your partnership with a translation provider. Remember, it is their job to understand your unique business needs and to create a localization process that is tailored for you.

If you’ve worked with a language service provider, what do you think are some of the necessary steps when on-boarding with their services? How do you measure your language service satisfaction? Share your experiences with us below.

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Sajan

About Sajan

Sajan is a leading provider of global language translation and localization services, helping clients around the world expand seamlessly into any global market.
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