Expanding your business into new markets is a substantial undertaking.
Many organizations with plans to go global run into issues during the translation and localization process. Large companies with high content volume in need of translation require a language service provider (LSP) that has the resources and capabilities necessary to complete the project. Further, many larger-scale localization projects require translation into multiple languages. One solution that some companies have adopted is contracting multiple LSPs, which, when combined, have all of the capabilities needed to complete a large project. However, this approach may not be for everyone. Companies should be aware of some underlying issues that could end up costing in terms of time, money, and quality.
Problems that arise with the use of multiple LSPs can include:
Organization is essential when taking on a substantial project of any kind, and this especially applies to a process as complicated as localization and translation. At the start of each contract, a company will normally want to know that the project manager assigned to their project is detail-oriented, very responsive, and readily available. With multiple LSPs in play, organization and communication run the risk of becoming projects in themselves.
- Content Inconsistency
A key aspect of ensuring a cost-effective, quality final product is maintaining consistent style and brand image regardless of language or location. Consistency in these areas is an absolute necessity if a company intends on succeeding in the global market. A major downside of utilizing the services of multiple LSPs is the possibility of a contrast in style between translators. With multiple project managers working on different areas of a large contract, this risk becomes more likely.
- Lack of Collaboration
Companies in the process of globalization often have a vision for whom they will “be” as a global company—they want to make sure that their successful local image is mirrored by their image in target markets. Due to the absence of centralized thought leadership and the insertion of multiple individuals in charge of essential processes, decentralized organizational structure could result in unintended changes in this vision.
How can one avoid these issues? Centralize the process
Centralizing organization begins with the use of only one LSP (typically a multiple language vendor, or “MLV”). With an MLV, the issues of organization, content consistency, and lack of collaboration are eliminated in the following ways:
- MLVs can handle both translation and localization needs
- Surplus of languages with consistent style
- Various file formats
- Discounts for high-volume by centralizing all projects
- Leveraging of style guides, glossaries, and translation memories, all very valuable tools in the translation process, are centralized, improving turn-around times and increasing consistency
- Projects are managed by one person, allowing for the maintenance of a singular vision
- In addition to increased budget control, MLVs save up to 15% by developing program-level processes and reduced internal management
Before hiring multiple LSPs to fulfill all project needs, it’s important to recognize that this decision translates into the embracement of a decentralized approach to organization, which might not be a good fit for every project—particularly those of the larger scale. Conversely, centralization has many immediate benefits and reduces the headaches that surround facilitating projects with multiple vendors.
For information about Lionbridge onDemand’s centralized language solutions, click here.