International sales are integral to fueling company growth. As your domestic markets become saturated, finding new markets with less competition offers increased revenue growth and profit potential. In fact, pursuing a global customer base can be less challenging than driving domestic growth in a saturated market. Even companies that are not focused on international opportunities can benefit from supplying products to cultural markets in the US, like the large and growing Hispanic, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese speaking US markets.
Planning a multilingual project, however, can challenge even the most experienced companies. Just think about how you would find qualified subject matter linguists, available engineers to deal with potential internationalization and localization issues, the right talent to publish multilingual brochures and manuals. After all, you need to get the work done cost effectively, on time, while meeting management’s quality expectations. Expertise in all these disparate fields is required, along with experience in rolling out multilingual releases.
Outsourcing Your Localization and Translation Work
The logical option is to choose a localization and translation services vendor who can simplify the process by handling most of these tasks for you. Not all vendors are created equal and the maxim that “you get what you pay for” holds especially true in this situation. Finding and selecting a localization and translation vendor that is right for you can be a daunting, if not overwhelming, and time-consuming mission. Experience, quality, customer service history, budget, and scheduling all must be taken into account in the decision making process.
Some of the benefits of outsourcing your localization and translation work to a multi-language service provider usually include:
- Minimal coordination efforts on your part.
- Single point of contact for all languages and tasks.
- The multi-language service provider supplies highly qualified and experienced subject matter linguistic resources, desktop publishers, engineers, quality assurance (QA) personnel and project managers.
- Established localization methodology across all languages.
- ISO quality standards and processes (we highly recommend to work with a vendor who is ISO 9001:2000 registered).
- On-time project delivery (of particular importance if you are planning a simultaneous product roll-out).
Selecting the Localization and Translation Vendor That is Right for You
The importance of finding and selecting the right localization and translation vendor can not be overemphasized. It is critical to the overall success of your multi-lingual product rollout, its credibility in-country, as well as your reputation. In order to succeed, you are well advised to thoroughly investigate your potential vendor’s services, methodologies, and best-practices and compare them against other vendors. Meet with your team, strategize about the task at hand and what you are trying to accomplish; come up with a plan to successfully meet your globalization objectives.
But most importantly, take the time to create a Request for Information (RFI) or Request for Proposal (RFP) template that includes questions that leave no room for misinterpretation. It is also advisable to send sample files along to potential vendors and request a price quote so that you can compare costs fairly and accurately. Once the participating vendors return the completed templates, you will be able to compare answers and gain a better understanding about the vendor’s capabilities in relation to your needs, enabling you to make an informed and fair decision.
Questions to Ask
Many localization and translation projects vary widely in scale and scope; however, there are a number of standard questions that you should include in your template. Drawing from many years of experience in preparing RFIs and RFPs, ENLASO has compiled a comprehensive list of standard questions that will help you ease the daunting task of creating a meaningful template.
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