Comunica Translations was founded in 2007. Today we are a boutique translation agency combining our Nordic expertise with a personal and human approach to help clients reach the heights of the Nordics and far beyond.
For 12 years, we used a proprietary system to take care of all project management in translation. Though originally tailor-made for us, our software was no longer up to the job. We realized we needed to investigate a TMS implementation that offered innovation, automation, and flexibility.
The problem – an outdated translation project management system
Our software had become outdated. Our needs had changed since it was first built – we’d grown from a small company with just a handful of clients to a global LSP working with many end clients and several multi-language service providers (MLSPs). The range of CAT Tools and processes we now use are also much more varied and complex than they had been in our early days.
To try to meet our evolving needs, we added many features to the system. But each change needed to be programmed in. This meant the underlying code was becoming a dense jungle which eventually became impossible to navigate, even for a professional programmer. It was also starting to get overloaded, becoming slower and inefficient. And our IT Manager’s time was monopolized by this work, with little time left to solve any other IT issues.
Looking for the solution – seeking automation and flexibility
We knew the time had come to make the switch to a more innovative and automated alternative to project management in translation. To choose the right TMS, we started by creating a long list of all our requirements. Then we researched what was on the market and tried out a few different systems.
Our priorities were:
We wanted a TMS that integrated with memoQ and automatically uploaded CAT analysis files, using them to calculate POs and invoices. We also wanted to be able to automatically assign linguists to projects.
- Financial reporting
We were looking for accurate and detailed reports showing profit margin, revenue by client, project manager, and project.
- Cloud-based with flexible licensing
Our project managers often work from home so a cloud-based system was an absolute must. We also work with some assistant project managers on an adhoc basis and have other team members who don’t need to use the tool regularly. So we wanted a flexible licensing arrangement that meant we weren’t paying for more than we needed.
Why we chose XTRF – checking all the boxes
We tested out several different systems. And it soon became clear that XTRF offered the features and functionalities we were looking for and would be able to meet all our criteria. XTRF enables us to:
- automate and streamline project management, with word counts and margin calculations automatically added to each project
- fully integrate with memoQ, meaning we only need to set up the project in one place
- gain greater insight into our financial situation and key business metrics with accurate and precise reporting
Putting it in place – the TMS implementation process
It’s always hard to change systems. It takes a while to get used to the way the new system is structured and how it works. Our workflows, rate profiles, specialties, and more were now set up completely differently, and we had to learn new ways of doing things. What’s more, going from a proprietary tool to out-of-the-box software poses added challenges – there will always be some limitations. The key is to approach all these changes with an open mind.
During implementation, we came across a few features from our old TMS that weren’t part of XTRF. But we got in touch with the development team, and they were happy to produce and implement these features for us. Of course, this does come at an added cost, but if it’s something you can’t live without, then it’s a small price to pay. We’re really happy with the excellent service we received from the XTRF Support Team.
Learning the ropes
We wanted to ease our staff into the new system. So our IT Manager prepared a full training program for our project managers and in-house translators. They followed tutorials and completed exercises designed to help them practice before the system launched. In addition, we used XTRF Academy, the training program designed for XTRF’s clients, which helped us to understand how the system worked.
Looking forward – where XTRF will take us
We’re really excited to have our new TMS in place and we’re looking forward to seeing the benefits of this system play out over time.
We expect that XTRF will make us more efficient and reduce project management by as much as 15% to 20%. Time saved here will allow us to spend more time on ensuring excellent customer service and making sure we don’t miss even the tiniest of details. It will mean more time to follow up on new business opportunities, identify leads, and respond to client inquiries. We think it will help us on the financial side of the business too, with XTRF giving us greater visibility into useful metrics such as profit margins. Ultimately, this new system means less stress and pressure for our staff, which makes them happier. And happier employees mean improved productivity.