If you are asking yourself the above question, one thing is certain: for some reason the way you currently manage your translation processes doesn’t work for you. Moreover, you think that implementing a Translation Management System (TMS) or replacing the one you currently use with a better one is what you need. No matter if you work at a start-up LSP, a multi-branch global translation agency or a localization team in a big corporation, you are considering introducing a change, and you want to be sure you make the right choices. But how to do it right? How to pick the best solution from those available on the market? The answer to those questions is not simple, and you know why? Because they are the wrong questions to start with. What you should really ask yourself is: what do I want to change? Where is the biggest need for improvement? And for what reason do I want to make that change at all?
Ultimately, the key to the right decisions can be found in your NEEDS. They can vary depending on your role in the organization. And quite likely there is more than just one need, so you also have to think about priorities. Below are a few most common expectations we hear from our clients.
I want to spend less time on repetitive actions
It goes without saying that the translation industry is a fast-paced and strongly deadline-oriented world. Every single day project managers coordinate an enormous number of tasks and exchange dozens of emails. A large part of those activities is similar from project to project. The need for automation is probably the most common expectation we hear. Not only should a good TMS support PMs in their daily operations, but also do part of their jobs automatically for them. Quick project creation, support in finding the right linguist for the job or managing project files & instructions, automatic calculation of costs and revenue – these are just examples of automated tasks that can effectively save PM’s time.
I don’t want to spend that much time on paperwork
Meeting tight deadlines, coordinating the work of linguists and building good relationships with clients is the essence of every project manager’s work. But there is also this less exciting (not to say boring) part of the job – paperwork. It also consumes a lot of a PM’s time – time they very often don’t have. In bigger organizations this problem also concerns other departments (accounting teams, vendor managers, back office staff, etc.). Wouldn’t you prefer your vendors receive purchase orders from you with less effort from you? Or have your client invoices issued automatically when the time comes? Or a smooth vendor invoicing process at the end of every month, without sending job summaries and invoices back and forth? If this sounds like you, then your new system should handle the tedious part of your work for you, giving you time for other stuff.
I want my clients to feel special
In today’s world, good customer experiences are the key to long-term business relationships. That’s why business owners want to treat their clients with care. If this is the case with you, you should look for a system that can be customized to the unique needs of your clients. If you have clients with specific, unusual requests, show them you are ready to handle that, not only personally, but also system-wise. Choose a system that will allow you to flexibly adapt even to the most demanding needs.
I want more focus on quality
If quality is priority number one for you, make sure to check what functionality your potential new TMS offers you in that area. Look for features that support linguistic evaluation of vendors or that provide vendor selection based on their quality rating. Collecting feedback from your clients will probably also be important to you, so compare how different systems can support you in handling client complaints or checking client satisfaction after project delivery. It’s also worth checking if your system complies with ISO standards for quality management.
I want to work effectively with my vendors
If you value good cooperation with your vendors, choose a system that will also take into account their needs. Give them an easy and intuitive tool that will help both sides work together in a standardized way. Give them the possibility to keep you up-to-date with their skills & competencies or unavailability plans. Support them during the invoicing process. And most of all, let the system be easily accessible for them and mobile-ready.
I want to integrate all my tools
Many TMS providers advertise their products as a single system that handles everything. But very often you simply cannot get rid of the other tools you use. In such cases, make sure your TMS offers possibilities to either fully integrate or at least easily exchange export/import files with them. This may concern various external systems, from your CAT tools through accounting software to e.g. internal systems of your end clients.
I want to track how my business develops
This simply goes without saying. Your system should definitely help you control the growth of your business. As a business owner, you may have different expectations in that area, from basic reports to advanced data analysis. But you will always be interested in monitoring how your company grows.
To sum up, the most important thing is to be aware of what your key focus is, and what you expect as a result of the change. Only when you have your needs listed and prioritized can you responsibly start looking for the right solution. Then the next step is obvious – find out how solutions available on the market respond to your needs.
If you are interested in how XTRF can do exactly that, contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.