Localization management teams: is working remotely your new normal?

Localization management teams: is working remotely your new normal?

Localization management teams: is working remotely your new normal? 150 150 Andrzej Nedoma

XTRF was designed to help you manage your translation and localization business from anywhere

Remote, or ‘work at home’, has gone from an option to a necessity for many of us recently. While we hope this is a passing situation, we know it is uncertain and many people will be adapting to working away from the office and its support systems. But for language experts and localization management teams, this change can be seamless with XTRF’s cloud-based platform.

Localization management has always been a remote business

In many language service provider (LSP) organizations and translation departments, managing vendors remotely has been the norm. It is fairly rare these days for companies to have in house or on-site translators. With translation projects often containing multiple languages, finding and employing native-speaking translators has required remote management. This was often handled via email, which can create issues around version management and context.

Vendor management has been a core function of XTRF from the beginning. We knew this required creating an application with interfaces for a variety of roles including clients, project managers, finance managers, and vendors. This design has been critical to providing our users and customers (not all users are customers) with a unified experience, similar to working in a shared space. But there has always been a vital difference: the requirement to limit access to relevant pieces of the process for each kind of user.

This requirement for different views into XTRF made designing as a cloud or hosted application critical. And now, with the advent of a health crisis requiring many to work remotely, it uniquely positions XTRF as the ideal remote management platform.

Anywhere, anytime connected localization management

With your XTRF account, your users at every level can keep your business running, regardless of location. For example, a localization manager can log in at home, open a project, create a quote, manage vendors, send invoices, and review each step of the process. Sales and account management can communicate with prospects and existing customers, creating jobs and resolving issues. And senior management can view reports, including project flow, receivables and payables, and other top-level views into the daily operations of the business.

No special configuration requirements

In the event a majority of your team has to work outside of the office, whether it’s while attending a conference or responding to an emergency, your XTRF configurations for each type of user, both in your internal localization management team and external users, remain the same as they would under normal circumstances. The only difference is where they access the application.

When planning a remote workforce, we do recommend considering giving your remote employees a secure VPN or other more secure access points they can use while traveling or working in public places like cafes. We do not recommend using open, unsecure networks in these circumstances. Beyond these considerations, any translation and localization business or team using XTRF should be able to seamlessly transition to a remote workforce.

The human factor: adjusting to working out of the office

It is important to understand that moving to a remote work environment can cause cultural acceptance issues. It is important to provide guidance, including helping employees set up systems and home offices, putting in place communications channels like Slack or Skype, and providing some kind of work tracking reporting. XTRF’s extensive reporting capabilities offer the ability to build custom reports to track various actions.

Maybe most important, XTRF offers users a familiar work and project management environment no different than what they would see in the workplace. They can literally log in and pick up where they left off, regardless of location.

Onboarding new remote employees and vendors

Training new people when an office environment is not available can be a challenge. The XTRF Academy was designed to help onboard new users and to help experienced users improve their XTRF skills. It is always available and offers self-directed training via videos and other instructional tools.

We are currently offering free access to the XTRF Academy for the first two months to help facilitate both the onboarding process and any transitions to a remote working model for your localization management team. Please contact us for details and help with your remote training.

Because XTRF is an integrated application for the entire translation workflow, it makes it easy to add vendors and offer them training to get them up and running in your processes, despite their location. Your customers can also access tutorials to guide them through project creation, quoting, and process tracking.

In the new normal, XTRF offers a competitive advantage to localization management teams, including improved customer retention and new business

When you make your customer’s lives easier, especially in a crisis, it changes the relationship. Existing customers will be more loyal and new customers will demand solutions that automate every translation and localization communication, on a single platform. The fact that your customers can access their accounts, order projects, and manage invoices, from their home office, offers you a competitive advantage over LSPs without integrated solutions.

We hope this ‘new normal’ is over soon and life can go back to ways we are familiar with. Remote working is the way of the future, and it will be a growing factor for any business. For language businesses, XTRF positions you now for this new global reality.

Andrzej Nedoma

Andrzej Nedoma

Andrzej Nedoma is the co-founder and former CEO of XTRF Management Systems, a global translation management platform provider for translation companies of every size, in-house corporate language departments, and public organizations. Currently, he serves as a board advisor. His company helped hundreds of translation and localization agencies in 30 countries to leverage their potential. Andrzej was awarded the Polish Entrepreneur of the Year 2006 title in the category “Services”. He has been building his translation industry expertise since 1996 as a business development manager and as a Managing Director for a leading Central European translation company LIDO-LANG Technical Translations which was eventually sold to Sepro Group from Spain. Apart from work, Andrzej is also an engaged triathlete, competing in IronMan triathlon races - this year on Half-IronMan distance and preparing for full-IronMan distance in the near future.

All stories by : Andrzej Nedoma