Traditionally, a project is not meant to be repeated on a daily basis. According to the Project Management Institute, projects are temporary and unique. There is a start time and due time, and it’s done in a way that completes the objectives with limited resources. Managing projects ultimately focuses on resources and schedules for a project’s goal.
Translation projects have to be delivered in a very short time. Emergency orders are delivered within hours or by the end of the day. Usually, the orders are within a day or two.
So, we are engaged in the process of preparing work quickly and organizing the results for delivery. Due to the nature of translation, dozens of languages are handled in a single project, and various job processes are performed for each language. Also, there are usually a lot of delays in communication because of different time zones, and there is a language gap when using English, a common language, rather than a native language.
Let’s consider the key management point of a language service provider (LSP).
The first is to have customers that keep your business going. The second is the most important thing: volume. The third is language pairs, which are the essence of translation. A language pair consists of the original language and the language it will be translated into. Working with language pairs implies more than just translation, you must also be able to provide several other things, such as review, editing, post-editing, and machine translation. The fourth is resources. Here, we mean the internal employees or external partners that perform the actual tasks.
In addition, there will be exchange of the management of source files, delivery files, reference files, and more during the project. Sending invoices to the customer after the project is also important.
An LSP has thousands, or even tens of thousands, of projects each month. It would be enough for a general schedule management tool to simply figure out when and what you are doing. However, a project management platform is needed to meet the diverse needs of task management, customer management, revenue management, invoice management, vendor management, and sales and purchase statistics.
There are many translation platforms available to LSPs. You should also consider the cost of introducing the platform, and make it easy for PM or worker to enter, and avoid the side overhead. You need to reduce the time you spend and support the CAT tools you are using. Platform companies need to provide fast technical support for unspoken problems or additional demands. Considering these various requirements, you can choose the most appropriate solution for you.
However, selecting the right platform cannot satisfy all your requirements. Regardless of what you choose, there will be issues. For unexpected issues, it is good to provide technical support in a timely manner, but the demands of individual customers are not usually a priority for commercial platforms. If you lease a platform, it will be difficult to get good customer service. This means that you have to compensate for your platform’s shortcoming with extra work.
HansemEUG has been using a global company’s platform for more than five years, but the adoption of the platform has not solved all our business needs. The statistics provided by the platform are repetitive. So even if you want to analyze it in a variety of ways, you have to rely on what the platform provides. All the platform can give you is a bunch of Excel files that you will need to compile to create statistics. Then, you must repeat the manual tasks again.
It was a headache and a lot of time was spent analyzing everything by hand when there are thousands of projects every month. In particular, statistics that require accurate figures are very important to stakeholders. If the figures are wrong, we have to find out why they are wrong.
After repeating this uncomfortable process several times, we decided to link it with the existing platform to solve the problem. If the APIs were provided on the platform, it could be more easily interlocked, but only the extracted csv files could be connected, resulting in asynchronous data migration.
All the data that is currently in the translation platform has been loaded into the HansemEUG System. Today, daily data is constantly accumulating on the HansemEUG Business Management system. HansemEUG has produced meaningful information by analyzing it from various angles, based on data.
Do not limit yourself to what existing translation platforms provide, but go beyond the platform to get more information and insights.