If you’ve used a translation project management system, you know it’s a valuable aid. It can speed up certain tasks and better organize your ecosystem. But with a system like this in place, isn’t it still true that one or more of your amazing human beings are stuck in their chairs, clicking buttons and moving stuff around?
Yes, there are still aspects of professional translation and localization that call for dedicated human attention—and probably always will. All the more reason why you want to take advantage of automation and AI where you can so you can concentrate the human time and effort where it really matters. What we’re trying to say is that translation management systems (TMS) are outdated. There is better technology out there—technology that may even save you money in the long run and that will definitely save you time and wasted effort. There is technology built not just to help streamline managers’ tasks but to actually elevate people in your organization to promote higher creativity and global momentum.
Evaluate Translation Project Management Systems by Their Features
There is quite a wide range of service levels available from translation and localization companies. They differ not only in their technological sophistication but also in the amount and quality of service they are able to provide.
Let’s consider the available translation and localization services by lining them up according to their features and technologies:
- Those that don’t even use computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools. These shouldn’t be considered serious options.
- Those that still rely on emails floating back and forth. These services may use translation memories (TMs) and even term bases (TBs). But they may lack add-on services such as desktop publishing, multimedia localization, and QA testing.
- Those that offer a portal for submitting files. They leverage TMs and TBs, as well as desktop publishing, but no multimedia services or QA testing.
- With all the same services as the example above, there are those that also add on multimedia services, QA, and in-country review assistance. However, these benefits are not actually managed through a central platform.
- Those with a nice TMS and some basic project management. They may offer API integrations but still operate on black box delivery, meaning you have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes with your translations. Here, too, in-country review and media QA may still be left out of a centralized platform system.
- Finally, those that offer a full-service localization operations platform. It offers all of the above but with integrated in-country review, media localization, and QA. Plus, with this partner, you have a transparent view of who is doing the translations, what their quality scores are, and rich data on business performance.
The expansion of features further down in this list represents a greater commitment to quality, transparency, automation, collaboration, and brand and product integrity. The evolution of localization represents a commitment to your company’s truth. That’s why it’s important to look for a language service provider that can centralize a single source of truth where all of your collaborators and projects can meet.
For continuous localization, it’s hard, if not impossible, to maintain consistency without translation memories and term bases. Likewise, without pervasive quality management, the risks are too great that mistakes will cause delays or even brand damage. As your company and your product grow, you want a translation and localization management system that can grow along with you. The deepest level of service offered on this list is due to advanced technology, not additional (expensive) manpower. So, it really is worth comparing all prices. You may be pleasantly surprised by the possibilities for comprehensive support.
Transcending Translation to Embrace Localization
The traditional TMS is a product of a certain technological era. It was invaluable for making translation project management more efficient, but it held the localization process in stasis because it assumed a specific workflow and staff organization. As you dig deeper into the options for localization partnership, you may not want to embrace that model. New technology enhances company workflow by increasing automation and freeing the human labor force for more appropriate tasks.
The new-generation localization management platform was developed with the idea that many daily management tasks could be done automatically. For example, the task of assigning linguists can be automated quite effectively. As a result, administrative time and effort are slashed while this sophisticated system immediately matches the most appropriate and knowledgeable translators for each project.
Having all of your stakeholders in one centralized platform can reduce the time and effort just about everywhere. In-country review can happen conveniently without file exports or lengthy email exchanges. Everyone involved in projects can have access to the same style guides and term bases, for reference and for updates, to ensure the highest level of consistency. Plus, the entire process can be completely transparent, reducing the effort required for tracking.
You can do more with fewer people, and you can hook your entire ecosystem together, setting it up for success and monitoring its evolution. The people in your organization are free for creative endeavors, rather than serving as tools themselves. This is not a case of technology taking away human jobs. It is a case of AI truly enabling people to work better, and its impact on your organization can be deep and meaningful.
Localization That Makes a Better Workplace
We believe that moving beyond the translation project management system to full localization management pushes you and opens up your organization to a different way of global thinking. This is a transition that is worth making. It raises the quality of your adapted product and advances your global marketing goals more efficiently.
Then, you’re faced with making the most of the rescued time and energy to propel your company, your employees, your customers forward in more meaningful and creative ways.
Bureau Works provides continuous automated localization services that integrate with your workflow for fast and seamless delivery of text and multimedia localization and other services. We offer QA support and complete transparency with minimal management on your part. Contact our team for full-service localization on a single platform.
Written by Aaron Schliem
Aaron is the chief marketing officer for Bureau Works. He also loves to tickle the ivories and is a wiz at designing cocktails.