Things You Need to Know for Managing Your Vendors
In addition to being a rather specific environment, businesses based on language services revolve around their vendors. The final product offered to your customers is based on their hard work and resilience – so bear in mind that in order to deliver results of the highest quality, you have to take a closer look at vendor management methods. Today we would like to present a few elements which are crucial for effective cooperation with your vendors.
- Long relationships are of paramount importance – but they do require certain commitment
- Consistent revenue is built on the foundation of long-lived relationships with your customers; their satisfaction, however, is brought by solid work of your long-term vendors. Always remember that your in-house translators have limited possibilities and might not be able to support all your clients. Long relationships based on mutual trust are directly mirrored in short lead times, quality and income.
- Never underestimate the power of vendor assessment
- With all the intangible factors contributing to the overall success, there is one important thing that can be effectively measured: translation quality. This value is the foundation of your success, so do your best to initiate and keep in place a reliable translation quality evaluation system. Make sure your vendors are aware that their work is assessed – they will surely do their best to provide linguistic services of the highest possible quality. There is also one more important thing: implementation of such system will make it easier to accurately match particular job with the vendor who truly stands out in a given discipline.
- When not sure where to start with setting up a translation quality index metric, consider the accepted standards provided by the Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA). The association itself might not be working anymore, but their scoring system remains a standard; it measures the severity of problems in translation and is available for a number of various tools. Among those supported are simple spreadsheets and the most complex TMS.
- It’s a match! Always ensure that your vendor skills mirror customer’s expectations and requirements.
- Although you surely are well aware of that, approach every single project and customer with due care. The same applies to your vendors who might vary greatly when it comes to their financial requirements, time limitations and specialization. Make sure that you know well your vendors’ strengths and eliminate spontaneous work assignments that bring nothing but more trouble.
- Fight overbooking using the cascade method
- There are multiple techniques of finding the vendor willing to complete a given task – some people prefer to send out many inquiries and deal with potential conflicts in case more than one person is assigned to a particular job.
- The cascading method, however, helps you effectively avoid this kind of situation. Send the request to one vendor – the one who is skilled best to complete it; should they refuse, forward it to the next person. Attention: make sure vendors have enough time to realize they have a message to reply to but no more than is needed to browse the text and make a quick decision. How much time do they need, then? A few hours, in case of orders with short deadlines maybe even minutes. This way you manage your vendors in the most efficient and effective way possible.
- Let the translators know about the feedback!
- Stable inflow of orders does wonders for your business but your vendors might not be as enthusiastic about feeling slightly dehumanized. Make sure that the translator and their client are aware of each other’s existence. Was your customer amazed by translation quality or accuracy? Do not even hesitate to share this information with your vendors, as this does wonders for their motivation and personal development.
- Stay up-to-date with your vendors’ availability
- Your business partners rarely work solely for you and might have responsibilities towards other associates. Make sure that you are aware of their planned holidays, other commitments and long-term projects that they are completing for you: this not only allows you to effectively manage your vendor pool but also spare unnecessary interruptions with your requests.
- Make a change and be the one person who is far from playing favourites
- A strict task assignment procedure makes it far more easier to take full advantage of your vendor pool and use professionals’ skills best. While it’s natural that your most trusted vendors receive the most work, make sure the tasks match their specialization and that they are not overworked. Such an approach leads to the optimization of workflow and prevents unwanted burnout.
Remember that your revenue directly reflects the state of your vendors. Whether you have a solid base of in-house specialists or rely on freelancers, your business revolves around their work – so it’s worth to make some effort and investigate closer the way you manage your vendor pool.