XTRF – the best platform for translation project management and automation
Translation industry veterans remember well those times when a translation project involved translation of a whole manual or other multi-page document with the deadline counted in weeks rather than in days. Those times, and those projects, are gone. The world is very different today.
Translation is just a tiny component of a very optimized process aimed at rapid delivery of new products and services to many markets at the same time. Delivering to an international market simultaneously means that clients require more language versions, have much less time for each project, cut the amount of text for translation to a minimum and need translation at a very precise moment in time; that moment usually being shortly after the original content is written. This facilitates the need for everything to work within a precisely orchestrated plan where speed, responsiveness, cost optimization and synchronization of processes is a must.
That is why translation management has to change and calls for tools like XTRF - offering project and translation automation in one package. What does it mean in practice?
Optimizing speed and responsiveness requires replacing manual operations with automated processes. This includes cost consolidation through the optimal selection of vendors, in terms of their quality-to-price ratio, and a reduction of overall project time internally within the organization.
Today, these needs concern virtually all participants of the translation services supply chain. Whether it’s a corporate communication department, a global localization company offering hundreds of language combinations or just a small translation agency offering services into its local language. They all need to adapt their offer to the present market trends: better, cheaper and as soon as possible.
There are several different main benefits of translation automation that are tangible in the short-term and long-term.
At first you will notice perfect order in your projects. Project Management will become a set of well defined activities, recorded under each project. Even if things still happen manually, all information about your projects, clients, vendors and invoices will be stored in one central system which enables very easy access to all sorts of data. XTRF will become a central source of data, and its central search window will guarantee retrieval of any required information very quickly.
Right off the bat, time is saved when the system automatically generates all Purchase Orders for vendors and delivers them along with project files in automated emails. And it’s not only about time – eliminating typing errors or math errors in calculations makes your operations much smoother and correct each time.
Typically, as a next step, companies introduce the feature of automatic requests for translator availability for the new project. It saves a lot of effort when the system can contact several vendors simultaneously and select the most readily available one immediately.
There is another advantage to that – by having the system contact several translators that match project criteria, you are likely to lower your overall vendor cost, as the vendors that a company is used to using on a regular basis are normally not the optimum choice from a cost perspective. As humans, we like working with people who always confirm new jobs and requests, but this does not mean that the final choice of vendor is optimal. And this is how overall subcontractor costs can be reduced.
As you get more familiar with the project management system, you are likely to add integration with CAT tool as another automated step. Why create separate projects in CAT tools and manage all translation packages manually when the XTRF system can do it for you? And again, it will save time and reduce human error to a minimum.
Later on, as companies get used to XTRF and develop a trust for translation automation they start to involve clients in this process. They use either Client Portal to receive and deliver projects, or they engage in building custom connectors to conceive new projects directly from clients’ systems or e-mail folders.
If you think from a broader perspective about translation automation results there is much more there than direct cost or time savings. Long term benefits lie within the possibility to position translation agency services very differently and provide strong advantages over competitors. With Client Portal you can offer a 24/7 service very easily. You can start selling your services in the USA, out of Europe or Asia (and vice-versa) without the need to keep people in the office at all times. If you switch from manual Translation Management to Translation Automation you can reduce your minimum accepted project value and thus start working with customers who have lots of tiny small assignments. You can also address clients who need almost instant delivery and simply cannot be served by the traditional model. To sum up, XTRF is not only about how much you can save or how you can increase your margins on present projects. Above all, it is about how you can attract new clients and win new business, not by competing on price but with your professional capabilities.
What else makes XTRF unique on the market? Its self-implementation platform, called XTRF Academy. It addresses perfectly the situation of smaller translation agencies, that have less sophisticated needs but also lower budgets, and simply cannot afford regular implementation. They can choose a self-implementation program based on a series of training movies and scripts that allow them to take full advantage of XTRF at very low entry costs limited only to a basic license rental fee.
That being said – translation automation is not there only for select, well-established translation businesses, but for all translation agencies and corporate translation departments - from the smallest to largest ones.