Handling numerous small translation projects and avoiding automation connected risks

Handling numerous small translation projects and avoiding automation connected risks


Recently I published a post on the issue of the pressure surrounding the prices - omnipresent within the translation industry. Having been inundated with uplifting feedback, I would like to discuss one of the widely raised problems.

Multiple, small translation projects pose a serious challenge as they also – just as those complex ones - require comprehensive management throughout all stages of completion. In each case, project manager has to set a date of project launch and delivery (with the deadline being usually exceptionally short), prepare a quotation and build an appropriate team to handle it. Overall expenses are also rarely mirrored in the actual value of such projects.

There is no universal solution applicable to all difficulties linked to minor projects. Discussing the way of dealing with the retail sphere of the business is far beyond the scope of this post, so let me shortly present some information on multilingual, small projects completed with the help of numerous vendors. There is one key element that stands behind the success of a translation agency: efficient participation in the industry supply chain. Being active within this field, however, comes with some restrictions - such as handling copious amounts of small-scale projects, all demanding a short period of completion. It goes without saying that guaranteeing your clients effortless maintenance of numerous orders, along with flawless management of operations and quality assurance, is not an easy task. As we have mentioned before, there is no quick fix for a problem this complex. Translation agencies can try, however, to implement automated project management processes; their use can bring tremendous advantages, with many effects being immediately noticeable:

  • Reduced cost due to the decrease in actions performed manually, the amount of appearing mistakes and disorganisation. The introduction of automated solutions makes it possible to efficiently complete such mundane tasks as preparing quotations, accounting, delegating tasks to translators according to previously set principles, up to delivering ready-made translation.

  • Gaining an invaluable knowledge concerning the processes within your business. While many procedures go largely unnoticed, the introduction of such revolutionary changes forces everyone to take a closer look at their standard proceedings. Such insight provides an exceptional opportunity to check all metrics, outcomes and reports, constituting a reliable and helpful tool in the decision-making process.

  • Significantly raised customer satisfaction resulting from exceptionally short time of project completion. Due to automated project management the downtime between subsequent stages of translation, editing and proofreading are reduced to a minimum, guaranteeing shorter turnaround time.

  • Developing a tailor-made Customer Portal helps increase client involvement in the project and bring time savings. Using the project flow templates, the client is able to choose the desired mode of project completion on their own.

  • Implementation and use of all above-mentioned solutions bring tremendous advantages, mainly revolving around the financial aspect, as they minimise project management costs.

One could think that the introduction of such solutions is effortless and brings immediate success. Still, the implementation of newly developed processes – especially within traditional enterprises – might be quite challenging. The outcome of such ground-breaking changes will definitely be worth it, but one has to remember that it requires a massive switch in work approach and ethics. Speaking from our experience, there are four guidelines which are fundamental to a successful conversion into the work environment based on automated processes:

  • Get ready for revolutionary changes. The implementation of automated project management starts way ahead of the actual introduction of a ready-made solution. Upon making that bold decision to change, determine all processes that are in force – including all unrecorded shortcuts which work to your disadvantage. Automation will immediately reveal all weaknesses and enforce the development of accurate rules.

translation plan

  • Be fearless. Instead of focusing on particular areas that might require improvement, try to see the changes within the big-picture framework. The development of more accurate and strict version of your daily processes takes time and effort; do not waste either on preparing small-scale advances. Think bold and do not fear revolutionary changes – they might require unbelievable effort but they will also bring extraordinary results and even higher financial benefits.

  • Follow the plan. Establishing a precise plan including all stages of implementation is crucial to the successful introduction of automated process management. Don’t try to bite off more than you can chew – prepare a strategy where particular improvements are introduced gradually, in a step-by-step manner.

  • Find your allies. Automation serves a double purpose – it is supposed to be helpful to both your co-workers and customers. The latter group will be grateful for round-the-clock provision of language services, made available due to the use of a Customer Portal. It is also worth to gather additional information on automated processes implemented within your customers’ companies; integrating both systems might bring tremendous advancements for both parties involved.

What people – be it business owners or customers – seem to fear the most is lack of the so-called “human touch”. A common misconception is that automated responses and task delegation seem far too mechanical; there are, however, so many customisation options that allow for the creation of custom-made messages which are perfectly personalised to your clients.

Automating the processes in your translation agency is fundamental to the future, prosperous development of the business. While you might reluctantly stick to traditional methods of customer support and order completion, your competitors certainly won’t be as willing to stay behind. The potential within automation strategies is immensely powerful, albeit it still remains largely unappreciated. Such solutions might require major shifts in thinking, the implementation of revolutionary changes and incredible amount of work – but in the end, you will gain both time and money to focus on other areas requiring improvement.



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