Benchmark GALA Survey Shows Optimism Among Language Service Providers
Language service providers around the globe have been heavily impacted by the economic downturn, but many expect a rebound in the next three months, according to the Globalization and Localization Association’s most recent quarterly survey. The survey, which asks GALA members about trends in the industry, was conducted in May and was the third in a row to question language service providers on the economic downturn.
A full 78 percent of respondents said they had been impacted by the downturn in the last three months (Feb – April), a marked increase from 57 percent who indicated they had been impacted in the previous February survey. Far fewer in North America felt a direct impact (55 percent) than Europe (83 percent) and Asia (85 percent).
However the outlook is not nearly as grim. A full 30 percent of respondents anticipate an actual increase in demand in the next three months — way up from eight percent in the previous survey. And many more respondents are optimistic about the future (44 percent) than are not (15 percent).
“Our members provide language and localization services to multinational companies worldwide, and, as such, they experience the ripple effect when those companies slash expenses,” said James Hollan, executive director of GALA. “These numbers indicate that GALA members expect an uptick in spending for global language services soon, perhaps in line with overall economic recovery.”
Interestingly, members appear to be adept at predicting the impact over three months. In the first quarter, 69 percent expected a somewhat reduced demand for services in the next three months, and, in fact, this quarter the same number of respondents reported a somewhat reduced demand over the past three months.
Other findings include:
•More than 82 percent of respondents have not cut workforce as a result of the financial crisis. There have been other reactions by many LSPs, including reductions in overtime and outsourcing, wage reductions and salary freezes.
•More than half of respondents (53 percent) report lower revenue compared to three months ago.
•Forty-four percent of respondents are optimistic about the next 6 to 12 months, while 15 percent are not optimistic and 41 percent are unsure.
•Similar to the first quarter, more than half of respondents have not had any projects or contracts canceled due to the economic situation. But there is a lot more downward pressure on price and some projects have been delayed.
GALA is an impartial international association that promotes translation services, language technology and language management solutions. The member companies worldwide include translation companies, localization service providers, globalization consultants, internationalization specialists and technology developers. GALA companies share a commitment to quality, service, and innovation in helping clients reach global markets. For more information about GALA visitwww.gala-global.org