Localization as Part of the Globalization Strategy
When operating internationally, a company can only successfully market its products if it plans its globalization strategy carefully.
In this two part series, we will share two key factors that we have observed to be necessary for an integrated operational approach to establishing a successful internal globalization department: quality assurance and process reliability. In order to accomplish this, two important preconditions must be considered. (1) uniform processes and (2) a trusting relationship between organizations and their translation partners.
The quality of foreign-language documents is essential because it promotes the positive external perception of a company. In addition, the quality of translated information has a high impact on its comprehensibility. For example, a properly translated instruction manual will help avoid handling errors when using technical equipment. In some cases, translation quality can even contribute to the clarification of liability issues in the event of a claim.
Ideally, to effectively assure the text quality in all target languages, all parties should be using an integrated, uniform process. This begins with a project manager who controls all processes, assigns tasks to suitable translators, and serves as the central contact partner. In order for translators to have all relevant project information necessary to prepare a correct, target audience-oriented translation, the following should be considered:
1. Establish a central translation management platform for resources, such as terminology and previously created translations.
2. Provide author access to the terminology database and translation memory to minimize inconsistencies from the outset.
3. Have a checklist for the initial project examination or systematic assistance with an order assignment portal to help project managers hand over orders and the associated data and information in a complete and structured form.
4. Ensure effective, global communication with the parties involved in the process using defined workflows such as regular meetings or central query management.
5. Implement automated processes, such as direct assignment of translation orders from within an editorial system to simplify administrative steps and avoid misunderstandings from incomplete information.
Next, a review step should be incorporated into the process to ensure the quality of all target languages. Comprehensive quality assurance based on defined criteria can minimize complex internal approvals when collaborating between different cultures. For example, localized content, including the correct use of specialized or corporate terminology, can be ensured by directly involving the customer's local companies in the review process.
People are at the center of all quality efforts. High-quality translations and efficient translation management are only possible if the parties involved in the process have the same understanding of the objective and of the implementation of the quality requirements to enable constructive improvement proposals. This requires:
1. Service level agreements for the terminology to be used, the tools to be deployed, and overall expectations.
2. Clearly defined individual processes (data transfer, communication and escalation routes, etc.).
The use of technologies can facilitate your processes. For example, defined workflows can be mapped with the help of a translation management system (TMS). Depending on the quality standard, these workflows may comprise a linguistic review or additional approval by the responsible department in the company. Moreover, smart automation functions provide assistance for the assignment of suitable translators, e.g. with respect to the language combination, subject, or availability, and for the transmission of source and target texts. Uniform use of the correct terminology can also be ensured with such a system, thereby avoiding correction overhead.
Close coordination between the company ordering the translation, the translation partners, and all internal and external process parties is a fundamental precondition for the successful localization of the product information. The quality criteria and process steps for the company's globalization strategy can be made available for all parties with software assistance, which can make the collaboration in different time zones and with different modes of operation and communication much easier.
In part two we will cover how to work closely with your partners and use a translation management solution to establish safe and transparent localization processes in your globalization efforts.
At Across Systems GmbH, Vanessa Hirthe coaches and guides LSPs in all issues relating to the Across Language Server. Additionally, her key duties within the scope of the Business Unit LSPs include international networking activities. After graduating in German Studies, History, and Political Science, she worked for several years as a project manager and business development manager for language service providers in Germany and Switzerland.