Weathering the Storm: The Transformation of an LSP
Capita Group acquired Applied Language Solutions in December 2011. After fully rebranding themselves as Capita Translation and Interpreting (Capita TI), the company was named as the world’s fastest growing LSP in 2013**. It has been transformed since acquisition. Within a very short period of time, the company has undergone a re-organization and investment program that has converted the business from an ambitious owner-managed enterprise, to the cusp of being a global player, capable of competing with the largest LSPs in the world.
All changes to the business and the way it operates have been made with the mantra of CEO Spencer Clarkson, “We think we can do it better,” at the forefront of our thinking. It is a philosophy which is motivating the 180-strong staff to all pull in the same direction, with renewed sense of purpose.
Some of the biggest changes have been the result of recruiting industry experience and strength to the operational side of the business and the sales teams, which has had a positive impact on the core of our business.
Quality and customer service, driven by our customers’ requirements is the focus of all activity, and all processes have changed with this in mind. We have created new departments including Account Management and Quality Solutions. Our translation vendor management team has grown significantly as well as the addition of in-house linguists to work alongside our project managers.
Our project management function now operates in a vertical manner being able to offer specialised skills and competencies to particular customers and workflows. These basic improvements in knowledge and communication have all been supported with investment from our parent, Capita Group, in IT infrastructure, technology advances, and investing in our centers of excellence in multimedia and computational linguistics.
The results have been almost instant across the translation side of our business – where most of our customers are serviced; customer retention has improved dramatically, as have our quality ratings with key clients – driven by new expertise and a re-invigorated account management team. A large underperforming interpreting contract has been stabilized with our customer kept abreast of week-on-week improvements.
Although in a lot of respects, many of these changes only bring Capita TI up to speed with the existing processes of companies of a similar size within the industry, the real achievement is how quickly the business has been turned around into a position where we can continuously improve service to our customers.
There is still improvement to come as we continually strive to do it better, but our message to businesses in this quickly evolving industry is that there is no such thing as impossible, if you gain momentum.
** As stated by CSA report 2013
Kristine has worked at Captia TI for 14 months, acting as Strategic Account Director for some of the company’s largest blue chip customers. She is a trained linguist, with a German and Spanish BA and MA, with five years’ experience in the localization industry, including previous experience at Welocalize. Kristine has moved through the ranks of project management from Junior to Director level.