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Why investing in Localisation will deliver long-term value

When it comes to translation buying, cost per word can often be a deciding factor between suppliers. While for a short-term solution being able to negotiate a cheaper price could result in a small cost saving, companies looking to maximise profitability from their international operations are increasingly adopting a more strategic approach.

Being able to select from different service levels – from machine translation to highly creative transcreation – can certainly help achieve immediate business goals and meet budgetary demands. Furthermore, tracking ROI on translation spend is increasingly something we’re tasked with assisting our customers with, and we’re one of seemingly few translation providers who are able and willing to do this. However, savvy businesses are going one step further with their localisation efforts, and starting to reap significant rewards from it.

Back in 2006 Common Sense Advisory developed something called the localisation maturity model – a scale measuring the optimisation of a business’s operations in relation to going global. It covers five main stages a business may pass through: from “reactive”, with no set process; all the way through to “transparent”, with streamlined, centralised and documented processes. Over the last few years we’ve been educating many of our customers in where their companies fit on that scale, and how they can progress to where they want to be long-term.

When discussing localisation at this level – in terms of optimising internal processes and effective management of language assets company-wide – suddenly price per word for individual translation projects seems less significant. However, using the right tools and workflows to save internal project management time, creating communications that generate more engagement in target markets, and effectively measuring ROI on language assets becomes more valuable.

That’s why we now offer comprehensive Localisation Strategy (LocStrat) Assessments for customers who are looking to get more bang for their international buck. In these assessments we help analyse the translation buying process across the business: how and why it happens in each case and what associated project management or administration resource is tied up within that.

By going into this level of detail, we transcend the role of translation provider into the position of trusted business partner. And as a result, our clients enjoy real business results from their localisation initiatives, from improved productivity to a robust business case for investing in new localisation technology.

The real benefit of working with an established and truly global LSP is that their expertise spans more than just language. Through years of experience supporting real companies in their localisation activity, agencies like ours have been able to develop a real grasp of the opportunities and challenges facing businesses on their global journey. Because of this, and our attitude to help our customers really thrive, we become more than just a transactional translation provider – we’re localisation consultants and partners who are here to simplify your journey and help your business grow globally in the long-term.

*Photo credits: Horoscope /

Christian Arno, Founder and President, Lingo24

Christian Arno is Founder and President of Lingo24. He started the company in 2001 after graduating from Oxford University with a degree in languages. He has won numerous awards including HSBC Business Thinking and International Trade Awards (2010), and TAUS Excellence Award (2012) for innovative technology. He contributes to leading industry publications and has been featured on the BBC, in the Financial Times and other media around the world.

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