Merrill Brink Releases New Study on Sept 20, 2012: How to get the most from the translation vendor

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Translation Services - Merrill Brink

Merrill Brink

How to get the most from your translation vendor

People can get the best from the translation partner by setting a process to select the right vendor and secondly, effectively manage that relationship and leverage the partnership.

In today’s global marketplace, businesses that were traditionally working in domestic markets are now finding themselves with a whole new world of potential customers and clients. According to the Q1 2011 Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) member pulse survey, the demand for language services has increased. This will very likely continue to increase as new markets emerge.

According to Ellegaard and Hald, “adopting a process approach to supplier evaluation will help identify and control possible undesirable dynamics along the activity chain, linking the intentions of the evaluating buyer to supplier performance improvement effects.” When selecting a translation partner, it is a process in which there are a number of criteria, questions and provider attributes that should be established. Communication and demonstrating transparency will help both organisations form a true partnership.

Translation professionals
It is a good idea to find out about the translation experts and linguists working within a potential vendor. Ideally, translators should not only have proficiency in a range of languages and translation skills, but they should also hold industry expertise. Working with translators with industry knowledge leads to better translations – minimising errors and maintaining the very highest levels of consistency and quality.

The location of these translation experts is also vital to the success of a project. Working with a partner that uses both in-house and in-country translators often produces the very best results.

Using technology in translation services can help vastly reduce the amount of work and time. Technology and automation help ensure projects are completed in time and on budget. Working with a translation services provider with access to technology that automates administrative tasks, helps with content sharing, collaboration, reduces redundancy and consequently improves quality.

Terminology Management
Choosing a translation partner that can build and manage your corporate terminology glossaries will help improve the level of consistency of your translated content. A well-defined terminology strategy allows translation experts and team members’ proper use of agreed terminology to reduce workload and translation cost over time and a key determining factor for a successful translation partnership.

Advocating and developing a high level of value for quality within your own staff must be conveyed and shared with your translation provider and their staff. Working with a certified translation service provider, with quality and process standards such as ISO accreditation, helps assure that the translation is of highest quality.

In addition to quality management and accreditation, find out the translation provider’s existing methodologies, team structure, problem escalation and resolution process. If a translations provider applies and utilises LEAN sigma processes, it is an indicator that your satisfaction and voice as customer is valued and validated.

Once you have chosen a translation partner, there are several things to consider that can help you to get the very best from your provider.

First, establish and instruct all content creators and authors working within your organisation to ensure that documents are ‘translation-ready’ before they are packaged and handed over to the translation services provider. If clearly written and free from colloquial phrases, your organisation’s documents, marketing material, handbooks, web copy and even certified document translations will be easier and quicker to complete with minimal or free of errors. This also lessens, if not eliminate, unnecessary time and translation costs associated with multiple revisions to the original document source.

Translation speed can also be reduced with the elimination of superfluous language reviews. When review cycles are necessary, the process can be sped up by establishing a straightforward, quick but accurate consultation process.

Choose a translation provider that offers a wide range of services and consolidate some basic functions. Whether it is project management and industry expertise, to useful extras like printing and composition, it can help your business and allow you to focus on more strategic matters.

Finally, it is always worth investing time in reviewing how a partnership with a translation provider can be leveraged. Evaluate your current workflow internally and externally with your vendor if there are any improvements that can be made. Schedule periodic reviews and ask your team and translation partner, if you can both eliminate any unnecessary steps or obsolete practices. This can further your cost savings, reduction on personnel and billable hours and ultimately decrease time to market.


Ellegaard, Chris and Hald, Kim Sundtoft. Supplier evaluation processes: the shaping and reshaping of supplier performance. International Journal of Operations & Production Management. 28 October 2010

Globalization and Localization Association. GALA’s Member Pulse Survey, Q1 2011: The Economic Picture Brightens in the First Quarter. 2011.

About Merrill Brink International
Merrill Brink International ( is a leading provider of complete translation and language solutions for global companies and law firms, with special expertise in serving the legal, financial, life sciences, software, heavy machinery and corporate markets. A proven leader with more than 30 years of experience, Merrill Brink offers a wide range of language solutions including translation, localisation, desktop publishing and globalisation services.

Merrill Brink is recognised in the industry for its commitment to quality and its pioneering approach of leveraging technology to reduce costs, eliminate redundant processes and accelerate translation life cycles. Merrill Brink is certified to ISO 9001:2008; ISO 27001:2005 and ISO 13485:2003, and registered to EN 15038:2006 and ISO 14971:2007. Together, these standards provide assurance that the most stringent process and quality standards for translation are followed. Merrill Brink International is a wholly owned subsidiary of Merrill Corporation.

For more information, please contact Merrill Brink at eurosales(at)merrillbrink(dot)com or in Europe, call 353-(0)91-393000 or in the U.S., call 800-688-4400;
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