ELIA Networking Days Lyon – in review!

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The latest edition of ELIA Networking Days took place in beautiful Lyon. What made the event special was the fact that it was ELIA’s 10th anniversary and it was celebrated accordingly. Amongst other events, the 10th anniversary dinner was held at the Abbaye de Collonges, “powered” by the famous chef Paul Bocuse! The conference itself took place at the Lyon Convention Centre with session rooms providing a beautiful view over the river Rhone and the adjacent park.

Sessions covered lots of topics related to the translation and localization industry, with tracks ranging from Technology to Life Sciences, and from Business Management to Smart Sales. As always, here’s our quick list of takeaways from the event.

  • Clio Schils, in a double session, shared her vast experience and talked about the future of life sciences. Some amazing things are in store for life sciences; M-health is here and taking over! As for LSPs:
    • The higher the risk (of the medical/pharma product etc.), the more documentation there is to be translated.
    • Follow regulatory news if you want to provide some added value service to your clients.
  • Anita Wilson described how to leverage transcreation as a service. A few “tweets” that stood out:
    • Translating “I’m loving it” for McDonalds should cost a lot more than €0.30. Doesn’t it cost tens of thousands just to create the motto?
    • Marketing translation is not a service to be charged on a per word rate.
    • Do you transcreate images? Make sure to replace small boats with big yachts when targeting rich countries!
  • Sabrina Ferrari talked not only about the importance of KPIs but also how to leverage them for marketing and sales purposes. Have you thought of including KPIs in your company collateral? For example, your customer retention rate could be a key selling point!
  • Gerry Lynch described the experience of doing business in the US, lots of interesting (to say the least) stories. Merging with a local company was the best solution he said. And if you are worried about the city you pick, just look if there is competition around. If so, then opportunities are there, as well as resources.
  • Doug Strock provided ideas about diversifying your business. Be careful though not to damage your brand when adding a new service to your portfolio.
  • In a session-turned-workshop, Britta Weber tackled the ever-challenging topic of customer complaints. When a customer complains, your first reaction is important! Talk slowly, say your name, and reduce aggression.
  • Matthias Ceasar provided insight coming from years of personal experience as to the growing pains of an LSP, and what is the perfect size, if there is one. The conclusion? There is no right or wrong, it depends on how you see yourself in the future. “Success comes with maturity and curiosity”.
  • Tony O’Dowd and Jeff Allen – besides providing music during the dinner – pointed out how the cloud provides opportunities to small companies and how minority languages can be leveraged as a business proposition respectively.

Finally, in an inspiring keynote speech, Ralph Blundell addressed the topic of “Ethics as a business differentiator”.

  • Positive stories are your most powerful marketing tool.
  • Nobody really works for the money (!) If you do so you would become a drug dealer!
  • Moderation is necessary: excess is always damaging. There is an optimum size and growth for everything. If only more people applied it in everyday life!

Happy Birthday ELIA and thank you for a wonderful conference! Next ND stop: Krakow, October 1-3, 2015. See you there!

 

How to find the localization partner that is right for your business

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by Effie Salourou, Customer Operations Manager at Commit

Finding the right localization partner can be a challenge, but is also crucial for your business as it reflects on the quality of your products. But, how can you ensure that you’re buying top quality services when you are not familiar with a language and cannot evaluate the results yourself? Below you can find a few tips that will help you streamline the whole process and make the right choices.

  1. Set specific criteria – Determine your budget, the languages you’ll need localization services for, the overall volume of your project, the timeframe etc. Once you have a clear understanding of the requirements and expectations your localization partner should meet, it will be much easier to narrow down your choices.
  2. Ask for references and information – After selecting a couple of potential providers based on the above criteria, ask them for references and detailed information on their experience in the specific field (e.g. translated volumes, end clients from the same industry, type of translated content). It is also advisable to ask for a sample translation and have this checked by a third-party; it is a small additional cost that can save you a lot of time and money in the future.
  3. Look out for hidden costs – Cost is always a decisive factor when making a business decision, but it shouldn’t be the only one. Although lower prices can be attractive, they can prove to be really expensive at the end. A higher rate that includes not merely translation, but editing and proofreading as well, or even project management, e.g. file preparation and formatting, may actually represent a more reliable and cost-effective solution for your business, as it will not only ensure high quality but it will also help you save time and resources.
  4. Take value-added services into consideration – If you have difficulty choosing between two equally qualified providers, with similar financial proposals, the value-added services they offer can play a decisive role. For example, if you’re looking to localize a software application, it would be best to work with a partner that can handle both linguistic and functional testing. Or, if you’re localizing your product brochures, why spend your time and effort looking for a DTP expert, when your localization partner can offer you the same services?

In short, while it may seem that finding the right partner can be a time-consuming and arduous task, it is well worth it. Consider it an investment that will keep on giving for many year to come, offering you all the benefits that come from a successful partnership!