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Meet Central Europe in review

by Eleftheria Tigka, Vendor Manager at Commit

This was my first visit to Budapest for Commit’s participation at the Meet Central Europe event (MCE for short), that took place at the Budapest Music Centre on October 30-31, 2018.

As the plane landed in the Budapest airport, I was full of excitement at the prospect of this conference. I was looking forward to meeting peers and vendors, clients and colleagues, but most of all I was looking forward to being part of this first, inaugural event on Vendor Management.

Day one (October 30th), was partially dedicated to the MasterClass, Vendor Management Training, that was presented by Agi Szaniszlo, Talent Program Manager at Welocalize. Agi walked us through all major VM elements, such as recruitment/vetting and testing of vendors, vendor after care, VM challenges and quality management. It was an inspiring MasterClass that solved many questions.

Later on, Arturo Quintero in his keynote shared his insights on the entrepreneurial quest raising the question “which one are you in the relationship; the committed or the participating?”. Well, relationships, business and otherwise, have always been like that, but it does take some introspection to realize where you stand and where you want to be.

Špela Vintar, from the Department of Translation Studies, University of Ljubljana, described how the Translators of Tomorrow need to have New Skills for New Thrills, and explained that language professionals will remain in demand for years to come, but their skills and competences will need to be thoroughly redefined.

Later in the day, Miha Knavs, Supplier Manager at Vocalink Global compared two Vendor Management Strategies – Price Driven and Client Value Driven, presenting his recruiting approach when looking for domain specialist linguists, providing the following key takeaways: hiring approach, negotiation strategy, challenges to overcome, potential barriers to face.

Last, but not least, Danilo Monaco, CEO at Arancho Doc, discussed principles and ideas stemming from personal industry experience, where Vendor Management might be conceived as a factor in generating revenue through specific initiatives and organization design.

On October 31st, the day started with Eva Nagy, Language Services Center Manager at AMPLEXOR International, who gave a presentation on Assertive Communication in Practice (For All Roleplayers of the Language Industry), and explained how to be assertive in our private and business life, how to provide helpful feedback to others, how to receive negative feedback, how to protect ourselves when criticized and how to deal with conflicts and challenging situations.

The “New” Vendor Management or How to Wake Up a Sleeping Beauty was a session presented by Anna Rudzka-Halas, Team Leader of Translation Projects at eurocom Translation Services GmbH. Anna asked the audience “Why not harness the power of vendor management and turn it into an important asset for quality management?” and she explained how to introduce processes that integrate vendor management strategically and operationally into the ISO 9001-certified quality management workflow.

Ferdinand Kovacic, Managing Director at Kovacic Consulting, described Vendor Management across Cultures, Countries and Distances focusing on cultural adaptability, communication across distances and practical recommendations on how to deal with them.

In the afternoon, Jaroslava Ouzka, Global Sales Manager at Skrivanek tackled the challenges of identifying, allocating & readying Vendor resources for large (multi-language) translation projects and gave her own input on successfully managing the client’s expectations through precise hiring, training, scheduling and allocation processes.

That was all the time we had in Budapest, as we had a plane to catch back to Athens, nevertheless the knowledge, the experiences, the feelings and the people of the event will stay with us for a long time. Furthermore, the city itself, the vibrant culturally rich capital of Hungary, is a place that we will definitely visit again.

See you next year in Prague!