Content production, especially digital content, is increasing exponentially as a result of diverse audiences and marketing channels like social media. The demand for translation and localization services continues to grow, as does the need for high quality and quick turnaround times.
In recent years, LSPs have invested heavily in technologies to optimise and automate their workflows in order to stay competitive in the market. One sign of the transformations in the industry are the many mergers and acquisitions involving LSPs.
However, many LSPs still face such investment decisions. They are wondering which investments – at which points in their value creation chain – really make sense and will contribute to success in the long run. The technological possibilities seem endless, but the means and also the time available are limited.
In this article, we take a bird’s-eye view of value creation at an LSP and show how the system landscape available today can help optimise value creation. For LSPs, this perspective provides new food for thought and should help them to prioritise sustainable, long-term solutions that benefit customers, employees and partners alike when making optimisation and investment decisions.
The LSP’s typical project workflow
Traditionally, LSPs work closely with their customers (clients) and their partners (suppliers). Figure 1 shows the sequence of a typical job.
INQUIRY The client submits an inquiry to the LSP, specifying the key parameters of the job. This usually includes the content (in the form of documents), the desired translation services and target languages, and the requested delivery date.
INQUIRY REGISTRATION The LSP creates the job in its translation management system (TMS), adding all relevant metadata and other information about the customer and the job.
DOCUMENT PROCESSING AND ANALYSIS This step involves counting the source documents and analysing them according to the desired services. Since the LSP essentially has no control over the source documents, document preparation is often a time-consuming step. For example, file formats have to be converted for analysis or the texts to be translated have to be typed from graphics.
SERVICE PACKAGE AND OFFER Based on the document analysis and the available resources, the LSP checks the feasibility for the desired delivery date and prepares a binding offer. This also takes into account individual customer agreements on prices, surcharges, etc.
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