How manufacturing translation fits into digital transformation

February 3, 2020by Ian A. Henderson
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In the manufacturing sector, digital transformation goes far beyond the factory floor. Today’s consumers expect a fully digital, personalized customer experience that spans documentation, social media, videos, and apps – and they expect it in their native language. With global customer experience (GCX) playing such a major role in brand differentiation, manufacturing translation quality has never been more important.

But delivering a consistent, digitized customer journey on an international scale takes more than just translation. Leading manufacturers are approaching localization as a business-wide process. To achieve maximum value from your digital transformation, it’s critical to align your teams and processes with a cohesive global content strategy.

 

Digital transformation breaks down silos

Expanding the scope of your digital transformation to include the global customer experience might be easier than you expect. If you’re already pursuing a typical digital transformation – modernizing your internal processes and technologies – you should have a solid foundation for a digital content transformation.

As mentioned above, a strong global content strategy relies on business-wide collaboration, so it stands to reason that the biggest barrier to success is silo culture. When different business units operate independently and fail to communicate, it becomes impossible to deliver a cohesive, high-quality customer experience.

This is where your digital transformation comes in. New technologies such as cloud-based productivity suites and IoT networks are incredibly effective at breaking down silos. What’s more, improved analytics and business intelligence technologies open the doors to much more personalized, data-driven customer communication. With newly-connected departments leveraging deeper insights, it’s easier than ever to drive customer-centric innovation and execute an effective global content strategy.

 

Controlling the costs of digital content

Supporting the customer journey across digital channels will inevitably increase the overall quantity of content you’ll be creating. In turn, this will lead to higher translation volumes and a greater design workload. All of this can come with a hefty price-tag, so it’s important to take advantage of tools that will help you control costs.

In our experience, utilizing DITA (the Darwin Information Typing Architecture) is one of the most effective ways to minimize the cost of producing digital content on a global scale. DITA is an open standard, XML-based writing and publishing architecture, and it is particularly valuable here for two reasons:

  1. Content reuse – A large amount of the content you produce will invariably be repeated across different deliverables. DITA is built from the ground up to support content reuse, so rather than spending resources re-authoring and re-translating similar content again and again, you can seamlessly import existing text modules.
  2. Design – When publishing so much content to so many channels in numerous languages, design costs can rapidly spiral out of control. In fact, desktop publishing (DTP) was the biggest expense for one of our clients across their entire digital content strategy. But with DITA, design is taken out of the equation. A DITA publishing engine will generate deliverables that are automatically formatted according to pre-defined templates.

 

Partner for continuous transformation

Digital transformation isn’t a quick, one-time thing; it’s an ongoing process. As new technologies become available, your infrastructure, capabilities, and priorities will evolve – and your localization approach will need to evolve along with them. At Rubric, this is why we aim to partner with our clients long-term. By gaining a full understanding of a client’s business, we can help them to continuously improve their localization processes and achieve immense long-term value.

For example, we’ve worked with one U.S. manufacturer for over 10 years. In that time, we’ve helped them drastically reduce translation volumes through rigorous content reuse, and streamline regulatory compliance by integrating legal departments into the content creation process. We have ongoing discussions with their authors and dev teams to ensure that source content and UIs are optimized for localization; and we deliver translations that are ready for immediate publication. Today, that manufacturer has one of the most mature localization processes that we’ve encountered, and they’ve been able to add additional languages without increasing costs.

To learn more about how a long-term partnership with Rubric can benefit your business, check out our Amazon #1 Best Seller book, Global Content Quest, and download the first chapter for free.

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Ian A. Henderson

Ian A. Henderson

Ian is co-founder of Rubric. During the last 25 years, Ian has partnered with Rubric customers to deliver relevant Global Content to their end users, enabling them to reap the rewards of globalization, benefit from agile workflows, and guarantee the integrity of their content. Prior to founding Rubric, Ian worked as a software engineer for Siemens in Germany.

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