Multinational organizations have a lot going for them: they have access to new and unique markets, can benefit from economies of scale, and are in a prime position to truly make the most of an increasingly globalized world. Unfortunately, all of these advantages can be undermined if localization processes are limited and underdeveloped. But this is exactly what happens when a multinational’s localization team is either not given the resources and recognition needed to make a positive impact throughout the organization.
The Localization Maturity Model
One of the best ways for a company to evaluate its internal processes and move things in the right direction, no matter the current state of its localization processes, is the Common Sense Advisory’s Localization Maturity Model, or LMM. (For a detailed look at the exact structure of the LMM and how it can benefit your company, I suggest reading through our previous blog post, “How The Localization Maturity Model Can Make Your Organization More Streamlined”
In this blog post, we’ll focus on the Organizational Structure strand of the LMM, and how empowering your localization team to become a Center of Excellence can yield significant improvements for the entire organization.
Turning your localization team into a Center of Excellence
Unfortunately, many multinationals isolate their localization teams from the rest of the company, treating their work as a series of translation or cultural adaptation procedures conducted on a case-by-case basis. As a result of this scattered and disjunct approach, unnecessary mistakes are bound to be made repeatedly—vital practices are broadly applied and key lessons need to be learned over and over again.
By making your localization team a Center of Excellence, i.e. a shared resource that’s available to provide advice and solutions to every department within the organization, you can take concrete strides towards localization maturity—streamlined and optimized company-wide localization processes that lead to consistently better results.
Spreading excellence across the organization
The Center of Excellence should be responsible for collating and sharing vital localization information across the organization. Specifically, they should:
- Provide data that can be used to benchmark language functions across departments, such as levels of responsibility, accountability and reporting hierarchies, as well as the extent to which common processes are centralized. This should include relevant context, metrics, and examples, where appropriate, as well as a style guide, best practices, and glossaries.
- Help key stakeholders understand localization as an opportunity to reach new markets and revenue streams, as opposed to an unwelcome additional cost. Without sufficient buy-in from above, any holistic approach to localization will be an uphill battle. This is especially important for justifying increased localization expenditure to key decision makers whose only frame of reference is successfully selling their product in their home market. Any branding mistakes or cultural faux pas that need fixing as a result of a poor localization effort will inevitably increase the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Well-executed localization is reflected in a lower TCO.
- Ensure that key localization data is readily available and universally known within the organization. This data can include information like culturally adapted and legally approved translations for any “product claims” or USPs, which are stored in a central repository that’s digitally accessible to all teams within the organization. Reducing the stress and complexity involved in reaching and using this data will make everyone far more likely to accept localization as a core component of global business culture.
- Provide or organize routine training and catch-up sessions for all developers, marketers, and documentation creators so that everyone is up-to-date on relevant international issues and concerns.
Are you facilitating localization excellence at your organization?
Once you’ve acknowledged the vital role played by the localization team, it’s important to give them the tools, resources, and expertise they need to achieve their objectives effectively. You can’t expect them to miraculously become an esteemed Center of Excellence without the necessary support, recognition, and guidance. This is where it can be beneficial to employ the experience and expertise of a localization services provider like Rubric. We’re more than a translation agency—we’re localization partners who can ensure your message isn’t only translated correctly, but that it’s optimized to resonate within the context of local cultures and lifestyles. Get in touch today to learn more.