What Size of Translation Provider Do You Need?

January 27, 2021
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Having issues with your existing translation provider or taking your first steps to outsource localization? With so many localization service providers (LSPs) out there, how can you tell who'll be a good fit for your organization?
Over 30+ years we have a lot of experience of organizations coming to Rubric because they've had issues with a supplier that doesn't fit their needs.
They might be too big and impersonal, not tech-savvy enough, or unable to manage global content from all areas of your business or into all of the languages you require.
A bit like Goldilocks, it can take a few bad experiences before you find a supplier that's just right for you.

Decide what's important to you

There are a lot of LSPs in the market and it can feel overwhelming to try and differentiate between them. To counteract this, people often look for easy metrics to compare providers, such as cost per word of translation or annual turnover.
These metrics can be relevant. But, they can also obscure more important factors that determine what it’s actually like to work with the provider.
Ultimately, the question you are asking is: Will this particular provider meet my needs? That's why it's a good idea to think about what qualities matter to your business, rather than focusing on simple metrics. Here are some examples.

Think long-term

It's easy to focus on your company's current needs, particularly when you're starting to go global. But what will your global content look like in the years to come?
Will a provider be able to scale up to meet your needs in future? Consider the number of simultaneous projects you will have, the different business areas and content types that will need to be handled, and the tech expertise that will be required.

Consider the type of relationship

Do you value the personal touch, partnerhip and collaboration? Do you want to work with a critical friend that works in your interests? Or do you prefer a transactional, just-do-it relationship?

Value knowledge and expertise

It's important that a supplier has translators who have expertise in your business area. But localization is about much more than just translation. Technical knowledge is vital, as is problem-solving and reliability.

Just like Goldilocks...

Goldilocks eventually found the best fit for her—not too big and not too small. Our clients often tell us that's one of things they value with Rubric.
We're small enough to be agile and responsive. We value the personal touch and the individuality of each client. But we're big enough to be able to scale up (or down) and work across a global organization to drive our clients' global content strategy.
That's part of the reason our clients stay with us for the long-term. Toshiba was Rubric's second every client. They began working with us in 1994 and over 30 years later they are still working with us today.
When you find a future-proof provider that matches your needs you are on to a winner.