International Expansion for LSPs
by Hélène Pielmeier, Donald A. DePalma
October 01, 2014
October 01, 2014

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Going global is tempting – for reasons ranging from growing the business, to improving client service, or developing a competitive advantage via low-cost production centers. However, international expansion is a challenging endeavor regardless of whether language service providers start their first office abroad or open their tenth one. A journey begun without in-depth planning has a higher probability of failing. Successful international expansion results come from integrating core decisions on why, where, when, and how to expand internationally to the long-term strategic planning efforts of the company. Such a systematic approach is needed because as one interviewee for this report stated, “no market needs another LSP unless it brings value to the table.”

To learn more on international expansion best practices, Common Sense Advisory conducted 29 in-depth interviews. Twenty-seven were with executives responsible for international expansion. They represent LSPs headquartered in 15 nations with a total of 202 international offices in 57 countries among them. To corroborate the advice with best practices outside the language services industry, we conducted two interviews with international expansion consultants that specialize in helping companies go global. In addition, to identify profiles of international LSPs, we analyzed patterns in global expansion using 724 responses from our annual global market survey.

This report guides LSPs in their international expansion strategy and implementation. It recounts our findings and analysis on:

  • Who Develops a Global Footprint. We present data from our global market survey on the profile of companies that have offices abroad.
  • Why Expand Internationally. We explain the drivers that motivate LSPs to set up shop in foreign countries.
  • When LSPs Are Ready to Go. We provide the elements for companies to perform a readiness assessment before going global and to time their entry.
  • Where to Go. We present the criteria to use for market selection.
  • How to Plan the Market Entry. We provide high-level information on the main steps to implement your international expansion strategy.
  • Recommendations. We offer insight on the basic elements of a successful global expansion strategy.
  • Information Sources. We provide details on the profile of interviewees for the report.

  • Industry Providers
  • Technology Vendors
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Pages: 79

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