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Global Businesses Depend More Than Ever on Translation and Localization Suppliers to Meet International Marketing Goals

Organizations that seek success on the global stage have no choice but to market their products and services in other languages. To do this, they have long relied upon translation agencies and localization firms. New research from Common Sense Advisory shows these relationships are becoming more strategic in nature, and businesses are beginning to view their translation agencies as partners.

Common Sense Advisory conducted a detailed survey of 73 organizations that purchase translation services. The resulting report, “How Buyers Manage Translation Suppliers,” highlights the characteristics that companies consider most important when selecting their providers, shows why they end relationships, and reveals details about how the practice of translation vendor management is evolving.

Comments report lead analyst Nataly Kelly, “The largest group of respondents spend between US$2 and $10 million per year on translation, and many report spending far more than this. With such vast amounts of resources dedicated to language services, global companies are developing a more refined palate when it comes to choosing translation suppliers.”

Key survey findings include:

·  Multi-language vendors receive most of the work. Companies that offer translation services in many languages receive more than two-thirds (67.46%) of the client’s total volume.

·  More clients send work to freelancers than to single-language vendors. On average, buy-side organizations send 8.80% of their work directly to freelance contractors than to single-language vendors, which only receive 4.82% of the work.

·  Reliance on many suppliers is common. Buyers frequently reported engaging two to five vendors (52.5%), followed by the next largest group which consisted of six to 10 vendors (27.9%). Very few buyers reported relying on just one translation agency (4.9%).

·  Buyers in Europe have longer relationships with vendors. Europeans were significantly more likely to have relationships of six to 10 years (41.30%) with vendors, compared with far fewer of their North American counterparts (17.32%)

·  Firms want just a few trusted partners. The survey found that buyers overwhelmingly prefer to stick to a select group of trusted translation vendors (91.7%) versus adding them on an ongoing basis (8.3%).

“We spotted significant differences based on geography and budget size, but one thing was the same across all variables – the single most important factor to buyers was on-time delivery. Time is money where translation projects are concerned,” adds Kelly.

“How Buyers Manage Translation Suppliers” contains 27 figures and 33 tables detailing these and other survey findings. The report enables companies to benchmark their own translation vendor management efforts, and includes average language services budgetary ranges as a percentage of total company revenue.

For more on the firm’s research, visit www.commonsenseadvisory.com.

About Common Sense Advisory

Common Sense Advisory, Inc. is an independent research and analysis firm specializing in the on- and offline operations driving business globalization, internationalization, localization, translation, and interpretation. Its research, consulting, and training help organizations improve the quality of their global business operations. For more information, visit: www.commonsenseadvisory.com or www.twitter.com/CSA_Research.

Submitted On: 2/21/2011

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