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LSP Metrix™ Helps Buyers Better Select and Manage Language Partners
Posted by Rebecca Ray on February 25, 2016  in the following blogs: Best Practices, Business Globalization
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Language service providers come in all shapes and sizes — no single element defines the best LSP. Buyers often ask CSA Research how to identify the most appropriate vendors for their needs and what they can do to assist suppliers that seek to meet evolving requirements and expectations.

Based on the successful adoption of the Localization Maturity Model (LMM) developed by CSA Research for buyers of language services, we offer a similar model, LSP MetrixTM, to evaluate the maturity of LSPs. For more details on how we developed the model, click here. It provides 70 evaluation factors, grouped in 19 assessment areas, across six stages of LSP maturity. We categorize the criteria under five dimensions: business models, business direction, business development, service delivery, and resources.

Procurement teams and translation vendor managers can use this data to increase the likelihood of contracting the best language partners by:

  • Identifying and prioritizing vendor selection criteria that apply to their specific needs. Instead of focusing candidate reviews on the potential to deliver "high-quality translation every time in every language," you can ensure that suppliers have the business and organizational structure to succeed and deliver on their promises. Evaluate LSP performance against the assessment areas that will go the furthest to keep your stakeholders happy now and in the future.
  • Educating procurement colleagues to run more efficient purchasing processes for language services. Translation is a business service, so make sure that procurement staff understands the underlying business process it is buying. Guide them to prioritize and weight a suitable subset of the 70 evaluation factors to hold vendors accountable.
  • Evaluating RFP responses objectively. Choose your vendors wisely by comparing proposals against the stage descriptions to identify what levels potential candidates operate at. There are pros and cons to working with providers at each stage.
Since CSA Research released the model to language service providers, localization teams and procurement departments have shown great interest in using it as well. They realize that it doesn't make sense to pose the same questions when looking for small, in-country, single-language vendors as when seeking LSPs to support Agile with follow-the-sun production teams. Other buyers want to employ the model to benchmark current suppliers to ensure that they can anticipate and scale their operations to meet future requirements.

We invite organizations that use LSP Metrix to select and manage their vendors to share with us how they are applying the model. E-mail us at metrix@commonsenseadvisory.com.


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Keywords: Enterprise process globalization, Localization maturity, LSP Metrix, Procurement, Vendor management, Vendor selection / RFPs

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