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He Said, She Said, About Translation

Translation buyers, translation agencies, translation automation, translation pricing, translation vendor selection criteria, job titles buying translation

In late 2006, Common Sense Advisory invited readers of MultiLingual magazine to respond to an online survey about what's important to both buyers and suppliers, asking each group a parallel set of 12 questions. Often reluctant to share their experiences in translation and localization, 56 buyers bravely completed the survey. Suppliers turned out in force, with a total of 236 respondents. This reports closely examines the results and draws lessons for buyers and sellers alike. Findings include a significant divergence on the perceived importance of automation, and that buyer attitudes on pricing remain inscrutable to the vendor community.

In General: Both suppliers and buyers of language services will appreciate seeing data about industry opinions. Consumers of language services can see how their opinions compare with those of other buyers. Language industry professionals should look carefully at whether their own viewpoints match those of the buying constituency.
For Buyers: Managers, directors, and executives who buy corporate language services will see how their colleagues at other companies buy services, conduct workflow, and generally view the issues. They can also peruse the many bon mots found in vendor comments about what’s wrong with buyers today.
For Suppliers: Operations managers, project managers, and quality control staff involved in delivering customer value will benefit from information about what really matters to translation buyers. Sales managers and sales representatives can see who and where the buyer is, how contracts are written, and what arguments are more likely to win over a prospect.

Physical Details
Authors: Benjamin B. Sargent and Donald A. DePalma
Date: 18 May 2007
ISBN: 978-1-933555-39-3
Pages: 28

Table of Contents
  • Topic
    • Who Should Read This Report?
  • Survey
    • Exploring How Buyers Buy and Suppliers Sell
    • People with Manager Titles Buy More Language Services
    • All Levels of Business Organizations Buy Translation
    • Most Buyers Write Contracts for Each New Project
    • North American Buyers Opt for Rate Cards and MSAs
    • Professional Sourcers Make a Dent
    • Auctions, the Brave New World of Procurement, Fizzle
    • Buyers Say Competence and Quality Are Most Important
    • But What about Price?
    • And How Does It All Play in Europe?
    • Ad Hoc Technology Manages the Workflow
    • Commodity or Not Commodity: That Is Still the Question
    • Buyers and Sellers Both Troubled by Price/Quality Trade-offs
    • Vendors Decry Client Ignorance of Process
    • Buyers Throw up their Hands on Quality
    • Conclusions from Our Survey
  • Analysis
    • What Really Matters – and How Much
    • Divergence on Automation Capability is Anomalous
    • Buyer Attitudes on Price Remain Inscrutable to Vendors
    • Buyer Opportunity: Demand Value Beyond Price
    • Vendor Opportunity: Show Value Other than Low Cost
  • Figures
    • Figure 1: How High is the Buy for Translation?
    • Figure 2: In Europe, Managers Do the Buying
    • Figure 3: What Parts of an Organization Buy Translation Services?
    • Figure 4: Country Unit Managers No Longer Make the Decision
    • Figure 5: How Broad Is the Scope of a Language Services Contract?
    • Figure 6: Contract Styles Vary by Region
    • Figure 7: He Said, She Said – What Really Matters to the Buyers
    • Figure 8: A Divergence of Opinion in Matters of Importance
  • Tables
    • Table 1: How Content Gets Around
    • Table 2: Perceptions and Misperceptions about Translation
    • Table 3: Strongly Held Beliefs – Especially on Price

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