Stas Kalianov – Localization Manager at Schneider Electric – spoke at the GALA conference in New York in March about the role of translation agencies in software localization, and about who are the most important people in this workflow.
Through a mix of technology, their internal crowd, and professional translators Schneider Electric has achieved a safe and robust process that gives them both lower costs and more user-friendly translations.
Listen below to how they achieved this with the help of Get Localization and how they chose to leave unnecessary steps out of the process (this re-recording of the presentation has been previously published by Stas Kalianov).
When you think about localization costs, what is the first thing that to your mind? Did you just say translation prices? You are not the only one who would say that. Sometimes that might even be true, but let’s consider a more likely alternative.
We have come across localization projects, where the actual translation cost is somewhere around 10% of the cost of the whole project (and no, I’m not exaggerating). It doesn’t take that advanced math to see where the possibilities for biggest cost savings lie in those cases. To be honest the ratio of translation and other localization costs is usually not quite this extreme, but would most likely surprise you anyway.
What are those other 90% of costs then? Those costs can e.g. be related to various project management tasks and handling different file formats. Of course, you can’t take away all of that, but for sure some of it.
So here’s a short checklist for you. If you recognize some of the below tasks as something you or your colleagues often do in localization projects, then you have an idea of what hidden costs of localization are:
- Copy-pasting texts from your resource files to various file formats for translation and then again translations from various file formats to your resource files
- Sending emails to translators to check how much they have translated
- Converting your files to different formats
- Getting charged by translation agencies for converting your files to formats used by the translators
- Receiving several Excel worksheets with queries from translators
The key to getting rid of these hidden costs? To put it simply, a thought-out process and tools that are focused on you, not only the translation service provider. Lean localization is not a myth, but something most organizations can achieve by taking a critical look at their old habits.