For organizations that consider the application of translation and other language services as a sometimes “necessary evil” … here’s a word of caution. You may be losing ground to your competitors.
Specifically you’re losing ground to competitors that see language as a potential strategic tool and advantage, as a means to achieving a leg up in the marketplace, establishing a stronger connection with their customers, employees, partners, and stakeholders, to mention several important groups. It’s no coincidence that organizations that thrive in today’s business environment see the use of language in an increasingly global marketplace as a means to improve their competitiveness.
Here are a few things that language savvy organizations often do:
1) They have an annual budget set aside for language services.
Sometimes organization allocate resources for translation services on a project specific basis and that’s often necessary. Still a more strategic driven method is to also allocate resources for language services as a category of investment independent of specific projects.
2) There’s a designated person (or persons in larger organizations) who works with the organization’s language services providers.
Assigning a designated person or persons to work with language professionals allows organizational personnel to coordinate language oriented initiatives in a more knowledgeable way. Designated translation buyers become educated about language services over the course of handling regular projects and are better able to make informed decisions and interact efficiently with language services providers.
3) They consult their international partners on ideas and ways to prioritize the use of language to support common objectives.
International partners can almost always offer suggestions and ideas for ways to improve business through the application of translation and other language services. Most international partners will be happy to provide suggestions for how the application of language resources will be beneficial.
4) There’s a management promoted view of investment in language services as a strategic initiative.
Management approval carries weight. Organizational strategy is most often appropriately established at senior levels. Management can set a tone for the use of language services that carries throughout all levels of an organization.
5) Language oriented initiatives are reviewed periodically to determine their effectiveness.
Top organizations make a point to periodically review the effectiveness of investments in language services. One primary goal of a review is to determine how to better apply resources in the future based on what’s worked and what hasn’t. Even successes often leave room for improvement.