Procurement’s job is never easy, and the pain points they experience are legendary – there’s top-down pressure from management to have reliable vendors, lower costs, and keep internal stakeholders happy. But when it’s time to look for a better deal from your language service provider (LSP) there are a few intangibles that should always be present.
Let’s get one notion out of the way first – contrary to popular belief, cost is not usually the determining factor when it comes to buyers and their decision making. In fact, a survey by ResearchGate found that only 15% of clients who switch suppliers are motivated purely by cost.
Changing suppliers is typically a major headache, which means that a client has to believe that the issue they’re having is a serious one in order to make the effort. For example, if a supplier constantly fails to stick to their promised delivery times and causes disruption to a client’s business, no reduction in price is ever going to remedy that. As soon as the client finds a better deal from someone else, the contract will be lost.
The good news is that there are two sides to the coin. If you’re an LSP that works hard to provide a great product, provide excellent customer service, and always deliver on your promises, you could be the one stepping in to take over. Without further ado, here are some of the most important things to look for when shopping for the best deals among LSPs.
An LSP that can solve your problems
Procurement needs to understand the importance of the vendors they select and how that will impact the internal teams that use these vendors. It’s not enough to just throw a new vendor at them and expect no transition pains. That’s why it’s so important to fully understand the business impact that translation and localization services have. It’s also crucial to explore ways of driving open and transparent communication with your LSP. This will help you unearth any issues before they become big problems and help you work together to solve them, as will agreeing on a comprehensive service level agreement (SLA).
An LSP that knows where and how to make improvements
It’s one thing for an LSP to soothe a company’s pain point with quality translation and localization services, but it’s quite another to help them bring about improvements. It may not be easy to pinpoint how to do this (especially if it’s hidden away in strategic decisions that aren’t openly discussed) but a good partner should try to uncover it. Cost can play a role here as well – discussing with the LSP what things they can offer additionally to help reduce costs is always a good idea, as is looking for a vendor that can provide solutions that produce long-term benefits.
An LSP that knows how to stay compliant with regulations
If you operate in a highly regulated industry like finance or life sciences, you know the pain of making massive efforts to become compliant (and stay compliant) with regulations. Offering services and technology that focus on addressing compliance issues in the global marketplace is a key differentiator for any language services provider. If you can find an LSP that’s experienced in regulated industries, you’ll be lifting a massive burden off the shoulders of your internal teams.
An LSP that can offer the best price, with an eye toward the future
At last, we come to the elusive 15% of firms who change suppliers exclusively for reasons of cost. Why is that number so low? It’s simple – changing suppliers is painful. Changing suppliers means interruptions during the transition phase, policy reviews, and many other hidden tasks for your internal teams. That’s why it’s important to ask about the pricing structure of your LSP. Is their price only for translation? Do they include revision steps, or are those calculated additionally? It’s great to save wherever you can, but it’s almost always better to invest in process improvements such as centralized translation memories or a translation management system (TMS) that will save you even more down the line.
The Argos way
Our partnership approach means that we are a trusted partner to our clients, not simply a language services provider. We take pride in understanding the unique requirements of the industries we serve, and we aim to be your partner of choice, whether you need a simple process improvement or a comprehensive technology solution. We understand the importance of being able to work in a multivendor and multiplatform environment, and our development team is at the forefront of developments in translation and localization. Simply put, we are committed to giving you freedom of choice while providing the best possible translation management solutions. To learn more about the Argos difference, visit us online.