In our last blog post, we discussed why certification to ISO standards is an important criterion when evaluating Language Service Providers. It functions not only as a globally recognized form of accreditation but shows that the certified LSPs are committed to a quality management system and offer services in line with international standards and industry best practices.
But beyond this basic qualification what else do you need to look for when selecting a new translation supplier? Browsing LSP websites will undoubtedly show that ‘speed,’ ‘quality,’ ‘accuracy,’ ‘punctuality,’ ‘reliability’ and ‘professionalism’ are mentioned more times than you can count. Every reputable LSP has to offer fast, high-quality, accurate, punctual, reliable, and professional service. You’ll need to take a deeper look to see which provider best meets your organization’s requirements. Here are some questions to consider:
DOES THE LSP MEET YOUR BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS?
- Has it been in business long enough, with the operational and financial stability you require?
- Is the LSP the right size for your organization and projects? How does its average annual revenue compare to your anticipated spend?
- Are the LSP’s operations scalable to meet your needs, both in size and geographic location of offices as well as during peak seasons and holidays?
- Does the LSP support all of the languages you require? All of the services you require?
- Can the LSP provide good references from other clients and from their suppliers?
DO THE SERVICES AND SYSTEMS OFFERED MATCH YOUR ORGANIZATION’S LEVEL OF LOCALIZATION MATURITY?
- Are you looking for an LSP that will handle the complete translation process for you or do you have an in-house team that manages translation?
- Are you looking for a technology offering or do you have your own in-house translation tools and system?
- Does the LSP offer Machine Translation, if desired?
- Can the LSP provide the reporting you need?
ARE THE LSP’S TECHNOLOGY SYSTEMS ALIGNED WITH YOUR INTERNAL SYSTEMS?
- Does the LSP support the necessary formats, system and data security requirements? Can your systems “talk” to each other?
- Does the LSP provide the degree of automation that is right for you?
- Does the LSP offer the desired level of technology support, consultation and innovation?
- Are the candidate’s Accounts Receivable & Accounts Payable procedures and technology compatible with your internal requirements?
These questions are by no means universal or comprehensive. They represent a few dimensions that play a role when selecting a Language Service Provider. Your procurement process will need to define the critical services and criteria for your organization to enable the selection of suitable potential LSPs.