As the saying goes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, because the way those parts relate with each other also constitutes the final outcome. The good thing about sayings is that they can be applied to many different situations, and Language Service Providers (LSPs) are no exception. The skilled linguists that participate in a project are not the only factors that can add value throughout the translation workflow. How the elements interact with each other also makes a difference. This includes managing times, human resources, budgets and IT tools, encouraging a culture of teamwork, supplying clients with prompt and accurate solutions, articulating clients’ needs and expectations with the production team. These are only a few of the actions that can contribute to successfully tackling a translation project.
Why résumés are not all
It’s a common practice across the industry to ask for résumés or blind résumés of the professionals that will be part of a project. This way, clients can evaluate the assets and check if they are suitable for the task. Of course, qualifications and experience are a mandatory part of the profile of any translator or editor, according to ISO 17100.
Vendors with a solid background are crucial for quality-driven projects because they bring their experience, expertise and domain mastery to any task. However, sometimes résumés don’t properly reflect that worth. For example, translators may be remarkable linguists, but not that skilled when it comes to preparing an impressive résumé or detailing their vast experience. Because of this and other reasons, the value of the services an LSP offers shouldn’t be measured in terms of résumés only.
In the search of quality
There are other roles within an LSP that bring value to the equation and enhance the potential of their language professionals. For example, project managers schedule deliveries that allow translators to work comfortably while meeting clients’ deadlines. They also assess the need for linguistic resources, such as style guides or termbases, that can be decisive in maintaining consistency within a project. Furthermore, PMs take the best advantage of technology choosing the tools that can automate steps of the process or ensure quality through their features.
But also the contribution of vendor managers is vital because they recruit and evaluate talents. On their end, account managers and business development managers nurture the relationship with clients, whose trust is the headstone of any job. Lastly, language leads attend to linguistic queries and perform quality assurance checks.
So, how to assess value?
It’s true that the managing footprint is less tangible than the written qualifications listed in a résumé. But it doesn’t mean it can’t be tracked. The communication established via emails or meetings, the detail in a project proposal or the information available on an LSP’s website, for instance, can hint at the strengths of the team. With all these considerations in the spotlight, we can see there is more to evaluate than résumés when choosing a translation partner.