Translation and Business Management Systems Adding Value, Subtracting Risk

Translation and Business Management Systems: Adding Value, Subtracting Risk

Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools are decisive within localization workflows. Not only do they assist linguists in their work with multiple features, such as translation memories (TMs), automation rules, built-in glossaries, and more. Many also include tools that help project managers (PMs) and vendor managers (VMs) with their daily tasks, offering reporting, allocation tools, and workflow management. Software solutions that have both functions are called Translation Management Systems (TMSs), and here we’ll address how they can enhance localization processes. Furthermore, we’ll discuss the main difference between TMSs and another type of tool, Business Management Systems (BMSs), which are often mistaken for one another.  

TMS support  

A TMS helps the project management team automate and customize repetitive processes. For example, if they manage a large number of projects with identical requirements daily, TMSs offer templates that can save time and clicks. Furthermore, TMSs allow tracking and reporting. Reports are crucial because they inform stakeholders within a project about the exact volume and scope. Without data from reports, planning or scheduling is not possible. Some TMSs allow tracking other variables, such as time spent on editing, costs, and profitability.   

Most TMSs include powerful quality assurance tools and some even allow storing localization resources, like TMs, references, or term bases (TB). This is a big deal for project management purposes since it offers a built-in quality management solution for workflows while also offering data storage. Repositories are more common in cloud-based solutions and they help maintain resources classified and organized.   

A TMS can also feature vendor management solutions. This includes elaborating databases of vendors with detailed profiles where VMs and PMs can search and filter according to their needs.   

These are just a few of the ways how TMSs can support localization management teams. There are a wide variety of TMSs in the market aimed at different needs, products, and processes, that offer solutions for specific workflows.  

Manage businesses  

In the localization landscape, another type of software is a must when users are in need of organizing workflows and operations. When a business scales up and its processes grow and become more complex, BMSs come to their aid. Language Service Providers (LSPs) benefit from BMSs because these tools efficiently manage and monitor business operations, mainly by performing the following functions:  

  • Comprehensive workflow and project management  
  • Allocating and coordinating multiple vendors  
  • Creating and storing databases of vendors and clients  
  • Reporting and tracking multiple variables, such as profitability, services, types of projects, etc. 
  • Invoicing  
  • Project and vendor rating  

The main difference between a BMS and a TMS is that the latter also includes CAT tool functionalities, while the former doesn’t. Some BMSs are helpful across industries, yet some are customized specifically for localization workflows. Some companies even develop customized BMSs, like TerraSoft.  

Drawing the line  

While always useful and handy, spreadsheets fall short when businesses thrive and their data volume grows. TMSs and BMSs go beyond offering solutions for data storing, workflow tracking, or reporting. Their features also add value to the workflows LSPs manage and reduce potential risks. Counting on TMSs and BMSs ensures cross-checking of data, consistency across projects and time, data management, and thorough monitoring. 

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