In the translation industry, BeLazy is synonymous with supply chain automation. We find ourselves in a very lucky spot: we do not only offer something unique but also something that affects most people in the world of translation and localization. In this post we try to gather the types of jobs that have an interest in using supply chain automation, summarizing why and how supply chain automation, and thus BeLazy is helping their work. Actually, every person who deals with buying or selling services finds value in such automation.

#1: The enterprise buyer

Even if it exists in several companies, “vendor manager” is not a typical enterprise job title. Most companies buy translation from a limited set of language service providers and sometimes also translators. Whenever we address enterprise customers and talk about continuous localization, it is important to understand that continuous localization is not a reality for the vast majority of these companies, but rather a goal they are trying to achieve. The continuous localization promise is an always up-to-date, connected and lean localization.

Typically, there are two of issues that affect enterprise buyers:

Project sizes

The dreaded minimum fee, which exists for a reason: there is always an overhead of managing a translation project, though every company’s goal is to decrease this cost to the minimum and retain profitability. Even in the most automated and seamless translation workflow, there will be a number of variables that add up to minimum fees:

Turnaround times

Without supply chain automation, continuous localization ends most likely at the first company you outsource to, but even in the best case it ends on the second level. As soon as the project has to wait for a project manager to deal with it, even if it only means that the project manager only has to finish the other thing she was working on, you’re losing valuable minutes, hours. What if you only had to wait for the persons who add creative value, the translators, reviewers, transcreators, etc.

BeLazy addresses the two problems above through giving efficient and uniform automation into the hands of the vendors. This extends the range of companies you can work with, and increases the transparency of their solutions. Typically, there are two of issues that affect enterprise buyers:

#2: The LSP account or program manager

No matter if the LSP is working for an end customer or a multilanguage vendor, the account manager has an interest in introducing supply chain automation, exactly because of the reasons above. Supply chain automation improves turnaround times, which helps drive more revenue as customers choose you over other vendors, and increases your profitability as you save on the fixed employee (PM) costs attributed to each and every project.

As a matter of fact, some of our customers have reported that they managed to turn around projects. Automation helped them to bring back profit on projects that were causing them a loss and which they were considering to stop working on.

As an account manager, you don’t have to fully automate everything if you don’t feel comfortable that way. You can still incorporate your quality check or other manual steps. Supply chain automation is only automating what you are willing to automate, and you should not cut out what adds value.

#3: The LSP vendor manager

The LSP vendor manager is interested in helping the work of the project managers. Their interest lies in working with vendors who are:

Generally speaking, project managers find it frustrating having to wait hours for vendors to approve and take a translation job. In an ideal world, they would like to see vendor availability and willingness to work the very moment they offer the job, especially if it is small, regular and urgent. While this is not yet possible, supply chain automation minimizes the waiting time. Vendor managers can agree with vendors who are using supply chain automation to set up auto-approval rules and email-based automated synchronization. If configured correctly, new jobs can be accepted as quickly as within a minute, even when nobody is in the office. It is in the interest of the vendor manager to get their vendors up and running with supply chain automation.

According to the measurements made by several top 20-LPSs, vendors work best within certain work ranges. If the amount of work they subcontract increases beyond the limits of this range, delivery failures increase exponentially. For this reason, gearing up a vendor is always a challenge! Not only their project management, but also their vendor management needs to be improved. Vendors who apply automation gear up better as they have more time for meaningful work. If a vendor is already applying automation to their workflows, we suggest that you start to increase their workload between 10-25% and measure the delivery results.

#4: The translator

In our current offering there is nothing – yet – for translators and reviewers, but in our view, there are important reasons why a translator should be interested in more automation.

What can automation do for them?

Decrease the number of email notifications about jobs that are gone.

The biggest pain of the first come first served approach is that every time a job is offered to five people, all of them receive an email but only one gets the job. The remaining four people receive another email - that the job is no longer available - that has no value for them. If you’re busy, this can be very irritating. With automation, you can set up rules to monitor your job sources and your availability (remember to keep your calendar up-to-date), and approve jobs automatically as per your preferences. Or if not automatically, you can see a single dashboard, even when you are on the road, from your mobile device. You have a secretary at your hand.

Help them keep track of their jobs and deadlines.

Most translators don’t keep track of their jobs thoroughly, mainly because the effort of doing so this is more than the benefit they get. After all, they invoice mostly once a month. With supply chain automation these jobs are automatically visible from a single interface, so you know exactly what you need to work on and which link you need to click.

Retrieve the files to work on locally.

There are plenty of great synchronization technologies such as Google Drive. Imagine that the moment you accept a job, all files are automatically downloaded to your Google Drive and you synchronize it with your computer’s folders. Besides saving time on accepting jobs, you also save the time of logging in, downloading, uploading, and so on.

#5: The financial controller

Colleagues doing financial control usually have to double-check all data entry versus the customers’ data. If automation brings in the customers’ data into your own systems, the chance of mistyping a number in the project identifier or the project sum is drastically reduced. This speeds up the financial team’s work, as they don’t have to manually check for human errors.

#6: The IT manager

The majority of the people who get in touch with us have some IT background, often they are the IT managers in the company they work for. Automation has traditionally been an IT task, however, we believe that automation capability is proof of a well-working process. IT managers can use publicly available supply chain automation functionality – i.e. BeLazy – to reduce the number of scripts and bespoke solutions running at their premises, decrease maintenance costs and benefit from the infrastructure that a solid provider gives. For an IT manager using technology like BeLazy is similar to moving from internal scripting to a real cloud solution — with the same kind of benefits.

#7: The Project Manager

We have intentionally placed the project manager at the end of this list, given they are the only ones who need to make a significant change to the way they work. Based on our experience, project managers have a fear of losing control over the projects they are responsible for, which makes sense. Our findings show, however, that gradual deployment of automation helps project managers transition better. They need to be actively involved in identifying how automation can help them, what automation steps they are comfortable with and which are those they are not (and why). Addressing all these questions make project managers understand what an important part they play and how much added value they can offer to the company. We have found that project managers who take the plunge:

Can you think about other personas that might benefit from using supply chain automation? We are all ears. If you’re interested in putting this into practice:

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