The website of the translation agency can look good, and judging by its correspondence, it may seem very professional. Nonetheless, it is in your best interest to check if the company is legitimate and financially stable. What are its confidentiality policies? Is the agency insured?
Some of the most important aspects you should consider include:
- Legal registry. Most countries have public business registers, where you should be able to check, free of charge, whether the company is in the process of cessation, liquidation, insolvency, reorganisation or other legal proceedings.
- Financial standing. In those same registries, for some fee, full financial reports should also be accessible, if you would like to have a deeper look at company’s financial position. Or simply ask the company to provide you with recent balance sheets. Since this information is public anyway, the company should have no objections in providing you with this information.
- Third party commercial evaluation. If time and budget allows, legal and financial background checks could also be outsourced to third party company to prepare a commercial evaluation.
- Professional indemnity insurance. If your line of business involves highly sensitive texts, which could potentially incur serious damages, or, large financial sums are at stake, you should discuss with the translation company if they would be willing to arrange a professional indemnity insurance, if the agency does not already have such a policy.
- Confidentiality. Ask what policies translation agency has in place to ensure safe and confidential handling of your content and ask for a signed non-disclosure agreement.
A translation agency’s technological capabilities should play a very significant part in your selection of translation partner. Applied correctly, technological solutions will provide substantial cost savings, shorter turnaround times and better consistency.
Smart translation agencies are constantly looking for new and better ways to eliminate costly, manual actions through process automation and system integration. At the centre of these efforts should be you, the customer.
At the very minimum, your prospective partners should work with:
- Translation Memory tools.
- Terminology Management tools.
Taking control of your terminology and reusing the already translated content can help you to decrease costs by 40% or more, depending on the type of texts with which you usually work. Be clear on who has ownership of these informational assets (hint - it should be the customer) and make sure the suggested solution is not too particular to any given application or utility and that it allows for interoperability with other systems.
If you work with a Content Management System (CMS), a translation agency should also be able to offer you integration possibilities with the Translation Management systems (TMS). Likewise, if you have large amounts of content that currently is not being translated because of budgetary or time restraints, ask the agency if perhaps Machine Translation (MT) solutions could potentially help you solve these challenges.
To be sure your potential partners have a sustainable business:
- Check the legal and financial standing of the company.
- Research its policies on confidentiality and possible liability coverage.
When talking "tech", ask:
- What are the agency' s technological capabilities and experience. (TMS and CMS integration)
- How they can improve your multilingual terminology quality and consistency. (Terminology management)
- How they can reduce your expenses for large scale projects (MT)
The first part of the article discussed communication aspects, while the second part described what to consider regarding price and references.