We all know that business is about relationships between producers and consumers, between owners and workers, between office co-workers, departments, delivery guys and cafeteria staff. But the translation industry relies on a specific type of relationship since translation itself it is as much a science as an art. It deals intimately with words and thus touches the very basic human need for communication. Those handling these words should be especially nurtured, empathized with and appreciated as they are your most precious asset, whose work you are offering to your customers. So it is important to know how to keep them doing what they do the best for you. Here are seven ways to nurture the relationships with your vendors that you will keep the best in your portfolio and attract new valuable ones:
1. Always choose the right person for the job
We all have our preferences in dispatching work to the most trustworthy and reliable suppliers. But that can often backfire, as we can assign work constantly to a narrow pool of vendors, restricting the possibility to discover the skills of new ones and overloading the trusted ones. Also, restricting your choices lead to not necessarily optimal specialization allocation, not taking fully into consideration your vendors availability and workload.
2. Give your vendors the right tools to work with
For you to expect the best results from the cooperation with a chosen vendor you have to empower her/him with the best tools for writing and communication. Using a Vendor Portal will give your vendors an easy way to retrieve their personal tasks, submit their work and communicate with you. It will also help to avoid sending duplicate job requests.
3. Communicate clearly about the project deadlines all follow them through
Start by negotiating the deadlines and rates with your vendors. Take into consideration your respective vendors calendars. Define clear milestones and criteria that have to be met by the specified due date. Publish those milestones to all parties involved. Having a central point where all calendars and commitments are kept is a must.
4. Avoid the translator-proofreader blame game
It is easy to end in a vicious cycle of corrections and rejections. It is your duty as a project manager to keep the dialogue as professional as possible. Show support and appreciation to all parties, This can be achieved through professional and objective clarity in communication. Keeping in mind the main goal – a satisfied and returning customer should be of paramount importance.
5. Give prompt and relevant feedback
Vendors take pride in their work. Giving them prompt and relevant feedback shows them that others care about the results of their work. Both – negative and positive opinions are both valuable, as long as they are relevant and provided in a short time span from the delivery of the results. That will keep the motivation your vendors and the quality of their work on a high level.
6. Add a personal touch when communicating with your vendor
Even when using technology to distribute automatically job requests you should make a habit of personalizing in your communication instead of going for the easier solution of using pre‑prepared canned responses. Treat this as a long-term investment in a reliable communication and top performance.
7. Pay on time
Last but not least, the vendors are making a living from their work. Keeping track of all due payments for their work will sustain good relationship with your translator, build on trust and build a solid foundation for future cooperation.