The Vendor Database is at the core of any translation business operations. The way you handle it has great impact on your performance. Making full use of a database will guarantee both the best delivery time and quality. Mishandled, it will waste your efforts and cost you results.
As a translation company starts to grow, its initial Vendor list is usually kept in a simple notepad full of notes, scribbles and updates. Nothing is set in stone, it is a living thing. As you grow, you should continue to prevent this database from becoming a static data repository. It should be one of the dynamic processes of your vibrant business. This process should guarantee three key database characteristics. It should be always up to date to avoid time wasted on contacting unavailable vendors. It should reflect the actual skills and performance of particular vendors. And its full content should be easily accessible to make the most of it.
It can be tedious to maintain such a database manually. What if I showed you a process that guarantees the fastest delivery times and simultaneously keeps the vendor database up to date? Using appropriate communication tools can help with both tasks. But regardless of the tool, following these 6 steps will help you get the best results from your Vendor Database:
Start with proper vendor segmentation. Vendors should be placed on lists that match best client projects or service types. These lists should focus on skills and performance first. Other factors (such as price) could also be taken into account. Having the lists prepared beforehand will reduce the amount of work needed each time you have to select a vendor.
Make the lists longer than needed. That way you will be able to use more of your database. Staying in touch with more vendors than needed will give you a bigger verified vendor pool. It will reduce the load on your trusted vendors, keeping their performance constant. It can also help with the long-term task of building a wider base of trusted vendors. You will need them one day.
Before starting a project, reach out to a wider group asking for their availability. You will surely find available vendors faster, which will reduce the time required to launch a project. At the same time, you will maintain contact with a broader group of people who will feel engaged with your company.
E-mail several vendors at the same time asking for their availability. It is much more efficient than contacting each vendor individually. There will surely be another opportunity to chat with vendors individually and build relationship. However, trying to start a project quickly might not be the best moment.
Even when contacting a wide range of vendors, it can be hard to fill the required capacity for a project. This can be especially true at peak demand times or during the holiday season. The solution is the technique of cascading. You should have several lists of vendors prepared, ordered by preference. Sort these lists according to increasing price or decreasing quality. If vendors from the best list cannot fill your project, contact the vendors from the next list. Repeat this process until you get the capacity required. It will guarantee that you get the best possible price, quality and delivery time.
And last but not least, get and track feedback from your customers. It will help with choosing which vendors to assign for best quality and it will keep them motivated. Feedback gives them opportunities to improve and feel appreciated.
These 6 steps above should be an important part of your daily vendor selection process. They will guarantee that your data are up to date and your vendors feel engaged with your company. How you use your vendor database determines your ability to deliver translation services. Make sure you make it the best it can be.