A Translation Management System (TMS) can provide you with immediate information on your business. More sophisticated TMS tools even provide a range of required reports.
I used this option in my everyday work as a CEO of my translation agency. I was extremely interested in the up-to-date trends of sales and production profits which I took as the difference between the total value of a project and the costs paid to all the providers involved.
I had such two reports generated every working day at 6 PM, i.e. after business hours. The system automatically summarized the value of all projects started in the last 365 days and the total costs of all providers involved in them. The generated reports presented the totals for each calendar month individually.
It was a brilliant tool for me to analyse the trends of our turnover and profit. The greatest advantage of such a presentation was the ability to forecast the future results of our business. This was possible, because we had reports summarizing only the projects which had started.
On average our projects were completed, delivered and invoiced within 30-45 days of being launched. They were paid after another 30-45 days. Therefore the picture received from the accounting department was that payments were “late” by 2-3 months.
Accounting raised the alarm that the total amount invoiced had dropped significantly in April and May.
However my TMS reports generated on May 31 (see figure above) gave me a clear picture that the period of very low monthly sales is already over (because the dip was in February) and the following months will give us a higher value of invoiced sales.
When exchanging our experience with other users of the same software, I was extremely surprised to see their settings for these reports. They were based on the “delivery date” rather than the “start date” of all projects.
It was a crucial difference – their reports gave the picture of the past, while our reports gave the view of the future.
Jurek Nedoma is also co-founder of the professional TMS software development firm XTRF Management System.