Quality in the localization industry is taken as a given. A client contacting a translation agency about a potential project is expecting a product that will meet tacitly-assumed quality standards so that it can be readily presented to end users. Any localization company that wants to stay in business must at some point introduce a quality management system. Of course, the client’s needs with respect to quality may differ depending on their priorities. For example, a client may require a translation to be performed by a subject matter expert, such as a medical practitioner, rather than a native speaker of the target tongue. At other times they may insist that a particular translator who handled their content in the past should be involved in the project. Finally, their rigorous quality assessment system may require you to employ the best translator in a given specialization.
Any localization company that wants to stay in business
must at some point introduce a quality management system.
No matter how complex or how specific your quality assurance process may be, XTRF can help you the whole way through to make your clients satisfied with your services. To start with, XTRF allows for establishing open communication with your clients. They can leave feedback on any project performed by your agency directly through the Client Portal — be it a complaint about the quality of the deliverables or any aspect of the project management. They can even express their approval if the project exceeded their expectations. What’s more, you can constantly assess and monitor the client’s satisfaction with your services by sending Satisfaction Surveys from XTRF at regular intervals. By keeping these open communication channels, you can keep your ear to the ground and quickly react to any quality concerns that may jeopardize your relationship with the client.
Vendor Evaluation System
More importantly, XTRF comes pre-packaged with a vendor evaluation system that records and stores information about vendor performance to help your Project Managers and Vendor Managers make HR-related decisions. Vendor performance is measured in XTRF at two different levels. The Project Manager can leave feedback on the quality of cooperation with the supplier. Also, the translator may be evaluated by any subsequent step in the workflow, e.g. by a reviewer or QA specialist. By default, XTRF offers a 5- or 10-star rating scale, where 5 or 10 is the highest score. The PM may choose the rating manually, whereas the reviewer can additionally use an evaluation form based on the LISA QA model. The metrics allow for entering detailed information on the detected error category and severity as well as the error count. The final score given to the vendor for a particular translation job is later saved in their profile in XTRF. It is displayed at two levels — Overall Rating (an average of all ratings given for all jobs within all specializations and all language combinations) and Specific Rating (an average of all ratings within one language pair and one specialization).
Multiple Vendor Selection Filters
Once the vendor evaluation mechanism is in place, the process of selecting the best translator for a job becomes smooth sailing. XTRF offers multiple vendor selection filters that can be applied when sending a job request to one or multiple suppliers. For example, it is possible to filter out only vendors working in a given specialization, but not necessarily native speakers of a target language. Or you can narrow down your search results only to vendors with a rating equal to or above 4 in a specific specialization. If cost is another factor that must be considered, you can configure the filters to show you only the best vendors with the most competitive rates. On top of that, you may specify the vendors of choice for a particular client and ask XTRF to consider these suppliers only for a newly launched translation project for the client in question.
On a final note, it should be stressed that quality management is not only about finding the right person for a job. Among other things, XTRF workflows allow you to include your client in the translation process. The Client Review job can help integrate your internal processes with those of the client, such as an in-country or SME review, to give an example. Also, you can incorporate query management in your workflow to let your suppliers consult your PMs and other vendors included in the process about project-related issues (such as CAT tool problems, terminology considerations, etc.). To add to that, you can even link your project to your PROZ account to be able to send job requests to the wider translator community in search of the best specialists.
To sum up, quality management should be viewed as a holistic process that brings measurable benefits when based on a feedback loop. XTRF is there with you all the way to help you deliver the best services even to your most demanding clients.
Monika was working in the localization industry for over 12 years.