Why do language service providers add new services to their existing portfolios? The 2023 ALC Industry Survey — produced in collaboration with Slator — found that the primary driver for service expansion is customer needs. (Contact ALC to obtain a copy of the ALC Industry Survey Report).
Close to one-third of ALC survey respondents describe their services strategy as “client-centric”, saying, “we update our portfolio of services in response to the specific needs and requests of our existing customer base.”
Furthermore, one in five companies took an “opportunistic” approach, adding a service when an attractive opportunity arose (for example, due to lowered barriers to entry, or via acquisition), while 15% use service diversification as a risk mitigation measure.
The 2023 ALC Industry Survey ran from August to September 2023, collecting responses from 85 small and medium-sized LSPs in the US and globally on a broad range of industry topics — from growth and business strategies, technology, and supply chains, to pricing, salaries, and recruitment.
More than half of the companies in the sample set added new services in the last three years. The most frequently added services for this period were e-learning, integrations, live captioning, post-edited machine translation, remote simultaneous interpreting, voiceovers, and video remote interpreting.
However, the survey data suggests a slowdown in service diversification. While 55% of companies added services in the last three years, only 40% of companies plan to add new services in the next three years.
Translation Companies Have More Diverse Service Portfolios
The 2023 ALC Survey also revealed several key differences in the service strategies of translation-focused companies, compared to providers with an interpreting focus.
Media localization, interpreting, transcription, and captioning are the top adjacent services for translation-focused companies. The service portfolios of translation companies is comparatively more diverse and such companies are likely to expand into AI-related services e.g., data-for-AI and machine learning.
In contrast, interpreting-focused companies have more concentrated portfolios of services and expand most frequently into translation, sign language interpreting, captioning and conference equipment services.
Table of Contents
|Summary of Findings||5|
|Profile of Survey Respondents||8|
|Domestic vs. International Spending||19|
|M&A and Funding||29|
|Sign Language Interpreting||51|
|Growth and Profitability||54|
|Rates for Translation Services||61|
|Rates for Interpreting Services||69|
|Rates for Sign Language Interpreting||73|
|Rates for Language Training||73|
|Rates for Language Testing||74|
|TMS and CAT Tools||75|
|Language Testing Platforms||77|
|Language Training Platforms||78|
|Integrations and Connectors||80|
|Buy vs. Build||83|
|Supply Chain and Personnel||85|
|Workforce Demand and Supply||86|
|Managing Independent Contractors||96|
|The Future of Jobs||99|
|Sales and Marketing||101|
|Standards and Accreditations||104|
|KPIs and Metrics||108|
|Global Events and Macroeconomic Factors||111|
|Regulations and Legislation||117|
|Data Privacy and Cybersecurity||121|
|AI and Large Language Models||124|