Slator Pro Guide: Language Operations

Slator Pro Guide Language Operations

The Slator Pro Guide: Language Operations provides a valuable set of tools and insights for language service providers (LSPs), covering organizational structure, linguist supply chain models, program management, payment risks, offshoring, and international expansion.

The Pro Guide equips LSPs with the resources to achieve key operational milestones and build a resilient structure, which supports growth and effectively responds to evolving customer needs.

We investigate how LSPs establish an organizational structure by comparing functional and business unit-based structures and providing case studies that illustrate how, when, and why LSPs perform major reorganizations.

The linguist supply chain model chapter outlines four different approaches to sourcing linguists. We draw on more than a dozen interviews with leading LSPs to show how model selection is influenced by patterns in client demand, the linguist supply market, and business strategy.

The Language Operations Pro Guide also delves into how LSPs can shift gears — from project-based customer service to a strategy-driven customer program that maximizes account retention and growth.

We also tackle an area of increasing complexity for growing LSPs, international payments, by providing four strategies for managing currency risk and showing how LSPs can successfully manage huge volumes of international vendor payments.

In the LSP global expansion chapter, the Pro Guide provides an in-depth analysis of how LSPs select production and sales hubs. We identify the most popular locations for global and in-region expansion for LSPs headquartered in Europe, Asia, and North America. The chapter also includes valuable insights into how to select functions for offshoring and minimize offshoring risks.

An LSP location index then assesses 52 countries as potential locations for LSP production and sales hubs, based on an analysis of key indicators such as language industry market size, GDP per capita, local salary costs, availability of language services professionals, and ease of doing business scores.

Finally, an operational growth roadmap outlines 16 major operational milestones for LSPs. Drawing on insights from numerous LSP interviews, the roadmap identifies the key operational changes and achievements in an LSP’s journey — from boutique, to midsize provider, to leading industry player.

Pro Guide: Language Operations Product

Pro Guide: Language Operations

How thriving LSPs structure operations, scale internationally, manage supply chains, execute program management, and mitigate risks.
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The report can be used as a standalone resource and is best read alongside Slator’s complementary catalog of research reports and Pro Guides, such as the Slator 2021 Language Industry Market Report and the Slator Pro Guide: Translation Pricing and Procurement.

Slator Research is available in pay as you go or to as part of our Growth, Pro, and Enterprise subscription.

Table of Contents

Structuring the Organization6
Gain insight into how LSPs structure operations — whether based on functions or business units — and understand the set-up of leading LSPs through 3 case studies and 4 organizational chart examples.
Go into more detail with a description of the 5 key operational functions, a list of 4 additional functions implemented by mature LSPs, and a job title infographic illustrating the most frequently applied operational job titles.
Selecting a Linguist Supply Chain Model 14
Delve into the pros and cons of the outsourced, inhouse, and hybrid supply chain models and understand how leading LSPs select the optimal model for their business. 
Developing Client Program Management 18
Obtain actionable insights into how LSPs implement a layer of client program management to provide a customized client experience and retain and grow major accounts. 
A one-page program management table lists over 50 project-level and account-level tasks, and case studies illustrate how LSPs use this specialized role to enhance the client experience.
Implementing Risk Management for Payments 22
Learn about 4 key strategies that LSPs employ to manage currency risk and discover how leading LSPs have overcome the complexity of dealing with international vendor payments.
LSP International Expansion25
Explore the top target countries for in-region and international expansion for LSPs headquartered in Europe, Asia, and North America and discover the typical size of the global footprint of small, midsize, and large LSPs. 
Discover the 9 factors LSPs consider most important when deciding where to open or acquire an offshore hub and learn how to evaluate operational functions for offshoring suitability.
LSP Location Index39
Survey the options for international expansion with a one-page LSP Location Index that analyses 52 countries in terms of potential as LSP sales and / or production hubs.
LSP Operational Growth Roadmap41
A one-page operational growth roadmap outlines 16 key milestones and pivotal decisions for LSPs in the journey from USD 1m to USD 8m, from USD 8m to USD 25m, and beyond. 
Discover the underlying drivers for major operational changes and find out what LSPs consider the most critical steps in the journey to becoming a successful LSP.

How to Use This Report

Slator’s easy-to-digest Slator Pro Guide: Language Operations offers the very latest industry and data analysis, providing language service providers the confidence to make informed and time critical decisions. It is a cost-effective, credible resource for busy professionals.