Take me out and lift me up! These few words summarize what leading or ambitious language service providers (LSPs) should consider to create and increase value for their clients and themselves. It is a recommendation that may also sound like a call to action to take the path to sustainable growth.
In the digital globalization age, inclusion, integration, and collaboration are paramount to delivering on global and holistic experiences. This applies to how organizations should perform and work with external suppliers, whether they are called vendors, suppliers, or agencies. Let us break this down into two specific goals to make it actionable.
Take me out of my vendor status!
Simply put, many clients call on LSPs to start or grow their business internationally. They sometimes do so without having in mind the right and complete understanding of language services and, most importantly, what such services bring to initiate or accelerate global expansion.
This remains a challenge on both sides of the fence: LSPs have difficulties in getting their value proposition across and clients cannot really make sound, timely decisions based on assumptions or vague conceptions.
So LSPs should leverage any opportunity to go beyond what clients may consider as traditional or expected service delivery. It means engaging with content owners or business leaders on the client side in addition to managing projects and delivering content.
It implies understanding the actual business of clients and not only the industry or vertical they are in.
Moreover, it helps make resources, such as linguists or engineers, more knowledgeable and therefore demonstrate they can make a difference because they are different.
It also implies understanding the actual business of clients and not only the industry or vertical they are in. For example, LSPs can proactively deepen their knowledge of business objectives, content sensitivity, and experience drivers. They can also create glossaries in direct contact with clients, which also reflect how clients actually use content within their organization and with their own customers.
Lift me up so I can rely on your business!
When moving from cooperation to collaboration, LSPs manage translation and localization more effectively. Clients are more willing to establish a trustworthy relationship in the long run and move away from buying language services as a commodity.
Ultimately, LSPs pave their way to an enhanced role and value-adding mission as business partners. The fence between suppliers and clients does not disappear, but it is much easier crossed.
It is necessary to go beyond borders and boundaries in global business and it applies to LSPs and their clients as well. After advising clients on how source content may be created in a more localization-friendly way, or helping them certify products with their professional and external perspective, LSPs are more naturally embedded in business processes and content workflows. They live and breathe the business of their clients.
Like any punchline, “Take me out and lift me up!” should not be perceived as prescriptive or rigid. So it is definitely an invitation to another approach and mindset that may take some time to adopt.