From grown diversity to a standardised process
Language plays an important role in an internationally successful company such as Miele. The world‘s leading supplier of premium household appliances is represented in almost 100 countries by company-owned foreign subsidiaries or importers.
With support from Transline, Miele consolidated what was once a range of diverse translation processes into one central translation management department. Standardised workflows ensure greater transparency, increased efficiency and shorter processing times.
Grown diversity – little conformity
Translations are required by just about all Miele departments. The processes were characterised by grown diversity: a broad range of service providers, tools, workflows and glossaries made it difficult to network, compare processes and build and maintain consistent terminology, not to mention re-use previously completed translations. It was impossible to plan and control translation quality, costs or lead times in an integrated manner.
In line with the Miele motto „Always better“, at the end of 2014 management decided to introduce a company-wide centralised translation management department. The goal: a progressive transition where all information products would be centrally translated into 37 target languages for the currently 47 markets.
„CoTraM“, an in-house development, was implemented to manage all the translation orders, and a decision was made to use a single language service provider and just one standard process for translation of all information products.
Standardisation and automation
Today, all Miele translation projects with similar structures are completely automated by CoTraM. While the specialist departments still have an option to create their translation projects manually, the goal is to ensure the highest possible level of automation.
When a project is approved, a translation project is automatically created in the translation memory system and assigned to Transline. At Transline, the automated process starts using Transact, a special software application developed in-house that is connected to the project system at Miele.
Transact regularly checks to see whether new projects are available at Miele and retrieves these automatically. The first step is an analysis of the work required, which is transmitted to CoTraM. If the costs and delivery dates are within the agreed framework, CoTraM creates a purchase order using SAP. The regular translator receives the new translation task – in a fully automated process.
Nothing left to chance
At the same time, all parties who will be involved later in the process – such as Transline‘s quality assurance and proofreaders, as well as reviewers at Miele‘s foreign subsidiaries – receive advance notice as to when the workflow step will be assigned to them and how many days are available for processing. All necessary steps, deadline tracking and a relevant escalation scenario are automatically performed by Transact, and all parties can view the status of current projects.
As soon as all parties have completed their workflow steps, the translation is
automatically delivered to Miele and made available to the appropriate specialist department via CoTraM.
Integrated customer review
Proofreading by Miele foreign subsidiaries ensures that the translations are appropriate for the target market and will be accepted there. Transline also controls this process automatically: depending on the requirements, the translations can be commented on or edited by the foreign subsidiaries in the review process. Transline‘s regular translator then enters the relevant changes directly into the translation memory. This ensures an optimal learning curve for the translator. In addition, the annotated deliveries are exported from the translation memory and sent to CoTraM for archiving and calculation of key figures. These key figures make both the translator‘s development and the internal reviewers‘ work transparent, and also offer valuable knowledge about the process as a whole.
Currently Transline and Miele are working on an optimised review tool, which will go live in early 2018 to make the review process even more efficient in the future.
Particularly tricky: text fragments and SAP abbreviations
A growing number of text fragments without any context are being sent for translation, which represents a particular challenge. To offer the best possible translation for “snippets“ of text, contextual information is developed in conjunction with specialist departments, which is then used to supplement source data with the help of scripts. This significantly reduces queries and cuts processing times.
Queries frequently arise from SAP translation projects, particularly regarding Miele-specific abbreviations. In addition to standard SAP abbreviations that are recorded in SAPterm, these must also be coordinated and recorded for future projects.
In order to keep such queries to the absolute minimum, Transline is transferring existing SAP terminology into a specialised tool, to which all project participants will have access. Queries can then be raised directly in the tool and coordinated by the Transline project manager. If an abbreviation relates to a product and is therefore relevant across the board, the answer is instantly made available to all parties and also saved in the tool for future projects.