A translation management system (TMS) is a type of software that is used by language service providers and companies from any field of business that deal with lots of translation and localization projects. The aim of a TMS is to automate the process to the highest possible extent and leave the creative part of the translation to the translator. In other words, a reliable translation management system will automate repeatable and non-essential work, ensure consistency of translated texts, and speed up the overall process.

Since there is a great variety of vendors offering translation management systems, and each having a variety of different features, it is necessary to determine what type of TMS your company needs. It can be a tedious process, and asking the right questions will help you determine the answer much easier and will help you select a software that will actually help with your translations.

There are three of the main questions that you need to review in order to decide on the right TMS for your company and to understand why it might be better to select an LSP that uses one.

Why your company needs a translation management system? 

If your company is expanding globally and/or has offices in several locations around the world, the chances are that you have a lot of content that needs to be translated. No matter if it comes to website translation, corporate training localization or general document translation it is necessary to determine your company needs correctly. 

One of the best ways to understand those needs is to first invite all the people involved in the process to a meeting. There, each member can present their department’s demands and identify what features are essential for them. 

Based on that discussion, you can make a list of the elements that are important for your company, and thus go shopping for a TMS.

Note that the aim of the TMS is to give your company the possibility to get cheaper and quicker translations of high quality. It allows for the translation of repeated content and thus saves you time and money. In addition, the TMS enables the translators you use, either internally or externally, to provide consistent translations by using the glossaries and reference materials contained in the software. 

You need to also calculate the possible ROI and how much a TMS will cost you prior to purchasing one. This can be a valuable investment if you regularly require translations across various departments. A successfully implemented TMS can help you cut costs, reduce time to market, and provide high-quality and consistent translations.

If you don’t generate a large volume of documents for translation, you might instead consider selecting an LSP that uses a translation management system in-house. This will help save some of the capital investment while allowing you to still receive some of the benefits of the system, including the ability to monitor the translation process for each document.

How to determine the right translation management system for your company? 

In order to determine the right translation management system for your company, it is necessary to select one that has features corresponding to your needs and abilities. It is good to know that each TMS includes, at a minimum, two types of technology.

The first one aims to automate the workflow and it is generally a process management technology. The second type is the linguistic technology that facilitates the actual work of the translator.

When selecting the translation management system for your business, some of the main elements to consider include: 

  • Integration availability – the TMS needs to be compatible with any other system that your company has. If you are using a content management system, for example, the new software should be easily integrated with it.
  • Flexibility of the translation process – the TMS should allow you to choose your own type of translation and methods, such as machine translation, outsourced translation, internal translation, etc.  
  • Availability of visual context – this feature allows seeing the context in which content occurs which facilitates its translation and limits the possibility of errors.
  • A translation memory and other linguistic assets that allow you to incorporate all the data you have from previous translations, so it can be used for future translations and ensure consistency.
  • Application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow streamlining of the translation process. APIs allow the translation management system to be integrated with other tools such as website content management systems, product information catalogs, marketing automation platforms, support systems, and many more.
  • Reporting and cost visibility control systems that are fully integrated and easy to access and use. At the end of the day, your company needs to keep full control over the cost of the translation, and it should be easy to manage the entire process related to it.  

Make sure to ask the vendor whether the TMS you have selected supports all of the features above and what other elements it includes that can be beneficial for you.

What are the benefits of selecting an LSP with a translation management system?

While translation can be a significant part of the company life, it is not the leading element of their business and hence the translation process should be easy to manage. Selecting an LSP that offers a seamless service as a result of the integrated translation management system will allow you to do your business as usual without losing track of your latest translation project. 

Some of the benefits of working with such an LSP include: 

  • Review translation projects whenever you need  
  • Track the progress of all your translation within a single, easy-to-use platform 
  • Access your translation memories and terminology  
  • Communicate with your professional translators, editors, and proofreaders 
  • Participate in the review of your translations  
  • Integrate the software with your content management system (CMS) 

All of these factors ensure higher speed and quality in your translation process, and they are prerequisites for immaculate final results.

By selecting ICD Translation as your translation partner, you get a company with a fully-integrated cloud-based translation management system that can assist your company with translations in any language that you need to help your business grow.

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