How should a localization company lower costs and increase quality? Today, the answer seems to be eliminate project managers as much as possible and regiment the process with a computer-based system of some sort.
A streamlined localization process is the holy grail of the industry and would be seen to increase quality and speed of production. However, this solution naïve and showing that it is certainly not in the best of interest of customers.
The state of the industry
Localization companies have been scrambling for market share by buying other companies, wooing investors for endless cash infusions, and annually welcoming new management teams. This means that even coming into this current economic crisis, a number of companies have been in dire financial straights many times. A clear symptom of this is the continuous extension of payment terms to contractors and the increasing number of companies blacklisted by Proz for not paying at all.
Companies and end clients have been struggling with computer systems, ISO certification, and the creation of vendor management teams who often seem to have little if any knowledge of the localization business. All of these measures have been put into place to address what is the root of the problem--moving away from the use of well trained and experienced project managers.
To be continued...
Next: The “down-skilling” of project managers