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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Admerix Case Study: Localization best practices may not be right for every business

“It may not be the case that you have to redesign your processes around a single localization company's best practices advice or software system."

The Situation/Problem

A major manufacturer of electronics struggles with localization “best practices” as recommended by their localization vendor. Their products involve both hardware and software components in a continuous state of development and evolution with multiple models appearing every year.

Their translation company had invested heavily in an online system in an attempt to force individual projects into a factory like, repeatable process. This localization-centric process was wrecking havoc with their current workflow and actually adding extra work and delays instead of streamlining it.

The automated online system was, in reality, built with a view to increase the translation company’s margins while making it much more difficult for their clients to switch to another vendor.

How Admerix solved the problem

The solution for the electronics manufacture was to first remember just what it is that they were producing and how.

Many translation companies put highly evolved flowcharts on their marketing materials showing how a client should run their localization process. There are also claims that a proprietary translation work flow system will decrease costs and increase time to market.

This falls back to the classic old school “black box” approach where materials enter a localization process chain and later emerge in a completed format to be reintroduced into the client’s production chain.

The reality is that an industry-standard best practices workflow might not be right for your business. It is often the case that localization process steps should fit into an existing client’s process creation cycle or be tailored to the vagaries of sales cycles. Another way of looking at this is that localization steps may have to be implemented at different points on a (literal or figurative) factory assembly line. It may not be the case that you have to redesign your processes around a single localization company’s best practices advice or online software system.

For the electronics manufacturer, it was observed that the development of their products was dynamic—ongoing with a new set of devices always in the pipeline—it made a black box approach to localization all the more impractical.

Each production step required additional input from the client’s engineering department and feedback between client teams working on the hardware and software components.

In deciding between a localization-centric process and a company-centric process, it had to be understood that all stakeholders needed to be aware of the costs and consequences of creating, formatting, archiving and reviewing content in relation to the end client’s production requirements.

Admerix designed and implemented a custom solution that created an interface for localization steps at several points within the client’s existing production chain. This made the client’s localization flow less cumbersome and more attune to the client’s necessity of maintaining their current production process.

It also encouraged the consultative relationship between Admerix and the end client since our solution did not attempt lock the client into a single vendor’s system or process.

It reinforced the message that Admerix was bringing real value for the client--not trying to create some sort of recurring income by locking them into a proprietary workflow system.

This is part of the client-centric solution approach that Admerix has pioneered. The key feature is flexibility of process based around the client's actual requirements and workflow needs.

Have questions?

We welcome your feedback and look forward to working with you and troubleshooting your problems.

John Wyatt
Senior Project Analyst

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