Keys to success during downtime: by Rina Ne’eman, Hebrew Language Services
In spite of the challenging economy, my company, like many other LSPs, experienced significant growth in 2009. Based on industry surveys and the feedback that I receive on an ongoing basis from other translation company owners, in my capacity as head of the ATA-TCD, this is by no means an isolated phenomenon. While still part and parcel of - and affected by - overall economic trends, there is little question that the language services industry is thriving.
CSN - What key internal and external factors contributed significantly to your success?
Rina - I think that a difficult business climate can, in some ways, constitute a real opportunity to reinforce partnerships with clients. Translation companies that have simultaneously demonstrated the true value of their services to their clients and have been willing to exercise flexibility and to go the ‘extra mile’ to meet clients’ needs in a downturn have thrived in ways that many other sectors of the economy have not.
Rina - Like many other companies, we’ve had to work hard to adapt to the new economic realities. Clients are demanding tighter turnaround times and are far more costconscious than in the past. On the other hand, there is a tremendous and everincreasing volume of work out there, and those companies who have attained a high degree of visibility and consistently provide the best quality, service and value are doing well and experiencing growth.
CSN - Within your specialization, which industry sectors were weak and which were strong?
Rina - For us, the legal sector is always a leader. We translate and interpret a great deal in the context of litigation, and that end of our business is quite solid. Litigation does not stop in a recession. Neither do clinical trials, which are also a significant part of our business.
Since we are primarily a single language provider that provides services to multilingual LSPs, we are specialized in an extremely wide range of subject areas. I think that this diversification is what has kept us in good stead in this difficult economy. If you are a company that translates primarily for hi-tech or for heavy machinery, you are not likely to be as successful in an economic downturn as a company with a clientele that extends across numerous sectors of the economy.
I also think that having a global clientele is a strong plus, during times of economic challenge. The fact that our clientele is spread out all over the world has protected us from the vagaries of specific national economies.
CSN - In your opinion, why do you believe some LSP’s and translation/interpretation providers did not survive?
Rina - One predicator of success is the willingness and ability to adapt to the new realities. Differentiation, marketing, clear branding and a compelling message of value all contribute to success. In a challenging economy, what sets you apart is effective communication of a succinct message and branding, as well as your ability to deliver a level of service and quality that your competitors cannot provide. I think that these were all key reasons for our growth in 2009.
CSN - Do you have any projections or “predictions” for next year, or even further, based on newly revealed trends or dramatic adaptations you’ve observed in our industry?
Rina - I think that the current trend of industry growth will continue. In today’s hyper-globalized business environment, all signs indicate more and more content that will require translation. Clients will continue to demand optimal quality, more rapid delivery and better efficiency while keeping a close eye on costs. I believe that there is an unprecedented amount of opportunity out there - and that it is up to the individual LSP to decide how to leverage that opportunity to its best advantage.
Rina Ne’eman is the managing director of Rina Ne’eman Hebrew Language Services (www.hebrewtrans.com), which provides a full range of Hebrew translation, interpreting, localization and typesetting services to over 500 translation and localization companies worldwide. Other clients include prime ministers, major television networks and premier law firms. Rina heads the Translation Company Division of the American Translators Association, and has over 25 years of industry experience. Contact: email@example.com.
Published - February 2010
ClientSide News Magazine - www.clientsidenews.com
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