Centralized legal translation - ROI considerations


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In this brave new world, global companies continue to fulfill aggressive stakeholder demands in pursuit of high growth cross-border transactions, causing localization requirements to expand at a rapid pace – often upwards of 30 or more languages.

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Centralized legal translation - ROI considerations

  1. 1. ROI CONSIDERATIONS ​With the increasing focus on global revenue generation for companies of all sizes, general counsel are finding themselves involved in cross-border transactions in multiple languages – often upwards of 30 or more. With translations piling up and pressure rising, centralizing legal translations is often an afterthought – something global companies realize they need to take seriously after they embark on international growth initiatives with little to no structure to handle the scale or process. Centralized Legal Translation This brief outlines key challenges and the ROI considerations for building a case to centralize your legal translation. www.viadelivers.com There are seven key challenges to address: 1. Leverage global IT infrastructure 2. Automate Legal Translation Management 3. Eliminate waste and redundancy 4. Bring consistency to terminology and risk 5. Establish linguistic quality and accuracy 6. Provide fast delivery to internal stakeholders 7. Establish a system of transparency, measurement and continuous improvement
  2. 2. KEY CHALLENGES ​In our poll of Fortune 500 legal departments, accuracy and budget tied for first in terms of the biggest translation and localization challenges facing legal professionals. ​If you’re in-house legal counsel, then you know managing legal translations on an ad hoc basis is not going to cut it. Relying on your satellite offices to manage this work in-country is inefficient, costly and creates challenges around consistency, redundancy and adherence to corporate style. ​These issues are often further compounded by limited budgets and resources to manage the content review for quality control, summing up to an increased exposure to risk. ​Centralizing or managing legal content across the organization can provide considerable advantages. CENTRALIZED LEGAL TRANSLATIONS: ROI CONSIDERATIONS www.viadelivers.com ​If doing nothing is not an option, then consider these two directions: 1. Regionalize your controls, whereby a geographical group controls the checks and balances; or 2. Centralize your legal translation process for optimal risk management.
  3. 3. CHALLENGE #1: LEVERAGE GLOBAL IT INFRASTRUCTURE Has your organization already implemented a Content Management System (CMS)? ​You may be wondering how well your CMS will support legal content management from your global stakeholders. The better you can leverage existing in-house infrastructure, the faster you will achieve a return on investment from the centralization process. ​Rarely does the purchase of an additional system make sense and most CMS’ today come with a globalization component. The critical component you are looking for is the ability to enable your stakeholders to move content from the authoring to the translation process without loss of formatting or metadata. In addition, it should allow them to engage with your translation vendor as a role in this step. CENTRALIZED LEGAL TRANSLATIONS: ROI CONSIDERATIONS www.viadelivers.com
  4. 4. CHALLENGE #2: AUTOMATE LEGAL TRANSLATION MANAGEMENT ​Managing legal content through the translation process requires many steps, often due to the technical and precise nature of the translation needed. Typically, it goes from policy and legal authoring, to translator, editor, proofreader, project manager, QA/file engineer, and back to legal review. ​Each project requires six to eight pairs of eyes before the content is approved for use or publication. For example, if you are localizing an average of 10 legal documents per week, into 13 different languages, then this could multiply the number of touches or transactions to 910 per week. The more you can automate workflow in this process, the faster you’ll find a return on investment. ​Many corporations have been tempted to overflow legal into a shared corporate localization process, only to produce inferior or polluted translated legal content. ​It is important to recognize that centralizing legal translation is unlike centralizing standard corporate translation (e.g. product marketing and general content). The specialized knowledge of legal linguists differs, as does the setup and maintenance of productivity tools, including your translation memory, style guides, style sheets, glossaries and review processes. ​Due to the nature of legal translations, many documents require a non-linear translation approach, creating problems with both the content and the workflow, when approached like traditional localizations. ​Content typically managed through Centralization • End User License Agreements • Product or Service Level Agreements • Warranties • Partner Agreements • Channel Agreements • Solution Contracts • Consulting • Lease Agreements • Other Services or Recurring Agreements • Non-Competes • Code of Conduct • Company Policies CENTRALIZED LEGAL TRANSLATIONS: ROI CONSIDERATIONS www.viadelivers.com
  5. 5. ​When selecting a legal translation vendor, look for one with automated internal workflow and the ability to integrate with your CMS or internal workflow process. You are looking for their system capability to automate the file preparation, selection of the translation team, and routing. If they do not have this capability, then you may be paying for unnecessary overhead and the inefficiency. For example, an agency that selects and prepares the content manually will require 30-120 minutes for this first step alone and then a similar amount of time once the file is returned from the translator. ​Streamlining processes and eliminating unnecessary steps, will not only reduce costs associated with manual work, but is critical to achieving the benefits that make a case for your centralized ROI. Tip: For the most acceptable translations, part of the process should include the ability for teams to work with in-region reviewers. Aim to do this in an unobtrusive manner, while gaining their buy- in and approval, to ensure the final products are not heavily edited during final review. CHALLENGE #2: AUTOMATE LEGAL TRANSLATION MANAGEMENT CENTRALIZED LEGAL TRANSLATIONS: ROI CONSIDERATIONS www.viadelivers.com
  6. 6. CHALLENGE #3: ELIMINATE WASTE AND REDUNDANCY ​With your use of a CMS and centralized translation process, consider viewing your translation as a digital asset, stored safely in a central repository. As this repository builds, your asset becomes more powerful – allowing you to eliminate redundant translations and recycle previously translated segments to cut cost. ​Work with your translation vendor to establish a legal translation memory process with associated match rules. Your translation memory then captures previously translated text and matches it to incoming requests. Companies typically cut 30% or more of their translation expenditures through use and maintenance of a good translation memory. This is especially useful for recurring documents such as global contracts, boiler plates, manuals and policy updates, wherein only a fraction of the text changes. The more content centralized over time, the more content that will likely be recycled. Translators can then focus on new content, while proofreading matched content. Translation memory is also an important productivity tool to the centralized process for improving consistency. It is not uncommon for divisions of the same company to be translating similar documents, using different approaches, and even different translation vendors. CENTRALIZED LEGAL TRANSLATIONS: ROI CONSIDERATIONS www.viadelivers.com
  7. 7. CHALLENGE #4: BRING CONSISTENCY TO TERMINOLOGY AND RISK MANAGEMENT ​Global companies regularly struggle with consistent representation in terms of policy, terminology, style and risk. By building and maintaining a centralized repository of legal content, stakeholders are assured of consistent corporate style and terminology use across all their geographies. ​To reduce revisions and corrections, as well as establish stylistic congruency, any centralized process must include multilingual style guides and glossaries with key words, phrases and terms for each language pair. The style guide should not only include legal style preferences, but a number of other references including literacy level, tone, formatting and exceptions by country. Such tools, alongside a well maintained translation memory (see Challenge #3) will greatly improve the consistency and accuracy of legal content for any organization. In most cases, your vendor should be able to automate reference and use of such materials, as part of the translation management system. When considering centralizing your legal content translation, the benefit of consistency and risk management should be factored into your ROI calculation. CENTRALIZED LEGAL TRANSLATIONS: ROI CONSIDERATIONS www.viadelivers.com
  8. 8. CHALLENGE #5: ESTABLISHING LINGUIST QUALITY AND ACCURACY ​Ensuring quality and accuracy for your internal stakeholders is pivotal in managing a positive ROI for centralized legal translation. Attracting and retaining specialized legal translation talent across the globe is not an easy task. Work with a vendor who specializes in this domain and brings with it a segmented and stable database of translators to select from, as well as a proven forecasting model to scale with your peak volume needs. ​Look for translators with at least 5 years of professional, legal experience. Require native fluency in the target and source languages, as well as technical experience in the various file formats and tools known to the trade. Be sure to include in your criteria, industry subject matter expertise, if this is important for your content, and/or ask your vendor to assist in the development of a translator on- boarding program. ​Tip: A vendor specializing in the legal translations process will have a deep and segmented database of in- region certified legal translators; something that may help you to assess your LSP’s suitability, to manage your volume and legal content needs. ​Lastly, identify any additional requirements up front where possible. For example, will your internal stakeholders need sworn translators for certain countries? ​Perhaps your stakeholders regularly make use of notarization, attestation or attorney review services? A specialized legal vendor should be able to provide you with full service support. ​Also, look for a vendor who has a mature internal quality management process of its linguists to manage accuracy and error rate or ISO-9001 certification. ​There may be a cost savings benefit to your organization in addressing Challenge #5 as well. It is not uncommon that attorneys do the translation work, for lack of an alternative resource. On average, attorney translation costs 60% more than professional legal translation. The cost difference can be substantial, especially when utilizing external counsel where the billing rates are based on a relatively high hourly rate, compared to the cost of a professional legal translation. CENTRALIZED LEGAL TRANSLATIONS: ROI CONSIDERATIONS www.viadelivers.com
  9. 9. CHALLENGE #6: PROVIDE FAST DELIVERY TO INTERNAL STAKEHOLDERS ​This dramatic improvement is achieved through the sum total of small improvements addressed in Challenges #1-5. When you centralize ordering, eliminate manual steps, reduce duplicate content, implement productivity tools for quality control and ensure professional linguistic resources are in place, the improvement to delivery time is remarkable. ​With legal content, a delay in the translation time is often tied to a delay in an important business transaction somewhere in the organization. Speed of delivery is an opportunity cost or soft cost, but nevertheless, it is an important consideration for any centralized legal content ROI business case. With proper centralization and translation automation, it is not uncommon for organizations to reduce a three week process to 2-3 days. CENTRALIZED LEGAL TRANSLATIONS: ROI CONSIDERATIONS www.viadelivers.com
  10. 10. CHALLENGE #7: ESTABLISH A SYSTEM OF TRANSPARENCY, MEASUREMENT AND CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT ​Communication, logistics, reporting, and auditing are not easy when you are managing employees and suppliers across multiple regions and time zones. Invisible costs of administering global programs are high, such as productivity loss due to glitches in communication. Most companies cannot track translation expenses across multiple business units, because costs are hidden in the line-item detail of project budgets across many departments. ​Look for a vendor who can, as part of their translation management system, provide you a dashboard with real- time reporting of important key performance indicators including per job/language cost, volume, turn-around time, job quality error, etc. on a user, department and division basis. Over time, this visibility and tracking will provide for greater predictability around costs and help improve overall performance. CENTRALIZED LEGAL TRANSLATIONS: ROI CONSIDERATIONS www.viadelivers.com
  11. 11. ​Centralizing legal translation does not make sense for every corporation, so how do you know if it makes sense for yours? ​A good rule of thumb is, if your organization spends upward of $200K per year on legal content only, you will realize savings and benefit from the consistency and quality that centralization brings. The ROI of centralization tends to grow along with spending. For example, companies averaging $2-5M per year on legal content translation will often see a higher percentage of savings than companies spending $1M per year. See how VIA helped one world-leading software company streamline its global contract process. ARE YOU A CANDIDATE FOR CENTRALIZED LEGAL TRANSLATION MANAGEMENT? About VIA VIA is a trusted provider of legal translation services to leading brands around the globe including Cisco, Oracle, Google, Nike, Walmart, HP, Expedia and more. Contact Us To learn more about VIA Legal translation solutions or how VIA can help your organization achieve improved translation processes, contact us at 1-800-737-8481 or visit us online at www.viadelivers.com. CENTRALIZED LEGAL TRANSLATIONS: ROI CONSIDERATIONS