Think Local to Remain Competitive in a Global Market: the Case of the Chemical Industry

Think Local to Remain Competitive in a Global Market: the Case of the Chemical Industry

Global Strategy

The global chemical industry is facing considerable challenges to its status quo:

  1. Multinationals, traditionally dominant in the speciality chemical sector, are being challenged by emerging market players as they swap production to more lucrative advanced polymers, inorganic materials and composites.
  2. A shift in global markets with Asia Pacific expected to account for over half the world’s demand for chemicals by 2020.
  3. Significant political pressure surrounding environmental issues is pushing companies to develop strategies to reduce, re-use and recycle.

In response, companies may pursue multiple strategies to ensure they remain competitive, including the development of high-end products, increased use of automation and digitization, and careful management of their investment strategy.

Whatever route they decide to take, global competiveness requires products that are tailored to local markets, accompanied by local R&D and management. From conducting meetings and training with international employees, to translating labelling information and safety data sheets, and producing country relevant websites and marketing materials – succeeding internationally requires communicating on a multilingual basis.

Global Resources

As the industry changes, it is critical that senior leadership can transmit its vision and values consistently to employees, shareholders and the press in multiple countries. In these instances, global teams of interpreters, either on-site in each country or via a remote connection, can ensure everyone receives news and strategy updates simultaneously regardless of location.

Likewise, to communicate effectively with global teams, HR will require all employment contracts, policies and training content available in multiple languages. Often this includes sending teams of interpreters to deliver training on new procedures and software roll-outs, as well as transmitting key messages from senior management.

Recently we worked with one of our major manufacturing clients to standardize their global approach to HR management, policy management and compliance while ensuring that each HR team had the localized content they needed for their workforce.

The extensive project required us to take into account technical and security factors as well as the need for speed, accuracy and financial constraints. Over 2.2 million words including multiple software releases and version updates were translated, and 50+ global HR policies, 100+ How-To guides and the Global Code of Conduct were localized.

This involved constant liaison with the global teams to support management and avoid delays to each phased roll-out. Technical engineers deployed software to manage data and maximize costs and time savings and ensure consistency in wording and formatting in all languages. The project was delivered on time with a saving of over 65% against base price.

Global Sales and Marketing

Introducing new products and processes to global markets brings an array of language demands. In the initial phases we can assist with tender documentation, commercial contracts and patent research and filing. Then comes the localization of regulatory and operational documentation including Material Safety Data Sheets, EHS information, materials handling documentation, process reports, production data, Standard Operating Procedures and training materials.

Our team of linguists have been involved in all aspects of product strategy and sales. To support business development in new markets, our translators ensure that the end product is appropriate to each market taking into account local nuances, cultural sensitivities and legal requirements while ensuring it’s easily understandable and reflects the chosen corporate voice. Projects we review on a daily basis include websites and digital content, press releases and packaging information.

The interpreting team regularly works alongside global employees to ensure they are fully competent in getting products to market from sales conferences to training to crisis management. And if necessary our highly skilled legal interpreters are on hand to assist with arbitration and patent infringement hearings to ensure that client products are protected.

For the last 30 years, we have partnered with a global manufacturer of performance materials, industrial chemicals and life science products to deliver language services across the life cycle of its products. In the last year alone, we have translated over 6.5 million words providing language support services in over 15 countries, ranging from patent translations for the intellectual property team, technical translations for the operational divisions including product data sheets and safety manuals, and multilingual translations for the group communications and branding department.

 

 

It is clear that a successful global strategy requires localized products and communications. This takes time and patience to get right but it pays dividends. Our experienced teams of project managers, technical engineers, translators, proofreaders and interpreters work with many of the world’s biggest names in chemicals and manufacturing throughout the various stages of the product life cycle to deliver a unified multilingual strategy. If you’d like to explore how we could support your globalization strategy, please contact us today. More details on our language services can also be found on our website.