How to Centralize Your Localization Program in 7 Steps
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How to Centralize Your Localization Program in 7 Steps

How to Centralize Your Localization Program in 7 Steps


At a certain point, global enterprises with many different types of content, many stakeholders, and frequent projects abandon their decentralized localization models in pursuit of the cost efficiencies, consistency, and time-saving benefits of program centralization.

Instead of every stakeholder business unit, department, and/or subsidiary managing its own localization needs, a central model organizes and consolidates localization demand across the enterprise ideally for outsourcing. Volume pricing, program-wide visibility, accountability, and quality control are just a few of the benefits of a centralized model.

Here are seven mission-critical tactics of the most successful localization centralization efforts we’ve seen.

1. Strategize Content Localization 

What content will be localized for which market? Which languages are top priority? You need to understand your market, and choose the languages and deliverables purposefully. Do not localize everything for every market.

2. Secure Executive Buy-In 

In order to get appropriate funding and support for your localization initiatives (and spend), it is imperative to have sponsorship from senior or executive level management.

3. Centralize Asset Management

All translators must make use of the same assets: Translation Memories, Term Bases and Style Guides enable consistency, maximize re-use and cost savings. Managing them from one location will ensure consistent company usage.

4. Consolidate Work Requests

It can be chaos to manage requests of high volume and from various stakeholders in email or by posting to FTP. All requests must come to a central location, ideally with templatized ordering form that gathers all the requisite details.

5. Standardize Processes

Standardizing processes — as much as possible considering varying needs across diverse stakeholders such as marketing, support, legal, and so forth — will create efficiency, reduce turnaround time, reduce overhead and management time, and increase quality.

6. Take Stock of Your Technology

A complex program requires technology to manage and automate the process. You need certain features and functions to optimize localization workflow such as those inherent in Translation Memory or Terminology Management tools. Also, investing in a Translation Management System (TMS) may be necessary to manage localization assets and the localization process. Large, growing programs may already have various tools and processes in place. If you have existing technology, assess the investments you’ve already made and figure out how to make everything work together optimally.

7. Consider Single-Sourcing

In our experience, a single LSP serving as a partner can facilitate program-wide consistency and quality, improved cost savings and progress improvement initiatives. Single-sourcing also affords deeper intimacy and partnership. While a competitive multi-vendor model may yield razor-thin pricing, you’ll probably find longer-term value with a long-term business partner who’s willing to co-invest in the success of your global brand.