7 Tips for a Smooth Localization Project: Part One

The greatest benefit of working with a Localization Service Provider (LSP) is peace of mind. When you trust your translation projects to a top-level LSP, you know they will be taking care of everything from handoff to delivery. Before embarking on any new project or relationship, there are some important considerations—what are the SLAs, how do you track quality of translations, and how do you get the most for your budget?

Over the coming weeks, we’ll explore these topics and more in a seven-part blog series looking at the basics of setting up—and running⁠—a successful localization project.

First up, we have some advice—whether you’re an industry newbie or veteran—on establishing the right service level agreements (SLA). It’s one of the most important factors in any partnership, and gives you peace of mind that your projects won’t be delayed.

Establish your Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Your SLA is where your relationship with your LSP starts. It will cover all your basic rights and obligations and will serve as the basis of your relationship with your Project Manager. Make sure you read it thoroughly so you know what to expect, especially regarding costs and turnaround times. 

A thorough SLA should provide for all common circumstances and issues that might normally arise in a translation project, but should include at least:

  • Your standard services:
  1. Translation only
  2. Translation + review
  3. Machine translation + post-editing
  4. Quality Assurance
  • Purchase Order and invoicing processes
  • Quoting and approval processes
  • Expected turnaround times
  • Prices:
  1. For each language and Translation Memory match level
  2. Standard turnaround and rush translation
  3. Associated costs: engineering, DTP, QA, change implementation
  4. Minimum charges (if applicable)
  • Payment and related penalties
  • Remediation options for unsatisfactory delivery
  • Other provisions such as confidentiality, force majeure and liability

The Last Word...

Keep in mind that your SLA will be influenced by your operation model. If you have internal resources, such as in-house translators and subject matter experts (SMEs), make sure to establish how the LSP will work in coordination with them.

In our next installment, learn how to establish a strong working relationship with your project manager. In the meantime, check out our Language Services at SDL.