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Written by Emma Green
on April 03, 2024

In today's globalized market, a well-executed localization strategy is a cornerstone of international business success. Localization goes beyond translation; it encompasses cultural adaptation, legal compliance, local market-tailoring, and much more. As such, it requires significant organization and control. Centralizing localization procurement and operations harmonizes this complex orchestration, yielding many benefits. Let’s delve into why centralizing these functions can lead to enhanced outcomes for businesses expanding their global footprint. 



Advancements in technology have revolutionized the localization industry. Centralizing localization operations allows companies to consolidate their technological needs into a single, comprehensive platform capable of handling all aspects of the localization lifecycle. This platform can provide automated workflows, real-time collaboration tools, and advanced reporting features. 


One vital piece of technology in centralized localization is the Translation Management System (TMS). A TMS enables the management of multifaceted translation projects in one place, offering features like project tracking, automated language quality checks, and integration with machine translation engines. With a TMS, management gets an overarching view of localization activities, enabling better strategy and decision-making. 



A strong infrastructure is critical for successful localization. Centralization offers the advantage of creating a streamlined infrastructure that avoids the fragmentation of workflows across different departments. It provides a universal framework for all teams, supporting a cohesive effort towards market-specific needs while aligning with the company's broader objectives. A centralized infrastructure fosters collaboration and best practice sharing, reducing the possibilities for bottlenecks and ensuring logistical efficiencies. 


Localization Assets

Centralization shines when managing localization assets - which include translation memories (TMs), glossaries, termbases, and style guides. Centralizing these assets across a company ensures every translator and editor is working with the most updated and consistent information. This uniformity assures brand consistency and accuracy across different languages and regions. In addition, there are cost benefits: when translation memories are shared, previously translated material can be reused, decreasing the volume of fresh translation needed and thus reducing costs. 



The implementation of uniform processes is another strength of centralizing localization operations. It standardizes how localization tasks are performed across the entire organization, from the way translation requests are submitted to quality assurance methods. Centralization stabilizes output quality and helps avoid the chaos that can come from ad-hoc, disjointed processes that can occur in a decentralized environment. 


Moreover, centralized processes facilitate better accountability and measurable metrics. Tracking and reporting become more efficient, enabling the identification and removal of process inefficiencies, while also providing data that can improve speed and diminish costs. 


Economies of Scale

Volume is a powerful lever for cost savings in localization. Centralizing procurement means the company can contract for localization services at a much larger scale. Not only can this drive down per-word translation costs, but it can also simplify vendor management since fewer contracts need to be maintained and reconciled. 


Economies of scale also extend to staffing and overheads. A centralized operation can better utilize in-house expertise and reduce the need for redundant roles across different divisions or regions. This consolidation can lead to significant administrative cost savings. 


Centralized procurement also means there’s the potential to build stronger relationships with fewer suppliers, who may be more willing to invest in innovation and service improvements for a key client. 



In a decentralized environment, administration complexities can multiply; multiple contracts, variable pricing structures, and differing service levels can become a nightmare to manage. Centralizing localization procurement and operations minimizes these complexities by bringing all administrative functions under one roof. This singularity increases operational efficiency, making it easier to manage budgets, enforce contract terms, and ensure compliance across different markets. It simplifies invoicing and payment processes and allows for a holistic analysis of the localization spend and return on investment. 


Moreover, a centralized administrative function emanates stronger negotiating power. This strength can be used to ensure compliance with important legal and regulatory requirements, which can vary widely across markets and carry significant liabilities if not adhered to correctly. 



Businesses intent on success in the international field must regard localization as a strategic priority. Centralizing localization procurement and operations is critical in this regard. It brings technological efficiency, robust infrastructure, centralized assets, uniform processes, economies of scale, and streamlined administration under one umbrella. When these elements are combined, cost savings, brand consistency, market agility, and administrative ease are synergized - elevating the business position in global markets. Companies embracing centralization as a best practice will not only optimize their localization efforts but also gain a competitive edge, crucial for thriving in today's diverse commercial landscape. 

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