Acquisition of Language Services
The Translation Services Procurement Process
Vide: European Standard EN15038:20006 and ISO 17100:2015
Within the procurement process for the acquisition of language services, the international community of language service providers Lexis Pro (www.lexis.pro) hereby list some of guidelines that should be considered not only in the analysis of the proposals submitted by the different language services providers (LSPs), but also in the weighing of the broader and perhaps comparative assumptions that should govern the selection and acquisition of translation services.
This information intends, above all, to raise the customers' awareness to the fact that a translation service is a set of complex processes that go beyond the reductive idea that translation is an individual act that results in the simple production of a translated text. Both upstream and downstream of this final product reside several issues that entail an appreciation that goes far beyond the simple and basic criterion: "the lowest price".
In this sense, the community Lexis Pro recommends that, in addition to the price, which one wishes to be the lowest, the acquisition of translation services takes into account the following aspects:
a) A translation company should be certified by the European Standard EN15038:2006 or ISO 17100:2015, duly audited by an external entity.
b) A translation company must produce evidence that its translation process includes Translation, Revision and Quality Assurance.
c) A translation company should inform all its customers that they are protected by a Post-Sale Protection and Support Service.
d) The services provided by the LSC must be covered by a professional liability insurance, the PLI.
e) Last, but , not less important than the above considerations, it should be noted that a company must govern its services under its strictest and most rigorous codes of conduct, as well as of co-associates', such as: the ATA - American Translators Association, or the EUATC - European Union of Associations of Translation Companies.
Nevertheless, and because translation companies should make every effort to meet the needs of their customers, when faced budgets with different proposals, the customer should, in addition to considering the "price" factor alone, assess with the competing companies which processes and services are included, in fact, in such a price.
The customer should, then, analyse a more comprehensive set of services that complement the translation process, thus contributing to increase the quality of projects and differentiate companies within the same industry.
Thus, when awarding a specific project, it is relevant to equally consider criteria other than the price, since the latter, in itself, is not synonymous to a more advantageous offer, taking into account the complexity of the services involved in the tender. Thus, Lexis Pro advocates a set of criteria that should be the basis of a secure, reliable and thoughtful selection of a language service company for future language services procurement process:
2. Certification of the company, under the standard in force for the industry, duly audited by a recognized external entity;
3. Offer of an integrated TEP service (Translation + Edit -+Proofreading), with traceability and accountability;
4. Implementation of a Post-Sale Protection and Support Service;
5. Contracting of a Professional Liability Insurance (PLI);
6. Governance of its services under the most stringent codes of conduct, as well as participation and membership in professional associations within the business sector.