;   Medical Translation Insight: Creating a translation budget in 5 steps - ForeignExchange Translations

Creating a translation budget in 5 steps

Creating a translation budgetAcross most medical device and pharmaceutical companies, this is the time of year when next year's budgets are compiled.

Translation budgets are gaining increased visibility in this process. The following will provide a good how-to outline and allow translation managers to fine-tune their numbers to get more accurate forecasts and tease out ways to save money.

1. Establish project types
First of all, establish a matrix of your project types. Outline typical projects that you have translated, with some specifications around them.

For example, you might have IFUs that are four pages long, created in Adobe InDesign, with an average word count of 1,200 words. Get as refined as you can in the specifications, even within the same document type, there can be variations. Do the same for all the project types you submit for translation, whether you have labels, help files, Web pages, and so on.

2. History
A good way to determine your project types is to look at the past year or two. What types of projects did you do? How many did you do? What languages, word counts, page counts and so on. This is an area where your vendor can help you. By linking average costs for your established project types gets you halfway home to creating your budget.

Do you see any trends when you look at past years? Did prices go up when you changed software? Did your costs spike when a new language was added to the mix? Did TM leveraging stay steady? Again, lean on your agency for help with this.

3. Research
Next, do a little research. Is there anything coming up that will impact translation? Are some new countries joining the EU or now requiring localized documentation? Are there any new regulatory directives or requirements that will require new translations for existing products? Do you plan to redesign any of your documents or templates in the coming year? Were there, or are there any pending, company mergers or acquisitions that will mean re-branding or absorption of a new set of documentation.

These are items to note and gauge the impact of that would add new costs to the translation mix on top of your project types.

4. Look ahead
Now that you have your project types, average costs associated with each and any new requirements determined, you need to find out what is ahead. To do this, you have to get input from the decision-makers at your company. Poll your internal clients. Does marketing plan any new campaigns? Are there new products being launched that require new documentation? Are products going to be sold in a new geography next year?

By determining these things, you can see where and what types of documentation will be needed and where new translations come in.

5. Pull it all together
Finally, pull it all together. Remember your matrix of project types? Now you can fill in how many of each are expected in the coming year and what languages for each. You can create a rough schedule for timing to find potential bottlenecks. And finally, you can add in a column for the estimated prices for each project, based on metrics from the past year and from input from your translation provider.

Though it may seem like dumping work on them, they will actually appreciate this kind of detailed forecasting information because their sales managers are also asking them what is coming.

Budgeting doesn't have to be such a crystal ball exercise if you identify your variables, project types and use metrics to get estimated costs. In this way, it becomes more of a methodical scientific process and one that can yield accurate forecasts, great ideas for cost savings and happy upper management.

Three more to read:

Subscribing to the Medical Translation Insight via email or RSS provides you with daily news regarding language, technology, and regulations.


Post a Comment


Services | Resources | Company | Contact Us | Blog | Home

(c) Copyright 2010, ForeignExchange Translations, Inc.