In our work with medical device and IVD companies, ForeignExchange's team has noticed that more and more of them are taking a careful look at which markets (and languages!) they support.
In these companies' efforts to reduce costs and gain efficiencies, smaller markets in particular, are on the "chopping block". I remember one device company, in particular, that considered whether or not to continue supporting the Greek market.
The regional manager mentioned that all the products the company ever sold in Greece would comfortably fit on a conference room table. They then compared this revenue to the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on translating, packaging, shipping, and providing support for the Greek market, and the conclusion was both quick and easy: drop Greek translations.
Most situations aren't quite as clear-cut, of course. Clients tell us that some of the questions they look at include:
- How many markets are under consideration?
- What is the size of these markets, now and in the future?
- What products are currently selling in these markets as well as domestically?
- What are competitors doing?
- Do the selected markets support price points that allow for profit?
Translation spend isn't the main cost but it certainly receives attention. Increasingly, device companies are looking at:
- Incorporating previous user feedback
- Shortening inserts, labels, and marketing documents
- Redesigning packaging, labeling, and documentation
- Writing with translation in mind
Clear and simple language is less likely to be altered in translation. Instructions that are clear and accurate are a necessary part of a strong legal defense against product liability claims, not only in North America, but all over the world.
Rather than being a threat to our medical translation business, all of these efforts to do more with less present opportunities. Medical translators can provide ideas, guidance, and support to medical device companies. While some languages may get dropped, most client relationships will prosper as a result of these streamlining efforts!
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Categories: medical devices