In the life sciences industry, especially for multinational large scale enterprises that are continuously developing new products, companies such as: Agilent, Waters, PerkinElmer, etc., are producing a large amount of new content requiring translation and localization，this content includes: product manuals, online help guides, multi-lingual website content, software localization, marketing, etc., to assist buyers from across the world to purchase products. Translation and localization in the life sciences industry are very complex processes. Due to the high technical thresholds in the industry, it has much more stringent requirements for quality and efficiency of translation and localization services. Moreover, with a new product launch, it may involve localization from a few to tens of languages; this creates a number of challenges to determine the strength of translation and localization providers.
EC Innovations has provided translation and localization services to Waters, the industry giant in the world’s life sciences industry, for more than 14 years; let us examine how EC Innovations guarantees its high quality translation and localization services：
Mr. Brian is the GPM responsible for the Waters project, he has just returned from Waters’ headquarters in America. During an interview with Brian, Elsa (author of this article) attempted to find out the core elements of the high quality services rendered by EC Innovations:
How do you ensure the quality of translation and localization?
Hello Brian! First of all, welcome back!
Hello, thank you!
What are the reasons that have enabled your Waters biochemical project team to have served Waters for the last 14 years?
Firstly, our biochemistry team members are translators who are very familiar with the biochemical industry. They consist of undergraduate and postgraduate students in the biochemistry profession, researchers engaged in related research work for many years and personnel who are working in the life sciences industry, all of them with a biochemical background.
Apart from professional translators, we also have long-term co-operation with industry experts in SMEs who can provide information as well as advice and proofreading in terms of terminology. Most of them are university professors in biochemical instrumentation and front line scientific research workers. Only with such a professional team can we ensure the quality of translation that we deliver to our client (Waters).
Can you please explain in detail, how you ensure the delivery of high quality translations to this customer?
Let’s put it this way, in order to ensure the quality of translation, we design the entire process for the translation project to be meticulous and lengthy. Every translation project will go through translation→ proof reading→ review→ third party proof reading → final review, interwoven with a QA (Quality Assurance) audit, which means that from the beginning of the project to the delivery to our end customer, there will be at least five to six people who have seen the same content. Please remember this is only a translation project for a single language, on many occasions, we receive requests for 4 to 5 languages, and therefore this will usually involve management of more than 20 translators. If a project requires DTP (Desktop Publishing), it will go through a DTP quality control process, after delivery of DTP, it will be combined with the translation again to conduct a final review and proofreading. The biochemistry industry is different to other industries, with much more stringent requirements for quality control; for example in terms of the medical industry, it will often involve translation of “in vivo diagnostic” related documents, this specialized technical information comes with very strict regulatory requirements and can’t be handled casually.
How to balance the efficiency of both translation and localization？
When the project process is lengthy and complex, will it affect its delivery schedule?
No, it won’t. On one hand, we have the support of TBMS（Translation Business Management System). TBMS is a self-developed system by EC Innovations, enabling both the translation company and the customer to work within an integrated translation project management system which consists of: “Customer Requirements Submission” → “Online System Quotation” → “Project Management Process” → “Project Delivery” → “Automatic Report Generation”, it covers the maintenance of linguistic assets, financial management, agile localization, content quality control and machine translation as well as other functions. It can efficiently complete the development, advancement and management of the project. On the other hand, we also take advantage of time zone differences to accelerate our response rates.
Can you explain “time zone difference advantages” specifically?
For example, in a software development process, they (Waters) need to publish a new version everyday, we can get the translation done the night before they need to publish a new version, then during the day, they can come out with a brand new version to carry out another test, therefore expediting their software development. At Waters US Headquarters, I spend most of the time working with the client, participating in their daily research and development panel discussions; as soon as there is new content from the project to be translated, I can follow up immediately and begin the translation process; this is what we mean by practicing “Agile Development” Localization.
When you encounter a bigger workload, how do you ensure a timely delivery?
To complete a large workload in a very short period of time is indeed the challenge of our translation work; in order not to compromise on quality, we have to work overtime to complete the jobs. After all, translation projects are done using manpower, the reason we have been able to serve Waters for so many years, is that we are able to respond quickly to overcome changes. When customers experience difficulties, EC Innovations will try diligently to assist them in resolving these challenges. It is this “can do” attitude, that has helped established a long-term co-operative relationship between Waters and EC Innovations.
When it comes to describing our relationship with Waters, Brian said: “Not only with Waters, but with other enterprises we work with, the working relationships have gone beyond that of a mere language supplier, we become co-operative partners who work towards the same goal with mutual trust and support.”
Up until the date of publication of this article, EC Innovations has cumulatively translated more than 10 million words for Waters! In order to maintain high quality translations, EC Innovations has formed a 20-person biochemistry professional translation team, and through scientific quality control processes, ensures the high quality and high efficiency of translation and localization services for Waters.