Keys to have good relationships with your translation vendors


Having reliable vendors is crucial to your project success. Most clients think that their vendors should be grateful to be able to work with them. That is a short-sighted thought, and is a recipe for a project failure. Finding the right vendor is like having a good marriage. Once you find them, treat them well, build a good working relationship with them, and appreciate them. So, what can you do to stay married with your translation vendors? Here are a few keys to remember.

Give them adequate lead times!

Sure, there are some unavoidable rush projects that you need them done ASAP. But for every project, try to provide your translation vendors as much lead times as possible. Remember that your vendors need to reach out to their linguists, checking on their availability too. By giving them enough lead times, it also helps them understand your needs, making any necessary changes before the start of the project, and preventing any hiccups during the project. So it’s beneficial for both you and your vendors when you can give them a heads up!

Remember that you’re not the only client!

It’s important to understand your vendors have other clients that they are working with too. Your vendors are doing their best to meet all of their clients’ satisfactions. Often times, clients think that they are the only client and every email or phone call should be responded or answered within minutes. It’s clearly not the case. Sometimes the project manager/coordinator or linguist that you want is working with a different client or another project.

Communicate, communicate, communicate

Communication is key in every relationship. You could sabotage your projects or even your relationships with your translation vendor with a lack of communication. Remember to communicate with your vendors if there’s a change in the project timeline, scope of the project, or even point of contact. Having a continuous communication between you and your vendors can help eliminate issues of project quality and delivery, and a headache!! Additionally, having a good communication with your vendors also helps strengthening your relationships and building trust with them.


Accept Accountability and Be Flexible

To have a successful working relationships with your vendors, learning to accept accountability is crucial. Having a success or failure in project delivery depends on both you and your vendors. When you decide to change your project scope or delay your project, it could impact your vendor’s (linguists’) availability or ability to meet your needs or deadlines. So accept your accountability when you make decisions to make any changes to your project(s).

We are all human – be respectful

Sure there are times, that your vendor upsets you, whether not being able to meet the deadline or not being to get a PO in before your quarter ends…

When an unexpected incident happens, you want to scream, write an angry email, or pick up the phone to call them. Take a breath! We are people, we make mistakes – everyone does. There might be times that vendors are just horrible and deserve your anger, but often times, mistakes happen due to everyday hiccups. There’s no need for an angry email or phone call when a small mistake happens, which could lead to a sour in your relationship with the vendor.

Building, maintaining, and strengthening relationships

When you can, meet with your vendors at their offices, your offices, for coffee, for lunch, etc. Getting to know them better, learning more about them, and developing respectful and mutually beneficial relationships. Invite them to your project meetings, asking for feedback, encouraging them to give you suggestions on how you could effectively and efficiently work together. Good client and vendor relationships are crucial for every project success.


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