Making Good People Better

Are you paying too much for localization?

Finding a service-oriented localization vendor with best value pricing is a challenge. How are you fairing?
You might have difficulty to tell. Every vendor has a different way of quoting. Just to name a few:

  • Project management fees included in word rates – or not
  • Translation, editing and proofreading quoted separately – or not
  • Savings from translation memories passed through – or not
  • Charges for in-context matches – or not

By now, I have spent 20 years negotiating prices for localization services. My efforts were mainly focused on the buyer side, but I have also helped several language services providers to win contracts.

My free workshop on winning test translations has been all the buzz this year.

And now, I am pushing the bar a little bit higher and will share with you my pricing matrix for localization services – along with sample rates (English as source) that vendors have actually agreed on.

These are not list rates, or self-reported prices. These are best value rates.

(if rates are not showing, try refreshing the page)

I am not a price shopper. In fact, I do not believe in cheap labor in localization. I believe in the value of translation professionals that fully use the power of technology. These are the guys that tend to deliver full value at reasonable rates.

I never look for lowest prices. Instead I want rates that give my clients best value in terms of quality, service level agreements, project manager engagement, and service guarantees.

Service Levels Matter.

All my negotiations include:

  • Business days and hours in each relevant time zone
  • Handling of local holidays and backup
  • Project management responsibilities and workload leveling
  • Program / account management and escalation path
  • Complexity of content or subject matter expertise
  • Vendor localization team responsiveness and turn-around times
  • Terms and conditions for rush/express services
  • Quality management and issue resolution
  • Operational reporting and business reviews
  • Deliverables and acceptance criteria
  • Vendor ability to perform (check my LSP Health Meter)
  • Technology savviness and ability to innovate

Any of these negotiation items may influence your best value rate. For example, support from project management for 24 hours a day, in all time zones, and 365 days a year is costlier than getting the same service from 9-5 in just one time zone.

So, if you are out there for the cheap, this is not your place. But if you are looking for best-fit partners, this pricing matrix is a good starting point.

I will not disclose what individual vendors have quoted. For one, I will always protect each vendor that I am working with. So, do not ask me how your vendor compares with specific others. I won’t tell.

I will share with you, however, how your vendor’s pricing compares to the average best value rates. Individual quotes may be lower or higher depending on several factors listed above.

If you are a buyer of localization services, Team Lawless will work with you to achieve the same rates.

If you are selling services, my team and I are there for you to help you become more competitive in both, pricing and customer service.

Just send me an email and I will be back in touch with you shortly.

Andrew Lawless

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