Strategic partnerships within language and translation services

Managed Service Providers ensure our businesses have competitive advantage in service, quality, responsiveness and cost in the global market, especially in the area of language and translation services.

As the outsourcing market continues to grow, building long-term partnerships with a limited number of trusted vendors has become an essential part of the development, manufacturing and commercialisation process in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry. The objective is to develop strategic partnerships that help lower costs while creating efficiencies in the value chain.

By definition, a Managed Service Provider (MSP) is an outsourced third-party organisation that assumes the responsibility for managing several defined services and functions. Over the last few years, this concept has become increasingly relevant in the Language Services space, where larger and smaller Life Sciences companies face the ongoing challenge of managing countless local and global Language Service Providers (LSPs) with little visibility and control on the overall translation strategy.

In an environment where accelerating time to market for new drugs and close monitoring of costs and quality becomes a priority, a centralised approach to the Language Services strategy is of utmost importance. While the MSP solution needs to be flexible and tailored for each organisation based on their needs and goals, there are five key components to consider for a successful MSP program. These are:

  • Centralised Translation Memory: Consolidating all outstanding translated content across existing and past vendors is the first step to building a “golden” library; a single medium that allows for increased quality and consistency, faster timelines and reduced costs.
  • Suitable LSPs: While it is important to guarantee minimal disruption, especially at a local level, for this program to succeed, it is recommended to select 3-4 key LSP partners that can provide the right level of support and cultural fit for each content type and language pair.
  • Vendor agnostic technology platform: A technology portal is essential to ensure all users and LSPs can interact in the same environment. Technology is critical to facilitating automation, tracking, reporting and alignment.
  • Quality assurance team: These teams help in defining and implementing robust governance plans for all the parties involved to manage delivery expectations and identify means to drive continuous improvement (KPIs, SLAs, feedback tracking, auditing, etc.).
  • Finance team: Taking care of reporting, tracking savings and preparing invoicing on behalf of the sponsor falls within the purview of this team. It provides a detailed level of visibility and data into the translation program that many pharma companies struggle to achieve.

Managed Service Providers start at the beginning, thoroughly reviewing all current processes and with minimal disruption, implementing an integrated solution-oriented program where all involved parties work together seamlessly and act in the sponsor’s best interest. Overall, having an MSP partner that acts as an extension of your team provides you with access to industry experts, enhanced visibility of your translation program and custom-based infrastructure, so that your team can focus on the core business functionalities.

If you would like to learn more about an MSP program, contact us today.