In an industry which is traditionally highly competitive, such as language service provision, the right business approach is essential in order to stand out from the crowd.
Just as the labour market has been shifting towards extreme specialisation for some years now, many companies have also chosen to specialise in a single area in order to exploit and/or build a knowledge base over time, which allows them to be more productive while offering improved performance.
In the case of the translation industry, this phenomenon is widespread but still not as much as one might expect.
Many translation companies offer services in all languages and all spheres of knowledge. But who can afford to gather so much expertise and competence in their team that they can in order to satisfy the needs of practically any market or sector?
Let’s look at the facts.
A successful translation project requires an infrastructure with these elements at the very least:
An agency that wishes to offer translation and localisation services for all sectors must be able to rely on a pool of collaborators with experience in dozens, or rather hundreds of different fields.
In the same way, the agency must be able to skilfully manage file formats and other typical procedures of each sector (e.g. AutoCAD files for architecture and engineering resources, video files for the advertising sector, subtitling files for audio-visual needs etc.). And, last but not least, it should have detailed and proven workflow models for each type of project.
To sum up, it is reasonable to presume that only large companies can rely on such an infrastructure. A solid and structured company is able to create a database of collaborators, by having the Vendor Management department select and filter the best language specialists while asking the IT department to develop or implement the necessary tools.
All this is difficult for a small company, leaving you wondering how some micro-agencies manage to translate in all languages and for all sectors…
Arkadia, on the other hand, has always set itself the objective of supplying language services in some very specific fields: legal and financial.
For over twenty years, it has developed the skills and experience requested by a very demanding clientele: not only in terms of content but also and above all in terms of work processes. The legal firms and financial/banking companies with which Arkadia collaborates often work at an extremely quick pace, which means it is essential to provide them with high-quality translations in a very short time.
With an increase in business and the resulting structuring and expansion of resources, Arkadia has been able also to widen both its range of languages and the fields in which it works, adding marketing and website localisation to the mix. This step was gradual as it was first necessary to train and consolidate the teams. To serve its clientele, it has selected and recruited over 500 translators working in around 80 languages since its inception in 1999.
Specialising in specific sectors has allowed Arkadia to define its position very clearly in the minds of current and potential customers. Another advantage of specialisation, apart from positioning, is the word-of-mouth effect: by successfully working with some of the most important names in the legal sector, the same customers then recommended Arkadia’s services to other colleagues.
At the end of the day, specialising means speaking the same language as the client, knowing the idiosyncrasies of the sector, understanding its concerns. The customer not only grasps this affinity but also, and above all, sees it reflected in the provider’s way of working, which adapts wherever necessary to suit his/her own. So, with this confidence, the customer then opts to put his trust in the provider, to the benefit of the business relationship, and often also of the human relationships.