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Can You Differentiate in Translation?

by Brandon Bissell

The question of value differentiators in the translation industry is important to translation buyers and translation providers alike. With thousands of translation companies vying for increasingly competitive opportunities, and increasingly experienced and skeptical clients moving beyond the benchmark questions of quality and timelines, it’s essential to demonstrate value-differentiated services that set you apart from competitors. For study managers responsible for global clinical trials, the bottom line is time: it takes significant resources and project management to coordinate the many facets of translation activities within the life cycle of a clinical trial. They seek trusted partners that can provide overarching solutions, so they can focus more on study management and less on translation management.

This topic is the focus of a new case study on ClinicaLingua called Partnering with CROs in the Delivery of Integrated Linguistic Services for Global Clinical Trials (click here to view a PDF of the case study). It documents the many levels of support that ClinicaLingua, working within the Imperial Family of Companies, provided to a major CRO conducting a multiple sclerosis trial in 19 countries. From copyright assessment, licensing, translation and linguistic validation of Patient-Reported Outcomes instruments, to printing patient questionnaires, sourcing ancillary supplies and managing global logistics to distribute materials to sites, ClinicaLingua demonstrated differentiated value through its vertically integrated services model. What other translation company can provide that level of support and project management to a study team?

I have been managing translation companies since 2001. Over more than a decade in the industry, my experience is that most companies discuss quality, customer service and perhaps subject matter specialization when asked about what differentiates them. I worked for a smaller medical translation company early in my career, and the major differentiator touted was that the company specialized exclusively in medical translation. While life sciences specialization is also an important differentiator for ClinicaLingua, and certainly quality and customer service are central to our success, there is much more that differentiates ClinicaLingua that led me to join the company. Because we are part of the Imperial Family of Companies, we can offer integrated services and much more. For example, we don’t just do DTP; we have an in-house design team with decades of pre-press experience. We don’t just facilitate or outsource wrap-around services like graphics, print and distribution; they are core parts of our internal business model. We don’t just provide translation project management; we offer overarching project management solutions with a single point of contact to manage your requirements across the spectrum of our services. In my experience, these are true value differentiators for a translation company.

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