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This may come as a surprise to some—or maybe you’ve never even thought about it like this before—but translators are a commodity! That’s right, the service they provide can be negotiated and purchased, just like most commodities can, and if you haven’t put much thought into how to get the most out of what you’re spending on translation services, now is a great time to start.

Let’s take a look at some facts before we go any further:

  • There are over 28,000 language service providers (LSPs).
  • Most LSPs are capable of providing translations for the 15 main languages.
  • These 15 languages service 92% of the world’s GDP.
  • Most businesses aren’t bidding out their translations needs!

Translations are a commodity… bid out your current translators!

What we’ve found by talking with businesses is that most are not taking this important step into consideration. The question we pose to these businesses is, “Why do you take the time to bid out other services but not translations?”

We can assume some common answers to this are, including time and budgetary constraints, confusion as to where to begin, and unfamiliarity communicating with LSPs and with translations as a whole. Here at Kinetic, we think it’s important to educate customers and prospects. The simple act of bidding out translation services is so important because it can contribute to a cost savings that will impact your bottom line!

Are you bidding out other outside costs?

When we talk to businesses, we learn that most do, in fact, bid out printing costs and other outside vendor costs. Not only that, they also demand an itemized list of the job details. On that same note, most are surprised that their procurement team can do the same with translations and get better cost savings along the way.

The translation industry is just under $37 billion with 28,000 LSPs providing translation services. In comparison, the print industry is $86 billion with 27,000 commercial printers providing print services. There are more LSPs fighting for less than half the printing dollars, yet most companies utilize one or two LSPs without quoting it out. And, if you can’t speak whatever language you’re translating content to, you’re just paying the translation bill without questioning the cost details.

TheGlobalizor™ translation management system (TMS) monitors the cost details and rates the LSP translator’s performance on quality, cost comparisons, and time delivery. It even has an optional bid platform to keep the LSPs working hard to get your business. Visit our website at or contact me directly at to learn more.

about the author: Steve Ragan

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