The high-tech parts of a fine car have value before they are assembled – but not as a machine that can actually do something. Similarly, the sophisticated language services offered by LSPs like Skrivanek are done by individual people and technological elements, but not before those people are sourced and coordinated by Vendor Managers.
LSP work relies on the following vendors:
- DTP experts
- Software technicians
- and others
Behind the scenes these specialists are located and prepared for your project needs. The time required to source, test, and train them represents a substantial investment for any LSP, and the largest LSPs have extensive Vendor Management Departments that might contain one or two dozen Vendor Managers. The best Vendor Managers are professionals who possess people skills, great communication ability, problem-solving talent, conscientious detail oversight, and experience at maintaining relationships with both vendors and clients. They need to understand the entire scope of a client’s project and all of its details in order to source the best vendors for every aspect. This process depends upon the long-term development of a database of excellent language specialists by Vendor Managers who excel at:
- Seeking candidates from all over the world, with diverse language, cultural, and specialty backgrounds
- Skillfully examining CVs to spot good candidates
- Administering and interpreting translation tests, which are usually about 500 words related to different fields, depending on the linguist’s stated expertise
- Ensuring strong CAT tool skills in every candidate
- Interviewing promising candidates in order to perceive their honesty, communication ability, and personability (teamwork is usually important)
Vendor Management is key to an LSP’s growth. Without a well-vetted talent pool available for high-demand fields and language combinations, an LSP is not prepared to scale up for project opportunities that come their way.
Once good vendors are assigned and a job has begun, the Vendor Manager is still busy keeping the machine functioning well. They will check in with vendors to make sure they are comfortable with their assignment and resources, and that their work progresses on schedule. If personal issues arise for a vendor, the best Vendor Managers will handle the situation with compassion for the vendor and quick-thinking to make adjustments for the project. When a project takes a turn and unexpected or new elements arise, this can also involve the Vendor Manager working with the Project Manager to find additional vendors or substitutes.
Skrivanek’s Vendor Management is handled by a skilled group of experienced managers who work hard. And as AI technology is developed to streamline testing and other evaluation methods we are integrating it where helpful. If you ever have questions about our vendors’ qualifications or our methods for choosing the professionals we use for your project, we are happy to share more details.
J. V. McShulskis