Before we begin this story, we need to talk about the elephant in the room – the elusive ROI and KPIs of localization and translation services. Unless you have decided to invest in localization with a very specific objective of such a venture – for example, localizing user manuals/help files to decrease the number of calls to the customer services department – the traditional ROI and KPI measurements will simply not work no matter how you try.
The reason for this is actually very simple – translation and localization do not generate revenue. They are tools that enable revenue generation.
However, this does not mean that their effects cannot be measured or assessed. One of the ways that may help with this is running a Quarterly Business Review.
What is a Quarterly Business Review?
QBR is a meeting between the services provider and the client on a quarterly (half-yearly or even annual or monthly) basis where the data on the business collaboration is presented in the form of a report and discussed. It is the point where we present what we have done for you over a specific period and what we can do to support your business operations in the future.
In the context of the language industry, this report often includes the volumes of translated/localized words, the overview of costs and the improvements made, overview of dedicated project teams, language pairs and other relevant information, as well as any suggestions for improvement of collaboration.
Why do you need a QBR and how does it help with the KPI tracking?
Translation/localization services are specific and vastly different processes and solutions are applied depending on the individual requirements and goals.
Naturally, customized solutions require customized tracking and analysis. With QBR, you get an invaluable insight into the language services rendered that can help you make better and more informed decisions regarding your current and future localization efforts on specific markets.
Also, remember what we said earlier about the KPIs and ROI measurements?
In the heavily fragmented world of localization where every client (or even every project) can have highly specific KPIs, QBRs are an excellent tool that feature detailed breakdown of all translation/localization costs, helping you and your localization and marketing departments with your internal assessments of your localization efforts and justification of the expenses.
In addition, QBRs help you understand what types of language services you currently use and what (if any) additional language services you may need.
Want to learn more about the value of localization? Check out our series of articles The Value of Localization for Beginners:
When is the right time for the first QBR?
Its name suggests that it is after every three months and in some cases 90 days after the contract has been signed really is the right time for the meeting.
However, this will always depend on the scope of business collaboration. Running a QBR after only a handful of small projects makes no sense, so the right time is when the collaboration truly lifts off and when both we and you have had a sufficient number of actual projects to get to know each other’s methods of work and expectations.
In other words, a Quarterly Business Review can easily be both a Monthly or an Annual Business Review.
Meeting, Report or an Event?
In our view, QBR is an essential part of business collaboration. By using the data from the previous projects, it helps us see how the things can be maintained on the current satisfactory levels or improved in the future. It tells the story about our collaboration and mutual success and serves two invaluable purposes:
- It provides you with a deep insight into your localization efforts, costs, savings and quality assurance;
- It helps us demonstrate our value and learn more about your expectations and requirements, helping us tailor our services accordingly.
So, whatever we call it, QBR is an excellent tool that saves time and resources and improves business collaboration.