Efficient Translations & Energy-Efficient Appliances?

Up front costs vs. long term costs in translation and localization

Energy Efficency

You are probably wondering what do efficient power appliances have to do with efficient translations. Bear with me as I tell you this brief story first…

In an effort to help save the environment and reduce energy costs, we purchased last year a new washer and dryer that were guaranteed to save 70% on energy costs opens in a new window. The washer uses 80% less water, hence saving 80% of the energy used to heat it. It also does a much better job wringing water out of clothes during the spin cycle, benefiting the dryer because the clothes are less wet.

The dryer smartly recycles the heat from the generated vapor, and shuts off automatically when the clothes are dry. These features significantly reduce the amount of energy it needs.

Cost of Efficiency

These smart appliances were twice as costly to purchase. But the price was well justified when we factored in long-term savings in energy costs and lower CO2 emissions. We are on track to get payback on our higher upfront investment by next year, leaving us with significant savings on energy costs for many more years to come.

Real Cost of Operation

With much higher energy costs today, many people are reconsidering purchasing the lower-cost but inefficient appliances. They are no longer simply comparing the sticker prices before they make the purchasing decision. Buyers are becoming more sophisticated, looking at second- and third-order parameters to calculate the real cost of ownership.

When it comes to translation and localization, what kind of consumer are you? Do you look at the translation per word rate alone when choosing a vendor? Or, do you look at the long-term costs associated with future updates and maintenance of your products and literature? Are efficient translations and long term translation costs important to you?

Translation Industry

With thousands of translation companies competing in a fragmented market, many capitalize on the limited knowledge or time that most consumers have to select a vendor. They adopt lower upfront costs per word to lure new clients in, hiding the long-term maintenance costs and rates. Later, they apply unfavorable rates on leveraged translations during follow-up projects and updates.

In the short term, this may appear to be a benefit to the client and a solution to their often limited budgets. But in the long term, it is a much costlier scenario.

Efficient Translations Are Key

When looking for a new translation and localization service vendor, just like when you are looking at buying a new appliance, do not simply compare advertised rates. Ask about fuzzy-matching rates and the costs applied on already-translated sentences. Any upfront savings due to lower per-word rates will quickly evaporate when you factor in the recurring charges imposed on text you already paid to have translated!


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