Pro Guide: Translation Pricing and Procurement

Slator’s Pro Guide: Translation Pricing and Procurement outlines the major features of translation and localization pricing as well as key components of translation procurement in the context of the wider USD 25bn language industry.

With the per-word unit rate still a key metric in translation pricing, the Pro Guide first unpacks the numerous factors that influence per-word rates. It features a graphic overview of the incumbent per-word pricing model, which highlights why the per-word headline rates agreed upon with a customer are just one element of translation pricing.

We examine the role of translation memory (TM) in pricing, and present industry standard applications of TM discounts. For language service providers and enterprises operating an insourced translation model that employs full-time translators, we propose a linguist incentivization scheme that has proven successful for increasing the output and margin of internal translators at scale.

The guide also outlines main pricing models and pricing ranges for translation technology, referencing and analyzing public data from leading translation management system (TMS) providers, and self-serve machine translation (MT) providers.

In Emerging Pricing Models & Trends, the Pro Guide delves into the latest developments in translation pricing models as they evolve to reflect the maturing role of technology — such as MT and evermore sophisticated TMSs — and as they adapt to other macro-trends.

We review post-editing machine translation (PEMT) and human-in-the-loop and augmented translation workflows, highlighting how tighter integration between MT, TM, and TMS technologies enables industry participants to explore new pricing models that are increasingly rooted in data.

Buyers of this Pro Guide and Slator Strategy Package subscribers can access a briefing held on April 7, 2021 were we discussed the report’s findings and engaged in a Q&A with the authors. Ping us on the chat box to get access.

These actionable insights are supplemented by commentary from industry experts, who share their views on emerging pricing models and trends and the ongoing role of the per-word rate.

The guide explores three typical language service procurement models operated by translation buyers — decentralized, centralized, and hybrid — and presents the pros and cons of each. It also discussed how small and medium language services providers compete for large buyers, as well as the role of sourcing cycles, rate cards, and KPIs in translation procurement.

In addition to 10 charts featured in the main body of the guide, the Appendices contain two charts that present and analyze pricing information from translators, and a summary table of pricing information (per-word rates, service levels, volume discounts, rush surcharges, etc.) for 20 LSPs.

Based on both publicly available information and Slator’s proprietary data, the charts and tables will help readers contextualize and benchmark pricing information.

The guide can be used as a standalone resource and is best read alongside Slator’s flagship 2020 Language Industry Market Report and Pro Guide: Sales and Marketing for Language Service Providers.

Slator Research is available in pay-as-you-go or to subscribers of Slator’s Annual Research or Strategy Packages. Don’t miss out on Slator’s other recent data and research products: Slator 2020 M&A and Funding Report, and Slator 2021 Data-for-AI Report.

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