Merrill Brink Releases Industry Insight on Sept 27, 2012: Guidelines on how to optimise the in-country review process

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Merrill Brink

Guidelines on how to optimise your in-country review process

The increasingly global business environment brings unique challenges to many organisations and service providers. Multilingual projects are becoming common, that creates a necessity for translation and localisation of content from legal documents, marketing campaigns, clinical study protocol to an e-learning course. Reviewing the prospective translation partners and reviewers within each country where you do business is advantageous and recommended.
For translation clients, carrying out an in-country review can provide a huge amount of reassurance in verifying the quality of the work produced by a translation service provider. However, if the review itself is not handled effectively, an in-country review can create problems. It can increase the amount of time to complete and deliver the translation, and in some cases may ultimately delay a product launch to a new market.

Selecting a qualified translation service provider
First, review the qualification of your translation service provider. The most important attribute to check for is the provider’s ability to seamlessly integrate people (internal and external), automation and technology to facilitate workflow and the processes. This should include the process flow of transferring the translated materials for review and working with the corporate terminologies.
If you are working with multiple translation agencies and independent in-country translators, make an effort to limit the preferred suppliers to a manageable number. Whilst working with a large number of independent in-county translators may seem cost-effective at first, the assembly and collection of all translated work will need more time to review, proof, coordinate and manage the project. Small agencies may not have access to cutting-edge and scalable technology, which can considerably reduce the workload and costs. Translation quality tends to be enhanced by working with a limited number of translation partners who can provide a comprehensive, integrated service and whose translators are subject matter experts as well as certified language professionals.
When reviewing a translation services provider, find out the methodologies and processes they use to deliver translation and localisation services. Request a case study similar to your industry or type of service – this will give you an idea if they are streamlined, efficient with practiced processes. Translation service providers who adopt the Lean and Six Sigma approaches can offer clients the benefits of a well-established project execution, with reduced errors and maximised quality.
According to Corbett, “Lean and Six Sigma are perhaps currently the most popular and some would claim the two most powerful strategies for achieving operational and service excellence in any organisation today.” There are five key principles of lean organisations that are identified as follows:
(1)    the identification of waste;
(2)    the specification of the value stream;
(3)    the achievement of flow through the process;
(4)    pacing by a pull signal; and
(5)    the continuous pursuit of perfection.
Lean Six Sigma tools are usually employed to meet the international standard ISO 9001:2008 for Quality Management System certification. The use of Lean Six Sigma methodologies, techniques and overall quality management practice is an indicator of a translation provider’s commitment to a culture of continuous improvement and performance excellence.
When you find a translation services partner who can suggest an impressive process and plan that perfectly suits your in-country needs, it will be clear that you are working with the right provider.

Choosing the best in-country reviewer
There are several important factors that can affect the quality of your in-country review that require your attention at the event you assess and select your reviewers.
It is highly recommended that reviewers are focused on the technical accuracy and factual correctness, and enforce the set corporate terminologies for consistency and quality. They should be subject matter experts of the topic covered in the documents being translated in the specific country. It is also essential that they are native speakers of that country’s language.

Aim to designate an accountable person to oversee and coordinate the entire translation project review for each country and language. Make sure that your chosen reviewer is available throughout the process to avoid confusing hand-over and duplication of roles during the review stages.

An exceptional in-country reviewer will periodically audit your review cycles from previous language projects to determine if all review steps were absolutely necessary. Eliminating unnecessary review cycles will dramatically improve translation speed and cost.
Follow these guidelines to help ensure that the in-country review of your translation project is efficient and effective. To achieve and improve your organisation’s overall strategic content management goals, discuss with your translation service provider to define, measure, analyse, improve and control the involved operational process internally and externally.


Corbett, Lawrence. Lean Six Sigma: the contribution to business excellence. International Journal of Operations & Production Management. Vol. 2 No. 2, 2011 pp. 118-131

About Merrill Brink International
Merrill Brink International ( is a leading provider of complete translation and language solutions for global companies and law firms, with special expertise in serving the legal, financial, life sciences, software, heavy machinery and corporate markets. A proven leader with more than 30 years of experience, Merrill Brink offers a wide range of language solutions including translation, localisation, desktop publishing and globalisation services.

Merrill Brink is recognised in the industry for its commitment to quality and its pioneering approach of leveraging technology to reduce costs, eliminate redundant processes and accelerate translation life cycles. Merrill Brink is certified to ISO 9001:2008; ISO 27001:2005 and ISO 13485:2003, and registered to EN 15038:2006 and ISO 14971:2007. Together, these standards provide assurance that the most stringent process and quality standards for translation are followed. Merrill Brink International is a wholly owned subsidiary of Merrill Corporation.
For more information, please contact Merrill Brink at eurosales(at)merrillbrink(dot)com or in Europe, call 353-(0)91-393000 or in the U.S., call 800-688-4400;
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