Case Study: Car Maker Speeds up Graphic Turnaround

Automotive manufacturers who make and sell vehicles around the world also create and translate literature—including marketing materials, owners’ manuals, service documentation and more—to support those vehicles. The thing is, most auto makers aren’t translation experts. But we are.

When major automotive manufacturers outsource translation and localization to us, they save big chunks of time and money. Here are a few examples:

75% Reduction in Cost-Per-Word

Costs escalated when a truck and bus manufacturer transitioned its technical documentation, user interfaces and driver instructions to new formats, including an in-cab interface. They also lost consistency of content quality.

We devised a translation memory strategy that helped the truck and bus manufacturer reuse content for its new applications. We helped conduct a translation quality survey and validation workflow to capture market preferences. We also helped automate handoffs, and created a fast-turn workflow for the most urgent tasks.

As a result of using our automotive translation services, the truck and bus manufacturer reduced cost-per-word 75% and translation quality now consistently scores 98%. Plus, they saved translation memory while migrating to digital formats, and had a very smooth introduction of Persian, including the UI display for mixed character sets.

100% On-Time Delivery

A global car maker came to us with some very big goals to scale up their automotive translations over the course of three years. The first year, they expected to translate 1 million source words into four new target languages. Year two: 10 million words in seven languages. Year three: 40 million words in 30 languages. But that’s not all. The automotive manufacturer expected tight turnarounds without impacting translation quality, as well as high volumes of graphics with text for localization.

We gladly accepted the challenge. Through our Lean Six Sigma methodology, we reengineered processes and built tools to automate graphics integration. We also prioritized highly repeatable content and prepopulated those words and phrases into the translation memory, which was excellent for reuse. Through our automotive translation services, we automated workflow and added the capability to combine or split files, which made the best use of available resources.

The car maker achieved its turnaround target, reducing turnaround times by 50% and delivering 100% on time. Quality improved rapidly through re-use of approved content, and costs went down 65% in the first year, with anticipated reduction of 95% by year four.

95% Faster Turnaround Time

One of the three biggest U.S. automakers wanted to improve time-to-market by translating product support documents faster. They also wanted to control costs and ensure consistency by centralizing terminology management.

We managed multiple preferred suppliers as well as the translation service itself, including terminology for multiple document types and online content. We introduced a capability to reuse translated copy approved in previous iterations—so the car maker didn’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. We also handled offsite hard copy and electronic document storage, and created a direct interface into the automaker’s content management system.

The results? The translation of workshop manuals went from 120 days down to 15 days. Technical service bulletins can now be turned around in 48 hours or less. Training manual turnaround went from 60 days down to 15 days. Recall notices went from 10 days down to just one. Not only did the car company reduce production time by 80%-95% with our automotive translation services, but it also saw huge improvements in document effectiveness because of consistent terminology. 

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