There’s no shortage of competition in the biotech industry, which is why savvy businesses are partnering with professional language providers to handle all of the biotech translations necessary throughout the stages of a product’s development. Back in 2011, at a BIOtechNow conference, Goldman Sachs equity analyst Issac Ro spoke about the need for companies to be proactive about expansion, specifically emphasizing the attributes of efficiency, innovation, and global communications. Those same attributes are even more essential now as Global Industry Analysts predicts the entire worldwide biotechnology industry to exceed $320 billion by 2015. If you want your company to have the best edge possible in the global markets, then consider working with a professional translation agency. Here are a few ways a good language provider can strengthen your company’s status in the global marketplace.
Wasting time and money never helps a company’s bottom line, so hire the experts to do what they do best. And, overcoming language barriers is no exception. No matter what stage a product is in – research and development, clinical trials, regulatory submissions, manufacturing, or sales & marketing – accurate translations and communications are needed. If efficiency matters, consider these ways that a professional translation and interpretation agency can help:
- Finding the right expert for the job. Translation companies have multiple translators at their disposal, each with specific skills or advanced degrees in precise disciplines as well as fluency in particular languages. Need someone who speaks Portuguese and understands the biochemistry of stem cell transplants? Establish a relationship with a translation company and your request will be answered in a fraction of the time that it would take your company to find the right person. And, because the translator is skilled in the expertise needed, there’s little or no need for on-the-job training. As soon as translators receive material, they can begin working.
- Establishing and adhering to critical timelines. Your deadlines are important and a good language provider recognizes this fact. Be specific about your company’s needs and a reputable translation company will deliver what you need in an efficient and timely manner while also remaining in contact with your business throughout the process.
- Promising excellent service. With an emphasis on expertise and dedication to quality, professional translation companies always guarantee customer satisfaction. Always investigate any company’s reputation and their clients. And don’t ignore smaller translation companies. Bigger doesn’t guarantee better. Many smaller translation firms actually have better and more flexible relationships with their clients. Ask about a company’s customer satisfaction rate and strive to find a company that ranks around 95% or higher.
- Providing an efficient delivery system. Many companies advertise that they are ISO-certified, but that doesn’t guarantee the best translations. ISO certification only verifies that the language provider has a systematic approach to providing services. Many companies without ISO certification have equally good project management systems in place and they often spend more money on hiring better translators than their ISO-certified competitors. Ask questions about the project management process of any potential provider before signing a contract.
- Understanding technical demands of translating biotech materials. Professional translation agencies know their subject matter; therefore, they can save companies time and research concerning the intricacies needed for translating and formatting materials like PROs and CRFs for clinical trials, SmPCs and CTDs for regulatory affairs, datasheets and validation documentation for manufacturing, clinical trial contracts and patents for legal documentation, and press releases and web sites for marketing communications. Each country has its own specific guidelines that must be adhered to, but a good translation agency knows those regulations and can guide you through the required steps.
- Striving for accuracy. Mistakes, whether in translation, format, or procedures, can cost valuable time and often require money spent on litigation. Translation experts in the biotech field know and understand the importance of accuracy, especially when human life is at stake. Knowing the exact word for the exact meaning shouldn’t be left to chance.
- Guaranteeing quotes. The best translation agencies stand by their quotes. Don’t go with the lowest quote for a job when a company can’t promise to deliver within budget. Translation agencies should be predictable and dependable in delivery, cost, and quality. Surprises of any kind aren’t helpful when striving for efficiency.
Scientific discoveries and cutting-edge technology are the cornerstones of solid biotech companies and getting those products to market requires quick action, especially when it pertains to patents. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), some 100,000 pharmaceutical and biotechnology patent applications are filed each year throughout the globe. Want your company to be at the forefront of innovation? Consider these facts:
- Time = Money. A professional language provider knows the specialized terms, format, and procedures necessary to accurately complete patent applications, thereby decreasing both filing and grant time as well as reducing litigation risks.
- First come, first served. New legislation favors “first-to-file,” which means if two companies try to patent the same thing, they no longer go to court to argue which was the first to invent. Instead, the first one to the mailbox wins.
- Man vs Machine. Although machine translation (which relies on a computer to analyze sentence structure and syntax and to convert that into another language) is evolving, it isn’t accurate enough to be dependable. Just try entering a paragraph from this blog into Google Translate and then back translate it into English and you’ll see why machine technology shouldn’t be trusted. Never depend on software alone.
However, many professional translation agencies use translation memory software – a process that automates the storage of matching source and target language segments, allowing for future use and facilitating the translation process. It’s a great way to shorten wait time without eliminating the observant eyes of a skilled translator who can spot and correct mistakes.
- Teamwork accomplishes more. By leveraging a translation company’s centralized processes, advanced technologies, document management, and quality control, it’s possible for biotech companies to increase filings in multiple countries and save costs by eliminating fees from sending patents to foreign agents or attorneys around the world.
- Win-Win strategy. Working with a good translation agency ultimately improves the quality of a company’s translations, reduces time to grant patents, and allows for more patent filings per year.
The term “globalization” is evolving in meaning. In the broadest sense, it means taking products, ideas, or words and making them functional or popular in various regions around the world. More specifically, language providers define globalization as using one language to convey a message to multiple parts of the world that speak that language. For example, if something is translated into Spanish, it can be used in Mexico, Cuba, Argentina, Spain, and various regions in the USA. Similar to globalization, it’s also important to understand the term “localization,” which refers to the process of adapting a product or service to a specific geographic area or community in addition to the language. Referencing local currencies, landmarks, and cultural ties “localizes” the product or services to be more desirable to the consumer.
Both globalization and localization are important for robust participation in the global marketplace. Once again, if saving time and money matters, try working with a professional translation agency like Rapport International that can provide insight as to whether to localize or globalize materials, thereby facilitating the successful distribution of material and products to targeted populations around the world. Guesswork has no place in business communications. Consider a few of the details that a reputable translation agency can adapt for appropriate globalization and localization of products and services:
- User-friendly products. Designing products that function in multiple locales involves: identifying languages to be supported, designing features & writing code that functions in those languages, and identifying specifics like character classification, numeric & measure conventions, and date & time formatting.
- Space issues. When constructing web sites or printed materials, translated texts tend to take up more space, so leave extra white space in the design for the translated layout. On average, we expand by 20% when translating most languages.
- Know the taboos. Breaking cultural norms or taboos can doom a company to bankruptcy. Dress codes, sacred images, and symbolic images need to be understood before designing web sites or distributing literature. Even colors can make a difference. Do you know that black borders around pictures in China means that the person is dead? Or, that bright colors in South America are more appealing than neutral ones? Take the guesswork out of the equation and work with experts who know what to do.
- Knowledge = Power. Designing and implementing material that is sensitive and appropriate to regional convention includes launching products into the marketplace more rapidly, using resources more efficiently, and creating products that are easier to maintain. Let a professional translator give you the knowledge so you thrive in your targeted markets.
- Details matter. Globalization and localization strategies apply to a variety of domains including technical manuals, diagrams, websites, pamphlets, advertising, software, and public announcements. When writing across formats consider text that may be repeated or reused. Duplicate use of translations keeps your voice consistent and saves you money. Make your words count by saying the right thing, at the right time, in the right manner.
If efficiency, innovation, and global communications are important to your biotech company, consider contacting a professional translation agency like Rapport International and discussing options and packages best suited for your business’s success. And remember to ask for a free quote!