How to consolidate the authoring of high-tech product content with translation software?
For decades, Schrack Technik has distinguished itself for the benefit of its customers in the low voltage technology range as a competent partner in electrical power technology, industrial equipment, control panel building, facilities installations, safety lighting, data networking, lighting and photovoltaics. Schrack contributes to its customers’ success through systematic, process-driven, economic and reliable performance.
Schrack Technik, a high-tech company which does all its translations internally, successfully integrated TextUnited into its content creation process. Read below to learn more about how Schrack managed to simplify the translation process and improve the quality of their promotional material.
"We were looking for a tool which our subsidiaries can use to translate technical content from the database. They needed to do that easily, in a good structure. And we finally found it in TextUnited."
– Andreas Scharf, Head of Marketing at Schrack Technik
Schrack Technik works in the low-voltage technology industry throughout Europe. For a company like Schrack, presenting high quality products in a professional, structured manner in multiple languages is vital to its business. What is specific about Schrack Technik is that translation of their product catalogues cannot simply be outsourced to a translation agency. Schrack has created specific terminology and branded names, which proved to be very difficult to translate accurately for anyone outside the company. Before, Schrack Technik’s subsidiaries across Europe worked directly with local agencies, but that strategy was simply not good enough for their specific circumstances. The translation quality was inconsistent, specialized technical terminology was not properly translated and the overall costs were not insignificant for such a level of quality. Schrack Technik’s catalogues can have from 400 up to impressive 1000 pages, and usually need to be translated into as much as 13 languages. This poses a complex problem for the marketing department, which is responsible for content creation and publishing.
The requirements & the analysis
With all this in mind, Schrack Technik’s content strategy went into the direction of automating the whole catalogue creation process as much as possible. The company set up a catalogue database, and introduced software for automated publishing of catalogues (into printready and online formats, simultaneously). Schrack also decided that the employees from their subsidiaries will perform translation and quality checks for their local market and language. The only missing element was a system that would centralize and automate the translation process, to enable subsidiaries to quickly translate content in a structured way, and reuse the old translations as much as possible. According to Andreas Scharf, the Head of Marketing at Schrack Technik, they drew a list of several specific requirements that this translation system was supposed to meet. It needed to be:
- able to integrate within their content creation process,
- able to process HTML and XLS formats
- able to offer server like capabilities, without installation and server maintenance costs
- not too “large” in technical features
- allows unlimited number of translators
- allows real-time collaboration and
- easy to understand and start using
The Schrack marketing team started analyzing the translation systems available in the market, assessing them according to the requirements above. Some systems failed to meet one (or more) of the requirements, while the others were so complex that they seemed fitter for an agency than a company. To be more precise, they were not adapted to meet the needs of a manufacturing company – neither with the features nor the cost/benefit ratio. TextUnited attracted Schrack Technik’s attention with its cloud database, which offered server capabilities without complex or expensive installation and maintenance fees. It was intuitive, easy to use, but still contained the translation features required by Schrack. Furthermore, its translation tools were readily available to all users from Schrack Technik, regardless of their number or location. Following that conclusion, TextUnited was tested and successfully introduced into Schrack Technik’s content workflow. At about this period of time, training sessions for Schrack staff were organized by TextUnited, to facilitate the system introduction.
Schrack Technik’s translation process
Now, Schrack’s translation process has been fully consolidated with the TextUnited.
The current process can be summarized as follows:
The translation coordinator (located at Schrack Technik headquarters in Austria) receives a request for the translation of a specific catalogue (chapter). She prepares the files in HTML or XLS format and uploads them to TextUnited. Depending on the language combination, appropriate translators from respective countries (from Poland to Croatia) are selected for the job. If a translator has not used TextUnited before, the coordinator sends him/her the invitation link to register and get the access to all necessary translation tools. Among others, these tools include a full featured desktop translation editor, which is easy to use even for those without any translation tool experience. After the translation task has been accepted by the translator, the coordinator can regularly check what the status of each translation is and see the work progress percentage, in real-time. When the progress reaches 100%, the translated files are downloaded and uploaded to the database. Then, a button is pressed within the automated catalogue creator to quickly generate both the print and online ready catalogue versions. As the last step, the PDF versions of the catalogues are created and sent for review, again to the relevant subsidiaries. In case any edits were made during the review, they are entered into TextUnited. With this final step, the catalogue translation process is completed.
Schrack Technik and TextUnited
The feedback from Schrack Technik after the first year of using TextUnited is overly positive. The company considers the translation step in the catalogue creation process to be covered well enough, without any need to change the current setup in the near future. Here are a couple of benefits from using TextUnited, as pointed out by Schrack’s marketing team:
- a specific translation system such as TextUnited allows Schrack to organize translations in a more structured and efficient manner, previously impossible with emailing and “standard” office software
- at least 10-20% of content was reused during the first translation of the catalogues. With every subsequent catalogue update, this percentage is expected to go beyond 50%. This will result in less effort put into translation, but with notable improvements in the translation quality
- the “real-time translation status monitoring” feature proved to be very valuable, as it gives Schrack an efficient overview of all translations and all languages
- although Schrack Technik’s subsidiary employees are not translators by profession, they are happy to use TextUnited UI. These tools easy to use, and allow translators to quickly reuse old translations (without any need to manually search through old translations)
- TextUnited assures the Schrack marketing team that not a single line of text will be left out from translation or wrongly translated
- TextUnited allows Schrack to mix different scenarios (one translator only, several translators at once, translator + proofreader, etc.), depending on the material and language combinations
TextUnited integrates inhouse translators, freelancers and translation agencies into an easy-to-use system and provides them with the tools they need for professional translation.
This unique solution is characterized by its privacy and security, real-time progress monitoring, as well as real-time translation collaboration.