The Right Provider for the Right Assignment: As already mentioned, individual boutique translators and full-service translation agencies have different strengths and are best suited to handle different types of translation assignments for different organizations with different needs and priorities. This is why it is important for organizations using translation services to understand the the two-tier structure of the translation services market. Such knowledge enables translation clients to understand which types of translation jobs are best assigned to which type of translation service provider. The figure at the right categorizes translation assignments in order of regularity, or from the least regular to the most regular. Boutique translators excel in handling assignments which demand high quality, specialized background knowledge and close consultation between client and translator but which are made on a regular basis and are fairly moderate in length and urgency. Translation agencies excel in handling very large, urgent assignments which are not so specialized. Thus, one strategy for a translation client might be to establish business ties with a good full-service translation agency while also establishing ties with one or more highly experienced and specialized boutique translators. Large, irregular and urgent translation jobs can then be assigned to the translation agency while those jobs requiring close conferral and high quality can be assigned to the independent boutique translator. As noted elsewhere, however, because a translation agency is just that, an agency or middleman, translation clients can not contact the translators directly, and even if they are satisfied with the translation, they can not be sure they will have the same translator next time. Since translation clients routinely confer with their boutique translators directly, there is little risk of miscommunication and the translators can learn the client's needs and preferences and provide personalized, high-quality translation on a regular basis.
Types of Translation Assignments: Types of assignments are described in the above figure. Please note, however, that if scheduled assignments are note assigned on the designated day, they are treated as unscheduled assignments. In some cases I may not be able to accommodate a user's request to schedule an assignment for a particular day because I may already have too many other scheduled assignments on that day. Such cases, however, are unusual. After sending an assignment to be translated, a client may sometimes need to resend a revised version before I have finished translating the original one. This will require that I go through the translation again in order to collate both versions. In such cases, the relevant revision work is charged at hourly rates. Regular assignments, and scheduled assignments in particular, have a shorter turnaround than irregular assignments, but they also have an indirect impact on a client's translation costs in an important way. This is because it is much easier to include regular and scheduled assignments in Base Volume (b). The greater the share of assignments that are regular, the easier it is for a client to minimize month-to-month variations in Extra Volume (t-b), thus keeping the average per-character translation rate as low as possible.
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