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3 февраля, 2021 | Uncategorized

The Importance of Vendor Management in Translation

When most people consider the translation process, they naturally think about the translators and interpreters that convey a text or message from one language to another. However, the translation industry holds many opportunities for all kinds of diverse talents and skillsets. We’ve already seen how developers can make or break a translation project. This week, we’re going to shine a light on the importance of vendor management in translation.

What Is Vendor Management?

Vendor management in translation is a lot like human resource management in other industries. Vendor managers are responsible for scouting out and selecting qualified candidates to fulfill the needs of clients’ projects. They need a keen eye for finding suitable talent and strong people skills in order to manage the ongoing relationship with the vendor. 

At Clear Words Translations, we always look to hire freelance translators for the long term, which is why our vendor managers must excel at understanding the needs and requirements of a potential vendor – as well as assessing the quality of vendors’ work and client satisfaction on an ongoing basis. 

Successful vendor management requires above-average problem-solving skills and the ability to make decisions quickly, often under pressure. Vendor managers also need to have strong negotiation skills to make sure that we can meet the needs of our clients while offering vendors competitive rates that they are comfortable with.

Some projects are easier to match than others. A simple English to Spanish translation of a short text, for example, may not need extensive vetting. But when it comes to finding vendors skilled in particular niches, being able to correctly assess a vendor’s qualifications and find the right person for the project is imperative. 

Vendor managers must also be able to understand and correctly assess the needs of every client and be able to display strong people skills to manage ongoing client relations.

They must be no stranger to working to deadlines or responding quickly to requests and ensuring that relationships are fostered continuously – from the interview process to each additional project. 

How Vendor Managers Find New Talent

Vendor managers need to be extremely organized with an eye for detail. A typical day starts with following up with potential candidates for opportunities on certain projects – from interpretation and subtitling to translation and video game localization.

This means that vendor managers with experience in selecting the right candidates are particularly desirable as they have a shorthand and understand the combination of hard and soft skills necessary to complete a job.

Once a particular vendor has been recruited, they need to be added to the system with their relevant documentation uploaded and updated constantly. It doesn’t stop at new recruits either. Vendor managers should be able to check in with previously onboarded vendors to make sure that they are comfortable with their workload and that they are producing quality work. 

It’s also a vendor manager’s job to spot any potential issues and find solutions before it reaches the client. This may mean replacing a vendor in the case of sickness or emergency or assisting in the case that the vendor finds themself unable to meet the needs of a certain task or requests additional help using the software.

Since the role requires strong people skills, vendor managers must have empathy and be able to understand other people’s circumstances. As well as onboarding and looking after new talent, vendor management requires working alongside project managers to listen to any requests or needs for additional recruitment.

Say a project manager has a sudden need for an Italian to French translator or a DTP professional, for example. It is up to the vendor manager to scout out and onboard the right vendor for the job as quickly as possible.

How Vendors Are Selected

An experienced vendor manager will have an understanding of what is required to complete the job as well as what the language services provider looks for in any recruit. A strong resume and solid credentials are the very first starting point when selecting a vendor that will be able to deliver consistent quality work.

Candidates are required to be native or fully bilingual in the target language, and a degree in linguistics is a definite plus. At least two or three years of experience working either as a freelance or in-house translators are also required.

Beyond their credentials on paper, candidates need to be able to deliver to deadlines, have a good understanding of CAT tools, and have the emotional intelligence required when working remotely with people from different cultures.

Once a suitable vendor is found, the vendor manager will then need to negotiate rates that both parties are comfortable with and will usually request a brief translation test or 500 words or less. 

This will be up to the vendor manager’s discretion and depend upon the clients’ needs whether it’s technical translation, legal, medical, or transcreation for arts. The vendor manager must have the skills to place the right person not only for the company but for the specific project.

Clear Words Translations Is Seeking Vendor Managers

If you’re a people-first person and think you have what it takes to be a vendor manager and contribute to the growth of Clear Words Translations by expanding our talent pool, we want to hear from you.

You must be based in Argentina or Brazil and have an advanced English level (both written and spoken), solid negotiation, organization, and communication skills, an eye for detail, and be a team player. 

Simply contact us at with your name and the position “Vendor Manager” in the subject line. We look forward to welcoming you to our team!