After 16 years of answering Translation RFP’s (Request for Proposal) we decided it would be a good idea to release a sample or template RFP with good questions that will help any prospective translation buyer to properly select their translation vendor.
We have responded to 100’s of Translation RFP’s dating back to 1995. In all honesty, some have contained very good questions, others have not. We thought it would be a good idea to assist translation buyers by providing a sample RFP with good questions. Questions that will help to find the most qualified vendor for their translation needs. Yes, pricing is discussed but as mentioned in previous posts, translation cost alone will not help you find the best choice to handle your projects.
Proper management of translation projects and resources is complex. In 1995 we were concerned with what word processor would properly support accents. The industry has moved forward leaps and bounds with distributed and collaborative workflows, server based translation memory, advanced filters for almost any file type and the need for detailed tracking of costs and savings.
Complex buying decisions require looking at all of the variables that will give you the best outcome. When ranking competing translation providers be sure to include data security, disaster recovery, ownership of translation memory, ability to extend the workflow to client reviewers, certifications (ISO 9001:2008, etc) and training initiatives.
One of our clients actually used a spreadsheet and put all the RFP questions on one axis and the prospective vendors on the other axis. This was a great way to compare the vendors side-by-side. I should probably mention that we won that RFP….
Good luck with your RFP and I hope the template we have provided is helpful. I would love to hear feedback so we can further adapt the resource.
Peter founded Argo Translation, originally based in Milwaukee, WI, in 1995. Prior to transferring his love of all things international and his savvy business expertise into Chicago’s premier translation agency, he attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he graduated with a major in finance and human resource management. After graduation he went on to become an Italian translator and project manager for an international medical equipment manufacturer and major airline.