Top Five Tips when Planning a Site Audit

So you’ve just found out that your company is going to be inspected by an international audit team and are wondering how you can solve the communications challenges.

Here are our five top tips for making sure things go smoothly from a language point of view.

  1.  Gather as Much Information as Possible

It may be stating the obvious but as soon as possible, find out exactly what the language requirements are. What language does the auditor speak? Is there a particular dialect, for example, do they need South American Spanish rather than European? How many people are needing language support? Are they bringing their own interpreter or expecting you to provide this service?

Don’t leave this as an afterthought, no matter how ground breaking your product is or how efficient your work processes are, if you auditors can’t fully understand, it will be harder for them to make their assessment.

  1. Think About What You Need Them to Do

If you plan and work in partnership with your chosen interpreters, they will be an invaluable part of the team during the audit process.

Think carefully in advance, what do you need them to do while they are with you? Without doubt, they will be conveying information between your staff and their auditors and helping you understand and answer questions. However, do you need them to do more: will they need to read and site translate written materials such as test results or patient notes?

Remember to mention this when initially discussing your choice of interpreter so that you can make sure you have someone who is experienced and flexible enough to cope with these multiple demands. You need to ensure that they have the relevant language skills but can also demonstrate knowledge of your industry and a track record in auditing assignments.

  1. Set a Realistic Budget

How much value do you place on passing this audit? An excellent interpreter is not cheap but they will make your company appear professional and help fulfil your audit process – this undoubtedly represents value for money.

Make sure you budget for all costs including interpreting, overtime for any work needed outside normal business hours and also travel, accommodation and subsistence.  If your auditors are going to split meetings or different sites, you need to ensure you cover any concurrent projects so may need one than one interpreter to do this.

Normally teams are quite small but if you have more than three people needing language assistance and the environment is particularly noisy, such as a factory floor or testing site, you may want to consider a portable kit with headphones. An interpreter can only work efficiently if they can clearly see and hear all the discussions taking place.

And remember by following tip one and planning well ahead of time you can make your budget go further by making saving on early bookings for travel and accommodation. It also means that you have a better choice of interpreters closer to home rather than having to source interpreters from further afield.

  1. Think About the Practicalities

Planning and briefing are the key words here; again, you will reap the benefits of thinking ahead. It is likely that you are dealing with a highly technical subject and no doubt, you have your own specialist terms and acronyms. Help your interpreter prepare by providing as much background information as possible and at least the documents for discussion.

You may also want to consider a short briefing by telephone before the actual start date as well as building in time on the first morning to go over the key points and aims of the visit.

If you have a site where safety equipment is required, check in advance whether the interpreter has safety shoes and clothing or whether you need to make these available.

Interpreting is an incredibly demanding job so remember to look after your investment, in this case your interpreter! Make sure they have regular breaks throughout the day, a decent place to stay and time on at least some of the evenings to take a break from the project. A well-rested and properly prepared interpreter will offer better quality, more consistent interpreting.

  1. Consult an Expert

In some cases, it can save time and money to consult an expert. Just as you are dealing with your own product on a daily basis, we are helping companies with audits and visits around the world so please feel free to tap into this knowledge.  Having seen many projects in practice, we know what works well, the questions to ask and the pitfalls to avoid.

We work regularly with specialist interpreters across Europe, Russia, the US and Asia on manufacturing visits, chemical and pharmaceutical audits and have an extensive resource network.

A recent project saw us assist with a series of source data verification audits across 19 sites in Russia and Eastern Europe. After initial discussions with the client, we took on the whole of the selection process and the planning and operations for the extensive team of interpreters involved.

The auditors travelled from the US, UK and European and over a three-month period, we facilitated communication between them and the on-site staff whose native languages included Bosnian/Serbian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Russian and Ukrainian. Their main task was to assist with the review of written trial results and making sure the auditors could ask questions to get information to validate the study.

In each small team, everyone was working long hours to meet exacting deadlines. A large part of the project’s success was down to getting the details right in advance. As above, interpreters were selected on language ability, subject knowledge and previous experience. This allowed them to pre-empt requirements and work in conjunction with the auditor to create a time efficient processes. We also took on as many operational tasks as possible including budgeting, making travel arrangements and briefing the interpreting teams.

In a slightly different context, the celebrated paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey is quoted as saying, “I never felt interpretation was my job” – I beg to differ in an audit situation where helping others communicate is the key to success, “I always feel interpretation is our job”.

When is a German translation not just a German translation?

 Over the last 20 years at Eclipse, we have developed our language solutions and specialist knowledge to meet fully the needs of all of our customers. This means fully understanding the needs of the different departments within a company – as part of the global RWS Group, we work with colleagues on in-house services so we know different teams need different things.

Should we approach translation of a German technical specification in the same way as translating a website or subtitling an e-learning package? The answer of course is no.

Understanding what impact a customer needs from our language service shapes the workflows we apply, the technology we use, the linguist teams we select and the technical experience we need to bring to customer projects. It certainly makes our work interesting, no two days are the same which is one of the main reasons we enjoy working with our customers!

Within the same company, the corporate communications team may need our expertise in localising employee messages to support a restructure, our experience in subtitling for webcasts or on-site and remote interpreting for training. At the same time, we may also be helping its legal department to protect its intellectual property or working with the HR team to manage global compliance issues.

Our culture then has to be to work as a partner – developing an understanding of our clients’ needs and style means we almost become an in-house department reacting quickly and finding the right solution. We understand we are a key part of an increasingly global supply chain and that the right result if is only possible when you can successfully work together as a team.

Taking our work in the chemical sector for example, from R&D through to product commercialisation and support, we help customers manage regulatory compliance and drive efficiency or transformation across international sites. At any one time we may have PhD chemists to ensure accurate translation of complex chemical specification and a range of legal, financial and communications specialists working on internal and external communications.  Alongside these translators, our specialist interpreters also have a role to play assisting with tender presentations, site audits and conferences.

So if you were to ask us how we translate German? We would say it depends on what you need the translation to do for you.

EEF National Manufacturing Conference – technical sector recognises the need to communicate in multiple languages

In February, Eclipse Translations took part in the 2017 EEF National Manufacturing Conference.  The sell-out conference saw over 800 key players from the manufacturing and engineering sector descending on the QEII Conference Centre in the heart of Westminster.

Politicians, the Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Shadow Chancellor Rt Hon John McDonnell MP were joined by commentators, the Financial Time’s Martin Wolf and the BBC’s Steph McGovern, perfume guru and entrepreneur Jo Malone and industry stalwarts and supply chain specialists including Colin Lawther – Senior Vice President, Nissan, Supply Chain Europe and Juergen Maier, Chief Executive of Siemens plc.

A jam-packed programme saw debate on streamlining production, refining supply chains, boosting exports and managing the workforce. The impact of Brexit was, of course, high on the agenda with UK companies facing the challenge of managing different supply chains and manufacturing and compliance issues for the UK and Europe.  And, of course, there was discussion on the manufacturing buzzwords of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), the Internet of Things and industrial automation.

Those we spoke to were keen to learn more about how they could make current processes more effective in a global environment.   It was obvious they wanted not only to communicate effectively with clients and prospective clients in their own language but also with their suppliers and employees to increase efficiency and manage safety issues.

There was a very definite acknowledgement and realisation that the technical sector needs to get its message across in multiple languages to succeed. These industries including automotive, aerospace and construction have some very specific terminology that needs accurate translation and interpreting and we have a network of sector specialists. Projects we were asked about included website localisation, translation of technical manuals, legal contracts and health & safety documents as well as multi-language ELearning content.

We have considerable expertise in many of these areas in fact if it was a game of snap, it would be easy to match our knowledge to these sector requirements! The Top 5 areas where we can help the manufacturing sector are:

  • Developing a global strategy
  • Meeting regulatory requirements and making safety everyone’s business
  • Driving workforce engagement
  • Implementing lean processes
  • Supporting Industry 4.0

You can read more about this here: https://blog.eclipse-translation.co.uk/2017/01/19/top-5-ways-eclipse-translations-supports-manufacturing-companies/

On a practical level, that means just some of the things we can help with are:

Annual Reports, Licensing Agreements & Commercial Contracts, Specialist Sector Reports, Technical Manuals, Tender Proposals, Manufacturing Batch and Materials Handling Documentation, Process Development Reports, Production Data, Safety Data Sheets, EH Information, Patents, Training Manuals, Promotional Materials, Recruitment Briefs, European Works Councils, Business Meetings and Site Audits.

 

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like to discuss any projects in more detail.

Top 5 ways Eclipse Translations supports manufacturing companies

A member of the RWS Group, the world’s leading provider of high-quality translation, intellectual property and language support services, Eclipse Translations has vast experience within the industrial and manufacturing sectors.

Here, we look at the Top 5 ways in which our translation and interpreting solutions support the manufacturing industry

  1. Developing a global strategy

There are at least 4 dimensions to being a global company; globalisation of market presence, supply chain, capital base and the corporate mind set.

In recent years, the manufacturing industry has seen rising production growth on a global scale, covering multiple countries, locations and languages. With instant communications across the world, it would be easy to assume nations and peoples are becoming more alike. However, access to multilingual revenue streams and global brand recognition require a consistent and focused multilingual communication strategy. If you cannot communicate with your investors, customers, partners, staff and suppliers, you will miss out on opportunities.

Eclipse offers a fully managed service to global companies that are faced with an increasing content volume in a growing number of languages. We work in over 150 languages, including all the major world languages and we allow the capability to communicate to the whole business in a timely and effective manner.

  1. Meeting regulatory requirements and making safety everyone’s business
Stationary engeneers at work
Accurate translation helps to ensure all staff understand safety concerns

Accurate translation helps to ensure staff understand safety concerns

Manufacturing companies must keep up with international and local regulatory requirements in all markets.

Communications around employment and other crucial issues are translated correctly to ensure manufacturing and logistics site colleagues work safely.

We translate documents for on-boarding and induction of new colleagues (contracts of employment, policies, induction training and tests), training materials and business communications. We also provide telephone interpreting and face-to-face interpreting solutions to complex matters between a company and colleagues where the language level is not at a sufficient level for accurate understanding.

  1. Driving workforce engagement

In the UK only an estimated 16% of employees are engaged. Increased digitisation of instructions leads to the use of more illustrations and animations; and also more videos, less documents. We have seen a substantial increase in the use of video communication for storytelling and capturing leads. Video is also a powerful tool in typical HR areas such as new employee training and professional development.

The benefits of localising your audio and video content include

  1. Leveraging of your investment in video communications to overcome language barriers and reach a broader audience. Only 6% of people in the world speak English as a first language after all.
  2. Better understanding and higher engagement. Customisation of content via translation, localisation and the consideration of cultural nuances tailors the communication specifically for the target audience, enhancing the viewer’s experience and understanding considerably.
  1. Implementing Lean processes

Quality and consistency are essential in the global manufacturing industry. But it is also true that businesses win by changing faster than everybody else!

We pride ourselves on the calibre and professionalism of our translators, editors and proof-readers. This is a prerequisite as manufacturing documents are full of industry-specific terms, and the content must comply with international and local standards and regulations. Translation memory tools and terminology management allow us to enhance consistency and overall quality of content, achieve faster turnarounds and decrease translation budgets as it recognises repeat content that has been translated previously, ensuring only the new parts of a document have to be charged at the full rate.

An important milestone for a global market launch is the availability of technical documentation and marketing materials in the requisite languages. Agile translation management can significantly reduce the Time-To-Market. Besides the faster turnaround of translations, flexible translation management opens up additional time frames for implementing quality assurance measures such as in-country reviews or preliminary preparation of terminology.

  1. Supporting Industry 4.0
Female manager working on tablet in factory
Language support for digital transformation

The internet of things, big data and augmented reality require intelligent communication across multiple languages. Industry 4.0 is part of a bigger digital transformation. Increasingly, we are working with clients on delivering these transformation projects by localising global software systems (e.g SAP, Oracle and Workday), training materials and global compliance activities.

Through the application of industry best practices and using our ability to leverage economies of scale, we create efficiencies in deploying advanced technologies, including encrypted portal solutions, video and telephone interpreting facilities, translation TM and client review functionality.

These technologies are deployed with the aim of increasing productivity and defending against cyberattacks through enhanced security of data and intellectual property.

Christmas Traditions

Each country has its own unique way of celebrating the Christmas season. Below is a small selection of our favourite traditions from around the world.

Poland

There is a superstition that if you put the carp’s scale in your wallet, you will be lucky and rich in the year to come.

England

An old tradition dictates that each member of the family must stir the Christmas pudding mix in a clockwise direction before it’s cooked, making a wish as they do.

Japan

Fried chicken is a popular dish on Christmas Eve, due to a particularly powerful advertising campaign.

The Netherlands

December 26 is called Second Christmas Day. Often the family goes out to a restaurant to eat on that day. Many concerts, recitals, and other musical performances make this Christmas Day special.

Iceland

Icelandic children leave a shoe on their bedroom windowsills for 12 days at Christmas. Unlike many countries that have one Father Christmas, Icelandic children have the Yuletide lads. Each night a different Yule lad fills the shoe with sweets or gifts ready to enjoy in the morning, unless you have been naughty of course!

Northumberland companies demonstrate how to ‘Tackle’ the export market

Two Northumberland companies are evidence that while export is critical to their success, some of the very best customer service is actually on the doorstep.

Or, in the case of Alnwick-based Pure Fishing and Eclipse Translations, it is just the other side of the A1!

Both companies are longstanding and active members of the North East England Chamber of Commerce and have formed a strong working relationship based on their respective success in international markets.

Pure Fishing, which acquired Hardy & Greys, and its subsidiary Hardy Advanced Composites in 2013, has 12 brands that operate worldwide providing specialist fishing tackle and gear. The latter business, which was known as House of Hardy, has its origins in the 1870s when it started as a gunsmith before moving into fishing.

Demand for product across the breadth of its brand portfolio is continuous and growing. Alongside this the company has a rapid product development programme, which means that customers need to be made regularly aware of new launches and enhancements to existing products.

Al Cross, European marketing manager for Pure Fishing, said: “We need to communicate fresh updates on a regular basis with the primary languages being French, Spanish, German and Dutch, although we also occasionally use Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Czech and Slovak.

“The process has the potential to be complicated as we need to use a lot of technical terms and there are also a large number of different versions of a product. For example, in our Greys brand alone there are rods that cover fly, Carp, Coarse, Predator and Sea. When you then factor in product length, weight and style, there is a tremendous amount of detail that needs to be accurately translated. It is crucial that it is correct as it is on the basis of this information that customers make purchasing decisions.

“While we stretch out across the world, we are very much aware of our roots here in Northumberland and that as both a company and as people we are very much part of the community. Where possible, we always look to engage with local businesses and that is why we are so pleased to have developed a relationship with Eclipse Translations. It is another company that is deeply embedded in the region and is passionate about North East business.”

Eclipse provides translation services that cover all of Pure Fishing’s primary marketing channels including websites, catalogues, manuals and product specification sheets. To ensure accuracy of content, Pure Fishing has a dedicated team at Alnwick that is solely responsible for content updates and these are forwarded to Eclipse by file, in English, for translation.

Eclipse, which is this year celebrating its 20th anniversary, employs over 30 staff and supports an extensive network of language specialists based around the world. It is also part of one of the top 10 languages providers in the world, RWS Group.

The company offers dedicated support in over 50 languages, with its key services being translation, interpreting, localisation, subtitling and voiceovers. Sectors it operates in include chemicals, FMCG, pharmaceuticals, legal, financial services, defence, manufacturing, government and energy.

Sarah Cross, contracts manager at Eclipse Translations, said: “Similar to Pure Fishing, we have a very strong focus on export markets but at the same time have a large number of clients based here in the North East of England. We believe that mix is very important to us as it makes us both very connected to, and an integral part of, the regional business scene.

“We enjoy a great relationship with the team at Pure Fishing and have developed a very structured approach to the work that we do for the business which helps ensure that activity flows as smoothly as possible and to the highest quality.

“The benefit of building a long term relationship is that we can develop interesting tactics that assist the process. For instance, on behalf of Pure Fishing we have built up a glossary of technical terms that are used across the different brands that we are able to call upon and share with our client as required. The level of time saving that this allows is considerable and means the client can get-to-market at as short a space of time as possible.”