I really can’t think of an industry that hasn’t seen sweeping change in the last decade. And when you take a closer look, it’s all about tech. Just think of tourism, transport and entertainment…

The localisation industry has also seen major changes, although I would argue at a slower pace than possible. 

Some 20 years back, e-mail turned things upside down. Suddenly you could transfer content at a pace that was unheard of.

Then, so-called, client portals, became a household thing, effectively making the e-mail yesterday’s news. But since then, the advances are relatively insignificant, when taking a look around other industries.


Like in most industries, there’s a constant race for lower rates, better quality and faster turnaround. You could certainly argue that the ongoing improvement of CAT (computer-aided translation) tools (incl. machine translation), has helped to increase productivity. But it’s only half the story – there’s clearly a limit. In the end, you’re often left with a choice of high quality, fast turnaround or low rates – at best, two out of three.

But it actually doesn’t have to be that way. The solution is already there and the name of the game is operational excellence. Or in simpler terms, cut handling costs. 

That’s a (the) road to lower rates without compromising quality.

It’s my prediction that the traditional agencies will need to invest in this kind of technology or get left behind.