Selecting a Business Management System: Looking Into the Mirror

Judging by the conversations Nimdzi has been having with users of translation business management systems (BMS), the time for a change is now.  

In Q1 2020, quite a few are either updating the BMS-like technology that they built in-house or buying a new one. This was actually predicted by a survey on how companies manage their business workflows we launched at the end of 2019. Results showed that even though users have quite a high level of general satisfaction with their current BMS solutions, there’s plenty of opportunities for BMS providers to get a foot in the door. In particular, half of the respondents were not satisfied or satisfied but still looking at what the market has to offer.

How satisfied are you with your current choice of BMS?

Main criteria to select a BMS

Source: Nimdzi Insights

Eager to ride this tech wave, too? Looking for a new technology to support your business operations? Want to save time on the “try-before-you-buy” approach and not have to test each of the 20+ solutions available?

In this case, step one would be to consider how the selected solutions answer your requirements. And here follows a list of the top seven requirements for a BMS, to start with.

1. Price

The price was named the main decision driver when choosing a BMS in our survey.

2. Project Management

A modern BMS system should be able to help you with:

  • Having a clear picture of your projects’ progress and status
  • Customizing workflows for multiple scenarios – translation, editing, proofreading, QA, DTP, audio recording, etc.
  • Tracking of project profitability – including the preliminary calculation while tasks are being assigned
  • Customizing templates of e-mails and notifications for vendors/clients

3. Vendor Management

  • Vendors filtering and selection based on various criteria (specialization, rate, etc.)
  • Online tracker of resource availability
  • Tracking of vendor performance (e.g. ratings)
  • Storage of external vendor data such as CVs, NDAs, etc.
  • Vendor portal for the vendors to be able to update their profiles themselves where applicable

4. Integrations

This is the most interesting part which really helps differentiate and select between the BMS tools. Demanding specific customization and adaptation, one naturally narrows down the choice. Here are examples of questions to ask in this regard:

  • Which CAT integrations are supported by the BMS?
  • How are the CAT-tools logs processed by a BMS? Is there automation – can a BMS parse a specific log or do you need to upload and calculate word counts manually?
  • Which accounting system is integrated and how?
  • We have this specific system that needs to automatically exchange data with the BMS. Would it need to be a custom development or a connector based on API?
  • How much this specific integration will cost?

5. Reporting

List all the reports you want to have automatically generated (income per client, costs, PMs performance, etc.) and check if the BMS already supports such reporting.

6. Finances

  • Automated quoting with multiple options
  • Generating POs and invoices
  • Export Financial Data in the required format

7. Support

  • A system should be easy and quick to deploy
  • The tool should feature a well-documented support portal or wiki
  • Support should be timely and to the point

There’s much more to consider when building or selecting a BMS suitable for your specific business operations. But once you have your requirements listed, be it just the seven options suggested above or 27, it will become much easier to identify how the market is responding to your exact need.

After applying the “requirement filter” you will be able to select between just two or three tools. Which, of course, is less time consuming than testing dozens of solutions the BMS market has to offer. And in some cases, this method proved to nail down the search to just one BMS that features the needed integration with the particular CAT-tool or accounting system.

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