When was the last time you had a sandwich from Subway?
We all walk by a Subway and smell the heady scent of baking bread, but did you know you can order your sandwich from your phone and pick it up without having to be tempted by the cookies by the register?
Carrie Fischer is the Manager of Global Localization Services for Subway and serves as the brains and brawn behind the unveiling of their new app. In this episode of The Loc Show, Carrie explains why companies with classic brick and mortar stores still need to localize and how they can benefit from investing the energy in our rapidly digitizing world.
Join us as we walk through the complexities Carrie faces as she heads up all of the globalization efforts for the largest QSR (quick services restaurant) in the world and how she continues to provide outstanding experiences for her customers in over 110 countries.
In this episode you will hear some BTS details of:
- Rolling out Subway’s Rewards & Deals program
- Staying sane while collaborating with third party developers
- Cultivating a trustworthy and reliable work environment
- Developing digital experiences for customers
- Modernizing the employee training process
- App payment method considerations
- Giving back to the industry by way of working alongside Women in Localization
What to Listen For:
[01:24] Carrie’s localization background and journey to Subway.
[03:25] What Carrie views as some of the more transformative moments in the localization industry.
[04:49] Creating an internal localization process at Subway while focusing on the consumer experience.
[06:44] Collaborating with third party developers to create the digital transformation of the company.
[09:00] Why Subway needs a digital presence and why localization is necessary.
[12:20] Challenges when creating the app content and how they were overcome.
[16:30] How Subway has transformed the content of training materials and shifted to e-learning.
[18:57] How decisions on localization are made.
[20:16] The process of evaluating translation efficacy.
[24:19] Localized payment methods and how they are integrated into the app.
[25:39] Adding value to the consumer with the Subway My Way rewards program.
[27:14] The process of creating and translating content for the program.
[33:04] What the pain points of the localization process have been and how they were overcome.
[36:14] Women in Localization: About the organization and giving back to the community.
[39:34] Advice for people starting out in the localization industry.
Learn More About Carrie & Continue Learning
- Carrie Fischer on LinkedIn
- Women in Localization’s website
- Subway's website
- Subway’s app
- Smartling’s free e-book: The Ultimate Guide to Maximizing Your Translation Value
Full Transcript that almost certainly has typos (forgive us!)
Announcer: You're listening to The Loc Show, presented by Smartling.
Adrian Cohn: Hey, everyone. Welcome back to The Loc Show. I couldn't be more excited for today's guest. Carrie Fischer is the Manager of Globalization Services at the largest quick service restaurant in the world, Subway. Now, you may be asking yourself, what do a brick-and-mortar restaurant like Subway need a localization team for? Well, for starters, they have guests and employees in over 110 countries who are hungry. They're hungry to eat sandwiches, they're hungry to create sandwiches, but like all forward-thinking companies, Subway is creating digital experiences so people can do things like order sandwiches from their phone and manage their rewards in the loyalty program. This episode is so fresh. Let's dive in. Carrie, welcome to The Loc Show. Thanks so much for being here today.
Carrie Fischer: Thank you for inviting me.
Adrian Cohn: Yeah, it's a pleasure. It's a pleasure. You've got such an interesting history in the industry. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you work now? How did you get in to the industry of translation and localization?
Carrie Fischer: Well, I currently work at Subway. I'm a remote employee in Boise, Idaho. They're in Milford, Connecticut. I'm a globalization services manager for the entire company. And I got started, like a lot of us did, by accident. So, working for a startup company in New Hampshire back in the early '90s, our company decided to go global and sell our product overseas. And once we did that, we learned that we had to translate our products and our marketing and our box and everything around it. And the question that was asked, "Well, who's going to do this?" And I raised my hand and said, "Well, I'll do it." And that's how I got in to localization and that's how I made a career out of it.
Adrian Cohn: Feel like that's how a lot of us get in to our jobs. We see an opportunity, we jump right in, right?
Carrie Fischer: By accident.
Adrian Cohn: Yeah, by accident. Yeah. It's amazing how that can work. My early career was slightly different. I am from New York City but my family is from Louisiana, and they were significantly impacted by hurricane Katrina, so I started my career rebuilding homes that were destroyed by Katrina. And it's materialized over the years into communications and branding and I did a little bit of customer success, and now I'm back in marketing. But it's funny how... right? Isn't it funny how we find ourselves in our jobs?
Carrie Fischer: Absolutely. Yeah. We all find the right path eventually.
Adrian Cohn: We all find the right path.
Carrie Fischer: I'm glad you finally found localization.
Adrian Cohn: Well, I'm happy to be in the industry because I particularly find it quite fascinating. I think especially given your tenure in the industry, it must be so fascinating to see how the value of content has changed over the years. What have been some of the transformative moments as you look back on your career in localization?
Carrie Fischer: Gosh. I think really the most fascinating for me has been machine translation, and I only say that because back in the early '90s, the company I was working for, Transparent Language, bought some guy's machine translation engine that eventually, we didn't know what to do with it, right? We didn't have the knowledge or the technology or anything remotely resembling an idea of what we could do with it, so we sold it to STL. It used to be called freetranslation.com. I don't even know if it still exists. But to see MT in its infancy in the early '90s to what it has become today, I find that absolutely fascinating. And I just only see it getting better from here. I mean, it's pretty decent now. So, I don't know. Just imagine what could it be in another five to 10 years.
Adrian Cohn: Mm, mm. And so at Subway, you're managing the entire globalization service. I'm curious to hear a little bit about how you've set up the service internally, and maybe you could also walk us through, why does Subway even translate content and how do you think about the consumer experience? Because ultimately, we're translating content so people can access a product at the end of the day.
Carrie Fischer: Mm, yeah. Subway is the largest QSR in the world, and that stands for quick service restaurant. We have more restaurants than McDonald's and Burger King combined when it comes to overseas, and so obviously, we're in over 110 countries and not everyone of them speaks English. So we have to be translated. We have to be localized. There's no question. And I started out in technology actually when I was first hired three and a half years ago. And it's quickly became known that I was there at Subway. There had never been anyone kind of like me doing what I did. And so other groups outside of technology would reach out and ask for help. So, legal was one of the first ones, the e-learning group, operations, although operations pretty much had it down. They had been translating the ops manuals for quite some time.
Carrie Fischer: But anyway, after a year, my role was centralized within Subway. And so, yeah, I now deal with all the departments within Subway, as well as the regions. So if there's something that Turkey wants to get translated, they'll come to me and ask for help.
Adrian Cohn: Hmm. And I've read a little bit about Subway's recent news. Over the past couple of years, you've been partnered with Accenture to lead a digital transformation at the company. What's that been like?
Carrie Fischer: That's right. Accenture helped us build our app for North America. And that was our kind of first foray into digital, beyond e-learning, which I think is digital, and the website. So, yeah. There were definitely challenges, but we got it out, French Canadian. I think it's challenging. That's one of the biggest challenges I find, no matter what company you're in, to work with third party developers. Sometimes, you don't get direct access to those folks, and then they create something based on our requirement that I haven't looked at, and sometimes, the product comes back and we realize that, oh, it's kind of basic stuff, right? Hard coded strings and stuff that you would think would be thought about.
Carrie Fischer: But you know what? If, say, you haven't done it before or if it's a new team, there's always something that needs to be fixed. So I think we learned, including others outside of development and just the whole planning process, it's really important in order to get a product that can be used outside of North America.
Adrian Cohn: Mm. Yeah, it's like localization for so long has been sort of the last mile, but it's a critical mile, and I hear a bunch of people talking about how they'd love to see and be part of the conversation earlier in the development. It sounds like there was opportunity for growth there, but putting that aside, digital transformation is the thing right now. It's important for every company to be adopting digital solutions to help sell its product. And some people might...
Carrie Fischer: Yeah. You can't go in-person sometimes, yeah.
Adrian Cohn: You can't go in-person. Right. And a lot of people probably are thinking, "Well, why does Subway need a digital transformation? You walk down the street, you walk in the shop, you buy your sandwich and you walk out. Where's the tech?" But every QSR has a mobile delivery component, right? And that's a competitive advantage?
Carrie Fischer: It is. That, and an app that you can order ahead of time and just go in, pick it up and get out. You've already paid for it. That's what I do. And that's what I even did before the pandemic started. I know what I want on my sandwich. So, yeah, it's crucial. And the third party delivery, that was another challenge that we, not were slow on, but slow to uptick. So now, it's all about third party delivery, and it's not just in North America, it's everywhere. We need to partner with third party delivery companies all over the world just so we can make sure that people get their Subway sandwiches quickly.
Adrian Cohn: Yeah, makes a lot of sense. And what I find so fascinating about this digital transformation is that now, you mentioned you had a new mobile app, it's in French, and there are so much content that gets jammed into these apps. And I, personally, I love it because I'm the same as you. Before the pandemic, I would always order my lunch from my phone, from whatever QSR I was going to. I would have their app and I would make all the adjustments that I want. I'd walk in, the lunch would be ready, I'd walk out, it took me five, 10 minutes, New York minute kind of a thing.
Carrie Fischer: Right.
Adrian Cohn: Right? But what I find fascinating is that the apps, first of all, every week or two, the app was changing. I go to Sweetgreen a bunch because I love their salads, and I found that their content in the app would change all the time. And the it was the micro content, the little experiences that you get using the app made the brand experience better. What's it like in the Subway app? Can you walk us through the experience?
Carrie Fischer: Sure. We get updates to the app at least once a month, and depending on what's changing, it could be once or twice a day, which is why we have people on hand, in country, who can turn these things around fairly quickly. I think tweaking will always continue. I don't know if we're going to have any major updates, I would hate to spoil everything. But, yeah. We've learned that it's got to be a quick turnaround time, and that's why we have people on staff to help with these types of things. So, yeah. The experience in the app is, all I can say is, what it's like in Quebec because that's the one that we translated first, and it's the same experience.
Carrie Fischer: Pick your bread, pick your veggies, pick your sides, you pay for it, and you can save it to your favorites, and then of course, get rewarded, right, with our points, and then go pick it up in the restaurant and take it home.
Adrian Cohn: Hmm. I mean, I have it open right now, it's a sleek app. What were some of the content challenges here? Because we're talking about words to sell sandwiches and make the experience a little bit better, right? But this is not... I imagine this is not a cake walk. What's it like?
Carrie Fischer: It wasn't.
Adrian Cohn: Yeah, what did you learn from this? And what are you learning [crosstalk 00:12:38]?
Carrie Fischer: So we learned, and I mean, again, this was the challenging and a little bit frustrating part on my part because I knew what needed to happen, it was just getting the right things to happen. But making sure we had enough space, right? And something that we still have a challenge with is the trademark symbol in French is super-scripted. We don't have the ability to superscript on the app. So instead of MD being super-scripted, it's in these big M-D capital letters, and it doesn't quite look right. So we still have some challenges, but these days, we've got it down, right? The guys, there's two guys, two men that send those strings to be translated. They tell us, "Okay, we've got a limited number of characters. If full word doesn't fit, then you're going to have to abbreviate. As long as it's understood, that's fine."
Carrie Fischer: So, we have it down to a science at this point. All the updates, we know exactly what needs to be done, by when, and how long it can be. But that was the challenge at first, nothing fit on the screen. French is a little bit longer than English. So.
Adrian Cohn: And mobile's trickier. You're really watching with a limited space. And what about different devices? Do you count for different, like an iPhone, like a regular size iPhone and a larger iPhone? Or is it all sort of bundled into the same build?
Carrie Fischer: It's bundled into the same build, and they test it on Android and iPhone before it comes to us to see exactly how it's going to look and how many characters we've got to work with. That's why we made it very visual. I don't know. If you saw the app, then you've got a picture of a sandwich, right? And you scroll through, you pick the bread, and then you've got this expanded build of a sandwich, and you just swipe left or right, depending on what you want. Here's the standard build. You don't like lettuce? Swipe left. It's kind of like Tinder. You don't like it, swipe left.
Adrian Cohn: I'm on a build right now, and I'm seeing, this is fascinating. What a smart UX here. You just swipe on the onion left and right.
Carrie Fischer: Yes, exactly. We figured I guess that was pretty common. Swiping left for something you don't want.
Adrian Cohn: Yeah. And actually, it's funny because you have a swipe for grain. I'm trying to see if I add it... because there's an option to toast it, right? So I'm trying to find...
Carrie Fischer: Yes, there is. And it's the flame. It's the flame.
Adrian Cohn: It's the flame?
Carrie Fischer: Yeah. We used images instead of words.
Adrian Cohn: Okay, that's it.
Carrie Fischer: So there should be a little flame that says toasted.
Adrian Cohn: Oh, yeah. There it is. Okay. So I was swiping on the bread, it was changing the bread option. And if you click on it, then you have the toasted. This is cool. This is really cool. I love it. I've never experienced something like this on a QSR. It's usually tapping and going into menus. This is really cool.
Carrie Fischer: Ours is customizable. You can't really customize a burger, or maybe you can. Maybe you say no onions, right? But that was our big thing, right? Make it what you want.
Adrian Cohn: Well, and that's a big part of the Subway brand promise, really, because you go in. By the way, I have fond memories. There's one Subway location in Manhattan, on midtown west, I kid you not, your sandwich is made in 30 seconds. It is the fastest Subway restaurant I've ever been to in my life. Remarkable experience. And especially if you go in during lunch hour in New York, it's something else.
Carrie Fischer: That's due to the franchise owner and training the sandwich artists. It's all about training, and we've really invested heavily in e-learning modules, especially for the sandwich artists who had really old stuff to learn from, or worse case, was just told, "Wing it. Watch this person and then you'll get the hang of it," which doesn't work. And even how to act, how to greet the guest, asking questions. We didn't have that. It wasn't spelled out. Everybody thinks it's natural behavior, but to some people, it's not. They need to be taught. And so we invested heavily on sandwich artist training, translated it into 23 languages.
Adrian Cohn: Wow. So the content... I mean, that's fascinating. The content, what does that look like? Is it all text based? Do you video content now? What's the training manual like?
Carrie Fischer: It was. It was all these videos of people talking and it was not a good experience. So our team created visuals and cartoons. And also made them, which I'm very proud of, multicultural. A lot of our stuff was red hair, blue eyed women, and that doesn't resonate in the Middle East or Asia. So now we have multicultural characters doing various roles, and here's how you handle an angry customer. All you have to do is look at their facial expression to know that they're angry. We don't have to put text saying this person is angry. We provided different scenarios that these cartoon characters went through, and how to handle each one. And it was really about making the guest happy, that was the focus.
Adrian Cohn: And so all of this is delivered digitally. You're translating, I think you said 23 languages?
Carrie Fischer: Yeah, certain modules, we translate into 23 languages, yeah.
Adrian Cohn: Mm. And how do you make the decision about which modules go to 23 languages as opposed to I guess less than 23?
Carrie Fischer: We have training centers in various parts of the world. So at a bare minimum, we always do those training languages. And it was felt that the sandwich artist training was so critical that we... even though the franchise owner and the business development agent have to speak English, that's not a requirement for a sandwich artist. Just because they work in a U.S. based company, in a different company, doesn't mean they speak English. And so we really thought about all the different metrics that go in to making that decision. Is English accepted? Is it even taught in that country? All different kinds of decision-making points went into it, and that's how we decided on the 23.
Carrie Fischer: Even though we don't have a lot of restaurants in certain countries, they don't speak English. The sandwich artist don't speak English, so we did it in all kinds of languages.
Adrian Cohn: Fascinating. And I'm curious, as part of your process for evaluating the efficacy of the work that you and your team do, are you looking at analytics on how many employees are leveraging that e-learning data? Or [crosstalk 00:20:34]...
Carrie Fischer: Absolutely.
Adrian Cohn: You do? So what does that look like for you? Is it weekly review? Is it monthly? Because I'm asking, a lot of people ask us about what are the right metrics to look at, and it varies by business. And I think this is an interesting use case.
Carrie Fischer: Yeah, that is interesting. So with COVID-19, you can imagine what happen. Restaurants shut down, we had to lay off people. Now that we're opening back up again, especially in Asia, in Europe, in some parts of the United States, we are using the sandwich artist training as a huge metric for being successful. I can't talk about numbers, but we've seen the difference it makes in retention of sandwich artists. If they're going to be treated well and they're going to be trained, they're going to stay longer because our turnover was pretty high. So the sandwich artist training made that number go down, which is good.
Carrie Fischer: And also, we made it so they could do it on their phone. Before, they had to go home, log in, they weren't being paid for it to be trained. So, we just had a different mindset going in. And so, yes, we do measure how many restaurants have completed it, how many sandwich artists within each restaurant have completed it, and this is beginning to be a big push now. We want a certain percentage completed by the time we're 100% open.
Adrian Cohn: Hmm. So, who are you working with within the organization to set these goals? And I don't need to hear the numbers, but what teams are you working with and coordinating with to set up goals and make sure that you're working towards achieving those positively?
Carrie Fischer: Honestly, I don't set the numbers. So I report to the VP of International Operations. It's within his purview, and he works with all of the different regions and countries to figure out those numbers and what makes the most sense by region.
Adrian Cohn: So your conversation with this manager is what are the languages that have to be supported and when do they have to be localized by, and then you report on whether or not there are gaps in the translation? Or how does that materialize?
Carrie Fischer: Well, he lets me know that, "Hey, we're going to try and get to 100%, or whatever it is, by this date. Can you make sure that this course is completed by 30 days ahead of that?" "No problem." That's the conversation [crosstalk 00:23:52].
Adrian Cohn: Yeah, that makes sense. Fascinating. Okay. So I want to go back to the app for a minute because there is a part of the app that we didn't talk about, which I think is going to be interesting for us to explore for a moment. You can build a sandwich, you can select the store that you want to pick it up from, but then you have to make a payment. How does localization work with payment methods by region?
Carrie Fischer: Well, they're integrated, right? So whatever the most popular payment methods are, they're integrated into the app so people can pay however they want. Because some cases, credit cards aren't [inaudible 00:24:42]. People don't have those, right? But they might have Boleto, or whatever is popular in country. So we would definitely integrate the popular payment methods within our app, depending on the country and the region.
Adrian Cohn: And then any of the content that is delivered by that payment methodology, you can easily translate and localize?
Carrie Fischer: Yes.
Adrian Cohn: Mm, yeah. I see now on your app, you have Apple Pay, which I think is a great way of easily converting. I personally love seeing that on a e-commerce site or app. It makes my life a lot easier because I don't have to fill in all the details. And you also have a relatively new rewards program called MyWay, Subway MyWay. How does your team interface with the consumer loyalty program, and how do you think about translation as being a value-add to your consumers?
Carrie Fischer: We're best friends, me and the director of the rewards program, Helen. Yeah. So we worked very closely together when we were launching the app, because we wanted to make sure that My Subway Rewards would resonate, and I'll use Quebec again and French Canadian, so we really went round and round, what are we going to call this. And we came up with [foreign language 00:26:18], and it's trademarked, just like the English is. And as long as it makes sense in that particular country, then we just work with the regions to come up with a name and then we work with legal, of course, to get it trademarked.
Adrian Cohn: So that sounds like a trans-creation opportunity there?
Carrie Fischer: Totally, yup.
Adrian Cohn: So trans-creation is something that we find to be an ever increasing need of customers. I guess content's really just becoming more interesting, and because there is the proliferation of content in every single really touchpoint in the consumer journey, there's going to be more content like the Subway MyWay rewards program. How do you go about translating Subway MyWay? Did you have briefings? Did you work with specialized translators? It sounds like you also worked with some of your colleagues in Quebec. But what was that like?
Carrie Fischer: You have to work with the people in country, especially, I think my biggest partners are my reviewers. So they could be franchise owners, although they're usually more business development agents, those are the people that are trying to figure out where to put the next Subway restaurant in their country. These are the people that review a lot of the stuff that we translate, just to make sure that we got it right. And we get a ton of participation. In past jobs, it's been a challenge because everyone's like, "I have my own job. I'm a salesperson, I don't have time for this." That is not the case at Subway. Subway employees will go out of their way to make sure that the translation is right and acceptable in that country.
Carrie Fischer: So when we have My Subway rewards program, or something like that come up, we just immediately reach to the regions and try and come up with something catchy or something that makes sense in their language.
Adrian Cohn: That's amazing.
Carrie Fischer: It's fun. That's the fun part of the process, to be honest.
Adrian Cohn: I think you might be the first person I've spoken to who says that's the fun part, so we need to hear more about this. You said it wasn't like this at other companies you've worked with. Subway, it seems like you've, just like maybe a different culture, but-
Carrie Fischer: It is.
Adrian Cohn: ... you must also be doing something that is creating, or you're part of the culture, right? So what do you feel like is different at Subway? How have you cultivated these relationships and made it possible for you to pick up the phone and engage people in such an important project? I mean, creating the name...
Carrie Fischer: [crosstalk 00:29:24] secret sauce, right? Yeah. Subway is a family-owned business, and I think that might have something to do with it. We're privately held. People, I feel, at Subway is actually a true team in a lot of ways. And even though I haven't met half of these people yet, I don't need to. I don't know. It's part of the culture that we work together with each other. The regions and I, we do our budgeting together at the beginning or the end of each year, and, "Here's how much you spent last year. Do you got stuff coming up?" It's just a partnership.
Carrie Fischer: And, I don't know. It's always easy to work with the regions, and I don't know, the different departments. I don't know. Because maybe I'm centralized, I have a very high visibility. And I try and make localization as enjoyable as possible because some of these people, they get overwhelmed. I've been doing this forever, and some people have never done it before. In fact, my next meeting is with someone from the e-learning group that is now responsible for translating some virtual learning. And he's not in panic mode, but he's like, "I don't know what to do." And I said, "That's okay. That's why you have me." I don't know.
Carrie Fischer: I think most localization people, because we're centralized, because we usually speak a few different languages, we're approachable and we break down silos that exist in companies. And that's a rare thing, and it's unique to our industry. And I think that's why, I don't know, we're seen as collaborators and people who get stuff done.
Adrian Cohn: Hmm. Well, your colleague on your next call is in for a treat because you definitely will... I think you'll win him over and he'll be excited to partner with you on the virtual e-learning, which you've just...
Carrie Fischer: It'll be interesting. This is new ground for us. It'll be good.
Adrian Cohn: Yeah. Well, like many businesses, adapting to virtual is essential right now. So, when you're thinking about the value of translation for Subway or previous places you've worked with, what comes to mind?
Carrie Fischer: The value of people. And I go back again to the reviewers, without people, without internal Subway people deciding how our voice needs to sound, how to translate our very specific Subway-isms in their language, we'd be relying on a vendor. And that's not to say that vendors don't do a good job, but some of our content is not easy and it's very unique. And so again, I think this is where trans-creation and our people in country come into play. Without them, we'd be translating blindly.
Adrian Cohn: Mm. So, what sort of things are keeping you up at night? I mean, this is not a small task that you have, supporting the largest QSR in its effort to provide exceptional service to your guests through the lens of translation and localization. It's got to bring some heat too. What are some of the things that are keeping you up?
Carrie Fischer: For a while, it was pure workload. But, so Subway has a centralized translation management system, and I put that in place immediately, even when I was in just the technology team, because I could see what was coming. As more and more teams reached out to me, I figured my role would be centralized, and I did ask for it to be centralized. I wanted it. Having a centralized TMS for us, and I think for any company, is really smart. And if you're able to teach even non-localization people how to use it, even just setting up basic projects, assigning it to vendors or internal people, whatever, that makes them autonomous. They're not relying on me, so that took a huge weight off of my shoulders.
Carrie Fischer: Because I was working... I get up at 5:30 every morning so I can be there for Europe and the east coast, and then I eat dinner, and then I get back online at night so I can be sure APAC is taken care of. Right before I went on vacation last week, I taught APAC how to use CMS, how to use our TMS. And now they're able to create their own projects, and the same for Europe, teaching them how to do it. And that's taken a huge burden off my shoulders. And I was able to set the strategy, get the vendors in place, and everything's all set up and it works like a well-oiled machine now. And when you're just a team of one, you have to do things like that. You have to set up technology and processes to work to your advantage because you can't do everything.
Adrian Cohn: No, and you mentioned that there are so many different types of content that you're supporting. It's not just a website. It's not just a mobile app. Even if it was, that's a lot. You're talking about e-learning content, you're talking about virtual learning content, you're talking about legal content. There's a big scope here, so it makes sense to have a process of centralizing all of this, using technology to provide support in that effort, even to lead or drive that effort makes total sense.
Adrian Cohn: So, I mean, you've seen a lot, you've done a lot of amazing things in your career, I guess want to hear a little bit about how you thought about giving back to the industry, because I think we got to know one another because I saw that you were speaking or you're promoting an event that was hosted by Women in Localization. What's your involvement with the group? Tell us about the group. What's your involvement with it and how do you look at getting back to the community?
Carrie Fischer: Yep. That's what I really love about Women in Localization, it gives me the ability to give back. I started with the group when it first started. So I used to live in Silicon Valley with Anna, Eva, and everyone else, and we would get together informally at first, and then Sylvia, Eva, and Anna made it formal and created this nonprofit. And I've been with it, I don't even remember. I mean, when I first started, I had a very young son, and I'm a single mom. And I would end up taking him to the Women in Localization events, and he was always welcome, which is another thing I really liked about that group. Everyone was a mom or close to being a mom, and I just felt very welcomed and accepted.
Carrie Fischer: And to see it grow, from when I left for Idaho eight and a half years ago, it was just Silicon Valley, and to see it grow to all the chapters and all the groups, it's absolutely amazing. And I'm so happy for them that it became what it was supposed to be. And so when I was asked last year to join the group again, I'm like, "Well, I don't have a chapter. In Boise, it's just me and two other people here." Well, now it's virtual. Women in Localization, especially with the global community that is being launched tomorrow with our inaugural event, I really wanted to be a part of that.
Carrie Fischer: So I started out as Americas geo-manager, which I still am, so I support all of the Americas chapters. And then I took on the additional role of program director for the global community because that really spoke to me. I don't have a chapter, and yet I really want to be a part of Women in Localization and be a mentor, talk about jobs and how to get out of debt, whatever the topic is, I want to be able to help. I've been in this industry for a very long time and however I can give back, I want to do. So Women in Localization I think will always be there for me as a volunteer, I hope.
Adrian Cohn: Fascinating. We have a wide variety of people who listen to the call, to the podcast, and I've actually heard from a few people who are new to the industry and they found this to be a valuable resource. What sort of guidance would you offer to people who are emerging in the field?
Carrie Fischer: Hmm. That's a tough one. Being in localization, you're quite visible, I think, to the organization. So as long as you bring transparency to what you're doing, you really can't go wrong. You partner with the right people at the right time. I think every company I've gone to, they're at a different level of readiness to accept localization and everything that comes with it. Some are more closed than others. They see it as a necessary evil. It's your job as a localization professional to make it easy and transparent.
Carrie Fischer: I ended up partnering with my CFO at Hyperion Solutions because I had a multimillion dollar budget to manage, and he wanted to understand where that money was going. So he and I came up with a plan to create a return on investment percentage by language, I think that's important. You have to be very visible, transparent about what you're spending by language and making sure that you're making that money in that country or in that region.
Carrie Fischer: I say that, and it's kind of funny because I haven't done that at Subway yet, but that will be coming. Subway is a bit of different animal in that we are already in these countries, we have to support them. So, yes, ROI does matter, but at the same turn, we have to do it.
Carrie Fischer: So, another piece of advice I think would be to not be afraid of technology, because I was when I first started. First of all, there wasn't a lot of technology when I first started, but when translation memory started to become a thing, I just let the vendors handle everything. I didn't want to know about it, I didn't want to learn about it, and I think that was to my detriment. So, if I had some advice for my old self, it would be not to shy away from technology and think it's best for engineers or people with a technical background, it's not, especially these days. You guys have made it so easy for non-tech people like me to use technology in a way that benefits the company and makes us look like heroes.
Adrian Cohn: Mm. All of this is such sage advice, and I really enjoyed everything that we've discussed today, Carrie. Thank you so much for being on the show and sharing some of your ideas and your passion with us. I think that once you've done that ROI calculation, it'd be so interesting to do another podcast with you to hear about your thought process because that is kind of one of the biggest questions in the industry's heads is, how do you actually figure out what the value is. Because we can't attribute all the revenue from Canada to localization, but there is value. And as you mentioned for your business now, it's 100% essential to support the markets that you're in. So, anyway, Carrie, this has been fabulous. Thanks so much for being on The Loc Show.
Carrie Fischer: You're very welcome. Thank you.
Adrian Cohn: Wasn't this an incredible episode? I feel like a wet sponge. There's so much to learn from Carrie's experience and success in the field of localization. I'm particularly excited by her enthusiasm for working with colleagues across departments to realize the best guest experience worldwide. If you haven't already done so, you should find Carrie on LinkedIn and give her two thumbs up for sharing her story.
Adrian Cohn: And, hey, while you're at it, if you loved this episode of The Loc Show, would you kindly leave us a five-star review? Goes a long way to continue attracting guests like Carrie to the show. We'll see you next week. Thanks for listening.