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Four Workflow Hacks To Reduce Translation Costs and Time by 50%

Learn the four most common use cases for Dynamic Workflows - all implemented and used by Smartling customers.

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Jennifer Chew

Jennifer Chew

Product Marketing Manager at Smartling

Bust some workflow myths. Learn some hacks. And watch Ryan create a Dynamic Workflow under 2 minutes. Watch our webinar recording below - enjoy!

When I’m booking a Lyft home from a night out with friends or an exceptionally heavy shopping trip, the last thing I want to do is type out my entire home address.

Thanks to Lyft’s destination shortcuts, with just two taps on my phone, I can book a Lyft home.

Similar to the convenience of Lyft’s app, Smartling customers have requested shortcuts of their own to get translations completed. Imagine if you could skip over less important workflow steps to get translations to market sooner (or at the very least, meet your launch deadlines). Or that your TMS automatically knew which pieces of content to send through one translation process versus another process.

One of Smartling’s advanced workflow features, Dynamic Workflows, has helped our customers pass off translated content from one stakeholder to the next.

How? By allowing users to set condition-based rules for how workflows should handle different pieces of content.

Dynamic Workflows are rule-based workflows that optimize the use of translation resources to improve your time to market. With Dynamic Workflows, users can set intelligent workflow rules that improve two things: 1) content routing to the most appropriate resources, and 2) content speed through a workflow, to the final publish step. These workflows automate otherwise tedious, repetitive project management tasks, and ensure translations are published on time.

Let’s start off with four of the most common use cases for Dynamic Workflows - all implemented and used by Smartling customers:

1) Branching by Fuzzy Match Score

Why use this: This branching rule allows for a hybrid approach to translation, using a mix of professional translation and machine translation for optimal time, cost, and quality.

Consider using this when:

  • You have a large, high-quality translation memory.
  • You would like to scale your content without paying more for translations.

How this works: You will want to create two workflow branches: one with professional translators, and another with a machine translation step followed by an edit step.

  1. Create a Decision step immediately after the Authorize step, with a rule based on a fuzzy match threshold - the percentage that a given string matches a string in your translation memory.
  2. Set any strings above the threshold to route to professional translators
  3. Set any strings below the threshold to route to machine translation engines, followed by an editing step where a human finesses the translations.

Customer Success Story: One Smartling customer used this approach for a fuzzy match threshold of 75%. They saw a 50% reduction in cost and 55% reduction in turnaround time, accelerating time-to-market.

2) Branching by String Tags

Why use this: This branching rule allows for project managers to tag content, and then assign content to different stakeholders based on the tag.

Consider using this if: Your source content contains sections intended for different, distinct audiences and requires different sets of translators and review teams to be involved. For example:

  • General vs. member-exclusive content
  • General product listings vs. discount product listings
  • Content for one buyer persona vs. another buyer persona A string tag would label for which audience the section of content is intended.

How this works: You will need a different workflow branch for each set of content and translation resources.

  1. Create a decision step immediately after the Authorize step, with a rule based on a string tag.
  2. Enter in a specific string tag as the condition for routing content through an alternate workflow branch.
  3. Pro tip: You can create as many rules as need be, based on the number of string tags you want to use to guide content routing.

Customer Success Story: One Smartling customer was able to get 10% of their workweek back that had previously been dedicated to moving content between workflows.

3) Branching by Content File URI or Global Delivery Network (GDN) Website URL

Why use this: This branching rule allows project managers to use different translation processes for content pulled through pre-built connectors or through GDN domain paths.

Consider using this if: You have content in certain files or URLs that do not require high-quality or on-brand translations (for example, a Contact Us page or Support content), compared to other files or URLs that require professional human translation.

How this works: You will need a different workflow branch for each URI or URL.

  1. Create a decision step immediately after the Authorize step, with a rule based on File URI/URL.
  2. Enter a term that is contained in the File URI/URL (doesn’t have to be exact match) that require a different process or different types of stakeholders, and content for that will route to the alternate workflow branch.

Customer Success Story: One customer is able to save on translation cost by routing “Contact Us” and “Partner” page content to machine translation, and everything else to professional human translators.

4) Email notifications and automatic string moves for idle strings

Why use this: This type of content speed rule allows for automated email reminders to be sent to internal reviewers or another translation resource after a certain number of days of no activity. In addition, it content bottlenecks and pushes content through the workflow after a certain length of idle activity.

Consider using this if:

  • Content tends to get stuck in a specific step of your workflow
  • You manually send email reminders to translation stakeholders to complete their work
  • You’re looking to implement timely follow up with translation stakeholders
  • Your content has a strict launch deadline

How this works: You can set up automated email notifications and automatic string moves for idle strings in any workflow step after Translation and before Published.

  1. Click into the step to “Manage Step” and select the Idle Strings feature at the bottom.
  2. Under the “Language(s)” dropdown, select the language you’d like to set up reminder emails for
  3. Under the “Send Reminder email” dropdown, select the number of days you would like to pass before a reminder email is sent.
  4. Under the “Move String” dropdown, select the number of days you would like to pass before a string is moved automatically to the next step.
  5. Lastly, enter the email addresses of whom you would like to receive the reminder emails.

Customer Success Story: One customer achieved 2x faster turnaround time after 2 months of implementing the idle string rule, launching content 3 days sooner.

Ready to set up a Dynamic Workflow in the Smartling platform? Chat with your Customer Success Manager to get one set up in just a couple minutes. Then share on LinkedIn how you’re using Dynamic Workflows to optimize your work, and tag #movetheworldwithwords to enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card! The drawing is on March 4, so act quickly!

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