Life Fitness Finds “Smart” Translation on Demand with Lionbridge


In order to stay competitive, speed and simplicity are of utmost importance to marketers today.   Lionbridge is providing “smart” translation services by really thinking about how to make the marketing person’s job easier – through a simple, fast, self-service, and automated capability. We recently spoke with Life Fitness, a fitness equipment manufacturer, about their use of translation services for marketing materials.  Life Fitness uses Lionbridge’s onDemand online service, a portal for uploading files to be translated in various formats, providing instant quotes for the timing and cost of completing the translation project. 

As an international company, Life Fitness uses this service for translation and localization of all kinds of content, both customer facing and internal in 11 languages (Lionbridge serves 120 languages total).  The content being translated includes MS Office documents, website content, email communications, YouTube videos and software on the cardiovascular products.  The translation is done by employees, but Lionbridge onDemand automates the workflow process including: file analysis, quoting, delivery estimates, routing to translators, application of glossary and terminology, quality reviews, delivery notification and file delivery.

Life Fitness has had previous translation providers, but felt they weren’t working “smart” enough. The automation and speed that the onDemand portal provides is the big difference. “Quality translation is easy to find,” said a Life Fitness marketing manager. “A number of providers do this well. What they struggled with was the efficiency with the turnaround time and the business process and systems around the translation. That’s where Lionbridge was helpful because the portal is simple and straightforward.”

3 Ways to Simplify the Marketer’s Translation Ordering Experience

  • Life Fitness described the Lionbridge onDemand service as a straightforward process where its 30 users have their own accounts to log in and choose the product that they want to order. Once they upload the material they verify the source language (which is automatically detected), select the target language, and get an instantaneous quote, which is sent for approval.  Before using the automated workflow, Life Fitness had to do a review for every project, which took two weeks to a month of extra time.  They now have a 3-5 day turnaround period as a result of automating the file analysis and quoting. 
  • The service has also shaved off time with automation for PO management and invoice payment and tracking invoicing with automated invoice generation—Life Fitness went from a 10 step process involving email coordination between departments and manual tracking in spreadsheets that could take up to a month, which has now been cut down to one day.
  • Life Fitness also appreciates the ability to receive an instant and reliable timetable for the delivery of a project. (onDemand published figures show a 99.6% on time delivery performance.) Lionbridge beat out its competitors for simplicity and ease of use, although perhaps “too simple” as when the Life Fitness’ technical publications team has larger, more complex file types, they have had some issues with the quoting feature.  Lionbridge is working to address by developing an advanced quoting function that was launched in August.

Talent and Tech Combine for Plug and Play Service

The translation work is done 100% by professional, human translators all based in the target locales. What we should watch in the future for potential disruption is the progression of automated/machine translation; Lionbridge itself is making some strides in this area with its GeoFluent offering, targeted primarily at the contact center.  In the meantime, this service is able to guarantee the quality of the translation by having efficient automated processes with a human touch in the background.  

Posted in : Contact Center and Omni-Channel, CRM and Marketing, Digital Transformation


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