If we accept this premise, the rest is down to economics. It’s less costly in terms of expense and time to manage local clients rather than international ones. Conversis generates around 50% of its income from our domestic market. The other 50% of the revenue is split equally from our clients in the United States and mainland Europe. Consequently, I spend around a third of my working life traveling to these destinations, not to mention the trips made by other members of the team. It works for us, but takes some business and personal commitment and I can understand the temptation to stay local. The alternative to this relationship style would mean supporting the drift toward commoditization of translation services. Personally, I think there is a place for commoditizing some of what we do — price competition for words at its purest. But without the human element it becomes the default setting and clearly there shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all approach. It depends on what the assets are, who the consumers are and what the purpose of the communication is. It’s this diversity that makes the need for consulting and exploring best practice and the best approach so important.
Of course, what works for one LSP doesn’t necessarily work for other LSPs. Our company tends toward the external communications end of the market, so typically we deal with large multinational corporations and have multiple and multilayered relationships within that corporation. I therefore consider effective relationship management to be a core competency of the business. . .