I know a completely healthy middle-class person who just spent $1,000 getting a battery of tests done to measure various systems in his body: saliva to measure cortisol levels, bloodwork to measure everything from testosterone to iron, as well as various other tests you probably don’t want to know about. He discovered that he had almost nothing wrong with him — almost nothing; he was not absorbing all the protein he was eating and thus was wasting a lot of money on organic steak and possibly stressing his kidneys.
Based on these tests, he’s scaled back on his formerly absurd meat intake and is substituting local vegetables fried in coconut oil. He claims he feels better than ever and wants everyone he meets to get this battery of tests done.
That’s more or less how you’re supposed to approach business. Before anything ever goes wrong, you make sure your systems are robust and that you’re not wasting money on something that you really should scale back on for the sake of your own health. It’s like preventative medicine for businesses. This is all the more important when it’s a highly regulated sector with little to no room for error, such as life sciences.
Of course, you need to have the discipline and the know-how to change your diet if you discover something is off. This can be difficult when you’re talking about food, and it can be just as difficult when you’re talking about entrenched business habits. My friend even knew he might be eating too much meat, but he didn’t want to give it up because he’d gained 15 pounds of muscle by adding that much meat to his diet in the first place. Sometimes, it takes someone else telling you what you already suspect to give you the impetus to act — and sometimes it even means changing up something that’s worked wonderfully for you in the past.
In this issue’s focus, Rebecca Ray, Gráinne Maycock and Brian Chandler all touch on the topic of changing things up for more robust life science practices. Ray discusses localization maturity, Maycock has suggestions for evolving the translation processes and Chandler addresses things you can do to break the cycle of price reduction requests from life sciences clients. Philippe Mercier continues the focus by describing his methods for creating a kind of health database, and Libor Safar showcases examples and changing regulations of current and future medical device translation.
Additionally, we have the results of two surveys, one in our Perspectives dealing with the Russian market, and another as our Takeaway looking at freelance translator practices. We have a review of Plunet BusinessManager 6.0 and we have a step-by-step guide to xml:tm. We have columns on stereotypes, community moderators and plagiarism. In short, we’ve got business advice for localization companies every which way, no matter which angle you’re approaching it from.