10 Ways To Know Your Business is Ready For a Translation Management System

Some of the more common indicators that it might be time for your brand to adopt a TMS.


Translating content is about far more than just swapping words from one language to another. Your content and user experience represents your brand, and it’s important to nail that experience in every new region.

Smartling's cloud Translation Management System (TMS) makes it easy for your brand to connect with new audiences in the language they know, with a voice that feels familiar.

Is your company ready to revolutionize your current translation process? We'll help you find out.

Why Use a Translation Management System?

Cloud based Translation Management Systems help your brand translate and localize content at a rapid pace, with minimal cost and downtime.

Traditional translation workflows are error-prone, time-consuming, and all-around messy. Your typical traditional process generally looks like this:

  • Copy-pasting sentences into a spreadsheet
  • Sending that spreadsheet through email to your translators
  • Tracking translators and their progress on another spreadsheet
  • Tracking translation spending and overall project costs
  • Waiting to receive the completed translations
  • Reworking any content, web or app design as necessary to fit the translated content

Instead of constant emails, Smartling's Translation Management System provides both in-depth clarity and automated project management throughout the process that would otherwise be missing.


Features like in-context editing, automated workflows, and intense reporting enable your brand to optimize the process and fine-tune every step.

1. Large Volumes of Content Are Being Translated

Even the smallest translation project can require a massive volume of content to be translated.

Multiple client-facing portals, marketing automation platforms, landing pages, support websites and support tickets, or E-commerce platforms contribute to the anatomy of your user experience that is your brand and product.

Leveraging a TMS works better because:

  • A single, centralized location for all your content makes it easy to keep track of individual projects, as well as overall translation progress.
  • Smartling can integrate with your existing Content Management Systems, Marketing Automation platforms, and other tools to simplify the content management process.

2. It's Difficult To Track Translation Progress

With an ever-growing list of projects, translators, and existing jobs, it can quickly become overwhelming to monitor everything.

The age-old method of relying on spreadsheets requires manual tracking and updating, as opposed to more modern methods now available thanks to automation and artificial intelligence.

Leveraging a TMS works better because:

  • Users gain a high-level overview of every single project, task, translation job, string, and progress on existing tasks or jobs, as well as available translators.
  • Powerful automation features can automatically assign new jobs to translators, and automatically submit content for review once marked as complete.

3. Current Translation Time to Market Is Too Slow

Translations themselves can take a long time to get right, and emailing spreadsheets will lengthen the process even further.

Once you get the content, it still must be reviewed internally to ensure the highest quality. Furthermore, developers may even need to rework web or app design to fit translated content.

Leveraging a TMS works better because:

  • Automated workflows ensure content never gets stuck in one step, and jobs are always assigned to an available translator
  • Translators work with Visual Context to see how what they translate will fit into the existing design

4. Poor Translation Quality Is Hurting Your Efforts

Relying on volunteers or even free machine translation tools can help cut down on the cost of localization and translation, but lead to poor quality results.

Translation Management Systems include a multitude of features that enables brands to ensure the highest quality in every project.

Leveraging a TMS works better because:

  • Tools like Visual Context, Glossaries, Style Guides, and even Translation Memory systems help them translators stay consistent with brand voice and style.
  • Smartling makes it easy to work with the best translators, and integrates with the most state of the art machine translation services.

5. Relying on Bilingual Employees For Translation

Relying on bilingual employees to handle translation can lead to poor quality in both translation, and their original role within the team. This is a big indicator that your brand has the need to translate, just not the right resources.

Full-time translators, on the other hand, can transform your content with their unique creativity, especially when supported by a Translation Management System.

Leveraging a TMS works better because:

  • TMS solutions enable brands to bring in their translators and provide them with the tools they need to let their creativity and talent influence your translations.
  • Smartling provides Language Services options that pairs your brand with one of our rockstar translators that gets to know your brand and work alongside the team.

6. You're Spending Too Much on Translations

Understanding the complexities that drive the cost of translation isn’t always simple, with so many variables that can rapidly change. Taking on the cost of a new technology upfront will help reduce spending overall.

Translation Management Systems make it easy to understand what you’re spending, where the cost is going, and how that factors into the bigger picture of translation. TMS features can also cut down on the amount of content translated, furthering cost savings even more.

Leveraging a TMS works better because:

  • With a Translation Memory in place, your Translation Management System will automatically translate strings that are commonly repeated, saving money every time you translate.
  • Advanced analytics and reporting enable users to understand exactly where the process is taking too long, and optimize to cut costs.

7. Communication With Translators is Difficult

Human translators should be seen as an extension of your team, working alongside content creators to express the same brand tone and style; just in a different language.

This requires creativity, and most importantly, collaboration. Without proper communication channels, translations might require multiple revisions to hit that desired brand voice.

Leveraging a TMS works better because:

  • Translation management systems provide multiple ways for translators to ask questions about specific pieces of content, or jobs they are assigned.
  • Smartling can integrate directly with Slack, enabling your brand and translators to constantly stay in communication.

8. It's Impossible to Track and Measure KPIs

With a distributed process, it is impossible to track and measure critical performance indicators.

There's a huge amount of data that your brand is simply missing out on when you rely on spreadsheets and email. With a cloud based Translation Management System, however, all of that data is captured and reported right back to you.

Leveraging a TMS works better because:

  • Modern cloud translation management systems are constantly tracking a large number of different data points.
  • TMS solutions provide in-depth reports on these KPIs which enable your brand to discover any speed bumps and optimize the entire process.

9. The Current Process Can't Scale With Demand

If your brand is looking to launch into an entirely new market, with a strict deadline on that goal, the traditional process of emailing spreadsheets back and forth just isn't going to cut it.

Whatever your prior manual process might have been, without a TMS in place, your brand will hit a massive bottleneck in production.

Leveraging a TMS works better because:

  • One centralized location for managing all your content makes it easy to see what's moving quickly, and what might need some extra help.
  • Powerful automation reduces time spent on simple tasks, enabling professional translators to focus on the important aspects of translation.

10. Translating High Priority Content

When your brand is looking to translate the entire user experience or buyer's journey of your app or website, then basic machine translation or emailing spreadsheets won't cut it.

Apps that receive constant updates will also benefit from the agility and flexibility of a cloud TMS.

Leveraging a TMS works better because:

  • Modern cloud Translation Management Systems provide the agility your brand needs to keep a constantly updated UX consistent across all languages and regions.
  • High priority content requires high-quality translations, and a Translation Management System works to help improve your translation quality in quantifiable ways across the entire process like with automated quality checks and other AI powered features.

Ready For a Translation Management System?

So there it is! Ten ways to know you’re ready for a TMS. Internally we call these complexity drivers. The more of these you can relate to, the more likely you are to need Smartling.

Chat with an expert today to learn how your brand can achieve agile translation with Smartling.

About Matt

Matt Grech is the Content Marketing Manager at Smartling, responsible for growing Smartling awareness and brand content. As a digital content writer, Matt applies his journalistic lens to content, helping users deepen their understanding of the brand, services and technology provided by Smartling. Matt has previously contributed to an industry leading Unified Communications resource, as well as local newspapers where he developed his unique ability to investigate, interview, and transform complex problems into simple solutions.