How Large Companies Buy Translation Services — With Procurement Cube’s Armand Brevig – Slator

2 days ago

How Large Companies Buy Translation Services — With Procurement Cube’s Armand Brevig

Armand Brevig, Managing Director of Procurement Cube, joins SlatorPod to discuss how language service providers (LSPs) can work with Procurement at large enterprises and how to successfully convey the value that LSPs provide.

Armand touches on the rationale behind a consultancy firm like Procurement Cube. He talks about how they find clients and goes through the typical company profiles they assist.

He then shares how translation services fit into the company’s portfolio, both from a buyer and sales perspective, including his experience in working with LSPs. He briefly goes through the evolution of the procurement function, from being transactional to strategic.


Armand mentions some of the common misconceptions that service vendors may have about procurement. He also tackles the perception of translation services as a commodity and why LSPs should educate procurement professionals about the translation industry.

After delving into the importance of category management, Armand explores the preference for single-vendor strategies over multi-vendor. The pod closes with Armand’s outlook on the future and how Covid has re-orientated procurement spend.

First up, Florian and Esther discuss RWS’ appointment of Ian El-Mokadem as the new Group CEO. El-Mokadem, who is new to the translation and localization industry, will be replacing current CEO Richard Madden this July. They also unpack RWS’ half-year report, which put revenues at USD 461.8m, with USD 6.2m contributed by Webdunia and Iconic Translation Machines.

Esther talks about subtitle, translation, and automatic transcription startup Subly’s USD 1m seed round. The company was founded in 2018 by Holly Stephens and reportedly started generating revenues from July 2020 in the middle of the pandemic.

Another transcription and captioning provider in the news this week was Verbit, which raised USD 157m in a Series D round, only weeks after acquiring VITAC. Verbit said they are now valued at USD 1 billion, making them a unicorn.

Slator Pro Guide Translation Pricing and Procurement

Pro Guide: Translation Pricing and Procurement

Data and Research, Slator reports

45 pages on translation and localization pricing and procurement, human-in-the-loop models, and linguist compensation.

On the tech side of things, Florian looks at a new offering in academia, with the University of Zurich’s Certificate in Advanced Studies in Translation Technology and AI. This course, along with several others from different institutions, appears to favor Python as a programming language.

The duo also review a data anonymization project called MAPA (Multilingual Anonymization toolkit for Public Administrators). MAPA is led by LSP Pangeanic and aims to help EU public administrators share data while adhering to data regulations.

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