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

June 11, 2021 Slator
#75 How Large Companies Buy Translation Services — With Procurement Cube’s Armand Brevig
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Armand Brevig, Managing Director of Procurement Cube, joins the pod to discuss how language service providers (LSPs) can work with Procurement at large enterprises.

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. 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 and tackles the perception of translation services as a commodity.

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. 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.

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.  The duo also review a data anonymization project called MAPA (Multilingual Anonymization toolkit for Public Administrators). 

Agenda and Intro
RWS appoints Ian El-Mokadem as new CEO
RWS half-year results
Subly raises USD 1m seed round
Verbit raises USD 157m in unicorn series D
Using Python for translation tech studies
Open-source data anonymization tool
Armand Brevig joins the pod
Company and offering in a nutshell
Typical client profile
Experience working with LSPs
Intro to the procurement function
Most advanced sectors
Misconceptions by services vendors
The concept of category management
Rotation of category managers
Best way for LSPs to contact procurement departments
Multi-vendor vs. single-vendor strategies
To what extent can LSPs help procurement departments
Trends in procurement and outlook