Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
"A cost reduction of 12% is being sought ..."
Thread poster: Alice Wolfe, DDS

Alice Wolfe, DDS  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:58
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
Dec 19, 2005

I received an email yesterday from a TA that I normally am delighted to work for. However, I don't think I'll be doing any more translations for them in the foreseeable future. This is what they wrote:

"A key objective ... is to consolidate and reduce the number of suppliers on our database and achieve a cost competitive business solution.
A cost reduction of 12% is being sought on the services that you provide to us. This is a top priority for us and your response to this request is important to us.
Please note that due consideration will be given to your past contribution on Service and Quality. "

Right now I am sputtering, so I am delaying my response to them until I feel calmer. Though I do appreciate that they might be caught between a rock and a hard place in order to survive in the industry, I do NOT appreciate the fact that they make it my problem, rather than theirs. We have all had to be creative, find niches, etc. but I think this takes the cake!

Obviously, we can't make the same demands of the people we purchase our services, mortgages or groceries from. I would love to hear how others have dealt with this issue.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Peter Bouillon  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:58
French to German
+ ...
Strange... Dec 19, 2005

Alice Wolfe, DDS wrote:

"A key objective ... is to consolidate and reduce the number of suppliers on our database and achieve a cost competitive business solution.
cost reduction of 12% is being sought on the services that you provide to us."[/quote]

I don't quite understand their approach (apart from the fact that they are trying to economize).

The number of suppliers in their database doesn't cost them anything. Hard disk space is quite cheap, nowadays, and typical databases handle oodles of entries quite effectively. There doesn't seem to be a point in reducing that of all things.

Let's take it for granted, however, that "your" agency has become that poor that they can't even afford hard disk space. Then I still don't see a point of writing such a letter.

There must surely be some translator hiding somewhere in their files already that quotes lower prices. There always is someone somewhere willing to do it cheaper. Why don't they simply give that one a call?

Also I don't understand their "quality" line. They evidently don't quite give due consideration to your quality, do they?

P.

[Edited at 2005-12-19 15:24]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Fred Neild  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
Negotiating Dec 19, 2005

I believe you should take at least one day to answer, or even a week, if necessary.

You should consider things as:
1) according to your rates, are they paying high, low, average
2) do they give you comfortable deadlines
3) is it a good client (due payment, volume, etc)

I believe it is the time of year many of us start our 'negotiating season'.

You should also consider:
1) Maybe they are expecting you to ask for an increase in 2006, in this way they are already one step ahead of you
2) You can meet them halfway, say 6%?

All these things usually help me not to take things personal and find arguments for negotiating.

I hope it helped!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Peter Bouillon  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:58
French to German
+ ...
No need to negotiate yet IMO... Dec 19, 2005

Fred Neild wrote:
Subject: Negotiating


In my opinion, there is no need to enter negotiations just yet.

If you can afford it, simply reply that you are fully booked at the moment, but that you would be willing to negotiate the rate should a concrete job materialize at a later date which you have time to do.

Then, if a job does materialize at some later date, you only need to barter when your "pipeline" has run dry. As long as you have enough other things to do, you can simply turn down their offer.

In the meantime, of course, you should increase your acquisitioning on a regular basis to fortify you against "attacks" of that sort.

P.

[Edited at 2005-12-19 15:49]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ana Cuesta  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:58
Member
English to Spanish
May be a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing Dec 19, 2005

Alice Wolfe, DDS wrote:

"A key objective ... is to consolidate and reduce the number of suppliers on our database and achieve a cost competitive business solution.
A cost reduction of 12% is being sought on the services that you provide to us. This is a top priority for us and your response to this request is important to us.
Please note that due consideration will be given to your past contribution on Service and Quality. "



It is possible that some clever soul in the accounting department had thought a good idea mass mailing such a Christmas wish to their whole database, be it to actually try and get some reduction and/or to prevent rate increases. The thing about consolidating their roaster could be to try and confer the idea that the translator will get a slightly lower rate but a higher volume of work. (BTW, isn't 12% a funny figure to quote?)

It is equally possible that the PMs you are so delighted to work with are not even aware of such practice, or they do but are still free to keep working on with you even if you don't agree to the reduction (given your past contribution on service and quality).

I've had something like that happening before, and to this day I still work for them and have even managed to later increase my rates to them (not at that time, though).

If I were you, I would reply with a cc to your usual contact stating how surprised you are to receive such request because bla, bla, bla, and that you have to kindly refuse it but hope that won't affect your long time relationship with them. That worked for me.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 16:58
French to English
Standard approach to commodities purchasing Dec 19, 2005

Only translation is a service, not a commodity...

I'd just say no and leave it at that. Or wait for an actual job to come up and see what happens.

Sara


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Roman Bulkiewicz  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 17:58
Member (2004)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
a hint Dec 19, 2005



"A key objective ... is to consolidate and reduce the number of suppliers on our database


= "We have so many suppliers in our database... that we will have no problem saying good-bye to those who don't agree to cut their rates"

No?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Wouter van Kampen
Thailand
Local time: 21:58
Danish to Dutch
+ ...
Exactly Dec 19, 2005

That is exactly what they want to convey.

It might or it might not be true depending on the level of specialization and the language combination. In your case (just checked) I doubt whether it could be true. It is however a bit of a gamble.

You could drop them a line and ask over the phone why you got this e-mail. The sound of the man or woman on the phone will probably tell you a lot more.
If you do so, prepare a strategy with multiple options in advance and stick to it. Be firm yet friendly.

Best regards

Roman Bulkiewicz wrote:



"A key objective ... is to consolidate and reduce the number of suppliers on our database


= "We have so many suppliers in our database... that we will have no problem saying good-bye to those who don't agree to cut their rates"

No?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Alice Wolfe, DDS  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:58
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Dec 19, 2005

Thank you everyone for your good advice. You all make very valid points that I will keep in mind when I finally decide to get in touch with the agency.

Happy Holidays.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

John Walsh  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 16:58
Member (2004)
Italian to English
. Dec 19, 2005

Alice Wolfe, DDS wrote:


Please note that due consideration will be given to your past contribution on Service and Quality.



So that means they might be willing to negotiate. I would be very clear (but cooperative) and say that you can't reduce your rates.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
I would try to help them Dec 19, 2005

A cost reduction of 12% is being sought on the services that you provide to us. This is a top priority for us and your response to this request is important to us.

I would send them free advice on how they could lower their costs by:

- managing useful translation memories and terminology databases
- streamlining their procedures
- lean management
- being communicative
- moving to a cheaper place
- reducing the office heating and dressing warmer
- ...

Reducing my rates would not be an option, since I was just going to reduce my number of less profitable clients, incidentially.

(12% eh? Looks like a midnight-idea..)

[Edited at 2005-12-19 22:33]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:58
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
Be generous... Dec 20, 2005

Be generous and tell them since they are so financially stressed, you'd be willing to not raise your rates for them as you had intended (due to inflation, increase in cost of living, new software/hardware purchases to make you work more efficiently, etc.), but to offer your excellent services at the same rate as before in order to help them out.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Genevieve Tournebize
Local time: 09:58
English to French
+ ...
Today's crunch Dec 20, 2005

Alice Wolfe, DDS wrote:

I received an email yesterday from a TA that I normally am delighted to work for. However, I don't think I'll be doing any more translations for them in the foreseeable future. This is what they wrote:

"A key objective ... is to consolidate and reduce the number of suppliers on our database and achieve a cost competitive business solution.
A cost reduction of 12% is being sought on the services that you provide to us. This is a top priority for us and your response to this request is important to us.
Please note that due consideration will be given to your past contribution on Service and Quality. "

Right now I am sputtering, so I am delaying my response to them until I feel calmer. Though I do appreciate that they might be caught between a rock and a hard place in order to survive in the industry, I do NOT appreciate the fact that they make it my problem, rather than theirs. We have all had to be creative, find niches, etc. but I think this takes the cake!

Obviously, we can't make the same demands of the people we purchase our services, mortgages or groceries from. I would love to hear how others have dealt with this issue.



Direct link Reply with quote
 

Genevieve Tournebize
Local time: 09:58
English to French
+ ...
today's crunch Dec 20, 2005

Because today there is a big economic crunch and because so far too many companies accept to give a discount for work done, the situation of translators pay is shaky. Big companies are seeking to increase benefits and we are onlly a piece of the puzzle. Because the situation of the translation business is in many case freelance, companies and clients think they can push us around.
In part it is our fault because we let them tell us what we can charge, we give them discounts rather than to be firm on the price, and offer them corrections until satisfied (within reason). My philosophy is this, they come to us with a job they are not willing to do or not cannot do, how can they just the end result.
In turn, they use our work to advertize their company or their services on the net and make a lot of money...Not fair...
This is a situation like the one of teachers, they teach and give degrees to people who are going to make money with the skills they learned...Do you know many doctors that give money to teachers who have helped them to get there, No? Not one...Furthermore, they will charge you if you go to their office.
It is time we stop the bleeding! We have to be firm on our prices otherwise one day will come that we will be working for real peanuts.
The tendency is to think that ignoring the problem or thinking this is an isolated problem is false, and while we are trying to dismiss the case they continue to try to eat us alive. We have to stop them before it is too late. How put them in evidence, and people sticking together


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Karin Adamczyk  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 10:58
Member
French to English
Take back control Dec 20, 2005

Alice Wolfe, DDS wrote:

"A key objective ... is to consolidate and reduce the number of suppliers on our database and achieve a cost competitive business solution.
A cost reduction of 12% is being sought on the services that you provide to us.



If you can afford to do so, thank them for making the situation much easier for you. Let them know that you had been considering informing them that you would not be able to continue taking work from them anymore at the current rates because you have been kept very busy with much higher paying work.

Given your long relationship together, you found it a delicate matter to approach and appreciate this opportunity to clear this up with a mutually acceptable solution -- they can focus on translators who offer the discount and you no longer need to feel any obligation to continue accepting work from them, which was making you less available for other work.

If you cannot afford to do this, accept their offer and step up your marketing activities. When work from better paying customers (there are PLENTY of them out there) increases, start refusing jobs from this client. Eventually, you will be able to drop them completely.

HTH,
Karin Adamczyk


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

"A cost reduction of 12% is being sought ..."

Advanced search







memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »
Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs