Establishing a Trados grid to offer reductions on various match types
Thread poster: Veronica Coquard

Veronica Coquard
France
Local time: 22:10
French to English
Mar 9, 2011

Hello ProZians,

Now that I’m finally getting the hang of Trados, I’d like to use it a bit more strategically. It hasn’t escaped my notice that agencies use the statistic reports to negotiate discounts, and I like to stay one step ahead of them whenever possible.

Without going off on a tangent about pricing, can any of you share experiences on your use of a grid to offer reductions? For example, do you offer a regular percentage off for occurences of "No Match", "100% Match", "Repetition" and "Fuzzy Match", and if so, would you be so kind as to share your grid of percentages?

Do you see this as a good strategy to win over new agencies, or do you only use the grid when it is specifically requested?

More importantly, do you think that this type of reduction is worthwhile in general? Are there pitfalls to avoid?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:10
French to German
+ ...
Short answers within the framework of your post Mar 9, 2011

verslanglais wrote:

(..../...)

Without going off on a tangent about pricing, can any of you share experiences on your use of a grid to offer reductions? For example, do you offer a regular percentage off for occurences of "No Match", "100% Match", "Repetition" and "Fuzzy Match", and if so, would you be so kind as to share your grid of percentages?

Short answer: No, but some colleague (and I am try to influence him in a metaphysic way) may be willing to.
verslanglais wrote:

Do you see this as a good strategy to win over new agencies, or do you only use the grid when it is specifically requested?

When specifically requested - and I don't use tradosicon_wink.gif Discounts are granted for early payment - meaning upon invoice receipt or within 10 calendar days.

verslanglais wrote:
More importantly, do you think that this type of reduction is worthwhile in general? Are there pitfalls to avoid?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Pitfalls to avoid? Certainly - if the use of the client's grid will earn you about 50% of your standard fee because of fuzzy matches reductions. Feel free to contact me for details - I don't bite.

[Edited at 2011-03-09 12:35 GMT]


 

Jaroslaw Michalak  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 22:10
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Calculation method Mar 9, 2011

First of all, don't think about grid rates as "reduction", but rather a way of standardizing your effort. Note that the percentage cannot be the same for all jobs, as the difference in effort is quite significant.

Take several typical projects where the grid might be applied, measure the time they take you to complete and compare that to your regular hourly rate. Then arrive at an amount where it is still profitable for you - even if you apply the match rate, the project should get you more per hour than a typical regular non-match job, not less.

In other words, you try to split the profits obtained from using a CAT tool between yourself and the client, not to undersell your regular services...

I hope the metaphysics got the right person, if not, I'm out of here!icon_wink.gif


 

Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:10
English to Russian
+ ...
I do not OFFER discounts Mar 9, 2011

they (agencies) squeeze them out from me.

 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:10
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Another way of looking at it Mar 9, 2011

First, I use WordFast, not Trados.

I never offer any discount on fuzzy matches. If they come up, I'll have to carefully analyze the source and the proposed fuzzy match, to check what should be done to convert that fuzzy match translation into what I'd consider (and that thereon will be) a repetition. This takes about as much time/effort as translating the whole segment again.

Neverthelss, for jobs larger than 5,000 words, I offer repetitions (i.e. fully matching segments) at no cost. Yes, free! Yet once I got a series of jobs where 75% of the segments were repetitions, no-brainer alt-downs. Imagine a large collection of parts lists for similar equipment. Amazing as it may seem, these were quite profitable for me, at my standard rate and payment term.

My typical job, and that covers 95% of the cases, has some 5% repeated segments, and NO fuzzy matches between 75-99%. SDL - on their web page devised for it -calculated that it would take me 13 years for Trados to pay for itself, considering my typical work characteristics. I wonder if they included their compulsory and expensive upgrades in this meantime.


 

Veronica Coquard
France
Local time: 22:10
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Welll, thanks... Mar 9, 2011

I guess I shouldn't be surprised if this practice is not among the preferred methods of getting jobs!

For the moment, I haven't been in a strong position to negociate high-volume jobs with Trados. The few times that the question has come up, I didn't know enough about it to use repetitions to my advantage. (And one memorable time, I didn't calculate right and got the short end of the stick. I must say that as soon as numbers start getting juggled around I get a bit dizzy.)

So I'd like to "see how other people do it" without judging them whatsoever on their methods. I know that the concept wouldn't exist if agencies hadn't invented it.

Anyone who has a working grid, please don't hesitate to post it. I'll defend off any attackers!

icon_wink.gif

P.S. José - I think you hit on part of my misunderstanding with Trados -- Fuzzy matches can be a lot more work than we bargain for!

[Edited at 2011-03-09 17:03 GMT]


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:10
French to German
+ ...
A question... Mar 9, 2011

Jabberwock wrote:
(.../...)

In other words, you try to split the profits obtained from using a CAT tool between yourself and the client, not to undersell your regular services...

I hope the metaphysics got the right person, if not, I'm out of here!icon_wink.gif


Is 30 (for the translator) to 70 (for the agency) still considered as splitting profits in your book?

Just wondering about this hypothesis - and about whether you could take the time to review the calculation grid mentioned earlier from your own point of view.

[Edited at 2011-03-09 17:28 GMT]


 

Jaroslaw Michalak  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 22:10
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Review Mar 9, 2011

Well, I'll try... again.

Let's suppose there is a job, with a certain amount of TM matches, which would take me about two hours. If I charged it by the nominal wordcount, I would get an amount I typically charge for four hours of my work.

From my point of view, the amount I need to charge is somewhere between those two figures, i.e. 2x my hourly rate and 4x my hourly rate.

If someone can (consistently!) charge their clients the maximum amount (i.e. no discounts at all), well, great. It means that their negotiation skills are much better than mine (or their base rate is lower than it should beicon_wink.gif ). Unfortunately, my clients are usually not willing to pay four-hour pay for two-hour work, so I need either to negotiate a deal satisfactory for both sides or refuse the job. But then again, why should I pass up the opportunity to earn more than my regular (i.e. no-match) work would bring me?

One example: the most I have earned in a day was due to the job which involved lots of 100% matches, paid at 30%. In less than five hours I was able to earn as much as I would if I translated no-matching text for thirteen hours - theoretically, as I would not be able to keep up the same speed for that long. Incidentally, it was for one of my best clients, so the 30% per word rate was not far from the average no-match rate in my pair charged in my country.

As I wrote before, if you get paid more per hour than usual, it hardly qualifies as a discount, does it?


 


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