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Poll: What is the most important aspect of working with a vendor management program?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

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Feb 14, 2017

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What is the most important aspect of working with a vendor management program?".

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 21:20
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Other Feb 14, 2017

I'm probably speaking for a large percentage of the translation community here but what's a 'vendor management program'? icon_confused.gif

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Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:20
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Same question as Julian Feb 14, 2017

I do not have any vendors, so I don't have a 'vendor management program'. But maybe I misunderstood the question.

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Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:20
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
personal contact Feb 14, 2017

I need to know who the translation manager/project manager is who is handling the project and who can be contacted with any questions, issues etc.

I don't really mind going to a portal/website/other name for these things to accept or to deliver a project, as long as I am contacted personally by someone I can communicate with about the project. Notifications sent 'by' the system or projects for which communication is only possible via the portal (through comments, or a 'forum' or other system) usually lead to a rejection on my part.
I prefer personal communication and for me to accept a project, the role of the translation management system/portal/... has to be limited to things like uploading, downloading and, if really necessary, accepting the project and/or receiving POs.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Feb 14, 2017

A what now?

I have no idea what a vendor management programme is, other than the obvious (a program, method or scheme for managing "vendors"), but I'm pretty sure I won't like it.

For starters, I have an issue with the use of the word "vendor" to refer to suppliers of all shapes and sizes. All my life, I have known the word to mean street sellers of things like ice cream and peanuts, possibly based on the cultural appearance of the term in popular songs ("ice cream vendor" in Jackson Browne song "The Pretender", or peanuts in "EL Manisero" (The Peanut Vendor). That was, at least for me, its proper semantic niche. However, in the past couple of decades I have seen "vendor" increasingly used instead of "supplier", mainly in texts originating from the USA. My own feeling about this is that it simply muddies the waters, throwing an extra unnecessary lexical item into the mix, which were previously so easy to tackle using simply "supplier" and "provider" where indicated. And in terms of my own personal experience, in the past few years I've occasionally had to ask clients which term they want me to use in their translations (vendor or supplier), which is always a nuisance, as I'd rather not pester them with silly details like this.


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:20
Member (2006)
German to English
Othe Feb 14, 2017

Julian Holmes wrote:

I'm probably speaking for a large percentage of the translation community here but what's a 'vendor management program'? icon_confused.gif


I think it is probably referring to Plunet or similar, no idea.
Butother than that, you´ve knocked anonymous on the head again, here is another blow.


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Khanda
Poland
Local time: 14:20
Polish to English
+ ...
Not clear. Feb 14, 2017

"Program" meaning "software" or "structured proceduralized approach"?

My approach to vendors depends on what they're selling and whether I'm hungry at the moment; I tend to repetitively shun hot-dog vendors, but it's because I'm averse to hot-dogs, not because of a program of any sorts. Coffee vendors are a different, um, cup of tea.


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Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 14:20
Member (2005)
English to German
Definition Feb 14, 2017

A "vendor management program" (software) is a way of making simple tasks more complicated and/or more frustrating.

1. Instead of a project manager sending you a file and asking if you can translate it for Thursday, they send you a link to an internet platform where you can find this file (if you remember the sequence of steps, and if the file is actually there and not mysteriously corrupted). You will then often have to download the actual work from a different portal, or even work on it in another online portal that's about as user friendly as a rock tied to your ankle.

2. Instead of someone asking you to translate something for a set price, they make you "bid" for it against other translators.

3. You get a lot of messages generated in error for projects or even clients you haven't been working for for years, because their software portal pissed you off too much.

Each of the "aspects" in the poll question is important, it's just a question of how much complication can be added to each one.

[Edited at 2017-02-14 09:02 GMT]


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Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:20
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Ooooh I see Feb 14, 2017

Then there's definitely a missing option in the poll: no aspect important to me, except how to avoid working in such a programm.
Just as Marjolein: I'm ok with downloading/uploading files and POs (although I prefer not to), but that's as far as it goes. Everything else is a plain NO.


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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:20
Member
German to English
+ ...
Other - The realistic prospect of actually getting the work Feb 14, 2017

I have a few clients that use these systems. Some use them for sending me the work directly, which is fine. The ones I have well-enough trained send me out the file in an e-mail so I can view that without having to log into the system, etc. This works reasonably well, especially for large files.

The ones I object to are the ones sent out to massive numbers of translators at once to spark a frenzy of activity. I have one agency who must send out a dozen or more of these jobs a day. I know that if I'm not actually sitting at my desk when the e-mail comes in, primed to strike and log into their system at a moment's notice, there is no point even looking at the job as it will already have been snapped up. Now that is an annoying waste of my time!


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 21:20
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Thanks Feb 14, 2017

Michael Harris wrote:

Julian Holmes wrote:

I'm probably speaking for a large percentage of the translation community here but what's a 'vendor management program'? icon_confused.gif


I think it is probably referring to Plunet or similar, no idea.
Butother than that, you´ve knocked anonymous on the head again, here is another blow.


I think Plunet and the ilk would be termed a 'translation management system" (TMS) which you visit with already established customers for jobs you have accepted in response to an inquiry from a PM as opposed to a 'vendor management program' which is looking closer to how jobs are bid on and allocated in Ricki's delicous definition. icon_biggrin.gif

Edited end of last sentence

[Edited at 2017-02-14 09:41 GMT]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:20
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
You're so right! Feb 14, 2017

Ricki Farn wrote:

A "vendor management program" (software) is a way of making simple tasks more complicated and/or more frustrating.
...
Each of the "aspects" in the poll question is important, it's just a question of how much complication can be added to each one.


Now I just have to find out how to get one of these to accept my invoice...

If I have to choose any of the options, they are
1: answering directly by e-mail (Nobody pays me for faffing about for half an hour resetting my password and breaking in, which any self-respecting hacker could probably do in seconds.)

And 2: It must be easy to log in and see the text.

On the other hand, I don't care about other bidders. I don't compete on price, but I give you value for money.

[Edited at 2017-02-14 09:34 GMT]


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Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:20
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Other Feb 14, 2017

No important aspects for me - this question is more relevant for agencies.

In my experience it is just an added bother i.e. tutorials, passwords etc.


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:20
Member (2006)
German to English
Righto Feb 14, 2017

Julian Holmes wrote:

Michael Harris wrote:

Julian Holmes wrote:

I'm probably speaking for a large percentage of the translation community here but what's a 'vendor management program'? icon_confused.gif


I think it is probably referring to Plunet or similar, no idea.
Butother than that, you´ve knocked anonymous on the head again, here is another blow.


I think Plunet and the ilk would be termed a 'translation management system" (TMS) which you visit with already established customers for jobs you have accepted in response to an inquiry from a PM as opposed to a 'vendor management program' which is looking closer to how Ricki's delicous definition. icon_biggrin.gif


Then I am also a lost soul


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svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:20
French to German
+ ...
Other Feb 14, 2017

I had no idea what a 'vendor management program' was until I reas Ricki's brilliant explanation.

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