Tool to manage your translation projects (survey)
Thread poster: Promanagio

Promanagio
Belgium
Local time: 08:50
Oct 15, 2015

Hi everybody,

We need your help/opinions because we would like to develop a tool/platform for you as a translator.

Who are we? Vincent Dieltiens, who works as an IT Manager and Pierre Normand, a Sales Manager in the same company.

We know the translation market… We have been working in the industry for a number of years and we have often come across the same problems:
- translations not delivered on time
- we haven't received a translation and the translator can't access the files to send them to us (because he's on his way to pick up the kids from school for example)
- a translator forgets to invoice a job
- the invoice is wrong

How many of you waste time doing tasks other than your actual translation work (managing files, invoices, planning, checking to see if invoices have been paid etc.)?

This is where we step in!

We really want to develop an online tool that you can use to manage your translation projects
(from setting up a new job to sending your invoice) in just a few clicks of a mouse button.

Before starting our project we need your help to collect as much information as possible to see where we are going and what you might need.

Here is the link to our survey. There are around a dozen questions and it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes (10 at most).

We are really committed to this concept, and we really care about what you think.

Link to the survey: http://goo.gl/forms/xKYe0HoONy

Thanks for your help.

Pierre Normand (admin@promanagio.com)
Vincent Dieltiens (admin@promanagio.com)


 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:50
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I don't need a tool for this: Oct 15, 2015

Why make life more complicated than it needs to be:

I probably spend less than one hour a year doing administrative tasks.

I never forget to send an invoice because I always send the invoice with the job. I have an invoice template and creating an invoice takes less than one minute.

I then print out a paper copy of each invoice and put it into a folder.

When I receive payment, I mark it as paid and put it into another folder to pay taxes.

If the invoice is in the folder and not marked paid, it hasn't been paid.

At the end of the year, I divide the paper invoices by company, add up the totals, make sure they match with the tax documents received from each company and that's it.

Because of the quick deadlines, I rarely have more than one to two projects going at the same time, so I do not forget to do them. In fact, I mark the due date on the top of the paper print out of the source document I'm working on.



[Edited at 2015-10-15 21:40 GMT]


 

Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 01:50
German to English
+ ...
same as Jeff Oct 16, 2015

There is no problem, no time consumption, and no need.

The behaviours in the opening post sound unprofessional. I cannot imagine the language professionals in this forum doing such things.


 

Andrea Halbritter  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:50
Member (2014)
French to German
+ ...
No need Oct 16, 2015

I do agree with Jeff.

 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:50
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
No need Oct 16, 2015

I won't need such a tool either, as I already use one that offers all that (and extremely well): TO3000. I'd be interested to hear what you think you can do better, though.

 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:50
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Right Oct 16, 2015

Some tools are burdens for both translation agencies and individual translators.

Some are good for translation agencies but they cost individual translators more time than not using them.

[Edited at 2015-10-16 20:27 GMT]


 

Promanagio
Belgium
Local time: 08:50
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for your answers Oct 16, 2015

Thanks for your answers. All opinions are important for us to understand the translator's needs . Even if you do not need such a tool, we invite you to fill in the survey.

We understand your point of view. And we think that the existing tools are too complicated for freelancers (too many menus, too many features, ...) and are more adapted for translation companies.

@Jeff : your solution seems effective but needs to :
- be well organized
- remember everything.
Some examples are:
- "which customer needs a monthly invoice? Which one needs a daily invoice?"
- "what is the price dealt with this customer?"
- “What are the payment conditions for this customer?"
- “Do you check at regular intervals (every day/week) if there are unpaid invoices?
- “Do you send a reminder for every invoice?”

How do you handle your planning? Excel file? Outlook agenda? Other?
Also, do you have a backup of your work (translated files, invoices, customer information ...)?

Such a tool will help to handle easily your planning and your files (accessible from anywhere and on any devices), create an invoice in one click without the need of remembering the payment conditions, the price and so on. It could send a pre-reminder to warn the customer that the invoice will expire soon. It could let you to send a reminder in one click.

I would like to add, that we really care what the translators need and think about their perfect tool. That is why we ask to the person who fill our survey, if they want to be a part of this project. This means that we will ask them questions about their process and how they would like to improve it.

Our goal is not to create our tool with our vision but a tool that matches the translator’s needs. And by filling our survey you already help us to create a more efficient toolicon_wink.gif

Pierre & Vincent


 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:50
Member
English to French
TO3000 is enough for me too Oct 16, 2015

Erik Freitag wrote:
I won't need such a tool either, as I already use one that offers all that (and extremely well): TO3000. I'd be interested to hear what you think you can do better, though.

TO3000 is also a core program in my work: I don't know how I would have efficiently (i.e. quickly and reliably) kept track of the 263 jobs and 33 invoices I registered so far in 2015 from exactly 7 smart, skilled, helpful, supportive, fair, good-mannered and well-behaved translation agencies.

However, TO3000 can't access business data (and translation files) remotely so that you could send that translation, disappeared in the ether on its way to the customer and suddenly needed in the next 45 seconds precisely while you're picking up kids from school.
One has to be very unlucky though.

Philippe


 

Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
I use two tools Oct 16, 2015

I use Freshbooks to handle all the invoicing and accounting stuff, and Podio to manage my projects.

I could do without either of them, though, and just use my big white board that serves both functions.


 

Sudip Banerji  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 12:20
Member
English to Bengali
+ ...
Thank you but I am already happy Oct 26, 2015

TO3000 suffices all my needs (and more) and frankly, your opening sounds like you do not have a very high opinion of our abilities as businessmen. I assure you, I for one am capable of keeping up with both my work deadlines and invoices and do not need any new tool/software to help me.

However, I wish you luck with your efforts.


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 08:50
English to Polish
+ ...
No need for an IT tool Oct 27, 2015

I can manage without an IT tool. However, I would appreciate the option to hire a human assistant, which I can't really, for all sorts of reasons, including the crazy hours I work, which would be impossible under labour laws, nor could I humanly expect a person to adjust to my own working or sleeping patterns on the fly.

In my view, any such IT tool would simply integrate functions already performed by other software, which necessarily involves much ado over nothing and further complication resulting from having to move things and adapt to the change and learn new stuff, which in this case isn't worth it.

Please note that CAT tools already have case-management tools, and translators with the money to purchase even more software would first of all have at least one and probably rather two or three CAT tools, so no need for simple tools.

An e-mail client, an invoicing tool, a CAT tool, dictionaries — this is all a translator needs, and there is really no need for yet another interface trying to integrate all of the foregoing.

Besides, generic invoicing tools are useless. Invoicing is all about compliance with the tax rules of your jurisdiction and perhaps the client's, which requires tax and legal research and verification by suitably qualified local experts. If you can't offer that, you might as well sell document templates that have 'invoice' written on them, it would have the same effect.

[Edited at 2015-10-27 15:14 GMT]


 

TranslateThis  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
something simpler than TO3000 would be great Oct 27, 2015



[Edited at 2015-10-28 05:21 GMT]


 

Preston Decker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:50
Chinese to English
Why limit yourself to translators? Oct 28, 2015

I too am not likely to use such a tool, and I highly doubt you'll achieve much business success if you market yourself only to translators (a relatively small and stubborn group of professionals), so why not think bigger? You could easily expand this and target it at all self-employed professionals, or even small enterprises. Yes, there is other competition out there, but at least if you expand your market you'll give yourself a chance if you can develop a great product. If you limit yourselves to translators you could have the greatest product of this sort in the world and still not bring much in in the way of profit.


Edit: And I agree with the above poster regarding the tone of your post. It comes off as condescending (first mentioning unprofessional actions by translators, followed by a statement that you 'care' about translators). If you do develop this product, it would be wise to review all material from a marketing standpoint before posting.

[Edited at 2015-10-28 03:21 GMT]


 

Promanagio
Belgium
Local time: 08:50
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your replies Oct 29, 2015

Thanks everyone for your repliesicon_smile.gif
We still need more replies to have a bigger picture of what you want so that would be very kind if you could share our survey on your "translator Facebook page", or on another Forum we don't have access to... Thanks for your helpicon_smile.gif

@Preston
It's our goal to do such a tool but for the moment we want to start it with the translators (as we know this market).
Anyway, thanks for your adviceicon_wink.gif


 


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