Localization is the process of adjusting the characteristics and properties of a product to suit the needs of the social, cultural and political dimensions of a particular culture. Localization is a highly profitable practice that generates additional revenue for companies. When localized products are released in foreign locations, it is modified keeping in mind the requirements of its target customers. As a result, localised versions of products often yield better results in the domestic markets.
Localization often suffers from the lack of practical planning and implementation. If used properly, it has the potential to predict the way in which the company should write its source content to generate maximum returns. Several factors determine the success of a localization process that is both cost- effective and can enhance the company’s market share. A well-constructed localization process can put a company on the global market and augment the global revenue.
Localization Adds Value to the Company
The first requirement of building an effective localization team is to view localization as a profitable venture that not only adds revenue but also gives the company a global presence. The localization manager needs to look beyond the completion of a particular project and focus on the how to align localization with the company’s business objectives. It is also important that the localization team collaborate with other teams to plan better business strategies that involve minimal wastage of resources.
Pre-Requisites to Successful Localization –
Localization as a process cannot be considered separate from the overall functioning of the company. Some of the basic requirements for an effective localization are –
1. Preventive Planning – Planning is of paramount importance to a localization team. Planning requires co-ordination between the members to divide the entire process into smaller chunks of work. The team needs to create a realistic schedule, acquire its resources, interact with localization experts and make the product ready for release in the foreign market. All this planning should be preventive in nature, i.e. there should be minimal chances of problems occurring rather than dealing with problems after they occur. This kind of an approach not only reduces costs but also limits wastage of time and effort.
2. Practical Budgeting – As with any other process, localization can yield profits if a practical budget that accommodates all the needs and requirements is already in place. Sufficient funds need to be allocated to the localization project after careful discussion with internal departments as well your localization partner. It is important to keep in mind the future modifications or updates that will be made on the localized product while calculating the budget.
3. Smart Scheduling – Scheduling holds the entire localization process together by demarcating work for each individual or group and deciding deadlines by which work needs to move from one end to another. Scheduling must take into the account the time for receiving supplies, delivering products or even installations of machinery for production. To ensure smooth scheduling you must create a flexible schedule that can be updated according to the changing needs of the localization process.
4. Building a Well-Equipped Team – The requirements of every localization process is unique and it needs skilled personnel to be completed. While the localization of an operating system requires in depth technical and product knowledge, the localization of a children’s game with spoken texts requires superior language skills. It is imperative to construct your localization team according to the nature of the product.
5. External and Internal Communications – Creative professionals like designers or copywriters associated with the product are often resistant to the idea of localization. It is imperative to include content owners in the localization process to comprehend the essence of the product and localize it correctly. Communications within the team ensure a clear workflow and positive working environment.
A successful localization team requires the above mentioned ground work to be completed in order to run effortlessly without any glitches.
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