Aerospace and Defense Document Translation

Aerospace Manufacturers Expand Business Through Translation Services

January 4, 2018

Aerospace manufacturers

Current Environment

The U.S. aerospace market is the largest in the world and U.S. manufacturers are very competitive internationally due to the “skilled and educated workforce, extensive distribution systems, diverse offerings, and strong support at the local and national level for policy and promotion”, according to Select USA, a U.S. government-wide program housed in the International Trade Administration at the United States Department of Commerce. In 2015, the U.S. aerospace industry contributed $144.1 billion in export sales to the U.S. economy.

The market shows no signs of slowing down as demand for aerospace products continues to rise in foreign countries. While U.S. based aerospace manufacturers are well respected worldwide, the market is still highly competitive and setting oneself apart is necessary to stand out. Government contracting can be a long and difficult process so we are here to break down general best practices and how a partnership with a translation company can give you a competitive advantage in the process.

Best Practices: Winning Government Contracts

Below is a condensed list of best practices to keep in mind for government contracts according to Jim McCarthy, Principal Owner and Technical Director of AOC Key Solutions, Inc.
Best practices. review, develop, network

  • Review your opportunity pipeline early and often. There are so many opportunities out there that it is important to keep track of what is coming up so that you can identify whether or not it is worth your company going after.

  • When reviewing opportunities, have a very targeted approach in what you are willing to spend your time (and hence, money) on bidding.

    • iTi TIP: Develop an ideal client framework. Use this framework when reviewing opportunities to determine whether it is a good fit

  • Develop a team internally dedicated to reviewing and preparing proposals

  • Consider your chance of winning and be realistic! Some questions to keep in mind:

    • Have you ever met the customer?

    • Does the customer know anything about you?

    • Do you truly understand what the root issues are in order to develop the proper solution?

    • Is this the first time you’ve heard of the opportunity? You are most likely too late already, according to McCarthy

  • Always be networking! Relationships are key to winning government contracts so put yourself out there and get ahead of opportunities

Most of all, try something different in order to stand out. Really dig into the client’s pain points so that you can demonstrate the most well-suited solution. If you really want to set yourself apart when going after foreign government contracts, start speaking to them in their language.

The Power of Translation

When working on a bid for a foreign government contract, timelines don’t change to accommodate time for translation. The best practices above are that much more important when bidding on contracts in foreign countries to ensure you are setting yourself up for success. The more prepared you are, the less you will have to stress about completing each step in the bidding process. Taking translation into consideration ahead of time will help you with creating a timeline that is manageable and successful.

Set Yourself Up For Translation Success

Before you move forward with translation services, it’s crucial to have an understanding of the market you are targeting as well as the process of translation. As mentioned before, take timelines into consideration. Create a calendar with strict timelines to ensure your team has proper time to create the proposal in English. Be sure you are 100% complete and happy with the English version before moving on to translation. There is a popular saying in the translation industry, “garbage in, garbage out”. If the content is not well thought-out, organized, and compelling in English then even the best translator can’t make it better through translation.

To alleviate some of the stress that comes along with government proposals, focus on finding a translation agency before you know you will need translation. The last thing you want is to have an all-star proposal written up and then have to find a translation agency last minute. You will most likely over pay for the service and may not receive the quality are you expecting. Unfortunately, many translation agencies will cut out quality control steps in order to meet a deadline. Ensure you are working with a reputable company with a lot of experience with aerospace translation. Once you have an established relationship and are familiar with your team within the agency, the whole process will flow a lot smoother. Translation agencies that operate as partners with their clients are more likely to be invested in the success of their client versus working on a transactional basis.

Now that you understand the steps necessary for success when submitting a bid for a foreign government, how do you make sure you partner with the right translation agency?

Choosing The Right Translation Agency

ChecklistAerospace translation and government bids are complex. Translation is a crucial step when working internationally, you absolutely must get it right the first time! Before actually speaking with translation agencies, first consider what you are looking for in a translation agency partner. Some things to consider are:

  • The type of internal support and knowledge your company has for working with a translation agency. Do you have multilingual staff? Can you review the translated content to assess its quality?

  • Your budget and time frame. Are they somewhat flexible? This goes back to assessing the value of each government bid. Take the cost of translation into consideration in that step to ensure you maximizing the value of your time and financial budget

  • The core languages you need translated now and in the foreseeable future + the volume of translation needed now and over time. This will help with price negotiations once you contact a translation agency!

  • The type and level of customer service you need. Do you prefer to work with a single point of contact? Do you prefer personal service and flexibility? These are qualities that may be very beneficial when working with technical translation and tight timelines.

You are now ready to approach translation agencies. We suggest to contact several to get a feel for how different organizations function. It will become clear which team seems like the best fit for your organization’s needs. Below are questions to consider for your discussions:

  • Does the language services provider recruit interpreters and translators on an ongoing basis from a wide range of sources?

  • Does the LSP screen translator and interpreter candidates?

  • How does the LSP provide long-term quality assurance?

  • What mechanisms does the LSP have to instruct interpreters about specific policies and procedures of your organization?

  • Does the LSP have specialists in the aerospace industry?

  • How responsive is the agency?

  • How competitive are the fees? (If you’re comparing fees among different LSPs be sure you know exactly what each fee covers)

  • Are there any additional charges or discounts (set up fees, minimums, volume discounts, cancellation fees, etc.)?

  • How long as the translation agency been in business and what’s their reputation?

  • Will they provide you with a list of referrals?


iTi | Translation Services

iTi’s dedicated and experienced team offers a wide range of multicultural language solutions for domestic and global corporations in a variety of industries. We pride ourselves on having personal service with a smile you can hear through the phone. We work closely with our clients to give them peace of mind for translation and interpretation projects. You are welcome to contact us to request a quote for your language translation project or just to chat! We are happy to answer any questions you may have.

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