Automatyzacja biura tłumaczeń - od czego zacząć?

Translation agency automation - how to start?

Work efficiency is a key factor in running a successful business. Due to well-planned business processes you can acheive competetive advantage. Automation is the grates way to ensure that all the processes at your translation office run quickly, efficiently and effectively.

What is automation?

Automation is the replacement of activities and processes carried out manually by man, with the usage of software, machines or robots, in order to improve and speed up the task execution. A good example of automation in the translation industry is the use of CAT tools that speed up the translation process.

Today we will focus on automating all processes that take place in the office, but are not directly translations. In other words, we will tak a look at the processes related to customer service and the management of the translation agency.

Which processes at your translation agency can be automated?

Above all, think about all the everyday, repetitive tasks that you do yourself or delegate to your employees. Usually, a large part of these activities can be replaced by properly planned and effectively implemented IT systems. The most common elements that we automate for our clients include:

  • Customer service

    • Automatic e-mail / SMS notifications, including order confirmation, status notifications, e-mails with translated documents, etc.

    • Customer portal, allowing for the access to the history of all orders, order statuses, translated files, invoices and finally enabling a convenient placing of orders and quick online payments.

  • Taking orders

    • Order form on the website, along with the option of uploading files. Orders are synchronized with the IT system.

    • Automatic quotation - based on language pairs, number of characters / words, pages, and the type of translation.

  • Delegating orders

    • Automatic notifications about new order to all the vendors that meet the order criteria, such as language or specializtion.

    • Manual selection of the vendor and assigning it to a given order, without the need to make phone calls and write emails.

  • Work control

    • A panel containing all orders, with the possibility of filtering by multiple criteria, e.g. date, type of translation, language, vendor, client, and many, many more ...

    • Internal statuses of order execution, e.g. pending, during translation, translated, etc. visible to you and selected office employees.

  • Invoicing, payments and vindication

    • Automatic invoicing

    • On-line payments that allow for quick and easy payment.

    • Automatic notifications to the customers that did not pay on time.

  • Financial and strategical analytics

    • Automatic financial reports, containing information on the most frequently translated documents, the most popular languages, and customer margins.

    • Statistics related to the work of your vendors - translation speed, number of documents / words / characters per hour / day / week / month, margin earned by the agency from the work of each translator.

These are of course only selected examples. Each translation agency works in a different way and struggles with different problems. Nevertheless, it is a good starting point for further work.

Where to start?

It is worth considering what activities take up most of your time, and at the same time they are so repetitive that they can be standardized and automated. The first step in automation is to observe the work of your own agency. You should make a list of all the key activities that you or your employees perform, and then analyze the time you spend on doing them.

While conducting such analysis, it is also worth taking into account such factors as:

  • Does the activity distract you from other tasks?

  • Does it require you to involve other team members?

  • How does it affect the comfort of your work?

  • As the number of orders increases, will the activity at hand be repeated more often and force you to hire an additional employee?

Once you conduct such analysis, you will be able to make an informed decision as to which activities require automation in the first place and which can still wait.

WARNING! It is not worth to throw yourself in the deep end. Automation is a process that should be implemented step by step. If you try to change too many elements at the same time, it may turn out that it will do more harm than good. Remember that the automation of a translation agency is associated with a completely new work methodology that you and your employees will have to learn.

What's next?

You will need a translation agency automation system that will take over your responsibilities. Choosing the right solution is a very responsible task, as it will shape the work of your agency in the coming years. What should you pay attention to when choosing a supplier?

  • Does the company have experience in the translation industry and understand the market?

  • To what extent does the system fit your needs?

  • Is it possible to add features or make changes to the existing system if necessary?

  • Will the implementation company be your partner and advisor, or just a supplier?

  • Will you get a professional technical assistance?

  • Is the system secure?

  • Will you become the owner of its code, so that you can decide who will develop it further?

  • Will you have a real impact on the further development of the system to match it to your agency's ever-changing needs?

Before making a final decision, you should confront your list of processes with the list of functionalities of the translation agency automation system and discuss all these elements with the software supplier. You should find a company that will be able to analyze your ideas, suggest additional solutions and give the right "flow" to the whole process. Ideally, the provider would like to organize a workshop with you, spend at least one day in your office to observe the way you work and involve your employees in the process of planning and implementing the software.


Translation agency automation will allow you to work more efficiently and effectively, which in turn will lead to increased revenues, minimized costs, a more attractive offer, faster execution of orders, better customer service and greater satisfaction of your employees.

However, you must remember that automation is also a long-lasting process that requires you and your team a lot of work and openness to change.

If you feel that automation is the direction your translation agency should be heading, but you are not sure how to start, then please contact me. Together with the Deoling team, we have many years of experience in the translation industry, and our clients, thanks to automation, realize up to 300% more orders in just a few months from system implementation. I am convinced that together we will achieve success.

Mike Walachowski
Michał Walachowski
Head of Growth