Brian McConnell, a writer for the Globalization & Localization Association, wrote a wonderful piece entitled "Choosing The Best Translation Technology For Your Company." In it, McConnell wrote the following:
I generally recommend that customers avoid the big three companies unless they are going to generate six to seven figure annual budgets. The reason isn't that the big translation companies are bad, it's just that their incentive is to focus on large accounts or accounts that might grow quickly. You'll get more attention and better service from small and mid-sized companies… (McConnell)
Being a smaller company, we agree with Mr. McConnell's conclusions, and thought this would be a good opportunity to provide a more in-depth look into the potential advantages of working with a smaller agency.
The main advantage of engaging with smaller agencies is the superior level of customer service. At Dynamic, our first step in personalizing the experience is in how our project managers interact with their clients. Each of our clients have their own, personal project manager who has an extensive knowledge of their company and work history. Being on the smaller side has given us the luxury of forming real relationships with our clients.
The second advantage that we see is improved quality! By knowing clients inside and out, our PMs understand the client's ideal target audience, linguists they prefer, common terms and translations to use, past projects to reference, etc. Not only does this ensure that projects are consistent and accurate, but it enhances efficiency as well! Time usage is maximized by not having to explain and re-explain client needs to new people for each project.
Last, when working with a smaller company, customers have the assurance that they are each truly valued and important. While there are many amazing large companies that provide exceptional service to their clients, those clients are each one of their many, many customers.
In fairness, however, the advantages of engaging with a smaller company are not the only factors to consider. There can be times when choosing a large company might benefit client needs. As McConnell briefly mentions, it may be wise to use a large company for particularly large or expensive projects.
Keep these tips in mind next time you choose a language provider!