Working with Marks & Spencer

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If you’re considering collaborating with us on an upcoming project then you might be interested to know more about the projects we’ve successfully worked on in the past. Following our successful work with a number of other leading UK retailers, Marks & Spencer approached us to assist them with their translation requirements. After experiencing issues in the past, they were keen to ensure the highest quality translations were put in place for their upcoming projects.

Marks and Spencer is a household name in the UK and a leading British multinational retailer specialising in the home, clothing and food sectors. They operate 700+ stores in the United Kingdom and have over 360 stores overseas.

They initially required our services specifically in relation to their food labelling department, ensuring accurate translations were used in ingredients lists and other legal requirements, often with a 24-hour turn around. On a regular day, we handle around 50 translations from all the different product ranges on offer. These are sent to us by an international food regulation and labelling company, also working in partnership with M&S. The translators are expected to work on the files using extensive guidelines supplied to us by the client and query anything they are unsure of to a team of legal experts at the labelling company. They will then check all our translations before they are implemented into the final artwork. In order to help find the best solution to any translation-related issues, we share with them a tracker which is sent daily to the translators and encourages them to provide feedback from a linguistic point of view.

To make sure we meet and exceed our client’s expectations, we have put a dedicated team of experienced project managers in place to work with M&S at every stage of the translation process. Project managers’ duties involve preparing files for translation and assigning them to translators, dealing with queries from translators, passing on information from the food regulators and ensuring deadlines are met. In addition to this, our onsite account manager liaises with members of the international team at M&S headquarters in London. This close integration has provided a greater degree of flexibility in our project workflow, we are now able to adapt to and undertake projects outside of our original remit of food labelling whenever M&S require it.

One such project provided us with the opportunity to translate three staff leadership training modules into French. This involved a two stage process that necessitated an artwork element as well as standard text translation.

First, we employed our specialist software tool, memoQ, to handle the text based portion of the project. This allowed us to efficiently manage the translation with a 24 hour turn around as required by the client. memoQ synchronises projects with our dedicated bespoke M&S language memory, this enables us to automatically translate any segments of text that have previously been translated and used in older client projects.

As we have a specialist team of translators in place who work on food labelling for M&S, we had key people with experience of the brand and their requirements. This allowed us to integrate this new project into our existing client workflow. As the nature of this project differed substantially from the normal requirements it required a slightly different approach, by specifically targeting a translator and proof reader within the existing team who also had experience of copywriting, we could ensure the best possible outcome. Our multilingual project managers are also able to address translator queries directly, discussing aspects of the project at every stage to improve the final outcome and increase overall efficiency.

Once the text translation had been approved, the project was passed to our in-house design studio who implemented the new language into the documents. Due to the increase in length of the translation compared to the source, the design had to be adjusted to accommodate this, whilst still holding true to the original concept. In certain circumstances the new text would not fit, in this case the translator and project manager used their expertise to rework the translation into a more concise format that would fit the design. This allowed us to deliver a high quality set of documents to the client that had taken into account the target market, the original message and the design in a very short timeframe.

If you’d like to know more about other projects we’ve worked on then take a look at some of the case studies HERE

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