El desafío de un equipo virtual

SumaLatam capacita en la gestión de proveedores

Reimpresión de Noticias de Comercio Internacional www.ndci.com.ar (octubre de 2013 http://www.ndci.com.ar/graf/revista/revistaNDCI_9.pdf) con permiso de NDCI.

08 de octubre de 2013

Cecilia Iros, CEO – SumaLatam

El trabajo en una agencia de traducción fluctúa constantemente, no sólo en cuanto al volumen, sino también en cuanto al tema, la combinación de idiomas y las herramientas de software que se utilizarán, entre otras variables.

Como resultaría imposible sostener una estructura de personal que permitiera responder a las variaciones en la demanda, el modelo más común en las agencias de traducción en todo el mundo consiste en manejar internamente todo lo relacionado con la gestión, coordinación y supervisión y en contratar, por proyecto, a gran parte del equipo de traducción.

Con esta forma de trabajo, la agencia cuenta con la posibilidad de multiplicar su capacidad de una manera muy dinámica según va variando la demanda.

Otra gran ventaja de este modelo es la posibilidad de contar con los mejores profesionales especializados en los temas más variados, sin importar su ubicación geográfica, lo cual sería imposible de lograr con personal de planta permanente.

Para poder ofrecer una calidad de servicio constante y tener la flexibilidad de manejar simultáneamente todos los proyectos que nuestros clientes necesiten, es fundamental tener procesos bien definidos y monitoreados así como una excelente gestión de los profesionales que forman parte de nuestros equipos de trabajo, considerando como equipos de trabajo, el personal interno y el externo. Una buena gestión de los proveedores externos pasa a ser una fortaleza clave en cualquier agencia de servicios lingüísticos.

Algunas de las tareas que hacen a la gestión de proveedores son la búsqueda y contratación de nuevos recursos, la evaluación y el seguimiento del desempeño, el apoyo tecnológico, el análisis de procesos y modelos, la capacitación del equipo y la motivación para lograr satisfacción y lealtad.

Los días 29 y 30 de abril, SumaLatam reunirá a empresas de traducción de todo el mundo en la ciudad de Chicago en el Vendor Management Seminar. Este es un evento que genera un espacio para presentaciones y debates esclarecedores durante los que las personas que desempeñan funciones relacionadas con la gestión de proveedores en diferentes agencias pueden compartir sus inquietudes además de sus conocimientos y aprender de sus pares. Pronto habrá más información sobre este evento en www.vendormanagementseminar.com

SumaLatam ofrece servicios de traducción y localización en inglés, español y portugués en las más diversas áreas que van desde la traducción de documentos legales hasta la localización de software pasando por el subtitulado y muchas áreas y formatos más.

Mucho más que traducción: Localización

Reimpresión de Noticias de Comercio Internacional www.ndci.com.ar (junio de 2013 http://www.ndci.com.ar/graf/revista/revistaNDCI_7.pdf) con permiso de NDCI.

28 de junio de 2013

Cecilia Iros, CEO – SumaLatam

La localización, o L10N, es el proceso de adaptar un producto o contenido a una región con el objetivo de que parezca creado para ese mercado al cual queremos acceder. La traducción es uno de todos los servicios que componen el proceso de localización que puede incluir la adaptación de gráficos a los mercados meta, la adaptación del diseño al contenido traducido, la conversión de monedas, el uso del formato apropiado de las fechas, las direcciones y los números telefónicos, y la implementación de reglamentaciones, entre otros aspectos a tener en cuenta.

Investigaciones realizadas por Common Sense Advisory, empresa estadounidense de investigación del mercado, aseguran que hay cuatro posibilidades más de que un consumidor internacional elija un producto o servicio si este se ofrece en su lengua nativa lo cual significa que la localización del contenido técnico y de marketing es fundamental para exportar exitosamente.

Un buen servicio de traducción y localización es fundamental a la hora de introducir un producto o servicio en un nuevo mercado, de seducir al público en su propio idioma, de aumentar la fidelidad del cliente e incrementar los ingresos.

Sin embargo, igualmente importante es generar el contenido en la lengua original con mensajes que se adapten fácilmente a los mercados a los que se desea acceder y que el mensaje de marca sea congruente. Esto nos asegura que vamos a poder adaptarnos a las necesidades de los clientes locales.

Algunos consejos para tener en cuenta a la hora de generar el contenido:

  • Evitar mensajes creados exclusivamente para el mercado original, especialmente el uso de coloquialismos propios de una sola región.
  • El uso de oraciones simples sin voz pasiva funciona mejor.
  • No suponer que las características de nuestro mercado local son comunes a todos los mercados.
  • Considerar las versiones localizadas al momento del diseño original. Sin importar el medio (sitio web, manual, etc.), el diseño debe contemplar aspectos del mercado meta que puede incluir caracteres diferentes, necesidad de mayor espacio para algunos idiomas y asegurar la funcionalidad para cada lugar.
  • Realizar todos los cambios necesarios en el producto antes de iniciar el proceso de localización ya que cualquier cambio en el diseño o en el contenido significará detener el proceso de localización.
  • Evaluar cada cambio que se desee realizar en el producto y en el contenido original según la cantidad de documentación que ya se haya localizado en diferentes idiomas porque que ese cambio deberá reflejarse en todo el material existente.

La agencia de traducción garantiza la gestión del proyecto de principio a fin además de todos los servicios que puedan ser necesarios durante el proceso como maquetación, gestión de terminología, subtitulado, etc. Mediante los procesos y las herramientas apropiados, el mensaje se transmite siempre de la misma manera y los equipos de ventas en las distintas regiones están en igualdad de condiciones con respecto al material y a la información sobre el producto.

La escalabilidad que ofrece una agencia especializada brinda la posibilidad de realizar cambios sobre la marcha, por ejemplo, para acelerar los procesos o para localizar a más regiones y mantener una sola persona de contacto que se encargará de todas sus necesidades.

SumaLatam ofrece servicios de traducción y localización en inglés, español y portugués en las más diversas áreas que van desde la traducción de documentos legales hasta la localización de software pasando por el subtitulado y muchas áreas y formatos más.

No Measurement, No Improvement

As important as doing things right from the beginning is to find a way to monitor how we’re doing them in order to be able to improve.

We need measurable and realistic results. Assumptions are no good and that’s why we need to establish metrics that will help us know how we’re doing and where we stand.

In an ever more competitive environment, knowing where we stand and where we’re headed can shorten growth times, help us find competitive advantages and seize them, keep the whole team focused on the same results, among many other benefits of planning in the short, medium and long term, i.e., having a strategic plan or strategy in place.

Knowing where we’re going is not enough. We need to know how we’re going and when we’re straying off the path. There are assessment and measurement tools to make sure that the path is clear and followed.

For these objectives to be assessed we need indicators and numbers so as to align everyone to stay focused on the company’s vision. It is sometimes hard to measure because we ignore what the indicators of the elements that impact the business are, we may think that one needs to be a business administrator or an accountant in order to understand them, or simply because we lack revealing information and we end up relying on assumptions.

A very easy to use tool that involves a lot more than a list of indicators and isolated numbers is the Balanced Scorecard (BSC).

According to Mario Vogel, expert in the implementation of this tool, “the BSC helps balance, in a comprehensive and strategic way, the current progress and provide direction for the future of your company in order to turn vision into action by means of a consistent set of indicators grouped under four different perspectives that show the business as a whole.”

The BSC is the representation of the strategy in interrelated objectives measured by internal and external performance indicators for which goals and initiatives are established. Its name comes from the balance among aspects related to stakeholders and clients (external), processes, training, innovation, and growth (internal).

These aspects are presented as four perspectives: financial perspective, customer perspective, internal business process perspective, and learning and growth perspective.

Even though the BSC focuses on the financial perspective since one of the main objectives of any organization is to be profitable, it supplements this aspect with the other three perspectives. These are present in all the processes that are necessary for the healthy operation of a company and need to be considered when defining indicators.

It’s important for the decision makers in the company to be aware of the objectives in all four perspectives. The management team will then be focused on the strategy and ready to correct any diversions.

This is an essential notion for success because, without a clearly-defined strategy that includes all four perspectives, we may end up using indicators that don’t lead to accomplishing said strategy.

For the BSC to give results that help manage the company we’ll need to monitor and analyze all indicators. Among the advantages of the BSC, we can mention:

  • Aligning staff with the company’s vision by means of clear communication of the long-term objectives
  • Having the ability to re-define the strategy based on results
  • Turning the vision and strategies into actions
  • Fostering the creation of future value
  • Integrating all areas in the organization by means of interrelated objectives
  • Having the ability to perform solid analyses
  • Improving financial results

This tool will let us know how we’re doing and where we stand based on accurate and measured information instead of assumptions and, as a result, trigger improved performance.

No se puede mejorar sin medir

Tan importante como hacer las cosas bien desde el primer momento, es buscar la forma de corroborar como las estamos haciendo para poder mejorar.

Es importante tener resultados creíbles y medibles. No sirven las suposiciones y es por esto que es necesario establecer métricas que nos ayuden a saber dónde estamos parados.

En un entorno cada vez más competitivo, saber dónde estamos y adónde vamos pueden acortar tiempos de crecimiento, ayudar a encontrar ventajas competitivas y aprovecharlas, ayudar a que todos en la empresa busquen los mismo resultados, además de muchos otros beneficios que se obtienen del desarrollo de planes a corto, mediano y largo plazo, lo que sería una estrategia o plan estratégico.

No es suficiente conocer a dónde vamos, sino conocer cómo vamos y saber en qué momento nos desviamos del camino. Se puede clarificar el camino implementando herramientas de medición y evaluación de los objetivo planteados.

Para evaluar estos objetivos, se necesitan indicadores o números que serán la herramienta que alinee a todos para enfocarse en la visión de la empresa. Muchas veces cuesta medir, ya sea por desconocimiento de lo que se debe medir y de los elementos que tienen impacto en el negocio y cuál sería su indicador, por pensar que los números solo le corresponde a los administradores o contadores o por falta de manejo de información reveladora. Muchas veces es preferible o más fácil decir “a mí me parece” o “yo creo”, en lugar de “el indicador o el resultado muestra”

Una herramienta muy simple de usar y que va más allá de una lista de indicadores y números aislados, es el Balanced Scorecard (BSC).

Según Mario Vogel, experto en la implementación de esta herramienta, “el BSC ayuda a balancear, de una forma integrada y estratégica, el progreso actual y suministra la dirección futura de su empresa, para ayudar a convertir la visión en acción por medio de un conjunto coherente de indicadores, agrupados en cuatro diferentes perspectivas, a través de las cuales se puede ver el negocio en su totalidad.”

El BSC es la representación de la estrategia a través de objetivos encadenados entre sí, medidos por indicadores de desempeño, para los cuales se establecen metas e iniciativas. El nombre de esta herramienta proviene del equilibrio entre los indicadores que la componen, es un balance entre inversores y clientes (externo), y los procesos, la capacitación, la innovación y el crecimiento (interno).

Estos aspectos externos e internos están expresados como cuatro perspectivas: la perspectiva financiera, la perspectiva del cliente, la perspectiva de procesos internos del negocio y la perspectiva de aprendizaje y crecimiento.

El BSC le da gran importancia a la perspectiva financiera, ya que uno de los objetivos primordiales de una organización es ser rentable, pero no obstante complementa esa perspectiva con las otras. Estas cuatro perspectivas comprenden todos los procesos necesarios para el correcto funcionamiento de una empresa y deben ser considerados a la hora de definir los indicadores.

Es importante que las personas responsables de la toma de decisiones dentro de la empresa, incorporen los objetivos de las cuatro perspectivas para que estén permanentemente enfocadas en la estrategia y puedan intervenir con rapidez para corregir desviaciones.

Un tema fundamental antes de iniciar el proceso de elaboración del BSC es tener claro que se trata de una herramienta que facilita el proceso de traducir la visión y la estrategia de la organización en objetivos y metas que puedan ser medidos. Esta idea es imprescindible para el éxito porque si no se parte de una estrategia bien definida que incluya las cuatro perspectivas, el proceso puede derivar en la utilización de indicadores que no cumplan con el objetivo fundamental que es el de enfocarnos en el cumplimiento de la estrategia.

El BSC mostrará resultados que ayudan a la administración de la compañía, pero para lograr esto, será necesario implementar la metodología de monitoreo y análisis de los indicadores obtenidos. La utilización del BSC tiene muchas ventajas, entre las cuales podemos considerar las siguientes:

  • Alinea los empleados con la visión de la empresa mediante la comunicación a todo el personal de los objetivos
  • Permite redefinir la estrategia según los resultados
  • Traduce la visión y las estrategias en acción
  • Favorece en el presente la creación de valor futuro
  • Integra información de las diversas áreas del negocio
  • Permite realizar buenos análisis
  • Mejora los indicadores financieros

El uso de esta herramienta nos permitirá saber dónde estamos con información certera en lugar de suposiciones y, de esta forma, estaremos midiendo para mejorar.

Whipala

Today, we’re celebrating the Day of Native Peoples, a day chosen to preserve, perpetuate and highlight the culture of native peoples of The Americas.

Because they left the first cultural footprint in our territory.

Because they represent each nation’s birth.

Because they were the first inhabitants of these lands, the ones who respect them the most and even continue to call it Mother.

In the age of technology and all the wonderful possibilities it offers, it’s important to keep up our ancestors’ legacy and carry on the values, culture and knowledge that make up our origins.

As a Latin American company, we chose the colors of the Wiphala , the flag that represents the native peoples of our region because the meaning of each one of its colors, such as belonging, diversity and equality, is connected to the main aspects of SumaLatam’s objectives, values, mission and vision, and of the story we want to write.

Different social, cultural, human, and organizational spaces and ideologies are expressed through color and words:

Communicating people beyond languages and using languages as the means to convey culture.

Joining cultures, ideas, products, and services by means of language.

Integrity and focus on people.

Sustainability.

Leading by example and teamwork.

Communicating honestly and openly.

Doing things right for our people, our environment, and our society.

Focusing on clients and results.

Estamos Contratando

How to Tap into the Opportunities of the Job Market in Latin America

Once a region that was only attractive for its beauty pageant contestants, talented soccer teams, exotic sceneries, tasteful dishes, tropical climateand sensuous dance rhythms, Latin America today offers unique advantages for foreign professionals wanting to diversify and boost their careers with a multicultural experience in an exciting economic landscape. However, there are many factors to be considered when deciding to move southwards and, despite its ever increasing movement towards internationalization, Latin America is still a bit reluctant to the new attempts of massive immigration waves that occurred in the beginning of the last century. The cultural similarities with North American and European countries are perhaps greater here than in other continents, such as Africa or Asia, yet fast adaptation is crucial for a successful enterprise. Like in any other geography of the world, moving to a foreign country requires a minimum knowledge of the culture, business etiquette, work environment, and — perhaps above all — the language. The great advantage here is that you have basically two languages to choose from: Spanish or Portuguese. Yet in Latin America, you have to be ready to adjust your biological, psychological and moral standards to a number of factors, ranging from the food to the concept of time to the ways some more complicated matters are better resolved. Yet this goes beyond the scope of this article. What we will try to describe are the opportunities that have been created in recent years with the economic boom experienced by most of the 21 Latin American countries and how you can better position yourself to eventually find the new Eldorado of the global job market.

The projected region’s average growth for next year is around 4%, which is below recent figures but still promising when compared to other regions of the world, especially in more developed countries. The emergence of the middle class, which can be detected in most emerging economies, has provided Latin Americans with better living standards and access to higher levels of education. With this economic prospect comes an average unemployment rate of 6.5%, which is almost half of the previous decade. In some countries unemployment has reached zero as the low-digit figures can be attributed to people changing jobs rather than actually not being able to find employment. Even though income inequality is still the norm, the gap between high- and low-income earners has decreased considerably, and so has the disparity between men and women, who have increased their share in the labor force, with 65 percent of women aged 25 to 65 joining the lines of the employed.According to The Labor Market Story Behind Latin America’s Transformation, a report released by the World Bank Regional Chief Economist office in October 2012, with the average length of schooling rising from 5 to 8 years and the share of women in the labor force growing steadily, 35 million jobs were created over the past decade. “It’s quite remarkable that Latin America has been able to break with a tradition of high unemployment and informal employment to bring down overall unemployment rates to new historic lows,” said World Bank Regional Chief Economist Augusto de la Torre.

Source: Mercer

Source: Mercer – Figure 1: Gender Inequality in Latin America

But not everything in the Latin American garden is rosy. Despite the increasing levels of access to school, the goals for universal education in some countries are still very far from becoming a reality. According to UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report, published in October 2012, 2.7 million Latin American children do not attend primary school and 1.7 million teenagers are out of secondary school. This prevents new generations from acquiring the necessary and much desired skills for employment. “We are witnessing a young generation frustrated by the chronic mismatch between skills and work,” said Irina Bokova, the Director General of UNESCO. “Many youth, and women in particular, need to be offered alternative pathways to education, so that they gain the skills to earn a living, live in dignity and contribute to their communities and societies.” Latin American universities too lag behind when compared to other regions of the globe. Even though some institutions, like the University of Buenos Aires or the National Autonomous University of Mexico, enroll several hundred thousand students, overall performance is rather unimpressive. Scientific research studies are mediocre in numbers and not rewarded with additional funding, in most universities, students pay nothing to attend but drop-out rates are extremely high, teaching methodsand curricula are outdated and politicized, and staff cannot be fired, despite low performance rates. “Across the region, good students are recruited to faculty at their own universities, rather than encouraged to leave and broaden their horizons,” says Jamil Salmi, a higher-education specialist at the World Bank. “And there’s hostility to the very notion you might hire faculty from abroad.”

Source: AméricaEconomía - Figure 2: Distribution of Multilatinas according to nationality in 2010

Source: AméricaEconomía – Figure 2: Distribution of Multilatinas according to nationality in 2010

This situation, although presenting great challenges to local governments, businesses and population, is the perfect scenario for foreign professionals with higher degrees or better levels of education. As the region maintains its growth rates, businesses prosper and the need for skilled workforce increases. This applies to both local enterprises and multinational companies with offices and branches in Latin America. The so-called Multilatinas, a recent phenomenon that was only possible due to a combination of economic reform, advances in technology, improved education, comparatively low costs, abundant natural resources, and increased management sophistication, are the primary place to look for a job if you are an English native speaker willing to “offshore” yourself. In 2009, the Boston Consulting Group updated their previous list of the 100 high-performing Latin American companies that “are expanding their operations internationally with impressive speed, ingenuity, and sophistication, adopting approaches that may offer valuable lessons to others.” Their countries of origin include Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Bolivia and more, which means several different cultures and geographies to choose from. If these companies are selling to the US – and believe us, they certainly do today – then you have an advantage over local candidates as the difficulty to find English-speaking employees has increased considerably in recent years as the region has, according to some rankings, one of the lowest levels of English fluency. “Remember that communicating in English fluently, at the executive level, is essential in most searches. Sometimes, it is even more important than having an MBA,” said Carlos Marro, Owner of Cozzi, Marro&Asociados and Hand Selection, a headhunting firm with offices in Argentina and Brazil, whom we interviewed for this article. “It is fairly common to work with organizations that already have relocation policies. Depending on the executive to relocate, offers are more or less generous,” he added. “Searches are more globalized. Executives apply online and recruiting companies actively search for profiles in other countries through executive networks.”

Source: Education First - Figure 3: English Proficiency Ranking in Latin America.

Source: Education First – Figure 3: English Proficiency Ranking in Latin America.

The fact is, it is not only language that will interfere in your ability to secure a job in Latin America or even to make you decide to candidate for one. Does the country you are moving to have a tax treaty signed with your country of origin? Are the relocations costs high and would your potential employer be willing to cover them entirely or partially? What is the best time to move and adjust to the climate and other circumstances and how much time is necessary to be fully functional? What are the best and most affordable cities or neighborhoods in particular in your target destination? What are the best means of transportation to take you from home to work and around the city? How will you cope with the distance from family and friends? And last but not least, what are the visa requirements and how do you make sure that you will have a safe stay throughout the period you planned?

Adecco Group is the world’s leading provider of HR solutions with more than 33,000 employees and a network of over 5,500 branches, in over 60 countries and territories around the world. We also interviewed Pauline Amilhaud, International Requests Coordinator at the Adecco’s office in São Paulo, Brazil. “Usually the preference is for the nearest location,” she said. “But in the absence of specialized labor force, companies open their selection scope to candidates from other states and even from other countries, depending on the requirement level of the position.” She also said that companies that need to seek candidates from other locations know that they need to build attractive proposals so that these candidates accept the offer and this usually includes the costs of displacement and in some cases even the housing costs.

LinkedIn recently reached the 10 million user milestone in Brazil, which was greatly celebrated both in their Sao Paulo office and in the Mountain View headquarters. We talked to Danielle Restivo, Manager of Corporate Communications for Brazil and Canada, who told us that there is a great deal of competition between companies in Latin America to attract the best talent, which means that for candidates there are plenty ofopportunities if they have the right skills. “Candidates should think about how they can build a strong network on LinkedIn in order to find out about the best jobs and to be introduced to the right people to open the door to new opportunities,” she said. “Recruiters in Brazil are leveraging LinkedIn to find top talent so professionals should think about not only building their network, but keeping their profile up to date with a clear explanation of their skills, background, expertise and education.”Understanding what skills are required for the job is key. LinkedIn skills (www.linkedin.com/skills) tracks all the skills on LinkedIn being posted by members and can help a professional see what skills are on a growing or declining trend. Researching the resumes of professionals on LinkedIn who have positions you aspire to can help you understand what kind of experience and skills you would require to land a job internationally. Professionals can also leverage LinkedIn to research and get introductions to employees at the companies where they would like to work in a foreign country. To this matter, LinkedIn Answers (www.linkedin.com/answers) is a great place for professionals to ask such questions and learn from others who have relocated to another country for a job.

In our personal experience, LinkedIn has proved to be an excellent tool for recruiting talent. In an ad posted during a single month in November 2011 looking for an Administrative and Financial Director, we received 174 submissions. Even though it was clear that the successful candidate would have to live in Rio de Janeiro,most of them came from other Brazilian states, and from countries as far as Australia, Canada, Denmark, India (2 candidates), Israel, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal (6 candidates), United States, Saudi Arabia (2 candidates), Serbia, Spain (3 candidates) and United Arab Emirates. This was for a very position for which selected person would have to have extensive knowledge of the Brazilian legal, accounting, banking and financial systems;therefore we could not continue the process with a foreigner with little or no familiarity with the Brazilian market. Later, in March 2012, we used the same system to fill in a Sales Marketing Manager position and the results were similar. This time though, after analyzing the 150 submissions, we ended up hiring an Italian expat living in Sao Paulo, which only proves that the opportunities are there, all you have to do is be alert and prepared.

Another meaningful experience we had was the search for a US-based Director of Business Development for our Latin American company. Since this position didnot involve relocation, even though it meant becoming part of a Latin American team, we used the services of a North American recruiter to do the initial screening. In only a couple of weeks, we had eight interested candidates who matched the profile we were looking for, and after an exhaustive selection process we chose a Pittsburgh-based professional with previous experience in the translation and localization industry, who later came to our offices in Argentina to be trained and familiarize himself with how we did business

Whetheryou respond to a job post on LinkedIn, contact a local HR consultant or send your resume to a global staffing firm, all options are worth pursuing. It will definitely depend on the position and the profile of the hiring company and what you are looking for in terms of position, salary and commitment.

If you have made up your mind and have found a job opportunity there, then it is time to prepare for the necessary adjustments. One good way to start is talking to colleagues who have had similar experiences or are currently living there. There are numerous forums, blogs and discussion groups on the Internet created and run by expats who will be happy to share their experience with you and give you tips on how to make the move less traumatic. Kiss, Bow, Or Shake Hands, Latin America: How to Do Business in 18 Latin American Countries, by Terri Morrison and Wayne A. Conway,can also serve as a good reference to understand the culture and customs of the Latin American people. Having lived here for most of our lives, we can attest that it is worth the try. Latin America today is a land of opportunity and perhaps one of the most exciting places to experience the revolution that sound economic policies, democratic governments and an ever optimistic population can create. And if none of these social and economic transformations are of interest to you, there will always be beautiful people, passionate soccer matches, exotic landscapes, hot temperatures, exotic meals and voluptuous dance moves to enjoy. Regardless of your choice, do know that the vacancies are there and we are now hiring (or, as a local sign would read “Estamos contratando”).