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How can my language suppliers work together and communicate in a translation management system?
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Aleix Gwilliam
AuthorAleix Gwilliam
Reading time 5 minutes

A translation management system (TMS) can act as  a central hub in a localization ecosystem. It is a platform on which everyone involved in the localization process could work on, from linguists to reviewers, from localization managers to legal compliance officers, and leverage all the same centralized language assets. If you use the services of suppliers, such as language service providers, to localize your content, you can grant access to your TMS to all their linguists, regardless of which company they work for. This way, by having everyone working on the same platform, you can drive up process efficiency, maintain voice and tone consistency, and reduce unnecessary delays.

On a TMS, different suppliers can interact with each other in the following ways:

Query Management

Query management is one of the most time-consuming tasks in localization, especially when different suppliers are working on the same project. Offline communication via email in many cases results in duplicate queries filed due to lack of communication between suppliers. A good TMS should have a query-management feature that enables you and everyone involved in a localization project to work together by easily answering queries, and notifying the right people when a new one is created.

By answering queries on the TMS directly, there is no risk of duplicate queries since everyone can see the answers. For example, when a linguist asks a question, other linguists see the answer from the project manager and do not need to ask them the same question, making the whole process much more efficient as there is no need for PMs to spend time answering the same question multiple times.


Most TMSs will provide a chat function, through which linguists can communicate with project managers directly and even with other linguists. They can also send files to each other through the chat. By having a group chat within the same tool, all linguists involved in the project can share information efficiently and not risk it getting lost in emails.

Email Notifications

Workflows can involve linguists from different suppliers, and delays can occur when moving from one workflow step to another if the two linguists involved do not have direct communication with each other. All good TMSs will allow you to activate email notifications every time a workflow step is completed. This way, the next linguist in the workflow process can find out in real time when it’s their turn to start their task. Automatic notifications are particularly useful if your suppliers are located in different time zones. In the past, when translation files were sent via email, bottlenecks were a regular occurrence. 

Let’s say you are a project manager based in Boston and have a supplier that translates your content to Japanese located in Los Angeles, and an in-country reviewer based in Tokyo. With automatic notifications, the reviewer will know straight away that they can start their task as soon as the translator submits the file to the next step. Without them, the reviewer has to wait for the project manager to notify them, which ends up in losing a full working day because of the different working hours across the time zones.

Expert tip

Sarah Dedominici
Sarah Dedominici

A multi-supplier approach is common in localization, but not all TMS providers allow you to transfer licenses between linguists.  This can result in delays or miscommunications if you do not have enough licenses available for all the linguists your program requires. Having them all working and communicating directly on the same platform (your platform) will increase your process efficiencies, decrease miscommunication, drive consistency in all your global content and, as a result of this, decrease time-to-market times.”

Sarah Dedominici

Customer Success Consultant at XTM International

Interested in finding out how a TMS can align all your language suppliers on the same platform?

Get in touch to find out more about how a TMS can make your localization program more cost efficient.