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July 05, 2016
Posted by: Aoife, Murphy, Major Accounts Director, Vistatec

It has been described as the heavy industry heaven and BAUMA 2016 certainly didn’t disappoint. With 605,000 square meters of exhibition space, the equivalent of 11 football pitches, and nearly 3,500 exhibitors from 58 countries.

​​This is the world’s biggest trade show of its kind, attracting trade, families and giant machinery aficionados alike. The purpose of my being there was to get an understanding as to how these large scale manufacturing organizations manage their global content, be it marketing collateral, global websites or technical documentation.

From my many meetings and conversations I learned the following:

· Geographic diversification: Many companies have adopted a geographic diversification strategy to help them survive recession on the domestic market. Translation and localization of marketing content and documentation are key factors in the implementation of a global strategy.

· Translation management: This is equally split between companies that centralize and those that have local office and dealers carry out translation activities.

· Both translation models have pros and cons: Those that handle the process centrally have good control on quality, global brand messaging and costs but can face challenges with constant criticism regarding translations from local offices. Those that have local offices and dealers carry out localization activities are happy enough with the current process but when asked about brand messaging, they admit they do not have any insight into how this is being implemented in global markets.

· Source not written by native speakers: This is making translation quite a challenge, something that a source content editing pass, pre-translation, would solve.

· Terminology is important: This is a universal concern. Each sub-sector of the heavy industry sector has its own terminology, further refined by company specific terminology. Consistent translation of key terminology is a must-have.

· Who owns the translation memory? Many of those I spoke with either didn’t know whether their translation company was using a translation memory database (to store and recycle translations), or they didn’t know whether they owned this database. This makes things difficult when it comes to switching translation suppliers.

These conversations left me wondering whether a more programmatic approach to global content development, from source creation to translation, in-country review, linguistic asset management and key performance indicator measurement would bring about the quality improvement and cost savings needed to compete in the global marketplace.

Key facts about bauma

The World’s Leading Trade Fair, bauma is the leading platform for experts who deal with construction and building-material machines, construction vehicles, construction equipment and mining machines. Record-breaking numbers in 2016: 605,000 square meters, 3,423 exhibitors and 580,000 visitors.

Aoife Muphy is a Major Accounts Director at Vistatec. Many heavy industry organizations turn to Vistatec to optimize their localization process and deliver high quality, low cost globalized content at scale.