Starwood Hotels & Resorts had launched 5 new online languages beyond English over the last 5 years and had plans to accelerate language launches going forward, but was concerned that their current translations technology, processes and vendors to support new language launches and ongoing translations maintenance would not scale well. It seemed that every new language launch was more painful and costly that it needed to be. Additionally, there was feedback from internal customers that translations were not quality, cost and turnaround time could be improved.
The SVP of Global Digital & SPG at Starwood viewed their translations capability as key inhibitor to Starwood’s ability to scale their language capabilities at an accelerated rate over time. Starwood sought a partner who would approach evaluating their translation capabilities from a strategic and analytical perspective. They sought a partner who could be truly independent in evaluating different business models, vendors (localization agencies) and translation solutions/platforms for driving translation scalability that would meet their requirements for quality, cost, speed and agility. Additionally, Starwood wanted a partner who could help take the discussion around the prioritization of future language launches from one based on emotions and opinions to one based on data and facts. Dialog was hired to do a full assessment of Starwood’s translation performance and capabilities and recommend how position the business to scale the number of languages and translation volumes much more efficiently while also improving quality and turnaround times. Dialog also developed a strategic framework for prioritizing future language launches and helped developed Starwood’s future language priorities and timing.
Dialog identified opportunities for Starwood to drive $135M of incremental revenue over 5 years while also saving $5M in costs via a new translations strategy and approach vs. what the legacy approach would have provided. Dialog recommended initiatives to improve dramatically localization vendor management, quality processes, TM management, translation process automation, and translation performance measurement. Dialog also evaluated several different organizational approaches, including striking the optimal balances on centralized vs. de-centralized organizations and in-house translation capabilities vs. outsourcing/use of localization agency services.