LightPath Technologies, Inc. is a leading vertically integrated global manufacturer, distributor and integrator of proprietary optical and infrared components and high-level assemblies. It provides optics and photonics solutions for the industrial, defense, telecommunications, testing and measurement, and medical industries. LightPath designs, manufactures, and distributes optical and infrared components including molded glass aspheric lenses and assemblies, infrared lenses and thermal imaging assemblies, fused fiber collimators, and gradient index GRADIUM® lenses. Its corporate headquarters are located in Orlando, Florida.
LightPath maintains two offices: the corporate office in Orlando, and a sales office in Shanghai, China. The company had been maintaining two separate websites, one in English and one in Chinese, that were hosted by two different companies and managed by two different marketing departments in the company. “There was no continuity,” said Kimberly Clifton, Director of Sales Operations and Marketing for LightPath Technologies. “If you are working with China--they are on the other side of the world--it makes it extremely challenging as far as time frame goes. If we posted a Press Release in Orlando, we didn’t know if Shanghai received the information or at what point they were able to publish it.” LightPath needed to establish a single, global site. They also needed translation services so they would not have to rely on their China team to find translators or ask them to do the translations themselves. The company was looking for a solution they could manage out of the corporate headquarters in Florida that would help them hire translators, keep up with projects, and easily add and update information to the website.
LightPath chose Lingotek over a large, well-known translation services provider because “Lingotek really did the best job in coordinating effort--working at the very early stages to determine what the project would entail. Without even having a proposal, they had engaged the developers to make sure that it would work with our WordPress site and that it made sense. We have quite a bit of custom fields that are incorporated into our website, so Lingotek just took the reins and helped from the early stages.” During the vetting process, Clifton reported, the large competitor, “did a very poor job of identifying what our issues might be or trying to come up with a solution. They were more interested in trying to upsell a giant package that was enormous and extremely costly.” “The real reason why I chose Lingotek was they were engaged early on and all the way through to make sure they understood what we needed–that there was solution--and obviously price came into play. The right questions were asked. Oftentimes you work with solution providers who never ask the question: ‘What’s your budget? Does this even make sense for you?’ Lingotek asked the right questions and worked out a program that fit our budget.” LightPath is using the Lingotek - Inside WordPress Plugin to translate their website into Chinese. They also have identified marketing materials to translate as part of their global marketing initiative. Those are being translated using the Lingotek Translation Management System (TMS), that helps them easily upload files for translation using a cloud-based networked translation platform.
LightPath experienced several benefits before, during, and after their website was translated:
Gained better access, control, visibility
“Working with Lingotek gave us the opportunity to have full access and control of the translation process.” says Clifton. “In the past, we had no visibility. We didn’t know if things were being translated to the China website. We had no idea if it was working well or not. Now this gives us the opportunity to make sure that things are getting through the system, and if we make changes to the site, it’s getting pushed through. That’s the biggest part of what we gained. It’s not a question of ‘Did you do that?’ it’s ‘Okay we’ve made a change,’ and now it’s being done.”
Using the Lingotek TMS helped LightPath get information translated and posted quickly. This saved time, which they anticipate will lead to real cost savings. Marketing now does the work for the China office. Instead of sending emails that staff in China has to open, translate, post, and then communicate back that the translation was done--a process that took anywhere from two days to a week--“Now, it’s almost immediate,” reports Clifton.
Having the ability to create workflows in the Lingotek TMS helped LightPath create a documented process and an actual workflow that is being shared between both locations. This contributed to greater departmental efficiency and coordination by having a system and software that initiates workflows and processes automatically.
Having an integrated TMS helped LightPath streamline and consolidate their communication. “It’s all in one place. We can log in to the TMS and see where a project is with the translators versus me sending an email and waiting for someone in China to respond. Now, I can actually see the percentage of where they are with a project. That’s a huge streamlining of communication,” Clifton observed.
While there are no specific numbers yet regarding cost savings, LightPath is reporting improved efficiencies, a smoother automated workflow, and is communicating between departments more effectively. Clifton believes, “All of those things make for cost savings on some level.”
Automated, real-time translation and seamless integration using the Lingotek - Inside WordPress Plugin has also helped the marketing department in Shanghai. They are no longer burdened with the task of having to translate documents or web pages upon request. They are now part of the review process. After they approve translation, the information is automatically published, which contributes to the efficiency of the Shanghai marketing department.
Driving New Business
LightPath anticipates being able to drive new business by having a multilingual website and providing information in the native languages of people all around the world who purchase their lenses.
LightPath is ahead of schedule with their plans to translate the website into German and will continue with their main goal of making their website--and information--more global.
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