2020 is coming to an end and we want to see how our customers have tackled the challenges in this difficult year. After having talked to the Asian company SuccessGlo in spring, we now take a look at the translation agency Euro-Com international—a Plunet customer since 2011. We asked Marcia van Rooijen, Operations and QA Manager, about the role Plunet played in the development of the company and during the ongoing Corona crisis.
Could you shortly describe your business and the company’s development in the last five years? What were the milestones in your company’s history?
We are a translation agency with two branch offices, one in Renkum (the Netherlands) and one in Cairo (Egypt). From these offices, we serve LSPs and direct clients from all over the world.
A lot has happened in the past five years, including a management change, but the two biggest milestones were:
- Our cloud migration. Just before the pandemic hit, we finished a year-long process in which all software and data were migrated to a cloud environment and all employees started working with remote desktop applications in an online workplace. We used this change to further intensify our work with Plunet as well. We used to work with Plunet solely for order and job registration and saved our data (customer, vendor and project-related) externally, whereas we now use the Plunet file manager for everything. We save all our project files on the Plunet server and assign all our jobs through the vendor portals. We allow vendors to invoice via these portals and also manage our vendor database in Plunet. So jobs are now requested, assigned, and invoiced using Plunet and whenever a project manager has a question for a colleague or for management, the first return question is ‘What’s the order number in Plunet?’
- In December 2019, we obtained 2 new ISO certifications! Besides being ISO 9001 certified since 2014, we can now proudly say we are also ISO 17100 and ISO 18587 certified.
Of course, these two new certifications affected our daily work greatly and it required a change in our vendor management, among other things. The ISO 17100 compliance module was a great help in achieving this.
Why did you initially choose Plunet as your business and translation management system?
Because of our different offices in different countries, we needed one system and one uniform way of working to keep track of all of our projects, to ensure the quality of our work and also to enable cross-country cooperation—project managers from different countries working on the same accounts. Plunet simply checked all the boxes.
What were the main challenges that you wanted to tackle with Plunet?
We needed a clear system for our project registration and invoicing, and we wanted to gain more insight into the different projects we work on, the performance of our project managers and that of our vendors.
How did your business change after implementing Plunet?
When we first started working with Plunet in 2011, it helped us to track our projects much better than in the six years before we had a suitable project management system. Our company was expanding and our Project management team and other staff were growing, so it was essential that we started using a solid Project management system to stay in control. Over the years, our turnover and the number of projects continued to grow to over 3 million euros, approximately 8,500 projects per year by 2018, compared to 5,000 projects when we started with Plunet. 2018 was a difficult year for us, turnover was under pressure even though the number of actual projects continued to grow. But because of Plunet with all its capabilities, we were better set to facilitate the growing demands of the market and our own higher quality standards. Next to some other major organizational changes, Plunet has certainly helped us master the challenges and become a better, healthy, and stable company. This year, we expect to handle more than 9,000 projects with a healthy turnover.
In which way did Plunet influence the way you work with your customers and vendors?
Initially, not that much. When we started using the vendor portal in October 2019, it affected our relationship with vendors. Most vendors really appreciate working with Plunet because it gives them a clear overview of their jobs and helps them invoice their work quite easily. Our vendors are our most valuable asset, we need them to be able to do our job and we highly value our relationship with them. To make up for the loss of personal contact due to our more automated way of working, our vendor management team has intensified their contact with vendors and is really focused on maintaining good close relationships with them more than ever.
Did the Corona crisis affect your business and, if so, in which way?
If anything, it showed us that we are ready for the future and anything it might throw at us. We started 2020 as a healthy flourishing company and we will end it as one.
Because of the implementation of the file manager and our migration into the cloud in 2019, our entire team could switch to working remotely without a hitch and we’ve been doing it ever since. Everything we need to know about customers, vendors, and projects is in Plunet.
How does your everyday work life during the Corona crisis look like and which role does Plunet play in this?
Plunet is everything. Next to my e-mail, Plunet is my main source of information. It tells me everything I need to know about our vendors, our projects, our clients, and our sales figures. Simply everything. When I start my day, the first thing I do is open Plunet and check all PM dashboards, the last thing I do in the evening is close Plunet.
Which of the various modules and integrations that Plunet offers do you use for your translation business?
The most important module for us is QualityManager. We use it for the registration, tracking, and monitoring of complaints, the quality of our vendors and, of course, it helps us comply with the rules set out in the ISO 17100 certification; it makes sure the jobs are only sent to the vendors that we know comply with the ISO 17100 norm and have enough experience with the subject of the respective project.
Which features in Plunet fit your goals/needs best? Do you have a favorite feature?
Difficult to name just one. In my work as Operations and QA Manager, I am ultimately responsible for project management, our quality assurance team but also for vendor management. So I work with almost every part of the system on a daily basis. If I had to choose one, I’d say the QualityManager module because it helps us in so many ways.
Are you planning on acquiring any more Plunet modules or integrations in the future?
I’m still very interested in the LISA module, to improve our quality management even more, but unfortunately, I haven’t had the time to investigate this further. It’s still very much on my wish list!
Which goals do you want to achieve with Plunet in the mid/long-term?
Where people work, mistakes are being made. Our goal is to decrease the likelihood of such mistakes as much as possible. Plunet is helping us achieve this by ‘forcing’ project managers to work with the right vendor; by giving our Quality Assurance and Vendor Management teams insight into job feedback, complaint management, and resource assessment; by giving sales some insight into customer behavior; and by giving company management insight into turnover and profit margins.
We still have a couple of specific goals and perhaps improvement wishes: our account management team would like to start using Plunet more as a CRM system. The options the system gives us now are limited, unfortunately, so it would be great if this could be expanded.
One other thing we would love to see is the option of getting more comprehensive management information out of the system. It’s in there, but we would like more reporting options (customer-specific information, KPIs, etc.). It would be great if we could use Plunet for that as well.
We’re continuously working on extending the wide range of features that Plunet already provides, and this also applies to the CRM and reporting options. Thank you for your answers!
About Euro-Com International
The translation agency Euro-Com International—founded in 2005— offers the whole range of translation and localization services. With two branch offices—in Renkum (the Netherlands) and Cairo (Egypt)—the company works with over 2,000 professional translators and delivers services in 60 language combinations.