WMF receive huge savings via integration with their e-procurement platform


The Client

Having been in business for over 150 years, WMF – Germany’s largest and best-known tableware manufacturer – is today known globally. From its origins in cutlery, cookware, knives and kitchenware, WMF has more recently become a leader in domestic electrical appliances. Everything stamped with the company name meets its customers’ demands and expectations when it comes to design, quality and utility.

The challenge

With an existing ordering process in place, WMF needed a new translation vendor who could seamlessly integrate with WMF’s e-procurement platform, Newtron, a leading trading and communication platform that has its roots in the automotive industry. The link was to be established via the ordering management system provided by WMF’s publishing company, A. Stein’sche Buchhandlung GmbH. Translation orders from users across the WMF Group and vendor quotes were to be submitted via the publishing company’s platform, to avoid WMF employees having to get used to another system, and for WMF to continue to enjoy the full benefits of a streamlined procurement process.

The tailored solution

When it comes to e-procurement technology, translation services are rather different to ordering physical goods.

When it comes to e-procurement technology, translation services are rather different to ordering physical goods. For example, it’s easy to provide a catalogue of unit prices for business cards, machine parts or electrical components, but for the translation of a document, the file needs to be analysed and priced before the order can be placed. This is because although a unit cost per word can be agreed between buyer and seller, there are many formats – such as Microsoft Excel and Adobe InDesign – where no “word count” function exists, and the vendor needs to use specialised translation technology to obtain a word count. And when it comes to our use of translation memory technology, we can also identify what proportion of the text has been previously translated, which in turn leads to discounts for the client; again, this is something which the translation requester is not in a position to establish when placing the order.

Therefore, in the case of WMF, we used our unique e-procurement “punch-out” interface to integrate i plus, our translation management system, with the A. Stein’sche Buchhandlung ordering process, and hence WMF’s Newtron platform. This enables a WMF user to request a translation quote from within Newtron, using the translation technology of translate plus to analyse files and calculate costs, while still using the A. Stein’sche Buchhandlung ordering system to view and approve quotes.

In addition, the i plus web interface was tailored to reflect the client’s corporate identity and process requirements by incorporating the WMF Group logo, default language preferences and customised purchase order settings.

The benefits

The translate plus “punch-out” solution helps WMF to seamlessly automate the translation file exchange and request process, while retaining WMF’s existing quoting and approval process, which would otherwise have proved more costly and time-intensive and would have lost the existing benefits of WMF’s e-procurement platform. Our solution was therefore instrumental in minimising both direct and indirect costs for WMF.

At the same time, any potential concerns among existing translation users about process change was minimised, because users were already very familiar with the ordering procedure when purchasing other products such as business cards and publications. Since more and more users are now ordering translations through the e-procurement system, the cost benefits achievable with translation memory technology are only increasing.

Overall, WMF achieved not only better return on investment for their translations, but also a full integration with their e-procurement ordering process that required hardly any changes to their existing internal workflows.

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