21.01.2021

Mainly due to the pandemic, 2020 was extraordinary, unique, and difficult for many organizations. What happened in 2020 affected everyone, and no one expected the changes. A lot of companies faced challenges and had to review and adapt many aspects of their businesses as they had no plan B for the situation they faced. Companies applied many different measures to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic. As almost all offline events were canceled, a lot of companies reduced travel. Some announced office quarantines and instituted remote work for all employees, and many of our clients’ employees started working from home. Beyond that, for a lot of companies, the coronavirus pandemic caused a decrease in orders.

According to a European Commission report titled “European Language Industry Survey: 2020 Before & After COVID-19”, a lot of translation companies experienced more than a 30% decrease in orders in 2020. The decrease for a given company depended on its location, but on the whole, there was a negative impact on the translation industry.

Image 1. COVID-19 impact on the translation industry according to the “European Language Industry Survey: 2020 Before & After COVID-19” report

Speaking of InText, our employees started working from home in March 2020, when the Ukrainian government announced strict quarantine measures. It is vital for each of us to stay healthy and productive as well as for the company to keep up the pace of work by maintaining relations with our customers and freelance partners. We understood that the new reality required new solutions and quick, strategic actions.

Moreover, we understood that our decisions could help our clients and our own company overcome difficulties quicker and with fewer negative casualties. In the beginning of 2020 we decided to follow a plan that looks simple at first glance:

-       Maintain and then work to improve the quality of services

-       Launch new high-demand services to cover more client needs

-       Ensure a better client experience when working with InText

These are always our goals, but 2020 gave us super motivation to achieve them faster. As our sales reflected the overall situation in the language services market, we believed a carefully considered set of actions could help us improve the situation. Here’s what we did.

●     When lockdown started, we helped our employees equip home workplaces and, where necessary, replace or upgrade their work tools. Our technical support was available 24/7, dealing with various risks to ensure smooth operations.

●     We launched the new website on which you’re reading this article. It provides information on a whole range of new services, including marketing assistance for businesses and outstaffing for many positions.

●     We added more DTP staff to fulfill even more multilingual desktop publishing orders. This helped us to increase DTP sales by 17% in 2020! The DTP department continues to grow and we continue to improve our processes. We’re ready to reach new heights.

●     The translation department accelerated development by improving processes and tools, launching new services, developing and applying machine translation, and expanding to new languages. We now have 21 language pairs in our portfolio. An increase in production capacity and introduction of the new services resulted in higher sales in the past year of multimedia localization (subtitling, transcription, voice-over).

●     The marketing department also stepped up its work. We focused on account management, invested in targeted ads on Facebook and LinkedIn, and participated in online events, considerably enhancing the company’s visibility.

●     We decided to host UTICamp-2020 both live and online when some quarantine restrictions were removed in the summer. We managed to hold a high-quality event even though it was attended by few participants, the majority of whom were from Ukraine. We had amazing speakers, discussed pressing issues, attracted 638 online participants from all over the world and, importantly, relaxed and recuperated at this unique outdoor event in a pine forest reserve on the riverbank.

●     Based on our experience, we organized an online event for QSD on 17 September 2020 along with our longstanding partner Konstantine Dranch and the QSD team and exceeded the event’s planned sales.

As you can see from the images below, our sales started to show a positive trend starting in September 2020. We believe this happened thanks both to our work and to an overall improvement in business activity. Still, in 2021, we plan to keep implementing new services as well as improving their quality, learning, and making sure our clients, partners, and employees feel comfortable working with InText. This is a marathon, not a race.

   

 “I think the company’s sales improved due to a number of factors. The external factors were that the global economy changed during the pandemic and business activity renewed. The internal included a range of strategies we successfully used.”

    Kirill Fedotov, InText's COO

We value all the trust from our clients with many of whom we work for more than 15 years and who benefit from providing superior services to their clients. We are grateful to each member of our team and to our freelance partners for these improvements, which we were able to achieve through cooperation and joint efforts focused on overcoming the difficulties. The world will never be the same. But we are confidently starting 2021 with new skills in flexibility, risk assessment, courage, determination, and teamwork. This is not the end of the story.

To be continued…

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