Why You Need a Translation Partner Who Uses Customer Portals to Help You


Document translation is a single yet significant step in the clinical trial process. Clinical trials can focus on progress when the process is reliable and straightforward. A critical part of this experience is the usability of your customer portal.

While most major translation services provide some sort of customer portal, there are specific features that make the experience easier for clinical trial projects. This is especially true for organizations that process thousands of orders with tens of thousands of files. A user-friendly control hub is not a “nice to have”, it is essential. Today, we highlight a few of the more important features to look for in a portal when identifying a clinical trial translation partner.

Your Translation Portal Should Include Essential Project Data

One of the key value propositions of a customer portal is that you get a direct line of sight to your projects. It should serve as an efficient, one-stop-shop for all your project management needs with that translation provider. You should have controlled, customized access in ways that dovetail nicely with your own SOPs, reporting structures, and managerial oversight.  

The base functionality should include:

  • Creating new orders
  • Requesting new quotes
  • Uploading documents securely
  • Staying up to date with the status of active and past projects
  • Tracking deadlines and invoices

Think of it like a flight status board at an airport. You have access to all the important information you need to manage your projects.

For both active projects and completed projects, you should always have access to the final translation as well as all source documents. With all of your supporting documents in one place, you ensure your ability to answer important questions that may arise down the road.

Your Translation Portal View Should Be Customized

It’s common for CRO’s to have multi-layered needs when it comes to translation projects. For many organizations, this looks like:

  1. Managing multiple clinical trials for clients at once
  2. Ordering multiple languages for individual trials
  3. Ordering translations for multiple sites
  4. Requesting certifications
  5. Leaving notes regarding reviews
  6. Communicating formatting requests

This means that for clinical trial translation projects, you need the ability to customize your portal to keep your individual projects and orders organized. A large part of this relies on your dedicated project manager, especially if you are able to work with the same project manager from quote to delivery.

Additionally, it’s especially valuable to view your orders from initial quote request through delivery for the purpose of progress tracking and invoice reviews.

Your Portal Experience Should Provide the Ability to Scale

Whether large or small, companies of all sizes benefit from using a portal for translation projects. When it comes to growth-minded companies, it’s important to select a portal experience that helps you scale. There are organizational differences that can cater to the needs of larger organizational structures.

Your portal should make it easy to implement a consistent process that is repeatable for your whole team. If you adhere to ISO standards and methodologies, using a translation portal will be more systematically friendly and promote consistent practices between various teams and people who need translations.

Additionally, user managers often prefer organization-wide reporting on individual users, orders, and spending. We’ll expand on reporting next, but the emphasis here is that a portal allows you to organize your data at scale.

You Should Have Direct Access to Customized Reporting

One of the most common questions we get has to do with the ability to run customized reports for clients who need clean, easily understandable account-wide and project-wide data.

Reporting needs vary from client to client, so the reporting capabilities should provide a measure of customization. For example, our clients often need to tabulate the amount spent on completed translation projects on a granular level. The ability to filter costs by a variety of variables makes questions like these simpler to answer.

For those working in finance and procurement, you should easily be able to run your own spend reports, reports by users or by departments, Purchase Orders, or many other variables. You should feel empowered to be able to track your own records and data.

It Should Increase Provider Responsiveness

One of the key advantages of a portal is avoiding single points of failure in terms of communication. If a translation provider uses an email-based approach, it’s unfortunately easy to leave key people off of email threads, causing delays and miscommunication.

In contrast, a portal like ours is set up to notify your team (managers and translators) whenever you communicate specific deadline needs or other important information about your translation requests. That way, you have an all-hands-on-deck responsiveness to keep your project moving forward.

It Should Help You Verify and Produce Key Project History

If the need arises, your portal should make it easy to verify and demonstrate your project history for audits, legal, or performance related needs. One example is time stamping – some portals track and timestamp every step of the project like:

  • Incoming requests
  • Quotes
  • Orders
  • Invoices
  • Reporting

Your portal should make it easy to answer key questions when called to task. By having a historical footprint tracking the time stamps of your projects, providing those answers is easier.

Is There Additional Support and Training Available?

As an added bonus, your translation provider may also have available training resources to help you maximize your efficiency. When surveying providers, this is a helpful question to ask.

Looking for an Efficiency-Friendly Portal (and Provider)?

Portals have become a standard part of the client experience for leading translation providers. The truth? Not all portals are made equal, and many industry leaders commonly field complaints about unintuitive, feature-lacking experiences. It illuminates the differences between offering a portal and providing a value-adding portal experience.

At DTS, we provide access to one of the industry’s best portal experiences, tailored to serve our clients in the clinical trial space. We have created a specialized business model to meet the unique needs the clinical trial space requires.

If you would like to learn more about our portal experience and how we proactively meet the needs of clinical trial projects, we invite you to learn more or just contact us at [email protected].

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