Many agencies that you work with, from print and product companies to SaaS, will have a customer portal (e.g., user login, client portal) where you can log in and access information for all of your product purchasing and service needs. This is simply a personal account page where you can enter your username and password to get to your account history and profile, as well as view numerous options for conducting business.
McElroy’s customer portal provides access for requesting quotes, placing orders, uploading source files, downloading completed projects, viewing status reports, and invoicing. The portal that our clients log into is the same portal used in-house to develop quotes, manage orders, assign work to translators and vendors, and track projects. This ensures real-time status updating and ultimate efficiency in project management, thus increasing project expediency without sacrificing McElroy quality.
So what are the top 5 benefits and reasons why clients love our portal?
1. Account history: All translation projects have been processed through BusinessManager since January 1, 2011; all data on quotes, orders, and invoices are easily retrievable via secure login. Both source and translated files for projects completed since January 1 are available for download at the client’s convenience. Access to this information allows our clients to reference past project turn times and costs when planning for future projects, as well as providing backups for all past translation project files.
2. File retrieval: Files are easily uploaded when requesting a quote or placing an order via a browse option. Files are also easy to locate along with each record they correspond with for downloading via the portal upon completion of the project. The BusinessManager folder structure is set up by language/locale combination for clarity on multilingual projects.
3. Status reports: The progress of a quote, order, or invoice has never been clearer! Clients know when a project manager has received their request and if it is being processed. It is immediately apparent whether a quote is new, in preparation, pending, expired, revised, rejected, accepted, changed to order, or canceled. Order statuses include new, in preparation, in progress, deliverable, delivered, approved, invoiced, paid, or canceled. Additionally, each order references a quote number, and each invoice references both the quote and order number, so clients can easily review each stage of their project.
And it gets better! For each project the multiple steps or tasks involved are identified as jobs. Each service that will be performed on a project will have a job name associated with it. For example, a standard project may include four jobs: translation, setting up the file, editing/proofing, and shipping. Clients are able to see a project’s status at each individual job level as it progresses through our workflow.
4. Proactive communication: When a request for a quote is submitted, a client is notified that the request has been received and when to expect the quote. When an order is placed, a confirmation is sent to the client with the expected delivery time. Special requests per project can be made by clients when submitting the quote or order, and all requests specific to a given project are saved on the account level, allowing our clients to make sure that we have all special instructions. All project status information is continuously available, as well as project history dating back to January 1, 2011. By proactively ensuring that our clients have all of this data at their fingertips, we save them the time usually required to request basic information.
5. Individual and Group login, access hierarchy: Each contact who orders with McElroy will receive a private login, providing access to information regarding projects that have been submitted by that individual. If there are multiple people within a department submitting projects, there will be an additional level that allows managers to view all projects within that department. This makes it possible for them to easily monitor translation volume within the department, as well as fill in for any staff members who may be out, should a quote need to be approved or a project delivered.
To get started, contact your account representative or customer service for you login information. You can also visit http://bm.mcelroytranslation.com and submit a support ticket requesting your login ID.
Also, for a quick video on how to log in and submit a quote, check out McElroy’s Customer Portal:Getting Started
Want to discover how easy it is to log in and submit a quote? Check out this month's Essentials Videoblog entry McElroy's Customer Portal: Getting Started by Susan Andrus, McElroy's marketing manager.
India’s professional landscape has changed drastically in the last two decades due in part to the technology boom, the film industry, and tourism. Though the decision-making process for many businesses has sped up, traditional in-person meetings, networking events, and taking the time to develop relationships continue to boast higher levels of success.
Doing business in India now, or planning to in the near future? Consider this…
üIndia has the second largest population, with the second largest labor force.
ü Educated Indian’s have strong opinions regarding politics and socioeconomic climates in India. They enjoy debating multiple topics regarding their country. When entering into such a discussion, be sure to have an open mind and steer clear of criticisms regarding faith, politics, poverty, and the caste system.
ü India has one of the fastest growing IT markets in the world; the second largest mobile phone users in the world, and the third largest Internet users in the world. Other major industries include agriculture, textiles, telecommunications, chemicals, food processing, steel, transport equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, and software.
ü Hindi is the most widely spoken language and English is used for business and political communications. However, India has 14 official languages.
ü India is famous for its religious diversity; Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity, and Jainism are the nation's major religions. Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism are native to India.
ü India is a hierarchical society. Even though the official caste system was repealed, castes still influence the politics and business.
ü Leave your leather behind! Don’t forget that many in India are Hindu and consider cows to be sacred. Wearing leather belts or shoes is considered offensive to them.
India has a long history with an intermingling of various dynamic cultures. Nowadays, India’s economic growth has produced the fastest and most significant socioeconomic changes to their traditions. However, they still retain their conservative values, and these are different from standards in the United States. You must prepare for these cultural and social differences before pursuing business relationships in India.
- Managers usually give direct and specific instructions to their subordinates or assistants. Subordinates are expected to follow the instructions without question.
- A handshake is acceptable in a business setting, but not common between opposite genders. The traditional greeting “Namaste” is used for various meetings. To perform the Namaste, put your palms together in front of your chest and bow slightly.
- Titles are important. Always call people by professional titles. Do not call them by their first names.
- Never touch the head of an Indian person; it is believed that the head stores the soul.
- Pointing or wagging one finger is rude. If you want to point at something, use your chin.
- Do not wrap presents in black or white and do not give money in even numbers. All of these things are considered bad luck.
- Major decisions are made at executive levels. Try to contact a higher level directly. Middle managers may not be decision makers, but they are an excellent route to have your proposal heard or to reach the executive level decision makers. Having a middle manager on your side will increase the likelihood of getting a meeting.
- Be prompt, but be patient if your Indian counterpart is late. Also, you should be flexible if your Indian business partner reschedules a meeting at the last minute.
- Indians will meet at any time of the day and will even request to meet at night.
- Indians respect and value the use of technology in presentations. They are also likely to contact a counterpart using multiple communication tools, wireless devices, or telecom tools.
- Local time is ten and a half hours ahead of U.S. EST; the best time for a business meeting is between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Indians do not conduct business during religious holidays, and the dates vary. The best months for visiting are from October to March.
- Refreshments will be provided at a scheduled meeting. It is polite to refuse the first offer and then accept when asked again. It can be considered rude if you do not partake in the refreshments after the second or third time they have been offered to you.
- Prepare your business card for all of the business meetings.
- The decision process for Indian professionals can be slower than that of North Americans; bargaining is a way of life in India, so multiple iterations of a contract should be expected.
- Indians do not make business decisions only based on statistics or official documents. They are more focused on intuition, truths, and feelings. So keep your emotions in check.
- Indians are family oriented, so sometimes business meetings start with small talk such as asking about family. Do not push the subject to business topics right away.
- Providing current technology and technical support can be key to a successful relationship.
- Indians avoid saying no directly. “We will try” is the most common way to refuse a request.
- Business lunches are more common than dinners.
- Even though businesswomen may host a meal at a restaurant, businessmen may offer to pay at the end of meal. If a businesswoman would like to pay, she should make arrangements with a server before the meal starts.
- If you are invited for dinner at an Indian’s home, you should come fifteen or thirty minutes late.
- It is polite to eat using only your right hand. Indians use the left hand for hygienic purposes. Using your hand without any eating utensils is permissible.
- Do not give food from your dish to another person. Indians think if food is placed on a person’s dish, the food is “used.”
- Hindus do not eat beef, and Muslims do not eat pork or drink alcohol. Many vegetarian or other meat dishes are available.
- Do not say thank you to your host after your meal. Indians think such an expression is a form of payment and feel insulted. Inviting your host for a reciprocal dinner is a good way to show your appreciation.
One final consideration when traveling on business in India is the vast poverty within the country. It is important that you do not make eye contact with or give money to beggars, as you could quickly become inundated with them. When traveling through busy areas or near temples, make sure to keep your hands in your pocket; it is commonplace for someone to grab an individual’s free hand and place a bracelet on the arm, expecting payment in return. If you are making a purchase at a market, often your money will be taken and change placed in your hand, without your knowing the actual price or how the vendor came to decide how much change you would receive; if leave your hand outstretched long enough, the vendor will give you more change. And lastly, make sure that you have change on you at all time; often merchants and taxi drivers will claim to not have any.
For your business document translation needs for India, contact McElroy Translation. Visit our website to learn more about how we can help you and your company become successful in your international business ventures.
Morrison, Terri, and Wayne A. Conaway (2006). Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands, 2nd edition. Massachusetts: Adams.