Reducing Emerson’s Annual Localization Costs

Case Study 32 | Emerson Translation Savings


Emerson, a world-leader in manufacturing and automation solutions, partnered with United Language Group to consolidate translation efforts, introduce process efficiencies and translation memory improvements, yielding a near 40% decrease in cost per word translated.

Emerson is a Fortune 200 industrial manufacturing, technology and software leader with more than 200 locations worldwide. As a large multinational organization, Emerson has a wide range of localization needs to help bridge communication gaps and to ensure safety and quality across its internal and external global audiences. In 2019, Emerson entrusted United Language Group to help centralize its translation spend globally.

Chapter 1


Emerson’s translation requirements had significantly grown in recent years as global expansion and product innovation has fueled business growth. With expansive localization requirements and various stakeholder across multiple worldwide departments, Emerson’s language service provider (LSP) vendor list and associated spend had become challenging for the sourcing teams to manage and maintain. Translation projects and their budgets were often spread across functions, including digital operations, technical publications, training, legal and other teams. The decision-making and spending authority was very decentralized, leading to an inefficient process that included manual file transfers and no defined review process across languages for example.

To help enable the internal localization decision making processes and introduce industry best practice tools, Emerson contracted with United Language Group. ULG was to work side by side with Emerson’s regional procurement leaders and business unit teams to consolidate its vendor list and take advantage of associated cost savings and process efficiencies.

Chapter 2


United Language Group partnered with various internal stakeholders to identify content formats, determine how to automate the file submission process, and define the approval matrix. ULG also worked with Emerson leadership to determine SLAs and corresponding KPIs that were tracked on a quarterly basis. A comprehensive onboarding plan was developed and launched in a matter of weeks without requiring an upfront capital expenditure. The implementation and onboarding activities included:

  • Migration of legacy content to XML, while populating information components into the repository
  • Design of automated workflows to streamline the editorial, translation, and production processes through ULG APIs.
  • Implementation of a client review process via ULG’s proprietary Octave portal, which provides an in-context review for Emerson’s SMEs
  • Development of automated style sheets to replicate Emerson’s existing production standards for print and online help delivery
  • The use of centralized Translation Memories (TMs) and glossaries, which were set up and maintained on the client’s behalf by ULG, to improve translation leverage for reduced cost and increased consistency
  • Training and support for end users at no cost to Emerson.


Chapter 3


The results of Emerson’s partnership with United Language Group have been immensely positive. The quality of the localization outputs increased dramatically, which reduced review time and sped up Emerson’s time to market by nearly 50%. Moreover, Emerson was able to realize significant cost reductions as a result of three key factors:

  • Enhanced efficiencies throughout the translation process and the elimination of expensive outsourced tasks in the content development process.
  • An increase in Translation Memory effectiveness and utilization across the 40+ languages
  • Consolidation of vendors to realize further quantity discounts and United Language Group’s best-in-class rates

The consolidation of vendors played a large role in Emerson’s cost savings. In the span of one year, Emerson’s average cost per word, when utilizing United Language Group services, dropped by over 40%. The other major contributor to the decrease in cost per word was the increased utilization of Emerson’s translation memory. United Language Group was able to increase the effectiveness of Emerson’s translation memory and working consistently with ULG allowed Emerson to build a larger TM database. This resulted in:

  • An in-context match increase of 50% from May 2019 to September 2019.
  • A 40% increase in “fuzzy matches,” which contributed to a discounted rate
  • A decrease in new words from 37% of words to 24% of words

All in all, the translated word count for Emerson was 41% higher in Q1 of 2020 compared to Q1 of 2019, however total costs actually decreased by 31% in the same period.

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