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Developing your own TMS, is that a good idea?

The needs and expectations for a language project management system are different for each company. The various offers on the market for translation project management systems cannot, therefore, succeed in meeting all the requirements of companies. In addition to this, this market is a very specific and narrow market, so companies looking for a management system do not have a wide variety of choices.
However, it is possible for a company to set up its own management system to meet all its needs.
In view of market conditions, the company must make the decision that best suits its needs.

Develop your own software or acquire a software package?

On one hand, the company can go through the development of its own software, i.e. an “in-house” program that is specially designed to meet its expectations. And on the other hand, it can go through the acquisition of a software package, a more standardized computer system sold to other companies.

Given the difficulty of this market, companies unable to find a translation management system that meets their needs will logically turn to the development of their own system. They will then be able to obtain a system that takes into account all their needs thanks to the perfect knowledge of their company and how it operates.
However, to achieve this, the company will have to face various obstacles, such as the development time, which can take a few years, so the system will not be operational quickly. The cost of developing, maintaining and updating an in-house system can also be an obstacle because at first sight the development of a system may seem less expensive than the acquisition of a software package but in the long run, this remains a significant investment.
For the company to embark on this project, it must have significant internal IT skills and resources available to devote time to it.

Despite the fact that the language project management systems on the market do not always cover all your needs, it must be taken into account that some systems are constantly being developed and improved. For example, at Consoltec, most of the features of the FlowFit web version were created thanks to the requests of its corporate customers. With the objective of continuous improvement, Consoltec is attentive to the needs and expectations of its customers.

How to make the choice?

Each of these two solutions has advantages and disadvantages and to be able to make the right decision for your company, you must take into account several criteria.

Your needs

First of all, you must take into account the needs of your company and more particularly its value-generating needs and, above all, do not let yourself be overwhelmed by unnecessary demands. To achieve this, you will need to do an analysis of your language department, including an analysis of your weaknesses in order to find the functionalities of a management system that will help you address them. You need can be issues such as “I spend too much time on repetitive actions”, “I don’t integrate all my tools” or “I would like to follow the evolution of my projects”.
Once you have defined your main needs, you can research the management systems market to see if an already developed system can meet your expectations.

If ever the market offer does not cover all your needs, would you be able to develop a system that meets your expectations?

Your return on investment

After studying your needs, you should calculate the return on investment of this project by determining your expectations for this future project management system in order to determine which method will allow you to meet these expectations as quickly as possible.
It must be taken into account that the internal development of a system will take a long time to set up and especially will not be able, from its first version, to satisfy all your expectations. Indeed, due to your lack of experience, your system will experience many bugs, some features will not be developed enough, etc…

Determine your budget

Finally, every project has a cost and that is why you must think about the investment you intend to make in this system in the short and long term.
Depending on your budget, resources and needs, it is up to you to determine the possible solutions for your company.

In the short term, the acquisition of a license for a management system is more expensive than the development of your own system, but in the long term, the development and maintenance of a system will be much more costly. Indeed, development involves paying programmers, constantly adjusting the system or adapting to new technologies.

You should know that publishers themselves had to face all these difficulties before they could successfully market their own translation management system, and now they benefit from the experience they have acquired over many years of development. This solution allows you to avoid all these difficulties and to benefit directly from a complete and efficient management system.