The “Friday update” is a bit late, coming only on Monday … it’s been a busy few days here in the translation studio, but that can only be a good thing! I also spent a glorious day in Paris for the launch of a fellow translator’s new book, but I’ll talk about that another time! Let’s first take a look back over the past week …
It’s been a busy week, juggling deadlines for different projects, all dealing with different issues in different fields… but that’s one of the best things about this job – the variety of it all! Alongside the long report about a hydroelectric development in West Africa (which I mentioned last week), this week I’ve also been translating a number of smaller files, all specialising is specific issues. First, there was a mergers/acquisitions glossary, then job descriptions in the cosmetics industry, a consumer survey on tourism, an analysis of the ‘Procurement’ function in the energy sector, and web content for another company in the energy business. A very varied and productive week, but a week all about deadlines and fast turnarounds!
Expediting … what is expediting? I came across the term this week, used in English by one of my clients in their French-language documentation. I did some searching around and it turns out the English term is widely used in French, roughly translated as “suivi/relance” where necessary.
Expediting is a new function in the vast domain of Purchasing/Procurement. It emerged a few years ago and is particularly applied in large-scale industrial projects. The function takes over once an order has been placed (after sourcing, negotiation, the purchase order, etc.), to track the order, from its signature up until delivery and sometimes until the related equipment has been installed. In the past, buyers tracked fulfilment of the order themselves but now, because of the wider scope (and therefore risks) of industrial projects, specialist ‘expeditors’ will often fulfil this role. In short, the expeditor’s job is to make sure that goods of the required quality are delivered on time. They will provide feedback and raise the alert about anything likely to have a commercial or technical impact on order fulfilment. It’s their job to organise the kick-off meeting then oversee things until completion of the project. It is now a key function in a world where lead times are ever shorter, where projects get bigger all the time and where delays or quality issues can cost vast amounts of money. The expeditor is thus something of a vital link in an accelerating supply chain!
Reflection … a peaceful moment captured at La Herse, near Bellême here in the le Perche. Because in a world where speed is of the essence, we sometimes just need to sit down, reflect and let time go by for a while…
Tags: expediting, lead times, reflection, speed, translation