Reducing risks and increasing ROI in life sciences translations

Life Sciences

Applying a centralized translation process is a proven strategy to save on translation costs and turnaround time, reduce regulatory risks, and more importantly, improve content quality, and consistency across languages.

But what about real-world examples of implementing a fully centralized translation program with a single or consolidated list of select preferred translation partners? In the life sciences industry, centralizing translations doesn’t just help to solve regulatory compliance challenges, but it also simplifies supplier governance, enables content scalability (across languages and formats), and adds much-needed transparency on budget spending. 

To back this up, we’ve compiled two of our success stories implementing centralized translation programs for Fortune 250 global life sciences companies, going through their initial challenges and the impact translation centralization had on their business.  


Award-winning translation centralization: 20% global cost savings 

One successful example of the advantages of the preferred multi-supplier model is Acolad’s program developed and deployed for BD (Becton Dickinson), one of the largest global medical technology companies in the world. 

The main component of BD’s global translation program is the Acolad portal, which includes a centralized translation memory repository, allowing BD’s suppliers and departments to access the entire inventory of previously translated content and terminology. 

The portal enabled the consolidation of the company’s translation supplier base of +100 vendors to 6 approved partners. All suppliers can retrieve and download the translation memory content they need and perform the actual translation work outside of the portal, using their own tools and processes. 


“Acolad has dramatically simplified BD’s translation processes using innovative AI-based solutions, helping drive compliance among all stakeholders. Its commitment to efficiency has been exemplary, and we congratulate Acolad for its superior performance, continuous improvement, and customer service.” 

Kevin Nelson 
Sr. Vice President & CPO, Global Procurement, BD 


Since implementing the Acolad portal, BD has benefited from average cost avoidance of 20% globally, due to the reuse of content allowed through real-time sharing of translation memories in the Acolad portal. 


Acolad awarded Translation Supplier of the Year 

As part of this program, Acolad functioned as lead supplier providing not only the technology platform, but also standard operating procedures (SOPs) across the suppliers, training for internal and external users, and a full implementation/integration program.  

The program resulted in Acolad being recognized as supplier of the year as part of BD’s Supplier Recognition Program. This award brings forward the true partnership BD enjoys with Acolad in support of their purpose of “advancing the world of health.”  


A global multi-supplier translation center with built-in SAP integration 

  • 3,000 translation requestors  
  • 12,000 centralized translation projects 
  • 99% procurement compliance 
  • Standardized translation procedures  
  • 9 preferred translation suppliers 

In another example with a global Fortune 100 Life Sciences company seeking to consolidate the translation supplier base of more than 100 suppliers, Acolad provided the centralized translation platform integrated with SAP (Ariba).  

The innovative integration to their SAP purchasing system allows for end-to-end execution from quote request all the way to purchase order creation. This integration increased user adoption, thus achieving 99% procurement compliance.

All translation requesters across their organization are going through the Acolad portal to secure translation services from the select official 9 preferred suppliers using standardized procedures and shared translation assets.  

Find out more about Acolad’s work with this Fortune 100 Life Sciences company in their own words: 

“Since 2015, we have collaborated with Acolad Life Sciences for the implementation of our multi-supplier Global Translation Center (GTC), which is an online collaborative tool for requesting translations; managing projects; and sharing translated content across suppliers.  

The entire team at Acolad has been phenomenal partners throughout our journey with the initial rollout and onboarding of users and suppliers, as well as with the ongoing improvement and development of the platform.  

The success of this platform has been remarkable, with over 3,000 users and more than 12,000 projects managed to date via this site. The work recently started to connect this tool to our SAP system for payment arrangements is also a testament to Acolad’s willingness and readiness to flex and collaborate to meet its clients’ very specific needs.  

Acolad’s understanding of our business and the life sciences space at large has been invaluable and has allowed them to proactively suggest innovations and efficiencies, helping our business evolve this platform to its full potential as a key element of our global translation strategy. 

The Acolad portal has become the keystone for this customer, with 3000+ translation users and an average global spend of USD 40 million. 

The multi-supplier translation program is a viable strategy that has been executed with repeated success. Read about it in this case study or reach out to Acolad Life Sciences experts for more information. 

 Case Study

Global Life Sciences company centralizes translation management 

Explore a comprehensive localization program, including a centralized translation management portal with SAP Ariba integration. 

Read now