Lobster Ink, a division of global leader Ecolab, is a leading online learning platform built to help companies provide their employees with skills and knowledge to drive measurable behavior change. Whether that’s helping a company inject new life into a brand that’s losing its luster or training recently repositioned employees on the managerial skills and on-floor experience they need, Lobster Ink works with some of the world’s largest brands including Marriott, Four Seasons, Whole Foods, and more.
“We work with a lot of companies in the hospitality, restaurant, and food retail industries,” said Curtis Deysel, Translation Program Manager at Lobster Ink. “We’re helping those companies by providing internal training solutions so they can establish processes and change workforce behavior to improve on customer experience and sales.”
Localization Falling Behind as the Last Link in the ChainBecause they work with international companies, though, they’re always in need of translated content. And like many other localization teams, they sit at the end of the content process. The localization team is brought in after content is created in English, so they would often translate in large batches, sometimes taking months to complete.
“There was always quite a big gap between launching content in English then having anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months before you get the localized content back. Speed is really important to us, and with our previous vendor, there was a lot of waiting for the translations to come back before we could get them into our platform.”
-Curtis Deysel, Translation Program Manager at Lobster InkWorking with some of the world’s largest brands also means that the timelines that Lobster Ink needed to follow to stay competitive were often out of reach and uncontrollable.
“The biggest challenge we were facing with a traditional vendor was how limited we were with getting the content localized from from start to finish. We were usually bound to timelines, so we didn't have the control we wanted.”
Exploring New Options to Push Localization ForwardTo overcome these challenges, Deysel and his team started exploring new vendors to try and reduce the amount of time their localization workflow was taking. Ultimately, it came down to three paramount factors: cost, speed, and scalability. With Lilt, they found all three.
“The biggest improvement that we found with Lilt was the fact that we were able to move from a batched workflow to a much more flexible, continuous localization workflow. It’s far more beneficial for us to be able to rollout content in a staggered approach. We don't have to wait two months to have the entire program ready for your learners. Now, we can start rolling out the first course within a program very quickly, meaning customers can get started on their work a lot quicker.”
Lobster Ink has been taking advantage of Lilt’s API functionality to better integrate with existing systems and automate previously tedious tasks, allowing them to get content to their customers faster than ever.
“With Lilt’s API functionality, we're able to plug directly into our learning management system (LMS). Now we can send content directly through to Lilt which has helped us streamline the process and automate what were previously very manual tasks.”
-Curtis Deysel, Translation Program Manager at Lobster Ink
A New Way of Thinking with LiltWith Lilt, they’ve seen business-changing results. Not only has the number of support tickets from learners decreased, the completion rate for their newly localized courses has increased meaningfully. On top of that, they’ve been able to over double the number of supported languages.
Beyond numbers, Lobster Ink has started to look more closely at their internal processes to see how they can continue to improve their bottom line.
“One of the biggest things that we try to focus on as a team is to always ask the question ‘Why?’. Why are we doing something a particular way? Is there a better way to do it?" said Deysel. "Lilt has brought that mindset with it - because it's so flexible and there's so many different options available to us, we've been able to optimize and implement incremental changes as we go to help us get content quicker.”
Looking Ahead to Continued ResultsWhat’s next for Lobster Ink? In the immediate, they continue to try and find new ways to optimize and make the localization process even faster. Looking ahead, though, growth is top of mind.
“Lilt has made things radically more efficient, enabling us to double the number of languages we support. Ultimately, we want to reach as many markets as possible. It would allow us to get more learners and audiences the information that they need at their fingertips."
-Curtis Deysel, Translation Program Manager at Lobster InkFor Curtis, being able to help the company use innovative technology to solve problems was a big factor in his pursuit of localization at Lobster Ink. Using a localization workflow like Lilt’s human-involved system, he says, will only create more opportunities for the industry as a whole.
“With technology moving so fast in this day and age, humans often worry that they will be replaced by machines. But by partnering the humans with artificial intelligence and machine translation, they become more effective. They're able to get through the translations quicker. They're able to take on more projects and they’re ultimately able to make better money for themselves as a result. I see that as a win-win situation, both for companies like us and for the industry as a whole.”