XTRF: A Guideline for First-time Users

Over the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to learn XTRF, a system that makes translation project management more streamlined. XTRF can help translation companies improve their work efficiency and increase their market competitiveness.

The secret to XTRF’s success lies in the three portals and their clear, easy-to-use interfaces. They are the client portal, the project management (PM) portal, and the vendor portal.

The Client Portal
The PM Portal
The Vendor Portal

Through these portals, project participants can easily manage and monitor the entire project process, making the workflow transparent and smooth.

XTRF has two types of workflow, namely a Smart project and a Classic project. Today, I will go through the workflow of a Smart project to demonstrate how these three portals are used and what features they have.

The Workflow

1.   Create the Project

Features-Quote Creating and Managing

Clients have independent access to the client portal, which enables them to launch new projects, submit original files, and ask for quotes from the Project Manager.

Through this portal, the client can also choose the service they want, such as Basic Translation (Translation → Proofreading), Standard Translation (Translation → Editing → Proofreading) and Premium Translation (File Preparation → Translation → Editing → Proofreading → DTP).

For this example, we will use Standard Translation.

After the client submits this information, the salesperson can immediately receive the quote request and files uploaded in the PM portal. Based on the service type and file analyzation, the sales person can add receivables in the Finance module.

The quote will be created automatically in an easy to read format.

2.   Prepare for Launch

Features-Vendor Selecting and Managing

When selecting the vendor, the PM can check the background information and availability of vendors in the PM portal. Furthermore, the PM can use filters to easily choose the most suitable vendors for each project. The filters include selecting by language pairs, job types, specializations, calculation units, and others. After selecting the vendor, the PM can add payables to each participant and separate them by type of work.

In the vendor portal, all incomplete tasks are shown in the Pending Jobs module.  From here, a vendor can have a clear view into each job and its type as well as the corresponding language pair, quantity requested, the contact, start date and the deadline.

3.   Start the Project

Features-File Sending and Managing

Once the project starts, the translator will receive the files in his or her portal immediately and start work. Once the translator uploads the translated files, the editor can immediately receive the translated files along with the original files and then start editing.  Other vendors will go through the same process. When uploading the files, the vendor can select the category of the files, such as bilingual documentss, CAT packages and translation memories.

The flow of files happens automatically in XTRF. All the files are sent among clients, PMs, translators, editors, and proofreaders through the portals. If any changes are made to the files related to a certain vendor, the XTRF management system will send a notification immediately to the associated person. The whole flow of files goes smoothly, and all the steps are shown in the vendor portal and the PM portal. Of course, the PM has the authority to monitor the whole process.


Clear Interface

All the participants in the project have independent access to respective portals. These three portals have different interface designs which can be easily distinguished by the users. All the related aspects have different modules listed either on the dashboard or on the sidebar. Participants have easy and convenient access to these modules. What’s more, the client portal and the vendor portal have a simpler design and feel as fitting their roles. Of course, the PM interface is more complicated as befitting the role of the PM.

Remote Control

Because of these three portals, clients, PMs and vendors can easily share information and send and receive work through their Internet browser, which saves time and money for all the participants. Remote control of the project allows people to be involved in a project from any place in the world. A hired vendor living in a different time zone can get the work done while the PM is asleep! That saves a lot of time, doesn’t it?

Automatic Reminding

Emails will be automatically sent to all persons involved. For example, when a client launches a project and asks for a quote, the salesperson will immediately receive the email notification. This automatic reminding function makes the whole process much smoother and more organized. This also prevents the possibility of accidentally sending emails to the wrong person. All the information is saved in the XTRF database.