Lionbridge Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: LIOX) is the leading provider of language, development and testing services that enable clients to create, release, manage and maintain their technology applications and Web content globally. Lionbridge combines global onshore, near shore and off shore resources with proven program management methodologies to serve as an outsource partner throughout a clients product and content lifecycle – from development to globalization, testing and maintenance.
The Business Situation
As a key element of its growth initiatives, Lionbridge had developed a new offering through its Global Sourcing and Search (GSS) business unit to help global online brands improve the quality of the online experience by optimizing the relevance of local search using human assessors. To enable this Lionbridge needed to leverage their extensive network of resources around the world along with an ability to scale up or down on demand.
The business is high-volume and very transaction intensive:
- A high volume of candidates needed to be managed on a weekly basis.
- Once screened and on-boarded across 100 countries, more than 4,000 Assessors performed a large number of transactions each month, resulting in 120,000 data points to be validated.
- The on-boarding process required intensive online communication.
This entailed a high degree of manual intervention creating an un–scalable environment that could not sustain the rapid growth Lionbridge’s GSS business unit was going through.
Lionbridge engaged Illumiti initially to conduct a Business Effectiveness Study, uncovering the key areas of automation, standardization and simplification that would be required by an SAP® (or other ERP) solution to drive business value. The scope of the Business Effectiveness Study included the entire company—not only the GSS business unit—to optimize the return on investment and ensure that the system would be a true enabler to the company, serving all of its different business units.
The study showed that SAP® Business All-in-One is a very strong fit for Lionbridge, leveraging the end to end integration of eRecruiting, through Procurement, Supplier Relationship Management (with Supplier Self Service), project profitability view, and automated billing and cost recovery. This solution is highly suited to Lionbridge’s core Localization Business as well as its high growth GSS business.
Given limited business resource availability and tight budgets, Illumiti assembled an expert consulting team to implement a very broad functional scope (see SAP module list below) with minimal business disruption for this global business unit, spanning 3 offices in two countries and 8 time zones. Despite the functional and process complexity, the team successfully implemented the system and rolled it out within a 5 1/2 month period. Illumiti continues to provide Application Maintenance and Enhancement Services (AMES) to Lionbridge with approximately two full-time-equivalents (FTEs) covering the full scope of the SAP footprint.
SAP® Business Suite (ECC 6), including the following modules:
- Sales & Distribution (SD);
- Materials Management (MM);
- Finance (FI);
- Controlling (CO);
- Project Systems (PS);
- Human Resources (HR);
- Electronic Recruitment (eRecruit);
- Supplier Relationship Management (SRM);
- Enterprise Portal; and
Microsoft Windows Server operating system and Microsoft SQL Server RDBMS.
The SAP® system enables Lionbridge to streamline and automate a significant, constantly growing number of repeatable tasks, previously done manually. This has resulted in reduced costs and liabilities as well as increased revenue and improved billing.
Specifically, the web-based self-service capabilities minimized recruiting overheads for Lionbridge while improving the company’s communication with vendors. The reduction in costs for a given service volume enabled Lionbridge to introduce more competitive pricing and increase margins.
Quantitative benefits include the following measures, all achieved with no internal staff growth since January 2009:
- 2x increase in business volumes (transactions)
- 1.5x increase in the number of Assessors (Vendors)
- Vendor time sheet approval in minutes instead of days