So what’s the big deal?
STP Nordic was formed as a partnership by Jesper and Sara Sandberg in 1995 and incorporated five years later. The company now has 43 full-time salaried staff, mostly based at our office in Whiteley, and focuses on the Nordic languages instead of trying to service clients with all the languages of the world. A significant proportion of the translation work STP Nordic supplies is produced by its own in-house translators, which is a relatively rare model in our industry. Language service providers (LSPs) tend to focus on sales, admin, software engineering and process optimisation, but generally sub-contract the actual translation work. STP Nordic sometimes defines itself as a “translation production company” to draw a distinction from these “translation management companies”.
The vast majority of STP Nordic’s work is repeat business from long-standing clients, many of whom have worked with us for over 10 years. Particularly with our larger clients, we aim for strategic partnering relationships rather than simple client-supplier cooperation. Much of our growth in recent years has been with existing clients and through reactivation of former clients, but we also continue to gain new contacts by attending and sponsoring industry conferences and presenting at these.
Tranflex AB (AB is short for Aktiebolag, the Swedish word for “limited liability company”) was formed in Sweden in August 2001. Initially the company was a traditional full-service translation company and all translation work was sub-contracted to freelancers. A significant growth period in 2007–2008 with increasing volumes of work from larger translation companies, and only in a few specific language combinations, started a new phase in the company’s development. Although never a conscious strategy, the amount of work from other LSPs continued to grow, and in 2010 Tranflex opened a subsidiary, Tranflex Ltd, in London. Today, the two offices house a strong Nordic team of 15 in-house staff and a tight network of external translators and reviewers who supply LSP clients with complex “continuous localisation” services. In contrast to STP Nordic’s active role in the translation community, Tranflex has kept a relatively low profile. But those who have had the pleasure of working with the company appreciate the professionalism, commitment and service-mindedness that permeate everything they do. It is all summed up in the name: Tranflex approaches each new cooperation opportunity with adaptability and flexibility, which, combined with sheer hard work, has brought the company to where it is today.
STP Nordic had been an occasional supplier of Finnish translations to Tranflex since early 2010, but our collaboration was never extensive and our knowledge of each other very limited. Our instinctive feeling was that we were probably more competitors than collaborators. However, after venturing out to discuss our experiences in our shared niche of the market, we realised that the existing similarities between the companies would be a significant strength if combined to form a single entity. There were clearly great technological, staffing, client and supplier synergies to be explored. We visited each other’s offices, talked about best practices and decided to brave it together. The share purchase agreement was finally completed and signed this week and the new, enlarged STP Nordic now looks forward to the rest of 2012 as a year of optimisation of all the positives each company will contribute.