According to the report ”The economic value of terminology – an exploratory study” by Canadian Guy Champagne Inc. and calculations by large corporations such as Danish KMD and Swedish Scania there are cost reductions to be achieved by using correct and consistent terminology. This is also the belief of the Danish tax agency SKAT, where the use of terminology across the organization has been examined.
The report sought to determine the role of terminology in the writing-translation-revision process and found that 15% to 30% of the time is spent on terminology. Terminology work can increase productivity (by about 20 %) as valuable time is saved in both translation and revision.
Furthermore, the study validated that terminology has an impact within a broader corporate management framework, in reducing operational, legal and business risks, improving service to the clientele and developing business activities. Also, it is stated that managers of the terminology function estimate that it offers a 10% return on investment.
The report also concludes that terminology offers a competitive edge that should not be overlooked and that terminology banks are an investment with enormous multiplier effects.
These conclusions are supported by Kara Warburton, Chair of ISO TC37, terminologist, linguist and translator. She states that terminology work makes up for 40% of text production and that between 30 and 70% of errors in technical documentations are due to terminological error. Warburton quotes Danish Lisbeth Kjeldgaard Almsten (Crisplant A/S), who have stated that translations can be more that 50% more expensive if the terminology is inconsistent.
Warburton states that it costs 10 times more to fix a term at the end of the production cycle than at the beginning (Xerox, JDEdwards) and that inconsistent or inaccurate terminology raises service costs which Scania also confirms.