40% revenue boost as journalism and translation business prepares for Brexit

“I remember when we first started, our phone bill was around £500 per quarter, which is crazy now looking back... we are now probably paying about £20 per month."

A Wales-based company that manages a network of more than 70 professional journalists and translators, specialising in the Nordic languages, has employed Superfast Broadband-enabled technology to make its business more efficient and increase revenues by more than 40%.


Nordic International Ltd has operated from a home base in Gilfach Goch, Rhondda Cynon Taf, since 2003, but access to fibre broadband has recently increased internet download speeds in the area from 2.5Mbps to 69Mbps and opened up a range of new possibilities. The business now operates across a cloud-based network, downloading and sharing large data packages online and using video conferencing to brief freelance writers and translators on new projects.


Expanded the translation side of the business


Co-owner Andrew Draper moved back to Wales from Denmark in 1995, where the former freelance journalist was a regular contributor to several national newspapers, including the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Independent on Sunday and Financial Times. He was also Denmark correspondent for financial newswire AFX News and separately wrote articles on shipping and business from the Nordic region for The Economist Intelligence Unit and specialist trade magazines.


A few years later, Mr Draper took the decision to expand the translation side of the business and relaunch as Nordic International Ltd (it was previously called “Andrew Draper Nordic News, PR and Scandinavian Translations). The business now also specialises in translation to, from and between the Nordic languages, but manages other languages too.


Sending files to overseas translators now takes minutes


“I remember when we first started, our phone bill was around £500 per quarter, which is crazy now looking back,” said Mr Draper. “For example, there was a job that involved a 30-minute telephone interview with a fund manager in Greenland that cost us more than the fee that we received, but with internet-based calls, we are now probably paying about £20 per month.


“It also used to take us about half an hour to download everything we needed to process and commission some translation jobs. Translation packages for one particular client usually contain three sets of 20MB files and we process about three or four a week, but the whole process of sending the jobs to the translators in Denmark, Sweden and Iceland now takes a few minutes, which has really transformed the efficiency of the business.”


Nordic International attended an Inspiring Action Workshop run by Superfast Business Wales shortly after switching across to fibre broadband connection. The initial focus of the business was to explore how it could use technology to streamline the way in which they managed workflows across an expanding network of freelancers. However, the additional benefits highlighted by Superfast Business Wales have provided a real boost to the business.


“The difference superfast broadband has made is incredible”


Nordic International made significant time and cost savings by moving across to the cloud-based Office 365 system, introducing SharePoint to host project documents in the cloud for better access, and using Skype to conduct regular meetings with its Denmark-based project manager. Efficiency savings have also enabled Mr Draper to invest more time in growing his database of freelancers, as well as increasing the focus on promoting the business to new potential customers.


“We now operate almost exclusively in the cloud, which is great for a business like this that has to send and receive big files to and from overseas clients, and maintain a constant flow of communication with a large number of freelancers every month,” added Mr Draper. “The difference that having Superfast Broadband has made is incredible and we are now planning to make better use of our website by uploading more online resources and implementing a targeted digital marketing strategy to drive more traffic to the site.


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