How Smartcat AI enabled Smith+Nephew to reduce translation turnaround time by 400%

As a multinational medical equipment manufacturer, Smith+Nephew requires the highest levels of linguistic accuracy in the seven languages into which the company translates their global employees e-learning training. We recently sat down with Barbara Fedorowicz, translation department manager at Smith+Nephew, to discuss the organization’s transition to establishing an in-house translation service with Smartcat’s Language AI platform at its core. 

Smith+Nephew achievements and ROI


workload reduction on highly regulated subject matter fields

In the translation review stage for human editors on life science and medical content compared to working with traditional agencies.


faster translation turnaround time

Compared to the previous agency SLA of 10 days. Smith+Nephew’s in-house linguists benefit from well-maintained translation memories and glossaries and regularly trained AI translation engines.


online learning courses

created per language every quarter


noticeable cost savings

versus costs of third-party providers

After having worked with legacy translation agencies for years, Smith+Nephew reported KPI improvements across various metrics with Smartcat in comparison. These include faster turnaround times, reduced workload for Smith+Nephew’s in-house reviewers, and cost savings. While keeping costs in check, the in-house translation team was able to translate twice as many courses compared to possible output with previous translation service providers.

“We love having total visibility over our entire translation lifecycle on our Smartcat workspace due to the centralized nature of the platform and being able to gather all the linguistic assets we need, including translation memories and glossaries.”

Barbara Fedorowicz

Translation department manager at Smith+Nephew

The Challenge

Barbara and her team had to contend with numerous issues that acted as a drag on their ability to optimize their translation workflow and outcomes.

“There was an urgency to have online training localized for our multinational workforce to improve our product-focused knowledge, and selling skills became far more pronounced in recent years. Greater portfolio understanding can lead to accelerated global business growth.”

Considerable costs for the service provided by third-party providers

The translation agencies with whom Smith+Nephew worked were charging high rates for human translation. With increasing e-learning localization needs, budgetary pressures generated a bottleneck to upskilling their sales team. The time spent to carry out extensive in-house reviews and edits on the translations that Smith+Nephew received presented a significant efficiency drag.

Inconsistent quality of produced translations

Levels of translation accuracy could differ from one translation to another with previous translation service providers. According to Barbara, “this is unacceptable in any business, but even more so in a highly regulated one like medical devices.” Additionally, there was a lack of terminology consistency across content and languages.

High editing requirements for Smith+Nephew’s in-country reviewers

Translations procured from translation agencies often required many work hours to rework them for appropriate consistency and audience suitability. This in-house subject matter expert time could have been put to better use towards business growth in other ways.

“To be a truly global company, we need to have online training localized for our people, wherever they are in the world and whatever language they speak. Our workforce deserves comprehensive training to prepare them for speaking with healthcare professionals regarding our medical technology. With Smartcat, we can achieve this goal.”

Barbara Fedorowicz

Translation department manager at Smith+Nephew

Offline work environment created many problems

There were severe workflow and consistency issues as a result of collaborating offline. These included a lack of synchronization and a much greater demand for time to manage projects and send, receive, and update files. The need to manually implement in-house review edits also acted as a time drag. 

Additionally, there was an absence of workflow centralization and linguistic asset ownership and maintenance.

File reconciliation roadblocks

One of the biggest pain points for the Smith+Nephew translation department was to come up with various workarounds for many different file types used when developing an e-learning course: images, videos, PowerPoint slides, XLIFF files for Articulate Rise and Storyline, and numerous others.

“When Smartcat released a new product feature to automatically extract subtitles from video voice overs, offering the possibility to quickly edit the source text for a perfect automated translation process and post-editing, our file preparation time was instantly slashed by 70%!”

Barbara Fedorowicz

Translation department manager at Smith+Nephew

The Solution

Before moving to Smartcat for their translation needs, Barbara and her team were particularly conscious of the need for a centralized translation management system that would facilitate the optimal ability to localize corporate learning courses. 

“From the beginning of establishing a central in-house translation team in 2022, it was obvious that we really needed a translation system that would truly support our team in an optimal way and update in line with the various complexities of an ever-changing business environment.”

Prerequisite performance outcomes were improved speed, operational agility, and high quality and consistency standards, to meet the growing organizational need to have a globalized online training environment. The translation team was also keen to improve their ability to collaborate and take ownership of linguistic assets, all within one online centralized translation platform.

Ease of Articulate file translation (XLIFF)

With Smartcat, Smith+Nephew have instant access to a translation platform that fully supports Articulate XLIFF files. As a result, the company can create courses in Articulate and translate them into the seven additional languages that they need when required. The Smith+Nephew team uses both Articulate Rise 360 and Articulate Storyline 360 to create and distribute dozens of online courses for Smith+Nephew’s global workforce. In many cases, only offering the English version of a course doesn’t create the desired learning impact required for the Smith+Nephew workforce as a whole.

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A collaboration-first translation workflow environment

Switching to Smartcat has eliminated the possibility of “double work” for Barbara’s team – this occurred in the past, where two team members would perform the same task on a translation project due to a lack of ability to communicate and collaborate with full visibility owing to the offline nature of the translation process with previous agencies.

“Smith+Nephew’s in-house linguists communicate with translation reviewers via comments in specific projects on our Smartcat workspace and avoid offline work. Implementing corrections or changes happens in real time on the platform, meaning the next translation in the pipeline already benefits from the stored terminology.”

Barbara Fedorowicz

Translation department manager at Smith+Nephew

Now, the Smith+Nephew translation team can collaborate seamlessly with work all taking place in the same Smartcat workspace, which saves in real time. As a result, the translation lifecycle is smoother and the team is able to cut out labor wastage and streamline their workflow.

More accurate video subtitle localization with source text editing

The translation team can now stop mistakes before they happen by editing video subtitle source language text before translation. They can make these changes quickly and directly, rather than involve their graphic design team, thereby shortening turnaround time.

Barbara’s team also uses Smartcat video translation in Smartcat Editor with live video preview and collaboration with professional linguists and internal reviewers, all within a specific project on their Smartcat workspace. 

“Our reviewers really appreciate the ability to check through work with the Smartcat live video preview to make sure everything fits in context. We’re also able to avail of Smartcat’s unlimited seating model, which doesn’t charge us to add new users. If an internal subject matter expert is busy working with healthcare professionals, they can easily onboard and assign a secondment colleague.”

Faster template creation with broad scope for customization

Moving to Smartcat, the Smith+Nephew translation team immediately benefited from using a template system that enables fast creation and tweaking, a wide range of settings to customize to their exact preferences.

“Thanks to Smartcat workspace, we’re able to create templates quickly with settings that are easy to adjust. The time involved is a lot faster than before and the Smartcat team is always on hand to help us. We love the template system!”

Barbara Fedorowicz

Translation department manager at Smith+Nephew

The Result

Overall, Smith+Nephew has been able to improve their localization KPIs across the board by migrating their operations to Smartcat. They achieved considerable cost savings, lowered editing workload by 70%, and reduced turnaround time from an average of 10 days with their previous translation service providers to between two and three with Smartcat for the same course length. Moreover, they have benefited from a markedly smoother, centralized operational setup.

Barbara’s team is now able to collaborate openly all within the same online workspace. They can create and translate the corporate learning courses and receive ongoing support from the Smartcat team when required. Additionally, the department has benefited from a substantial reduction in administrative work.

Smith+Nephew localization with Smartcat by numbers


online learning courses

created per language every quarter on average



   for global employees


single sign-on language AI platform

  with unlimited users for maximum collaboration

An eye to the future: Continuous translation improvement for Smith+Nephew

Barbara explained that, while happy with the changes that her department’s migration to Smartcat have enabled, she is eager to keep on improving and harnessing the full breadth of features that Smartcat’s platform offers. This includes implementing dedicated training – and, when required, retraining – of Smartcat AI to develop their translation memories and glossaries, which update with each new translation within a central, client-specific, system of record.

The Smith+Nephew translation team look forward to taking full advantage of Smartcat’s range of features to maximize their global localization success. These include AI automatic translation engines; generative AI Action edits; comprehensive course-authoring platform support; the possibility to invite existing providers to a central workspace to improve collaboration, and on-hand technical support from the Smartcat team.

As a result, Smith+Nephew’s translation department will continue to form an integral part of the organization’s drive to deliver a superior corporate learning program in all seven working languages for its workforce.

“Quality has markedly increased. Our reviewers compared our legacy content done by translation agencies, to content produced by my team with Smartcat AI automatic translation. The number of corrections is now much lower and the editing process is faster and less labor-intensive as a result. Additionally, our reviewers now see and understand that their work never goes to waste because it is saved in central translation memories.”

Barbara Fedorowicz

Translation department manager at Smith+Nephew

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