Choosing a Transcription Vendor: Start with the Project
Choosing a transcription vendor for your project is a lot like handcrafting a piece of fine
furniture. Finding the right materials and resources, fitting the pieces together well, and
finalizing the finishing techniques take time and work, yet the result is priceless – a durable and
valuable masterpiece. The same can be true for a transcript document when the transcription
service provider has been a good fit for your project.
Asking key questions about your transcription project, your company priorities, and a vendor’s
capabilities before you sign a contract will help you successfully find, fit, and finalize the right
option for your transcription needs. In this blog, the first in our vendor choice series, we will
focus on the project piece.
Analyze the Project
Start by asking and answering some basic details about the project itself. This gives you a
realistic project description as well as a head start on information vendors often want to know
before giving you a quote.
- Number of participants
- Setting of call or audio
- Length of audio
- Transcript use, purpose, and distribution
- Document detail required
A transcript may be used alone or as a complement to something else. Content could be used as
reference, for investigations, summarized in documents, or quoted word-for-word in
communication pieces. Ask yourself what you want the transcript for: background information;
research material; quotes; legal, medical, or other industry specific documentation; captioning or
other audiovisual projects.
Distribution may be narrow (participants only), broad (company-wide, shareholders, the public),
or somewhere in-between. The timing and speed of distribution needed for the transcript (realtime,
hours, or days) would also be an important aspect of the project to consider. What you will
do with the transcript post-production, how it will be used, who will receive it, and when it will
be received influence the kind of document you need and whether or not it needs to be a
verbatim transcript. Ask yourself the who, what, where, when, and why questions about the
Tip: Save yourself time by noting these details electronically in an easily accessible document so
the information can be copied into a potential transcription vendor’s online quote request form
or in email correspondence as needed. This information and document also gives you a baseline
and foundation to go back to and add to as the project progresses.