Case study: Auchan

Operating in 15 countries, Groupe Auchan is today the 11th largest food retailer in the world. Xplanation accompanies Auchan wherever it goes in the world by providing reliable translation services.

The DOAPI (Direction de l'Offre et des Achats Produits Internationale) division at Auchan has been created to support the company’s international development for all product categories. For non-food products (Bazar), design and engineering teams are based in France and in China, and work in a fast-paced environment where product information and packaging are created daily. Translation, the last link in the content cycle, is typically required for 12 languages.


Prior to entering into a partnership with Xplanation, Auchan dealt with the following problems:

  • Unpredictable quality from existing suppliers and, as a result, a need for extensive in-country review of all translated content, with specific issues in Eastern European languages.
  • Lack of understanding of local needs (tone of voice, target audience, style of translated content).
  • Source formats (such as InDesign, Illustrator, etc.) not supported, extra effort needed to implement the translations into the multilingual files.
  • Lack of a centralized platform to help monitor past and current translation projects.
  • Without the use of translation memory, previously translated content could not be reused to lower costs.
  • Issues with scale during peak seasons (such as “Back to school” and Christmas), which resulted in translation delivery delays that impacted shipping and revenues.

Auchan logo

The solution

To meet Auchan’s needs, Xplanation provided a solution consisting of the following:

  • A dedicated pool of professional translators who are native speakers and located in-country.
  • Pragmatic technology integration such as the Tstream Portal, with fast online ordering and reporting capabilities.
  • Optimized use of translation memory, taking into account the specific aspects of design and packaging content.
  • Delivery of print-ready multilingual manuals.
  • Dedicated account management to drive agreed-upon goals (KPIs – Key Performance Indicators).

Results for Auchan

  1. Consistent quality
  • Local dialogue with design teams in France and China make for faster implementation.
  • In-country native translation teams provide the necessary understanding and knowledge of the local market.
  • Limited changes requested during the in-country review.
  1. Reduced overhead
  • The Tstream Portal’s templates feature streamlines the process of ordering and launching recurring projects.
  • Increased quality reduces the need for internal reviews of translated content.
  • No need to spend time on layout upon receiving translated manuals as Xplanation takes care of it all.
  1. Cost reduction
  • The creation of translation memories has resulted in 14% savings in the first full year of the partnership.
  • A solution for small projects (between 1 and 100 words) was also implemented to ensure quick turnarounds and avoid minimum fees.
  • Monthly KPI tracking report.
  1. Time-to-market guarantee
  • Translation memory technology allows previous content to be reused and boosts consistency, which increases the speed and quality of  the translators’ work.
  • By establishing a dedicated pool of translators in the various markets, peak-season projects now run  smoothly – which means products are on the shelves in time for Christmas!

Because Xplanation is capable of delivering print-ready multilingual manuals, the time-to-market on Auchan’s side is reduced as well.