There are two approaches to translation in business: the “commodity” approach and the “service” approach.
Those who tend to see a translation as a commodity believe that all translations are the same, and that the only differentiating element is price. Just as with raw materials or low added-value products which can be easily substituted, it is often the case that if you´re cheaper than the next supplier, you´ll make the sale.
Translations are generally priced based on the number of words in the original text. If you see translation as a commodity, comparing suppliers is as easy as comparing their prices. Why are you going to pay $0.24 per word when the next guy offers the same service for $0.23 per word? Aren’t they exactly the same?
There are two types of translation buyers and therefore two types of suppliers. Some think of translation as a commodity, whereas others have additional requirements. Those who regard translation as a commodity will look for rock-bottom prices. They will not care much about who does the translation, what tools are used or how they will deal with the rest of the documentation process, as long as the service is cheap. This approach is perfectly valid when neither quality nor intelligibility is of any importance.
Those who have other needs must be somewhat more discriminating when looking for a supplier. Not everyone can deliver large volumes in a short period of time, set up large translation teams, deliver in HTML or deal with 15 languages in parallel, and still guarantee an agreed level of quality. QuickSilver can.