Harley-Davidson is one of the world’s most iconic brands and few can claim not to have dreamt about hitting the open road astride one of their legendary motorcycles.

To make that dream a reality, Harley-Davidson organizes a variety of tours in destinations across the globe that allow people to take a holiday and become a part of a unique group of people who have taken one of these machines on an epic journey, whilst also enjoying breath-taking landscapes.

Delivered through a number of authorized tour operators, the journeys range from once in a lifetime experiences, to tarmac tearing trips to major events.


The Challenge

As one of the world’s most recognizable brands, Harley-Davidson needs to be able to offer its unique tour experiences to people across the globe and that means all of the online content about the life-changing trips needs to be available in multiple languages.

Harley-Davidson’s existing Translation Management System only allowed for content to be inputted manually for translation, which was proving to be time-consuming, costly, inconsistent and vulnerable to mistakes. The company needed new systems to automate and speed-up the process while also improving the quality of the material being produced.

The Solution

thebigword already had an existing relationship with Harley-Davidson and was providing translation support but realised improvements to the system were desperately needed. By working with the motorbike manufacturer, thebigword helped to identify a number of key areas for improvement.

Under the existing system, linguists were unable to access Harley-Davidsons brand glossary and translation memory, which resulted in inconsistent use of terminology. It was also difficult to get content checked and approved and the system would occasionally fail, resulting in the loss of translated content.

After demonstrating the cost-savings and improvements, thebigword worked with Harley-Davidson Tours to align the tours translation process with other requests from Harley-Davidson. Using thebigword unique technology, the process is dramatically streamlined through a number of automated services and linguists are able to draw on a wealth of services and tools, including translation memory technology for key phrases and terms.

The system also ensures all content goes through thebigword evaluation process and in-country proof-reading stages, resulting in higher standards and greater consistency.

After initial testing, the solution has now been fully rolled out and has already resulted in 12 per cent cost savings, with even greater savings expected as more content is processed through the new system.

Through the unique linguistic assets set up by Harley-Davidson has made significant cost and time savings while also improving the quality of their tour offer in multiple languages around the world. Crucially, the system will allow even more people to create unforgettable memories as they hit the road on a Harley.


Alignment of Harley-Davidsons global translations

“thebigword has been a key partner for us for the launch of our Harley-Davidson® Authorized Tour program. They have made the translation of our new website into seven different languages a slick and simple process. At every step of the project communication was excellent and deadlines, even if tight, were always met, so a big thank you to the team there!”

Alexia H. – Senior Co-ordinator, Harley-Davidson