Blog/Event Highlights

Machine Translation ROI: How Subway Saved $1.5M and 2 Years of Labor Using Intento’s Best-Fit MT

Marta García

Partner Marketing Manager

At the XTMLive 2022 conference last week in Silicon Valley, Carrie Fischer (Manager of Globalization Services, Subway) was joined by Mark Hjerpe (Head of Revenue, Intento) and Rory Sampair (Solutions Architect, XTM) to discuss the clear, measurable returns delivered by machine translation. The panelists addressed (among others) the question most people have when approaching MT: is it possible to save a bunch of money and time while still maintaining quality? After Carrie’s first year using Intento’s best-fit MT solutions, the answer was a resounding yes, as outlined below.

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At Intento, we find that customers typically have too much content, and not enough human translators. They can only translate around 5% of their needed content with their human resources. For the other 95%, you really need to employ machine automation (machine translation and machine voice, in Subway’s case). This is especially true when you have a surplus of translation requests coming in from a mix of different departments, in a variety of content types, and requiring multiple languages.

Massive knowledge-base translation

Fischer had been experimenting with MT for Subway’s content for years and was never convinced that it was a viable solution. That was until she saw a demo of Intento’s MT management platform, MT Hub. Beneath the complex formulas and algorithms was a simple, clear result — around 90% of the output was coming back with high levels of quality.

After seeing her first demo of Intento MT Hub, Carrie’s response was: “This is exactly what I’ve been waiting for.”

When Fischer was tasked with translating 700 knowledge-base articles into 4 languages in a tight time frame, she turned to Intento’s MT solutions. With machine translation, she was able to meet the narrow deadline with high-quality results.

Franchise website translation

The second project on her hands was a franchisee sales website. They essentially wanted to automate how a franchisee could buy their franchise. It ended up being a 500,000-word project, with a deadline of 2 weeks. A different use case — but the same high-quality results were delivered through Intento’s curated MT solution.

After using Intento MT for a year in multiple use cases, Carrie was given the best review of her career and saved $1.5 million and two full years of labor in the process.

E-learning voice synthesis and translation

The final use case, which never struck Fischer as an MT opportunity, was e-learning content. During the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses, including Subway, had to digitize at an extremely fast pace. The usual learning pace for onboarding franchisees was a two-week in-person course. That suddenly became out of the question. They immediately transformed the course into several e-learning modules and curated several MT models with the best-fit providers for their language pairs. This use case included utilizing voice synthesis (machine voice), which was produced with the same exceptional results. Just as Intento evaluates, selects, and customizes the best fit MT engines, they do the same curation method with machine voice engines, with results and cost and time savings that speak for themselves — literally.

Use-cases for legal departments and beyond

With machine translation and machine voice success under her belt, Fischer is confidently expanding her MT use at Subway, including Intento MT Hub for Office Productivity. This plug-in is for products like Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Google Chrome, and more. MT Hub for Office Productivity facilitates several internal use cases for Subway, including the instant translation of legal documents. It has evolved to the point where Fischer’s team is so happy with the MT output of Office Productivity that they’ve started to use it globally for contract translation and legal communication, freeing up a lot of room in their budgets.

Subway’s reliance on Intento for MT/AI program development is one of the many examples of Intento clients that begin by selecting and training a number of engines for their most pressing business needs, and then, wowed by the quality and time and effort savings, begin spreading the success and ROI around their company. Get a live demo at to see how Intento can add value to your own translation program.

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