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The offshoring landscape has rapidly developed over the last 10 years; however some common misconceptions are still circulating.

In this article we address some of the key misconceptions about offshoring and how the industry has evolved.

1) I don’t have the time to set it up

Setting up an offshore relationship can feel daunting, but the results are worth the time. Once in place, it is scalable and your speed of response will increase as the partnership develops. As a result you can incorporate new skill sets into your business at a lower cost and you will be able to focus on new business and ultimately more projects.

2) Offshoring is only good for short, simple tasks

Offshoring is useful for short tasks but more frequently businesses are using offshore partners for bigger projects, larger campaigns and long-term partnerships because of the high level of talent and expertise available. The long-term partnership between BrandIMS and We Are Amnet, servicing clients including Avon and Diageo is an example of this.

3) A team in another country will be harder to manage

Digital communication has become a vital tool in every company’s arsenal, especially since the advent of covid. Therefore, keeping in touch with your offshore team can be as easy as connecting with your colleagues in your home city. There are also many online collaboration tools which help the smooth flow of information, and with the evolution of Smartshoring(R) you can communicate with in-country account teams to manage your day to day relationships.

But ultimately it’s about trust, and putting your trust in a new partner can be difficult. To mitigate any risk, carefully selecting the right partner is crucial for a successful relationship and ROI. Assessing a company’s experience, capability, transition strategy, pricing, operations, technology and sustainability are the initial steps in finding an offshore partner. For continued success, rigorous SLAs, future thinking, shared values and innovation are imperative.

4)  Cultural and language barriers

The reality is that for the offshore community, excellent communication is essential for success. Key contacts are employed because of their expertise and because of their language skills, and there is no shortage of talented and fluent English-speaking people to choose from. For instance, one of the most popular places to offshore is India, in which over 12% of the population or 125 million people speak English (Times of India).

There may be some cultural differences, but with the advent of Smartshoring, a truly global model, which provides in-country client services, you will always be able to communicate effectively and in the same time zone with your account manager.

5) Will my team be scaled down?

Offshoring is about working globally and sending specific services to a different team, but this does not mean making redundancies. It means your current team can spend more time concentrating on their specialisms and developing new service lines, whilst your scalable, flexible and low cost offshore team roll out your more mechanical disciplines, including artwork and retouching seamlessly and consistently.

6) I am not a big enough agency to use offshoring

A business of any size can benefit from offshoring, whether for smaller tasks for bigger projects, to increase profitability and efficiency. The 2020 State of the Market report found that 75% of all production / marketing services agencies surveyed have an offshore partner and 64% of agencies are looking to offshore more in 2020. So, you may run the risk of being priced out of the market if you don’t consider it.

7) Illegal / unethical companies do offshoring

Offshoring is not done to avoid taxes or exploit foreign workers; it is done to find the right human resource for the right projects. You can do some research to find out the rules and regulations in your country and your prospective offshoring country so that you are 100% confident you are within the law. Or with the evolution of Smartshoring you can partner with an organisation which has a fully flexible and legally compliant network already in place.

8) Time difference can hamper a project

Offshoring teams are fully flexible and can change their working hours to suit yours. However, differing working hours can also be beneficial. Imagine you need some urgent re-touching done for a deadline the following day but the artwork comes late in the day, well your offshoring team will get this done overnight for you.

9) I will be pestered and chased for other business

For the more progressive offshore companies, the days of cold calling customers and going onto a general rotation list for cross selling should be well and truly gone. Developing partnerships, engaging around a specific need or as part of a wider inbound marketing strategy, are now more common for offshore companies.

10) A cheaper price means poorer quality

Businesses who currently offshore surveyed in the State of the Market Report 2020 reported that they were either very satisfied (43%) or satisfied (57%) with their experiences to date, a 100% satisfaction rate with the quality and service provided.

Offshoring is less expensive because wages are lower, not because workers are being exploited, but because the economics are different. For instance, in India you can rent a 1 bedroom apartment for around 10,000 Rs to 25,000 Rs a month (Nestaway), which is about £105 – £260. Compare that with an average rental price of £600 (BBC News) a month for a 1 bedroom apartment in the UK or $1546 (RentJungle) in Austin, Texas.

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Saskia Johnson

Author Saskia Johnson

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